Dr. Kristine McCusker Dr. Kristine McCusker


E-mail: kristine.mccusker@mtsu.edu
Phone: (615) 898-2544
Office Location and Mailing Address: Peck Hall, Room 271
MTSU Box 23
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

FIELDS: Ethnomusicology, especially Country Music; 20th Century South; Gender History; Death rituals and culture

BIOGRAPHY: Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. McCusker earned a Ph.D. in History, Folklore and Ethnomusicology from Indiana University in 2000. She has published two books, Lonesome Cowgirls and Honky-Tonk Angels: The Women of Barn Dance Radio (Illinois, 2008) and, co-edited with Diane Pecknold, A Boy Named Sue: Gender and Country Music (Mississippi, 2004). She is currently working on a National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine-funded book, Just Enough to Put Him Away Decent: Death Care and the Emergence of a Modern South, 1900-1950 as well as a new edition of A Boy Named Sue. She has contributed to multiple videos and documentaries, most recently "The Hayloft Gang," currently being shown on PBS stations nationwide and has worked with programs such as the Smithsonian's Museums on Main Streets program and the National Endowment of the Humanities/National Library Association grants program.


  • History 2020, Survey U.S. History II
  • History 3020, Topics in American History: The Great Depression
  • History 4070, Modern America Post-1945


  • History 5070, Modern America Post-1945
  • History 6230/7230, Seminar: American Women's History


"Patsy Cline and Narratives of Invisibility in the 1950s,"in Warren Hofstra, ed., Sweet Dreams: The Life and Times of Patsy Cline (Urbana: University of Illinois Press,
2013), forthcoming;

"At "Sunrise Tomorrow," I'll be "Safe in the Arms of Jesus" by "The Old Rugged Cross": Funeral Music and the Transformation of Southern Culture, 1935-1945," American Music (forthcoming).

With Laurie Witherow, "Bereavement and College Campuses: Establishing an Effective Ritual for the Classroom and Beyond," About Campus 17:1 (March-April, 2012),12-17.


National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine, $122,000;

John Hope Franklin Fellow, John Hope Franklin Research Center, Duke University, Summer, 2009, $600;

Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Virginia Historical Society, Summer, 2009, $500;



Just Enough to Put Him Away Decent (Under option, University Illinois Press);

With Diane Pecknold, A Boy Named Sue, Too: New Essays in Gender and Country Music (under consideration by the University of Mississippi Press).


"As They Lay Dying: Funeral Ledgers and the Emergence of a Modern South, 1917-1950."


Ph.D., Indiana University, 2000
M.A.,   University of Kansas, 1994
B.A.,   University of Massachusetts-Amherst 1987

Return to Faculty page