Dr. John R. Williams is a retired Professor of English Literature from Spartanburg with a Ph.D in Folklore from Indiana University. He served two years in Tehran, Iran, with the United States Army as part of a military advisory group to the Shah. While there, he learned to speak fluent Farsi, served as a translator for a General, and traveled widely in Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. He also directed the Appalachian Oral History Project in Eastern Kentucky. He is a major contributor to Folklore studies including Our Appalachia: An Oral History and Usable Pasts: Traditions and Group Expressions in North America. He also holds an M.A. in Literature from the University of Kentucky and a B.A. from Centre College.
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