Emily Socolov, PhD, is a folklorist, visual artist and activist based in New York City and Austin, Texas, with a deep interest in life history, cultural imaginaries and social justice. She was founding Executive Director of Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders, a non-profit arts and culture organization serving the Mexican immigrant community in New York. Her programming initiatives reflected a deep commitment to education, technical assistance for community-based creative artists and mentoring community stakeholders in nonprofit management. She continues her work with immigrants and asylum-seekers in Texas with RAICES and Texas Here to Stay. Socolov is currently Visiting Scholar at the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at UT-Austin where she is working on a book on the Red Scare in 1950’s America.
A frequent collaborator with the Smithsonian Institution’s Division of Folklife and Cultural Heritage’s annual festival, she has worked as a presenter and researcher on the US-Mexico Borderlands, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and the Basque Country programs. She has served as Project Director in the Community Cultural Initiatives program at the Center for Traditional Music and Dance in New York and has taught folklore and anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, The University of Pennsylvania and Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. She was a fellow at the Latin American Studies Institute at the University of Texas. Her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania focused on Mexican dance-drama traditions and the Santiagueros of Milpa Alta, Mexico City. She has an MA from New York University and is Licentiate from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History in Museography (Museum Studies).
As a visual artist, she works with found and repurposed objects, creating installations of social relevance. Her work has been in exhibitions at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Women and Their Work Gallery in Austin and the Small Works Invitational at the Prince Street Gallery.
Socolov created the visual arts program at KlezKanada: A Festival of Jewish/Yiddish Music and Culture. She has taught workshop in Amulets, Toy Theater (with Jenny Romaine and Tine Kindermann), The Culture of Childhood in Eastern Europe (with Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett), among other courses.