A professor at Indiana University from 1986 to 2008, Professor Bauman is an eclectic scholar, whose scholarly contributions have transcended conventional academic boundaries. Bauman has degrees in English (B.A., Michigan, 1961), Folklore (M.A., Indiana, 1962), Anthropology (M.S., Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania), and American Civilization (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1968). Best known for his theoretical and methodological contributions to the ethnographic study of language and performance, Bauman's scholarship, has had an impact on the development of a number of intersecting fields of study, including, folklore, anthropology, history, linguistics, semiotics, and speech communication. His diverse background has afforded to him the opportunity to befriend and collaborate with several of folklore’s most illustrious scholars, including Henry Glassie, Dan Ben-Amos, Charles Briggs and the late Americo Paredes. His writings have been widely reprinted and translated, and he has lectured at scholarly institutions in South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
In the course of his academic career, Bauman has headed two of folklore's major programs, first as Director of the Center for Intercultural Studies in Folklore and Ethnomusicology at the University of Texas, and later as Chair of the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. Especially active in graduate education, he has directed close to 60 Ph.D. dissertations in a number of disciplines, and he has won the Distinguished Teaching and Mentoring Award of the University Graduate School.
Bauman's professional leadership has been cross-disciplinary. He has served as president of the Semiotic Society of America, the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, and the Society of Fellows of the American Folklore Society. Among many other professional activities, he has been chair of the Folklife Advisory Council of the Smithsonian Institution, editor of the Journal of American Folklore, and a member of more than 15 editorial boards. He has also been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Folklore Fellow of the Finnish Academy of Sciences, and twice holder of National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships.
From the guide to the Richard Bauman papers, 1958-2008, (Indiana University Office of University Archives and Records Management)