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Nikki Cox

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MS, Folklore, University of Oregon (2017)

MA, Anthropology, California State University, Northridge (2015)

BA, Anthropology, California State University, Northridge (2013)

Focus Area

Cultural Anthropology/ Folklore


Nikki is interested in the ways human beings interact with, and experience wilderness. Current research aims to investigate spiritual pilgrimage on the John Muir Trail in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. Nikki completed her Master's thesis in Folklore in Spring of 2017.  Her Folklore thesis explores the ways wilderness has been constructed as a masculine space and how women forge their own identities in the wild.

Her Master's thesis in Anthropology investigates the Los Angeles Wisdom Tree, a site of secular pilgrimage. Hikers create an imagined community connected through the material objects deposited in a "wish box" at the base of the tree. Past research also includes a project on community building in improvisational comedy and a case study of representation of gender in American Horror Story: Murder House.

She has also served as a graduate research assistant on a projects investigating student retention of men of color at CSU Northridge and has worked on a project investigating the social and structural effects of bilingual education on students. Her podcast Tales of Two Cities Podcast focuses on telling stories of the peculiar, haunted, and unexplained.  Using her background in Folklore, Nikki and her co-host Ellie explore reoccuring tales and tropes. Broadly, Nikki is interested in community, non-religious spirituality, nature, public land, gender, performance, and story telling.