Dr. Billie J. Follensbee


Art and Design

Role: Faculty
Campus: Springfield

Postal mail

Missouri State University
Art and Design
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65897



  • PhD, Art History and Archaeology, 2000, University of Maryland, College Park
  • MA, Art History and Archaeology, 1994, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Certificat de Hautes-Etudes, 1986, Université d’Aix-en-Provence, France
  • BA, Modern Foreign Languages, 1987, Castleton State College
  • BS, English Communications, 1986, Castleton State College
  • AS, Communications, 1985, Castleton State College 


  • ART 273 Art of Africa, Oceania, & the Americas
  • ART 350 Service-Learning in Art History
  • ART 487/687 Art of the Americas
  • ART 486/686 Art of Africa
  • ART 485/685 Art of Mesoamerica
  • ART 495 Internship in Art History
  • MST 350 Service-Learning in Museum Studies
  • ART/MST 488 Basic Conservation of Art and Artifacts
  • MST 493 Undergraduate Apprenticeship (Museum Studies)
  • MST 495 Internship in Museum Studies

Research and professional interests

  • Art history and archaeology of the ancient Americas
  • Mesoamerican art history and archaeology
  • Fiber technology and textiles in the art and archaeology of the ancient Americas
  • Sex and gender studies in art history and archaeology

Selected publications

  • "Sex and Gender in Olmec Imagery," invited chapter for Oxford Handbook of the Olmecs, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, In Press 2023.
  • "Function Follows Form: Assessing the Functionality of Shells and Greenstone Shell Effigies as Formative Period Mesoamerican Textile Fabrication Tools, Part 1: Tagelus plebeius Atlantic Stout Razor Clam Shells," article, EXARC Journal, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2022.
  • "More Testing of Mesoamerican Lunate Artifacts: Possible Loom Weights that were also Twining Tools," article, EXARC Journal, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2021.
  • "Testing Mesoamerican Lunate Artifacts as Possible Crescent Loom Weights," article, EXARC Journal, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2020.
  • • “Dressing the Part: Power, Dress, Gender, and Representation in the pre-Columbian Americas,” Editor, with Sarahh M. Scher. University Press of Florida, 2017.
  •  “The Rogan Plates: Sex and Gender Representation, and the Bird-Human: A Case of Obscuring the Overt,” co-authored with Katie McElfresh Buford. Chapter in “Dressing the Part: Power, Dress, Gender, and Representation in the pre-Columbian Americas”, 2017.
  • “More on Olmec Gender-Ambiguous Costume: The Possible Appropriation of Attire as a Symbol of Power,” chapter in Dressing the Part: Power, Dress, Gender, and Representation in the pre-Columbian Americas, 2017.
  •  “Los cubos de mineral del hierro: Estudio sistemático de replicación para la valoración de hipótesis” (“The Iron Ore Cubes: Systematic Replication Study for Hypothesis Assessment”), co-authored with Allison Robbins, Alexandra Thrower, Nicholas Deckard, and Sammie Hernandez. Chapter in Arqueología de la Costa del Golfo: Dinámicas de la Interacción Política, Económica e Ideológica, 2017

Awards and honors

  • Sabbatical, Missouri State University, 2022
  • CASL Faculty Award for Excellence in Service-Learning, 2018
  • PSIP, Missouri State University, 2016
  • Dumbarton Oaks Research Stipend, 2015
  • Faculty Research Grant, Missouri State University, 2015
  • Sabbatical, Missouri State University, 2015
  • Curriculum Innovation Grant, Missouri State University, 2012-2013
  • Selected as Missouri State’s candidate for the Professor of the Year national competition, 2011
  • CASL Research Stipend, Missouri State University, 2010-11
  • Selected to publish in "Quick Hits for Service-Learning: Successful Strategies by Award-Winning Teachers," Indiana Campus Compact, 2011
  • Foundation Award for Teaching, Missouri State University, 2008
  • Excellence in Community Service Award, Missouri State University, 2006