Shane Rasmussen was born in 1969 in Hollywood, California, and grew up in California and Oregon. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oregon in 1997 with a double major in English and History he spent four years in Narita, Japan, teaching English as a Second Language. Returning to the U.S., he received his M.A. in English from the in 2003. He was the recipient of the Richard G. Neiheisel Phi Beta Kappa Endowed Award in December 2003. In 2007 he received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is now the director of the Louisiana Folklife Center and an assistant professor of English at in . He is the editor of the Louisiana Folklife Journal, the co-founder and co-chair of the Conference on Louisiana Studies, and the founder and co-chair of the NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest. His research interests are in folklore, cultural, and death studies.