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The North Carolina Folklife Institute Launches New Website and New Projects 0 J. Fivecoate The North Carolina Folklife Institute (NC Folk) is proud to announce the completion of its new website, www.ncfolk.org. Please check out their new home base! NC Folk is also proud to announce the first edition of the Handbook for North Carolina Folk and Traditional Artists, with a model provided by the Nevada Arts Council and with priceless assistance and advice provided by NV Folklife Program Coordinator, Patricia Atkinson. https://www.ncfolk.org/handbook/ They are also pleased to announce the production of our first podcast, Inside NC. Produced by Joseph O'Connell, Inside NC's inaugural season focuses on the culture, community and history of Warren and Halifax Counties in NC. The first episode will be streaming from our website on Wednesday, February 15. https://www.ncfolk.org/podcasts/
by J. Fivecoate
Monday, February 13, 2017
Help Support Film about Folklore Center Legend Izzy Young 0 J. Fivecoate By Rebecca Seeman (Co-Producer, "Folklore Center Blues: The Life of Izzy Young") -- "Folklore Center Blues: The Life of Izzy Young" is a film about the colorful figure who produced the first New York concerts of many of the great icons of the American folk music scene, including Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris, and Tim Buckley. In the current state of activism and resistance, Tamsin (director and co-producer) and I have been remembering the role folk music played in the protest era of the 1960s, and Izzy's lifelong commitment to peace, progressive politics, and activism. In addition to his work in the political protest climate of the 60s, Izzy has been an active voice for Israeli-Palestinian peace since moving to Sweden in 1973. "Folklore Center Blues: The Life of Izzy Young" includes interviews with many people for whom folk music has been an integral part of their commitment to social justice, not least the late great Pete Seeger and the indefatigable Steve Earle. Other critical voices of the 60s folk music scene that you will see and hear in our film include John Sebastian, David Grisman, Happy Traum, David Bromberg, Stefan Grossman, Jim Kweskin, John Cohen, Sylvia Tyson, and lots more. We are almost mid-way through our 30-day campaign to raise the funds for the edit of our film, and we will need the support of the folk music and folklore communities to be able to complete our project. Please help us bring you this entertaining, important, and timely film! We have lots of great perks for you to choose from. You can see our video in which we tell you about the movie, plus the film trailer, in the link below. For those of you that would like to contribute, but don't want to do so online, just send me an email and we can talk about how to do that. For more information about this project, or to donate, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/folklore-center-blues#/.  
by J. Fivecoate
Thursday, February 9, 2017
ASIL Hosts Online Briefings on Trump Administration and International Law 0 J. Fivecoate The American Society of International Law—one of AFS’s sister societies in the American Council of Learned Societies—has begun an online briefing series on “International Law and the Trump Administration.” These are free events, with a one-step registration process (http://www.asil.org/100days) designed to encourage broad participation by both the press and the public. Our hope is to provide accurate, unbiased information (a.k.a. “facts”) to help inform the debate around such issues as climate change, torture, and the role of international institutions. The initial webcast, “The Future of International Agreements,” took place on February 1. It featured Catherine Amirfar, Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, former Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the US Department of State and John B. Bellinger, III, Partner at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, former Legal Adviser, US Department of State. Michael Goldhaber, who served for 16 years as senior international correspondent for The American Lawyer, served as moderator.  Part two of this series, titled The United Nations and the Trump Administration, will take place on Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 11:30am to 12:30pm EST/8:30am to 9:30am PST. For more information, visit https://www.asil.org/100days.  
by J. Fivecoate
Thursday, February 2, 2017
CBU Professor Ian Brodie Interviewed about Folk and Culture Online Course 0 J. Fivecoate What makes a food traditional? Can you change the ingredients? These are among the topics being discussed in a Folk and Culture course offered at CBU. The course is open and online. Professor Ian Brodie discusses food as tradition in an interview on Mainstreet Cape Breton.  To listen to the interview and to learn more, visit http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/programs/mainstreetcapebreton/cbu-professor-ian-brodie-folk-and-culture-online-course-1.3942744.
by J. Fivecoate
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Nearly 300,000 Lomax Documents Now Accessible Online 0 J. Fivecoate By Todd Harvey (Curator, Alan Lomax Collection, American Folklife Center) -- Fans of folk music fire up your browsers! The second—and largest—phase of the Lomax family papers has just gone online at this link. This set of manuscripts joins ca. 25,000 items that went online last fall. Researchers now have access to nearly 300,000 manuscript pages that chronicle the work of one of the most important families in American folk music. Through correspondence, field work, research documents, indexes, and writings, the Lomax family papers span the entire 20th century and provide unique insight into American vernacular music. Consistent with Alan Lomax’s “cultural equity” mantra, the collections also document language, storytelling, dance, and music of nearly 800 culture groups from around the world. To read the full post and learn more, visit http://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2017/01/nearly-300000-lomax-documents-now-accessible-online/.    
by J. Fivecoate
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
NEA Video Explains How They Support Folk and Traditional Arts in America 0 J. Fivecoate "Learn how the National Endowment for the Arts supports and celebrates the folk and traditional arts in America in this motion graphic. Voiced by Carolyn Mazloomi, 2014 NEA National Heritage Fellow" To watch the video, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NiPrrBBCJA&feature=share&app=desktop. 
by J. Fivecoate
Friday, January 13, 2017
Folklorist Bob Fulcher Mentioned in Oak Ridge Today Article 0 J. Fivecoate "A Clinton folklorist was was one of 10 people to be presented with a 2017 Governor’s Arts Award, Tennessee’s highest honor in the arts. Folklorist Bob Fulcher of Clinton won a Folklife Heritage Award. He is the first folklorist to receive the Tennessee Folklife Heritage Award. Fulcher is the park manager of the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail. Among the distinguished artists honored are Kallen Esperian, Amy Grant, and Vince Gill, a press release said. The awards were announced Thursday by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam." To read the full article, visit http://oakridgetoday.com/2016/12/22/clinton-man-receives-folklife-heritage-award-distinguished-artists-honored-include-vince-gill-amy-grant/.  
by J. Fivecoate
Friday, January 13, 2017
Introducing HP_folk, A New Listserv for Folklore and Historic Preservation 0 J. Fivecoate The AFS Working Group on Folklore and Historic Preservation invites all those interested to join their new Google group, to connect a cross-disciplinary community of individuals interested in the integration of folklore methodology in historic preservation. If you'd like to become part of this network, please contact Laurie Sommers at folklaurie@gmail.com.     
by J. Fivecoate
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
"Did a Silent Film About a Train Really Cause Audiences to Stampede?" 0 J. Fivecoate "If you’re at all interested in the history of cinema, you’ve probably heard some version of the story about the train film that sent an audience running. According to the tale, as the silent black-and-white image of a moving locomotive filled a movie screen in Paris, the people in the cinema thought it was going to drive right into them. They panicked, and bolted for the back of the theater. While this story is often taken as fact, it turns out that this theatrical panic is likely no more than a sturdy urban legend—and probably already was even when the film was still in the theater. The myth of the runaway movie train surrounds a short 1896 film called L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat, or Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat. The 50-second-long silent film was created by Auguste and Louis Lumière, a pioneering set of brothers who were among the very first people to create moving pictures. Many of the brothers’ early works were barely classifiable as movies even at the time, mostly being short snippets of a scene. “This film is memorable among all the other 1,400 one-minute films (they were called ‘views’ at that time, like ‘living’ picture post cards—single-shot films without any editing), which are listed in the Lumière film catalogue,” says Martin Loiperdinger, a film scholar at the University of Trier, Germany. Loiperdinger is the author of maybe the preeminent piece of writing regarding the myth of La Ciotat, calling the film and its attendant popularity, “Cinema’s Founding Myth.” In the piece he points out that there is no hard evidence that the famed audience stampede ever occurred." To read the full article, visit http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/did-a-silent-film-about-a-train-really-cause-audiences-to-stampede?  
by J. Fivecoate
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Barre Toelken's Lifetime Achievement Award Featured in HJ News 0 J. Fivecoate "Having received the Paredes Prize in 2007 and the Kenneth Goldstein Award for Lifetime Academic Leadership in 2011, Toelken is the only person ever to receive three major American Folklore Society awards, according to the organization’s executive director, Timothy Lloyd. Williams and Lynne McNeill, a USU English professor who was, like Williams, a student of Toelken’s, wrote a letter to AFS nominating him for the Lifetime Achievement Award. “We’re tempted to keep this letter of nomination extremely short and simply say, ‘It’s Barre Toelken!’” McNeill and Williams wrote in the nomination letter. Williams explained in an interview the first sentence of the letter pretty much sums up Toelken’s impact on folklore. “It goes with out saying. His name speaks for itself,” Williams said. Toelken’s contributions to the study and teaching of folklore are numerous. His publication, “Dynamics of Folklore,” a widely praised introduction to the subject, is a standard text used in many classrooms. Aside from that, Toelken has 76 book-length publications and over 50 peer-reviewed articles to his name. Toelken was also “very instrumental in building” the USU folklore program and “bringing it to national recognition,” as its director from 1985-2003, Williams said, by securing funding and bringing respected scholars into the program." To read the full article, visit http://news.hjnews.com/logan_hj/connections-with-each-other-barre-toelken-receives-folklore-lifetime-achievement/article_0fd4e11b-a300-5e7e-a493-907d82a14afc.html. 
by J. Fivecoate
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage's Artisan Initiative 0 J. Fivecoate "A large part of our mission is to increase the visibility and vitality of culture bearers, artists, and traditions to promote cultural expression as essential to human well-being and community health. In an effort to champion cultural vitality and sustainability, we work with individuals and communities to preserve and elevate cultural practices, including those that improve and sustain local economies. We recognize artisans as critically important partners in this work. Historically, artisans have also worked as designers, creating products based on local aesthetic and sociocultural requirements of their client. Rapid changes brought on by urbanization and globalization have largely isolated artisans, as local clients turn toward cheaper, foreign-made alternatives. Often, artisans lack knowledge of and access to unknown urban and foreign niche markets. This isolation has contributed to the loss of traditional knowledge as artisans turn to agriculture and other trades to earn a living. Further, as young people flock to urban centers in search of new opportunity, artisans are less likely to continue the long tradition of passing on this knowledge through family or apprenticeship. Traditions passed down and evolved over thousands of years can be lost in the length of one generation. The Smithsonian Artisan Initiative (SAI) is dedicated to building the sustainability of these traditions. The program brings together community-driven research and documentation, product development, enterprise training, world-class design development, and a suite of tools artisans can use to unlock access to both local and international markets. SAI aims to reposition artisans as leaders of the creative economy by providing the knowledge, skills, and support necessary to revive and sustain their communities’ craft traditions." For more information, visit http://www.folklife.si.edu/cultural-sustainability/smithsonian-artisan-initiative/smithsonian.   
by J. Fivecoate
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Slenderman on The Folklore Podcast: He’s the “Face” of Online Bullying 0 J. Fivecoate "For those interested in the more intellectual aspects of ghosts and monsters, I recommend checking out The Folklore Podcast hosted by Mark Norman. The first episode is on Slenderman, a topic I’ve been interested in even before the “Slenderman stabbings” brought the legend into so many peoples’ consciousness. Norman’s guest for this episode was Dr. Andrea Kitta who had some intriguing ideas about what this particular monster represents."  To read the full article and access the podcast, visit https://idoubtit.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/slenderman-on-the-folklore-podcast-hes-the-face-of-online-bullying/.   
by J. Fivecoate
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Folklorist K. Brandon Barker's Research Featured in Scientific American 0 J. Fivecoate By  Susana Martinez-Conde, Stephen L. Macknik (Scientific American)  "Just as brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm—recognized by some academics as the first folklorists—collected children's tales in 19th-century Germany, Barker and Rice have been compiling contemporary folk illusions in the U.S. Their collection is expanding through the painstaking process of recording children's reports and adult recollections and making direct observations of kids' interactions. Barker and Rice's future research plans include documenting folk illusions from non-Western cultures. So far Barker and Rice have identified more than 70 types of folk illusions, starting with games such as “steal your nose” among toddlers and progressing to more sophisticated tricks throughout the school years into adulthood. Their categorization makes it clear that age affects the games we play. And this observation in turn offers a fascinating window into the brain's perceptions and thinking processes during development." To learn more, read the full article at https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/discover-the-science-of-school-yard-illusions/.   
by J. Fivecoate
Thursday, October 6, 2016
"Clownology 101: Your Resident Folklorist Weighs In" 0 J. Fivecoate By Russel Frank  Everywhere I look, I see creepy clowns. Except I’m not actually seeing them. No one is. Well, there may have been a sighting or two. Mostly, though, there have been rumors and false reports. The New York Times reports that there have been “12 arrests in multiple states,” but the only clowns who have drawn the attention of law enforcement so far have been the kind who think it’s funny to waste the cops’ time by calling in hoaxes or staging pranks.   Consistencies across all these supposed sightings strongly suggest that we are in the realm of the urban legend or the copycat enactment of an urban legend: The clowns are usually seen on the edge of a forest or stepping out from behind a tree or a bush. Many of them are carrying machetes or kitchen knives. Many are chasing or trying to lure children, sometimes with candy. (Note the similarity to familiar scare stories around booby-trapped Halloween candy – most of which, like the clown stories, are also groundless.) What worries police in our trigger-happy land is not that one of these costumed creepos will commit an evil deed but that some harmless clown-costumed copycat is going to spook the wrong person and get himself killed. As you’ve probably heard by now, Penn State had its own clown-less incident on Monday night. While sensible sorts were asleep in their beds, hundreds of students, some armed with baseball bats, hockey sticks, tennis rackets and golf clubs (clowns, apparently, are vulnerable to sports equipment), according to Onward State, heeded a social media summons to a clown hunt. They came up empty. What is this madness about? As a certified member of the tiny band of eccentrics who have earned graduate degrees in the scholarly study of folklore, I’m glad you asked. To read the full article, visit http://www.statecollege.com/news/columns/clownology-101-your-resident-folklorist-weighs-in,1469389/. 
by J. Fivecoate
Thursday, October 6, 2016
"How Do You Say ‘Email’ in Yiddish?" 0 J. Fivecoate By Joseph Berger (The New York Times) In a thousand-year-old language like Yiddish, with many of its words rooted in the ancient Bible, how would you say “email”? Or “transgender”? Or “designated driver”? Or “binge watch”? Those terms came into popular usage long after the language’s heyday, when it was the lingua franca of the Jews of Eastern Europe and the garment workers of the Lower East Side and was the chosen literary tongue for writers like Sholem Aleichem and Isaac Bashevis Singer. Though the Holocaust and assimilation have shrunk the ranks of Yiddish speakers — once put at over 11 million worldwide — to a relative handful, Yiddish still needs to keep itself fashionably up-to-date. So two of its conservationists have produced the first full-fledged English-to-Yiddish dictionary in 50 years and it is designed to carry Yiddish into the 21st century and just maybe beyond. After all, Yiddish has always had a canny way of defying the pessimists. “Email”? How is “blitspost” — a combination of the Yiddish words for “lightning” and “mail”? “Transgender”? How’s “tsvishnminik,” which blends the common Yiddish words for “between” and “type.” “Designated driver”? “Der nikhterer shofer” does the trick by fusing the Yiddish word for “sober” with that for “driver.” And “binge watch” is “shlingen epizodn,” literally “wolf down episodes.” The 826-page Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary, with almost 50,000 entries and 33,000 subentries, is the work of Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath, a Yiddish editor and poet, and Paul Glasser, a former dean at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the major repository of Yiddish language, literature and folklore. Published in June by Indiana University Press with a copyright owned by the League for Yiddish, the dictionary’s debut will be formally celebrated on Nov. 13 with a panel discussion and klezmer music at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan. To read the full article, visit the New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/05/arts/how-do-you-say-email-in-yiddish.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share.   
by J. Fivecoate
Thursday, October 6, 2016
"Story of Shag Harbour UFO Examined by Folklorist" 0 J. Fivecoate "Back on Oct. 4, 1967, people in Shag Harbour saw a light drop from the sky, hover over the water then disappear into the harbour. Many eyewitnesses who saw the light assumed a plane had gone down.  RCMP officers on the scene also reported a plane had gone in the water, said Morritt. No wreckage was ever found and no planes were reported missing. Divers were sent into the harbour and also came up with nothing.   "How did we get from plane crash to UFO? What does it mean for the people in Shag Harbour? What does it mean to live in a community where there was a UFO crash?" said Morritt. "I think there's more to Shag Harbour than just a UFO.""  To read the full article, visit http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/nova-scotia/shag-harbour-ufo-folklorist-story-1.3788102.   
by J. Fivecoate
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
"Smithsonian Cancels Plan to Feature Cuba at the 2017 Folklife Festival" 0 J. Fivecoate "The Smithsonian pursued a Cuba festival despite objections from Cuban American members of Congress, who blasted the idea when it became public last year. In part to blunt such criticism and also to reflect the experience of Cuban Americans, the festival was to include off-the-Mall programing devoted to the Cuban diaspora. James Early, former director of cultural heritage policy for the Folklife Center, launched efforts toward a Cuba festival in 1999. It was “truly a curator’s dream,” wrote Cynthia Vidaurri, the project curator from the beginning, in an essay published this year about developing the festival. Dozens of scholars and specialists from the United States and Cuba collaborated over the years. The working title of the festival was, “Cuba: Confluences, Creativity & Color,” designed to “explore Cuba’s rich cultural diversity through crafts, storytelling, music, language, dance, rituals, medicinal traditions, food and more.” Early, who retired last year from the Folklife Center, faulted Smithsonian officials for being unable to close the deal after so much work." To read the full article, visit https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2016/10/01/folklife/.   
by J. Fivecoate
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
"Folklorists Preserved Music from the Threat of the 20th Century" 0 J. Fivecoate "Folk music is the story of men sailing ships, plowing the earth, driving railroad spikes, fighting, loving, eating, drinking, and dying – stories simply told in the language of the people doing the living and dying. Mr. Warner and other folklorists recognize that, with the coming of radio and motion pictures to the back reaches of America, the people are changing their language to a pattern of similarity. So the folklorists are making haste to record the songs of America. Warner and his wife have gone “into the field” from the Canadian border to the Carolinas, and from Cape Cod to the midwest. They locate the people who are likely to know the ballads of the region, win their confidence and respect and then ask them to sing their songs into a recording apparatus." To read the full article, visit http://www.newsobserver.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/past-times/article105120851.html. 
by J. Fivecoate
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
American Folklife Center Publishes Fourth Edition of Folklife and Fieldwork 0 J. Fivecoate When the first edition of Folklife and Fieldwork was published in 1979, our readers had a difficult choice to make: the better audio quality offered by a bulky reel-to-reel tape recorder or the convenience of the newfangled cassette deck. With one of those two machines, plus a single-lens-reflex camera and a few rolls of film, the 1979 fieldworker was equipped to document the world. Earlier editions of this guide gave great advice regarding the handling and preservation of these older forms of documentation. These tips are still relevant for some archival collections, but not for most fieldwork. Born-digital documentation requires a whole new set of practices—new ways of recording and new methods of preservation. Since the first edition appeared there has also been a surge of interest in personal archiving. Preserving family history, genealogy, and community history has never been more popular. Popular interviewing projects like the Veterans History Project and StoryCorps are leading the way in a new era of oral history collecting, and both of their collections are part of the American Folklife Center archive. While this book prioritizes the documentation of folklife, by which we mean traditional culture and heritage, the guidelines offered here for interviewing and documentation apply to a broad range of topics. For more information, visit the American Folklife Center at http://www.loc.gov/folklife/fieldwork/index.html?loclr=fbafc. 
by J. Fivecoate
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
AFS Gray Literature Collection Now Available on Open Folklore 0 J. Fivecoate The AFS-Indiana University Library Open Folklore team is happy to announce that a valuable collection of materials on current practice in, and the history of, folklore studies in the US is now available via Open Folklore: the American Folklore Society gray literature collection (“gray literature” refers to media not formally published or distributed, such as reports, works-in-progress, and conference materials). You can find this collection at https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/9004. This collection includes: Reports (1889-1948) on, or programs (1949-2015) of, every AFS annual meeting except one (1951)— one of the major annual professional conferences of folklorists in the world  More than 50 videos of major AFS annual meeting presentations since 2004 Indexes to the main AFS journal, the Journal of American Folklore, published since 1888 The full texts of nine other folklore journals or newsletters published by AFS interest-group sections A collection of syllabi for undergraduate and graduate folklore courses Several publications on the history of the US field of folklore studies  AFS annual reports and reports from AFS member surveys A variety of cultural policy, professional development, and consultancy reports from the field of folklore studies  The Open Folklore team will continue to update this collection as new material becomes available. The AFS collection is just one example of how Open Folklore can make important materials from our field openly available. We want to hear from other organizations who’d like to work with us to make their own grey literature collections open to all. Contact us via https://openfolklore.org/contact/contact-openfolklore.
by J. Fivecoate
Friday, September 30, 2016

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