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Follow-Up for the "Arts and Activism" Panel at 2017 AFS Annual Meeting 0 R. Rini Larson The "Arts and Activism: Lessons from the Black Lives Matter Movement of Minneapolis" Panel at the 2017 AFS Annual Meeting, sponsored by the Cultural Diversity Committee and chaired by Anika Wilson (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), spotlighted the ways that Twin City activists and community organizers draw on the power of traditional folk art forms such as storytelling, street theatre, graffiti arts, poetry and folk song to mobilize for change, engage oppressed groups, speak out against oppression and fight for justice in and across communities. Activist/Artists Sha Cage (Minnesota Spoken Word Association) and Jayanthi Kyle (singer/songwriter, Twin Cities) were featured on the panel and are involved in numerous Twin City artist initiatives. To further follow or support their work, visit their recently launched patron page: https://www.patreon.com/egsha.
by R. Rini Larson
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Where the Small-Town American Dream Lives On 0 R. Rini Larson By Larissa MacFarquhar —  "Orange City, the county seat of Sioux County, Iowa, is a square mile and a half of town, more or less, population six thousand, surrounded by fields in every direction. Sioux County is in the northwest corner of the state, and Orange City is isolated from the world outside—an hour over slow roads to the interstate, more than two hours to the airport in Omaha, nearly four to Des Moines. Hawarden, another town, twenty miles away, is on the Big Sioux River, and was founded as a stop on the Northwestern Railroad in the eighteen-seventies; it had a constant stream of strangers coming through, with hotels to service them and drinking and gambling going on. But Orange City never had a river or a railroad, or, until recently, even a four-lane highway, and so its pure, hermetic culture has been preserved. ..." To continue reading, visit the full article on The New Yorker's website.  MacFarquhar Larissa. "Where the Small-Town American Dream Lives On." The New Yorker (11/13/17). <https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/11/13/where-the-small-town-american-dream-lives-on>
by R. Rini Larson
Friday, November 10, 2017
Advice for Graduate Students 0 R. Rini Larson By Matthew Pratt Guterl —  "These gems aren’t mine, really. Facebook friends and colleagues have helped me to write this list. But I did rank the first ten. Top ten 1. Remember: there are no non-professional interactions. 2. Fundamentals matter. Practice your talks until they flow. Do some editorial work. Volunteer. Wear clean clothes. Update your software. Eat. Sleep. Take showers. Laugh. Love. Don’t obsess over the university – explore your city or town. Make friends everywhere. Eat cupcakes. 3. Figure out what you stand for politically. Be prepared to speak up. 4. Value loyalty over cool or influence. Make friends with people who care about your ideas and your well-being. Bleed for your friends and allies. ..." To continue reading, visit the full blog post on Matthew Pratt Guterl's Wordpress site. Guterl, Matthew Pratt. "General Advice: Advice for Graduate Students." MPG (September 20, 2016). <https://matthewprattguterl.com/general-advice/>
by R. Rini Larson
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Six Myths About Choosing a College Major 0 R. Rini Larson By Jeffrey J. Selingo —  "Many colleges ask you to choose a major as early as your senior year of high school, on your admissions application. Yet there’s a good chance you’ll change your mind. The Education Department says that about 30 percent of students switch majors at least once. Students get plenty of advice about picking a major. It turns out, though, that most of it is from family and friends, according to a September Gallup survey. Only 11 percent had sought guidance from a high school counselor, and 28 percent from a college adviser. And most didn’t think that the advice was especially helpful. Maybe it’s because much of the conventional thinking about majors is wrong. ..." To continue reading, visit the full article on the New York Times website. Selingo, Jeffrey J. "Six Myths About Choosing a College Major." The New York Times (November 3, 2017). <https://nyti.ms/2iYZN3r>
by R. Rini Larson
Monday, November 6, 2017
IU Folklorists' Podcast Explores Stories of Ghosts, Goblins, Goosebumps 0 R. Rini Larson Two Indiana University graduate students in Folklore, Jesse Fivecoate and Eleanor Hasken, were interviewed by The Herald-Times about their Encounters Podcast. Their podcast explores experiences people have with supernatural entities and paranormal phenomena. You can find the podcast on their website: https://encounterscast.com/. By Kurt Christian —    "On Halloween, when some say the veil between our world and the next is at its thinnest, even the most rational person may delight in tales of ghosts and goblins. Though some use the holiday as a foray into the supernatural, hosts of the podcast “Encounters” live every day in both realms.   Ellie Hasken and Jesse Fivecoate are co-hosts of a paranormal podcast called “Encounters.” After nine months and 27 episodes, the duo reach more than 500 listeners every day, retelling otherworldly narratives and analyzing the unknown. As folklorists, Hasken and Fivecoate aren’t focused on the veracity of the story of an Appalachian witch or Ouija board demon.   They seek instead a story’s value in society. “We’re not here to judge whether or not something happened,” Hasken said. ..."   Read the full story on the Herald-Times website, which does require a subscription.   Christian, Kurt. "IU Folklorists' Podcast Explores Stories of Ghosts, Goblins, Goosebumps." Herald-Times Online (October 30, 2017). <https://www.heraldtimesonline.com/news/local/iu-folklorists-podcast-explores-stories-of-ghosts-goblins-goosebumps/article_4267bbb3-5516-5151-a28a-2b226c68b7c1.html>
by R. Rini Larson
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Discovering Fairy-Tale Postcards: The Adventures of a Scholarly Scavenger 0 R. Rini Larson By Jack Zipes —  "Once upon a time, when the famous scientist Albert Einstein was teaching at Princeton University, a tiny old woman approached him as he was walking home after a class he had just taught. She was schlepping a skinny young boy of about six who was dragging his feet. 'Mr. Einstein,' she called out in a strong Central European accent. 'Mr. Einstein, stop your tracks and help me!' Einstein was taken aback. He didn't know what to do except stop.  'How can I help you?' he responded with a smile as he took out a pipe. ..." To continue reading, visit the full blog post on the University of Minnesota Press website. Zipes, Jack. "Discovering Fairy-Tale Postcards: The Adventures of a Scholarly Scavenger." University of Minnesota Press (October 16, 2017). <http://www.uminnpressblog.com/2017/10/discovering-fairy-tale-postcards.html>
by R. Rini Larson
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Prince’s Paisley Park Estate Is Looking for an Archivist 0 R. Rini Larson By Dazed Digital —  "After Prince died at the age of 57 last April, his brother-in-law Maurice Philips announced that Paisley Park—the musician’s studio compound and residence in Minneapolis—would be transformed into a museum. Paisley Park has been open to the public since October, displaying thousands of items from personal collection and offering tours of his studios—yet there’s seemingly still plenty of work left to be done, as the estate are currently looking to hire an archivist to manage the musician’s artifacts. ..." To continue reading, visit the full article on the Dazed Digital website. "Prince’s Paisley Park estate is looking for an archivist." Dazed Digital (Oct. 6, 2017). http://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/37685/1/prince-s-paisley-park-estate-is-looking-for-an-archivist.
by R. Rini Larson
Thursday, October 12, 2017
H-Celebration Listserv Presents Christmas Bibliography 0 R. Rini Larson The H-Celebration Listserv is pleased to present its new Christmas Reading List. This is a crowd sourced, ever growing list of readings on Christmas related research. Many readings on the list come from Folklore Studies. H-Celebration subscribers can add readings to the collection, and can also add commentary on readings, reviews, annotations, responses, discussions, links, etc. This makes for a powerful resource collaboratively built by our community of scholars. Please take a look, subscribe to H-Celebration, and add what needs to be added.
by R. Rini Larson
Friday, October 6, 2017
Recontextualizing the Ocean Blue 0 R. Rini Larson "Maledetto Cristoforo Columbo e quando ha scoperto l’America. (Damn Christopher Columbus and his discovery of America.) —A popular curse among Italian immigrants The attention on Confederate-focused statuary in public spaces has led to reflection on other historical figures carved in marble or cast in bronze. Perhaps no other individual has single-handedly spurred such impassioned ethnic controversy as the fifteenth-century Genovese navigator, Christopher Columbus. For nearly two centuries, many Americans have lauded Columbus as the heroic discoverer of a new world. Even so, in his time, Columbus was critiqued and investigated for his cruelty to Native peoples as the Spanish-appointed governor of the newly claimed territories in the Caribbean. ..." To continue reading, visit the full article on the Process: A Blog for American History website. Ruberto, Laura E. and Joseph Sciorra. "Recontextualizing the Ocean Blue: Italian Americans and the Commemoration of Columbus." Process: A Blog for American History. http://www.processhistory.org/recontextualizing-the-ocean-blue/
by R. Rini Larson
Friday, October 6, 2017
Rhiannon Giddens' Keynote Address at IBMA Event: Community and Connection 0 R. Rini Larson "Rhiannon Giddens, whose new album, Freedom Highway, was released on Nonesuch Records in February, delivered the keynote address at the 2017 International Bluegrass Music Association business conference held in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, on Tuesday, September 26. Here are her remarks.   Community and Connection Good afternoon. I am honored to have been chosen to present this year's Keynote Speech for the IBMA. After also receiving the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass last year, it feels incredible to be recognized by my banjo peers for being the die-hard banjo nerd and activist that I am. It was extremely challenging to go from a three-minute song to a thirty minute speech, but here goes! ..." To continue reading, visit the full transcript on Nonesuch Records' website. "Rhiannon Giddens' Keynote Address at IBMA Conference: Community and Connection." Nonesuch Records (October 3, 2017). http://www.nonesuch.com/journal/rhiannon-giddens-keynote-address-ibma-conference-community-connection-2017-10-03
by R. Rini Larson
Friday, October 6, 2017
The Closing of a Great American Dialect Project 0 R. Rini Larson Americans tend to think that we’re a pretty homogeneous nation, in terms of our vocabulary. Yes, there are Southern drawls, and there’s Boston and Brooklyn and Appalachia and Minnesota, but the words themselves, we believe, are pretty much the same. But there are often significant regional differences, and these are beautifully explicated in the Dictionary of American Regional English, the six-volume study of America’s dialects, affectionately known as DARE. To continue reading, visit the full article on The New Yorker's website. Sheidlower, Jesse. "The Closing of a Great American Dialect Project." The New Yorker (September 22, 2017). https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-closing-of-a-great-american-dialect-project. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none}
by R. Rini Larson
Monday, September 25, 2017
'Unesco-cide': Does World Heritage Status Do Cities More Harm than Good? 0 R. Rini Larson   "The gambling-ridden clan jetties of Malaysia’s George Town were saved from ruin by the award of Unesco world heritage status, but their new fame left locals overwhelmed by a tide of invasive tourism. Can we ever get the balance right?" To continue reading, visit the full article on The Guardian's website. Barron, Laignee. "'Unesco-cide': Does World Heritage Status Do Cities More Harm than Good?" The Guardian (August 30, 2017). https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/aug/30/unescocide-world-heritage-status-hurt-help-tourism
by R. Rini Larson
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Find Podcasts About Folklore 0 R. Rini Larson   Looking for a new podcast about folklore?  Try one of these!   Amplify: Oral History Podcast Network (Kate Brenner) http://www.amplifyvoices.org/ Chasing Foxfire (Cory Hutcheson) https://chasingfoxfire.com/ Encounters (Eleanor Hasken & Jessie Fivecoate) https://encounterscast.com/encounters/ Lore (Aaron Mahnke) http://www.lorepodcast.com Love Your Story (Lori J. Lee) http://www.loveyourstorypodcast.com Myths and Legends (Jason Weiser) https://www.mythpodcast.com The Folklore Podcast (Mark Norman) http://www.thefolklorepodcast.com/ Find a full list of podcasts and blogs on this page.
by R. Rini Larson
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Windbigler Takes Helm of Western Folklife Center 0 R. Rini Larson   "Newly appointed Western Folklife Center Executive Director Kristin Windbigler has been attracted to cowboy culture since she was young. Windbigler recently moved to Elko but considers herself a native of cowboy culture, as she grew up in a small logging town in northern California and remembers hearing stories from her great-grandfather." To continue reading, visit the full article on the Elko Daily Free Press website.  Grayson, Hasani. "Windbigler Takes Helm of Western Folklife Center." Elko Daily Free Press (August 9, 2017). http://elkodaily.com/news/local/windbigler-takes-helm-of-western-folklife-center/article_d0728c31-5691-582c-b5a7-0e13d47bb19d.html
by R. Rini Larson
Friday, August 18, 2017
Praksis Announces New Issue Co-Edited by AFS Member Yücel Demirer 0 R. Rini Larson   AFS member Yücel Demirer has co-edited a special issue of the Turkish journal Praksis on Symbolic Politics (42, 2017). With articles by some of his students, the issue considers symbolic contestation in public space, popular culture, state ceremony, academia, and protest performance in contemporary Turkey. Until September 2016, Demirer was Associate Professor of Political Science at Kocaeli University, where he introduced folkloristic and ethnographic approaches to the study of lived politics. English-language abstracts for the issue may be found at http://www.praksis.org/en/sayilar-en/issue-42-symbolic-politics/.   For more information about the journal, visit the Praksis website.
by R. Rini Larson
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Eat Your Words: How We Talk About 'Ethnic' Food Matters, and Here's Why 0 R. Rini Larson   "The 'best cheap eats in your city.' This time of year, it feels like every food publication—this one included—puts out at least one of these curated lists. Though they may seem harmless, these roundups featuring what tends to be meals fit for a hangover ringing in at less than ten dollars are also fertile ground for problematic discourse." To continue reading, visit the full article on the Tasting Table website.  Hutcherson, Aaron. "Eat Your Words: How We Talk About Ethnic Food Matters, and Here's Why." Tasting Table (August 10, 2017). https://www.tastingtable.com/culture/national/ethnic-cuisine-food-media?utm_medium=email&utm_source=TT&utm_campaign=Daily&utm_content=Editorial 
by R. Rini Larson
Monday, August 14, 2017
AFS President-Elect Dorothy Noyes Joined in Allegra Lab Roundtable 0 J. Fivecoate Dorry Noyes participated in an Allegra Lab virtual roundtable, “'Collaborative Dilemmas' in the Age of Uncertainty,” considering how young researchers reconcile scholarly and policy agendas in collaborative projects. The roundtable participants are especially interested in how such projects influence the career development of precarious junior scholars.  For more information, visit http://allegralaboratory.net/roundtable-comment-dorothy-noyes-collaborativedilemmas/.
by J. Fivecoate
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
"Quilts of Southwest China" Exhibit Mentioned in Pasatiempo 0 J. Fivecoate "Quilts of Southwest China, opening at the Museum of International Folk Art on Sunday, July 9, is the culmination of a three-year collaboration between three museums in the United States and three in China, spearheaded by the American and Chinese folklore societies and funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. The show is geared toward introducing Chinese quilting traditions, which have not been much exhibited in museums, to a larger audience. Many quilts are from the collection at the Michigan State University Museum, acquired from the import company Textile Treasures, whose owner, Pam Najdowski, lives in Santa Fe and runs The Traveler’s Market at the DeVargas Center. Other pieces come from the Chinese museums and some are from MoIFA’s collection. Lijun Zhang, research curator at the Guangxi Museum of Nationalities, and Marsha MacDowell, curator and director of the Michigan State University Museum, edited the Quilts of Southwest China exhibit catalog, in which they explain that ethnic community members consider clothing a public marker of cultural identity. As textiles like bedcovers are replaced with commercially manufactured goods — and women are more likely to make small, lovingly embellished baby carriers for friends and family than to engage in the much more time-consuming work of creating full-size covers — the knowledge and skills needed to make them are also being lost. “International, national, and regional agencies are beginning to promote intangible cultural heritage and scholars, cultural practitioners, and local artists are beginning to document the art of quiltmaking. It is hoped that strategies will be developed to preserve the remaining historical textiles and the knowledge and skills of artists so that the tradition of making them can continue,” they write. Carrie Hertz, curator of textiles and costume at MoIFA, traveled to China as part of the cultural exchange. She said that about 90 percent of the Chinese population is of the Han ethnicity, and the remaining 10 percent fall into 55 other recognized minority groups as established by the government in the middle part of the 20th century — but in reality, there are many more groups. “As the Communists were making their bid for power, they promised these ethnic groups equal representation in government, when before this time, such diversity was discouraged,” she said. “But no one knew how many ethnic groups there were, so what happened was that they started this major survey project, which meant sending researchers out into the field to figure out how to combine them.” Ethnic groups and subgroups were determined in large part by external observations of how they dressed, which led to a complicated disconnect between how the government and majority of Chinese refer to these groups and how they talk about or consider themselves. “For instance, one of the largest ethnic minority groups is Miao, but that’s made up of hundreds of subgroups, some of whom do not consider themselves Miao.” To read the full article, visit http://www.santafenewmexican.com/pasatiempo/art/museum_shows/fabric-of-life-quilts-of-southwest-china/article_ab60c7f7-10b7-5f17-8420-f364b4249b7f.html?utm_content=buffer2fab7&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer."
by J. Fivecoate
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
"The Unfinished Work of Alan Lomax’s Global Jukebox" 0 J. Fivecoate "Lomax saw archives as tools to ward off cultural erasure. He meant to help populations maintain and expand on their traditions. At a time of high modernism, that meant capturing traditions on tape and establishing their own standard repertories. But to uphold and honor any population in the present day, it’s crucial to avoid freezing it in place. (Even the Delta blues, which first inspired Lomax to make folk music his career, was an evolving form that had existed for only a few decades.) With the Global Jukebox, ACE [Association for Cultural Equity] can actually foster a continuing conversation. The quintessential image of Lomax is one of a smiling man holding a microphone up to a singer. The image of today’s folkloric inquiry might be one of the artist recording herself while she repurposes the tools of past generations, using new instruments and technologies. In the 1960s and ’70s, Lomax worked on various projects to ensure that rural communities would remain aware of their own traditions and the social contracts they reflected. He advocated for region-specific public TV programs as a way to make sure local communities “grow from their own roots,” as he once wrote. He pushed Unesco — and then Sony — to put recording equipment into the hands of artists in small communities across the world. With ACE, Lomax said his main purpose was to “repatriate” the audio and video materials he had captured across the globe — placing them back within their places of origin and incorporating them into local education initiatives. He also hoped to help people in those areas continue documenting themselves." To read the full article, visit https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/arts/music/alan-lomax-global-jukebox-digital-archive.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share. 
by J. Fivecoate
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
The American Folklife Center's Occupational Folklife Project Now Online 0 J. Fivecoate The American Folklife Center is pleased to announce that the first installment of its on-going Occupational Folklife Project (OFP) is now online!  To date, and with help of colleagues throughout the country, the AFC has amassed a collection of more than 600 interviews with contemporary American workers in more than 40 trades and occupations. Funded in part by Archie Green Fellowships, the born-digital collecting project enables researchers to access actual field tapes, field notes, and images outside the AFC Reading Room.  OFP begins with the posting of 50+ interviews from the "Working the Port of Houston" collection. Directed by Pat Jasper and her colleagues at the Houston Arts Alliance during 2011-2012, and with the support of an Archie Green Fellowship, "Working the Port" documents the work experiences of river pilots, marine firefighters, longshoremen, tugboat operators, port engineers, union organizers, owners of port-related business, and other workers who keep one of American's busiest ports humming. Other projects expected to be available online before the year’s end include interviews with hairdressers and beauty-shop owners, big-top and circus workers, home health care workers in Oregon, iron workers in the Upper Midwest, and “ranger lore” collected from workers in the National Park Service. To access the OFP website and access the interviews, visit: https://loc.gov/collections/occupational-folklife-project/about-this-collection/.   For the official Library of Congress Press Release, visit: https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-17-100/.  For the Folklife Today blog giving an overview of the OFP and the Archie Green Fellowship program, visit: http://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/.  For more information about OFP and AGFs, contact AFC Senior Folklife Specialist Nancy Groce at ngro@loc.gov.
by J. Fivecoate
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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