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“The Surprising Musical Preferences of an Amazon Tribe” 0 S. Larson "Scientists have claimed that humans have an innate, universal preference for some chords over others—but a study of remote villagers suggests otherwise.” Read more by following the link below: Ed Yong, “The Surprising Musical Preferences of an Amazon Tribe,” The Atlantic (July 13, 2016), http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/07/music-to-our-western-ears/491081/
by S. Larson
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
"Why Hummus Unites, and Divides, the Mideast" 0 S. Larson “They call it ‘The Hummus Wars.’ Lebanon accused the Israeli people of trying to steal hummus and make it their national dish, explains Ronit Vered, a food journalist with the newspaper Haaretz in Tel Aviv. And so hummus became a symbol, she tells us, ‘a symbol of all the tension in the Middle East.’" Read more by following the link below: The Kitchen Sisters, “Give Chickpeas a Chance: Why Hummus Unites, and Divides, the Mideast,” NPR.org (July 18, 2016), http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/07/18/483715410/give-chickpeas-a-chance-why-hummus-unites-and-divides-the-mideast
by S. Larson
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Quilts of Southwest China Publication Available for Presale 0 S. Larson   The publication Quilts of Southwest China (edited by Marsha MacDowell and Lijun Zhang) will soon be available for sale in the U.S. courtesy of Indiana University Press. IU Press is now accepting pre-orders.  Go to http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_info.php?cPath=1037_1144&products_id=808361. The cost is $45.00 plus applicable shipping. From the IU Press website: For over 3,000 years in Southwest China, traditional bed coverings and other household items have been expertly fashioned, like American quilts, from small pieces of fabric patched and appliquéd together to form artistic yet functional textiles. Accompanying a groundbreaking exhibition of the same name, Quilts of Southwest China sheds light on this important cultural heritage tradition through the research of a binational consortium of American and Chinese museums, led by the Michigan State University Museum and the Yunnan Nationalities Museum (Kunming). Beautiful color illustrations and side-by-side English and Chinese text will help readers uncover regional and cultural variations in these quilts of Southwest China, connections between the form and other Chinese textile traditions, and profiles of textile artists. This project is a result of the United States–China Intangible Cultural Heritage Initiative of the American Folklore Society and the Chinese Folklore Society. Distributed for Michigan State University Museum.
by S. Larson
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
“Pittsburghese Expertise: Dropping 'To Be'" 0 S. Larson The following article takes a look at Pittsburghese, the local dialect of western Pennsylvania, which has been "tightly tied to regional identity, although exactly what it is and what it means to speak it has varied over time and from group to group." Learn more by following the link below:  Barbara Johnstone, “Pittsburghese Expertise: Dropping ‘To Be,’” The Glassblock (July 7, 2016), http://theglassblock.com/2016/07/07/pittsburghese-expertise-dropping-to-be/
by S. Larson
Thursday, July 14, 2016
“Why Studying the Humanities Is So Vital in the Information Age” 0 S. Larson In an era fixated with science, technology, and data, the humanities are in decline. They’re more vital than ever. Sophie Gilbert, “Learn to Be Human,” The Atlantic (June 30, 2016), http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/06/learning-to-be-human/489659/
by S. Larson
Thursday, July 07, 2016
MUN YouTube Video on What Folklore Is and What Folklorists Do 0 S. Larson Assistant Professor Jillian Gould and undergraduate student Blair Kerr explain what folklore is and what folklorists do (hint: it has something to do with your mother’s chicken soup). Video produced and directed by Timo Sargent. "Who We Are, What We Do: Folklore": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNGk1tPQtRw&feature=player_embedded&app=desktop 
by S. Larson
Thursday, July 07, 2016
Announcing Immanence, the Journal of Applied Myth, Legend, Folktale 0 S. Larson By Craig Chalquist (California Institute of Integral Studies) -- Once upon a time I complained about the absence of journals dealing with how myths and fairytales and folkloric motifs return to life around and within us: in the news, in film, music and art, in politics, science, religion, and even in dreams, relationships, inner conflicts, and great awakenings. So I sought out talented editors and writers, graphics designers, IT experts, and mythologist mentors to produce what rolls out this October: the twice-yearly Immanence, the Journal of Applied Mythology, Legend, and Folktale. The Journal will gather up wondrous stories from around the world, see them retold with appreciation and respect, and seek in their wisdom and relevance a perennial human birthright. As long as we have been here, we have sat around fires weaving enchanting tales of who we are, where we originate, where we are going, and how we can keep the human spirit alive in dark times. The word “applied” in the journal’s title reflects our passion for tending and learning from the folkloric themes and images at play in us and outside us, for they won’t stay in the texts. Rather, they signal deep currents that appear on the surface of our day as eddies and confluences in history, politics, finance, education, religion, revolution. Although Immanence is not primarily an academic journal, it will make room for one or two contributions per edition on folkloric matters of scholarly interest. In addition to feature articles, we will publish editorial commentary, an occasional student contribution, book reviews, reader responses, poetry, and art. Our first edition’s theme is "The Mythic Present,” with topics such as: differences between myth and folktale, myth in the latest Star Wars film, the relationship between myth and one’s personal name, theatrical performance as mythopoesis, and how the study of myth helped a teenager living in South-Central LA find meaning and hope in the midst of constant urban violence. Contributions include a variety of viewpoints: depth-psychological, anthropological, feminist, religious, ecological, literary, and many others.  Beyond content, we will focus on storytelling as an alternative to dry explanation and moral exhortation. Nobody feels motivated to get active in contemporary concerns only by absorbing statistics, planning, or platforms of opposition or reform. But by telling evocative new stories, or new variants of old stories, we just might reenchant a bit of a world very much in need of loving attention. We plan to post contributor interviewers at our website, where we already have a lively blog going. Our newsletter is free. Subscribing to the journal costs $20/year ($15/year for students and adjunct faculty) and, as of October, offers access to two downloadable online editions per year. You may also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and if you or someone you know is interested in blogging for us, our blog editor is CIIS graduate student Hannah Custis. Please help us get the word out — and in our mission of hosting many voices and many tales for the return of magic and mystery to a time in urgent need of them. Thanks so much. For more information, visit the Immanence Journal website at http://www.immanencejournal.com.  
by S. Larson
Thursday, July 07, 2016
“Coin-Operated Folklore: Polybius, Portland's Mythical Arcade Game” 0 S. Larson The following podcast takes a closer look at one of Portland's most well-known urban legends - Polybius, a dangerous arcade game from the 1980s that had mind-altering effects on its users. Arwen Nicks and Warren Langford, “Coin-Operated Folklore: Polybius, Portland's Mythical Arcade Game,” KPLU News for Seattle and the Northwest Home (July 2, 2016), http://kplu.org/post/coin-operated-folklore-polybius-portlands-mythical-arcade-game
by S. Larson
Thursday, July 07, 2016
“Seeing Appalachia Through the Eyes of Appalachians” 0 S. Larson Several new media projects are re-envisioning a region long stereotyped as backward and ignorant. Layne Amerikaner, “Seeing Appalachia Through the Eyes of Appalachians,” The Nation (June 25, 2016), https://www.thenation.com/article/seeing-appalachia-through-the-eyes-of-appalachians/
by S. Larson
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
Temple University Press Announces New Book: Ghostly Encounters 0 S. Larson Temple University Press announces the release of Ghostly Encounters: The Hauntings of Everyday Life by Dennis Waskul with Michele Waskul.   Based on two years of fieldwork and interviews with 71 midwestern Americans, Ghostly Encounters is a reflexive ethnography that examines how people experience ghosts and hauntings in everyday life. The authors explore how uncanny happenings become ghosts, and the reasons people struggle with or against a will to believe. They present the variety and character of hauntings and ghostly encounters, outcomes of people telling haunted legends, and the nested consequences of ghostly experiences. For more information, go to http://www.temple.edu/tempress/titles/2377_reg.html.
by S. Larson
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
Traditional Arts Indiana Releases Exhibition Catalog 0 S. Larson Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) is pleased to announce its latest publication, a 76-page exhibition catalog for the traveling exhibit, "Indiana Folk Arts: 200 Years of Tradition and Innovation." You can download it from here: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/20893 The exhibition includes 24 traveling panels that TAI has setup at state parks and festivals around the state to celebrate Indiana's Bicentennial. It will also be up for the full run of the Indiana State Fair next month.  If you have any questions, please contact Jon Kay (jkay@indiana.edu).
by S. Larson
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
Oral History and Folklife Research, Inc. Releases New Podcast 0 S. Larson Oral History and Folklife Research, Inc. has added a new podcast on its “Immigrant Voices” project website.  Makara Meng tells her story of surviving the killing fields of Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge invasion in 1975, when she was five years old. Listen at: http://www.oralhistoryandfolklife.org/2016/06/26/1402/
by S. Larson
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
New Website on Newcomer Arts Groups Now Available 0 S. Larson Amber Dodge, who recently attained an MA in Cultural Sustainability from Goucher College, has launched a new website, which was “designed to generate awareness of newcomer arts groups throughout North America, to advocate on their behalf, and to encourage discussion and collaboration among them.” Explore the website here: http://www.newcomerarts.net/index.html.   
by S. Larson
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
StoryCorps Celebrates Pride Month 0 S. Larson In celebration of Pride Month, StoryCorps would like to share the important work it produces with the LGBTQ community through their OutLoud initiative (https://storycorps.org/outloud/). StoryCorps OutLoud is a multi-year initiative dedicated to recording and preserving LGBTQ stories across America. OutLoud honors the lives of those that lived through the 1969 Stonewall uprisings, as well as those in the LGBTQ community today. To find out more about how to support StoryCorps OutLoud, go to https://donate.storycorps.org/checkout/donation?eid=85330.  
by S. Larson
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
Folkstreams Announces Crowdsourcing Project 0 S. Larson Crimes of Dominion: Virginia's Last Lynching? examines the sad case of Mamie Baxley, a young mother who was part of the local landed gentry and Shedrick Thompson, a black tenant farmer, whose wife cooked for the Baxleys. The incident took place in Virginia in 1932 when Jim Crow laws ruled throughout the South. The new film project is directed by Tom Davenport and advised by Folklorists Daniel and Beverly Patterson. The project relates to a previous Davenport/Patterson project The Ballad of Frankie Silver which also examined  a crime and hanging. The Ballad of Frankie Silver is streaming on Folkstreams with rich contextual background materials at http://www.folkstreams.net/film,96. The indiegogo campaign for "Crimes of Dominion" is at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/crimes-of-dominion/x/537302#/ Please send feedback and comments to: Tom Davenport Director, Folkstreams.net 11324 Pearlstone Lane Delaplane, Va 20144 540-592-3701
by S. Larson
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Center for Documentary Studies Asks for Support 0 S. Larson History is transformed by the storyteller. More than ever, people from across the country and around the world are called to tell their own stories and those of their communities, advancing new voices and perspectives in the process. The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) answers this call with affordable onsite and online classes for aspiring documentarians of all backgrounds. CDS’s Continuing Education program provides over 100 evening, weekend, and summer courses to more than 600 adults every year. To learn more about CDS and for information on how to support their work, visit http://documentarystudies.duke.edu/donate.    
by S. Larson
Thursday, June 23, 2016
University Press of Mississippi Releases New Book: Curatorial Conversations 0 S. Larson Curators reflect on a half-century of the nation's public presentation of living cultural heritage… Since its origins in 1967, The Smithsonian Folklife Festival has gained worldwide recognition as a model for the research and public presentation of living cultural heritage and the advocacy of cultural democracy. Festival curators play a major role in interpreting Festival principles and shaping its practices.  Curatorial Conversations: Cultural Representation and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (University Press of Mississippi) brings together for the first time in one volume the combined expertise of the Festival’s curatorial staff—past and present—in examining the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage’s cultural heritage representation practices. Also explored are the critical implications for issues of intangible cultural heritage policy, competing globalisms, cultural tourism, sustainable development and environment, and cultural pluralism and identity. In the volume, edited by Center staff curators Olivia Cadaval, Sojin Kim, and Diana Baird N’Diaye, contributors examine together how Festival principles, philosophical underpinnings, and claims have evolved over time, and address broader debates on cultural representation from their own experience at the Festival.  Curatorial Conversations represents the first concerted project by Smithsonian CFCH staff curators to systematically examine the Festival's institutional principles, philosophical underpinnings, and claims as they have evolved over time, and to address broader debates on cultural representation from their own experiences at the Festival. Readers are treated to a behind-the-scenes, in-depth history of the iconic national event as well as insightful discussions about curating programs that present intangible cultural heritage. Contributors: Betty Belanus, Olivia Cadaval, James Deutsch, Amy Horowitz, Marjorie Hunt, Richard Kennedy, Sojin Kim, Diana Baird N’Diaye, Jeff Place, Frank Proschan, Jack Santino, Daniel Sheehy, Cynthia Vidaurri,  Steve Zeitlin, Marsha Macdowell, Kurt Dewhurst, Robert Baron, James Count Early Olivia Cadaval, Sojin Kim, and Diana Baird N'Diaye are curators at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Representing different lengths of tenure and different areas of content specialty, their collective experience spans fifty years with the Folklife Festival. For more information contact Clint Kimberling, Publicist, ckimberling@mississippi.edu. Read more about Curatorial Conversations: Cultural Representation and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival at http://www.upress.state.ms.us/books/1919. Curatorial Conversations Cultural Representation and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival Edited By Olivia Cadaval, Sojin Kim, and Diana Baird N'diaye University Press of Mississippi ISBN 978-1-4968-0598-0, hardback, $70
by S. Larson
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Geomythography Offers a New Way of Storytelling for the Digital Age 0 S. Larson The process of geomythography uses traditional folklore material through a multi-disciplinary approach, combining with archaeology and place-name studies to analyze specific locales over time. The first course in this new approach has just been completed at the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Open Learning and an "Introduction to Geomythography" can be accessed at the presenter's web site: www.stuartmchardy.wordpress.com. McHardy, whose publications include, The Quest for the Nine Maidens, The Quest for Arthur, On The Trail of Scotland's Myths and Legends and The Pagan Symbols of the Picts, has released the world's first mythogram on YouTube (http://bit.ly/1qWPk6u)  combining geomythography with music and poetry to give an analysis of the Lomond Hills in Fife, Scotland. The process has already resulted in new archaeological discoveries in Scotland, which will feature in further mythograms. In addition to lecturing and writing on folklore and history, McHardy is also a professional storyteller and musician and author of several collections of Scottish folk tales. Recently his paper "The Story of Story" was published in Or Words to That Effect: Orality and the Writing of Literary History, vol XXVIII in the series Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages.  
by S. Larson
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
National Working Waterfront Network to Host Webinar 0 S. Larson The National Working Waterfront Network will host a webinar on June 22 at 3:00 EST on the oral history project, Preserving the Working Waterfront: Stories from the Nation’s Coast.  The NOAA Preserve America-funded project captured ten oral histories from local champions on the frontlines of working waterfront preservation.  During the webinar, Stephanie Otts, National Sea Grant Law Center, will provide an overview of the online collection.  In addition, Amanda Holmes, Fishtown Preservation Society, and Laurie Sommers, folklorist and historic preservation consultant, will expand on their community’s experience using historic preservation and folklore as tools for working waterfront preservation.  Plan to join the webinar on June 22. For more information on the collection, see https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/humandimensions/voices-from-the-fisheries/index or http://www.wateraccessus.com/oralhistory.cfm. To join the webinar, visit the WebEx homepage at: https://www.webex.com/. From there, click on “join” and enter the following Meeting Number: 193 446 623.  To pre-register for the webinar, or if you have any questions, please send an email to Stephanie Otts at sshowalt@olemiss.edu.      ​
by S. Larson
Friday, June 17, 2016
Oral History and Folklife Research, Inc. Announces New Website 0 S. Larson Oral History and Folklife Research, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit is very excited to announce its new website at http://www.oralhistoryandfolklife.org/. The organization is beginning the process of putting up full transcripts of interviews so they can be accessed by researchers and the general public (be patient, it will take some time to get all of them up). You are invited to visit the site and see some of the work Oral History and Folklife Research is doing with their project marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, and a new project conducting interviews in immigrant communities. Oral History and Folklife Research is dedicated to preserving, through sound, image and performance, the stories, voices, and cultural traditions of Maine and beyond.
by S. Larson
Friday, June 17, 2016

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