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CFP: 2015 Biennial Conference of the Middle Atlantic Folklife Association

Friday, September 5, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
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The 2015 Biennial Conference of the Middle Atlantic Folklife Association will hosted by Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ on March 27-28. As a joint meeting, MAFA will partner with the Eastern American Studies Association for a research-oriented conference themed "Land and Sea — Geography, Economy, and Culture in the American Experience." Although the organizers hope to see a number of proposals that address the theme, any topic covering American folklore and folklife is welcome. Both university and public folklorists are strongly encouraged to attend.

Call for Papers:

The location of this year's meeting — Rowan University in New Jersey — provides a vantage from which to view diverse features of the Eastern United States. Looking to the east is the Atlantic Ocean and the famous "Jersey Shore.” Although many people know the "Shore” for its popular entertainments, beauty contests, and gambling, it also has a longstanding maritime folk culture, including the craft of the renowned Jersey Skiff, in addition to the east of the "Pine Barrens” that attracted studies of its residents known as "Pineys” by the American Folklife Center. To the west is the Delaware River and the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Glassboro, the home of Rowan University, is historically connected to early American manufacturing — the renowned "Glass Works in the Woods” that has led some scholars to view the Delaware Valley as the cradle of American industrialism. Yet southern New Jersey is also known for being a leading producer of fresh fruits and vegetables, including cranberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and escarole/endive. The varied landscape facilitates identities often by occupational and recreational communities. Evidence of its crossroads reputation is the Glassboro Summit in 1967 between President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin, with the Glassboro site chosen because it is equidistant between New York and Washington, D.C.

Against the backdrop of this geographic crossroads, the program committee invites papers, forums, and sessions that explore the connections of geography, economy, and culture in the American experience. The committee is interested not only in historical and cultural analyses of social adaptation to the landscape but also in organizational efforts to interpret, conserve, and enhance community identities, public heritage, and folk traditions. These studies need not be limited to New Jersey — they can include the Atlantic World. In sum, this conference will explore the local, regional, and global patterns and exchanges that contribute to the distinctive eastern American mix of land and sea. As always, MAFA is open to papers and panels on any topic of American folklore and folklife, including those which do not fit under the conference theme.

Submission Guidelines:

Individual Papers: Send a short abstract (no more than 500 words) and a brief CV or resume of no more than two pages.

Full Panels: Send a cover sheet with the title of the panel, the names of each participant, and the titles of their presentations. Include a short abstract of each paper (no more than 500 words) as well as a CV or resume of no longer than two pages for each panel participant.

All materials should be sent to Christie Briley at czb5178@psu.edu before January 9, 2015. Graduate students whose proposals are accepted will be encouraged to submit their final papers electronically several weeks prior to the conference if they wish to be considered for the Simon J. Bronner Award for the outstanding graduate paper in American Studies.



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