To view either presentation live, please go to: http://www.indiana.edu/~video/stream/liveflash.html?app=liverec&filename=afs at the times noted below.
1. John Szwed's Francis Lee Utley Memorial Lecture, "Whatever Happened to Folk Songs?", sponsored by the Fellows of the American Folklore Society, will be streamed at 4:15 pm Pacific Daylight Time (GMT-7) on Friday, October 16.
Here is the abstract for Prof. Szwed's lecture: Folk songs have been at the heart of the study of folklore since its beginnings, and the scholarship on song is one of the finest achievements of the field. But in recent years interest in songs, especially songs in English, has waned among scholars in both folklore and ethnomusicology. Despite some continuing important and innovative work, and public fascination with the subject, song no longer seems central to folklore studies. I will argue that song is a cultural universal, indeed a cultural imperative, and exists as a system similar to kinship systems, language, and economic relations. This will be a plea to resume interest in songs, and will suggest some means by which folklore studies might again assume responsibility for understanding the role of song in human history.
2. Michael Ann Williams's Presidential Address, "After the Revolution: Folklore, History, and the Future of Our Discipline," will be streamed at 5:15 pm Pacific Daylight Time (GMT-7), on Saturday, October 17.
Here is the abstract for Prof. Williams's address: More than four decades have passed since the advent of the new folkloristics. Assessments of this revolution tend to narrowly focus on performance theory and not on whether the broader promises of this era have been realized, especially in areas of cross-disciplinary research. This address will look specifically at how attitudes toward historical scholarship have changed within the discipline of folklore and how we have constructed our own disciplinary histories during this post-revolutionary phase. Finally, the address will look to the future and whether we are reconstructing our past in our current graduate training in our discipline.
If you are not able to view these addresses live, we will make archived versions permanently available, each on a different URL which we will post after the annual meeting.
All of us at AFS thank IU's Collaborative Technologies office for their work to make these broadcasts possible. We look forward to continuing this partnership in future years.