The Cultural Diversity Committee to Hold Panels and Open Forum at Annual Meeting
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Posted by: Shannon K. Larson
The Cultural Diversity Committee will be holding two panel sessions and an open forum at the Long Beach Public Library on the afternoon of Thursday, October 15th. The Committee hopes that these sessions will both provide a sense of the possibilities and objectives of the field as well as demonstrate to new attendees (as well as veterans) the ways folklorists can and should be critical of their potential to exploit, exclude, and appropriate. Following the theme of "Ecologies, Encounters, and Enactments,” these sessions will frame the ways in which folklorists have and do engage communities through encounters in which power is undeniably a factor, as well as interrogate the ways in which those communities, folklorists' encounters with them, and folklorists' actions are impacted and shaped by power and privilege.
The third session, an open forum, will hopefully provide an opportunity to explore questions such as: what is AFS’s responsibility to the communities where it holds its annual meeting?; are there ways that engagement with those communities can enhance the cultural diversity of the society?; and how can AFS work to affect positive change in these communities? It is the hope that a conversation about these and other important questions can serve as a catalyst for the consideration of alternate models for the Annual Meeting. The CDC sees significant interaction and exchange between AFS members and various community stakeholders as one way to improve the cultural diversity of the society and to emphasize the variety, depth, and breadth of the society to potential new members. All members are invited to attend.
Folklore 101: Foundations, Community, and Inclusion (12:30-2:30)
Moderator: Rachel Gonzalez-Martin (University of Texas – Austin)
Panelists: Solimar Otero (Louisiana State University), Selina Morales (Philadelphia Folklore Project), Norma Cantu (University of Missouri-Kansas City), Kim Lau (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Anti-Discrimination and Undoing Ecologies of Power: A Discussion (2:45-4:00)
Moderator: Wanda Addison (National University)
Panelists: Anand Prahlad (University of Missouri), Guillermo De Los Reyes (University of Houston), Marilyn White (Kean University, Retired)
CDC Special Forum -- Cultural Diversity and Local Realities: AFS and Community Engagement (5:00-6:30)
Moderator: Todd Lawrence (University of St. Thomas)
Discussants: Betsy Peterson (American Folklife Center), Suzanne Seriff (University of Texas – Austin), Rory Turner (Goucher College), Tim Lloyd (AFS Executive Director) – with local workers and activists yet to be confirmed and written statements from Debora Kodish (Philadelphia Folklore Project, Retired), James Leary (University of Wisconsin), and Shirley Moody-Turner (Penn State)