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Clifford Murphy

CLIFFORD R. MURPHY, Director, Maryland Traditions, Maryland State Arts Council; Adjunct Professor of American Studies, University of Maryland Baltimore County

BA (History/English) Gettysburg College; MA/PhD (Ethnomusicology) Brown University. Director, Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council (2008-Present). Teaches in American Studies at UMBC (2013-Present). Was contract fieldworker/presenter for National Council for the Traditional Arts (2006-2008); Folk Arts & Heritage Intern, Massachusetts Cultural Council (2004-2008); professional musician (1994-2003). AFS Member since 2005. Chair, Archie Green Student Travel Award Committee (2010-Present). Presenter, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, NCTA. Panelist, NEA National Heritage Awards, Pennsylvania (folklife), Rhode Island (folklife), Southern New England Apprenticeships Program. Contributing producer of folklife features, WYPR-FM (2009-Present). Recipient of CLIR Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources in the Humanities, Blanton Owen Fund (American Folklife Center). Publications include Yankee Twang: Country & Western Music in New England (UIP, 2014), "The Diesel Cowboy in New England” (JAF, 2014), and Ola Belle Reed & Southern Mountain Music on the Mason-Dixon Line (w/Henry Glassie and Doug Peach, Dust-to-Digital, 2014).

If elected to the board, I will work to expand the Society’s support of university-public partnerships. I see such partnerships as being critical to the long-term health and relevance of the discipline. Public folklore programs and archives can serve as dynamic and nurturing training grounds for ethnographers. Public folklore archives can be bolstered – and better utilized – by working in concert with area/regional university-based ethnographers, both within the discipline of folklore and in related fields (ethnomusicology, anthropology, American studies, etc.). Universities can benefit from the field training and real-world experience that public folklore programs can provide, while also deepening universities’ commitment (obligation) to serve their mission by connecting university resources to the surrounding community. The Maryland Traditions archives initiative with the University of Maryland-Baltimore County – to integrate the state folklife archives into the University of Maryland Library System – aims at providing a model for such work, and – as a Board member – I will be able to contribute substantial personal experience towards future AFS initiatives to build public-university partnerships. In addition, as an AFS Board member, I will work with the Independent section to develop a document outlining best practices for public folklore programs to use when working with independent ethnographers. There is an unfair burden placed on independent ethnographers to remind public folklore organizations of the boundaries between paid/unpaid consulting.


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American Folklore SocietySister Society: SIEF
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