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Toxic Heritages Panel for 2018 AFS Annual Meeting in Buffalo
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3/23/2018 at 7:14:54 PM GMT
Posts: 106
Toxic Heritages Panel for 2018 AFS Annual Meeting in Buffalo

By Jess Lamar Reece Holler — 

Hi All,

Putting out this quick call for a potential environmental folklife/environmental justice panel for AFS, around the theme of "toxic heritages," and the question of folklore work as divestment. Depending on response, we may also want to sync up with some other related (and very necessary) environmental folklife panels being developed for Buffalo.

As many of you know, Buffalo has a long legacy of "toxic heritage" in the environmental justice sense; so I feel particularly called to launch this iteration of an old conversation for AFS 2018. Depending on response and folks' projects and their locations, we may or may not qualify to play nicely with the "Rural News" track Dorry Noyes has recently announced, too; but that depends on who you are and what you send me!

Please do let me know or send along a quick pitch if you are doing consonant work, and are interested! This panel would particularly be an exciting space to talk about anti-racist folklore work and folklore re: pervasive antiblackness; and questions of what happens to our often-celebratory and community-collaborative ethics when doing work on, or to call attention to or disrupt, cultures and, indeed, structures of violence. Public sector & applied practitioners and those from allied cultural work & organizing fields especially welcomed. Excited to connect these conversations.

In solidarity and gratitude,
Jess

Jess Lamar Reece Holler
oldelectricity@gmail.com

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Toxic Heritages: Folklore and the Work of Divestment

On the heels of the flourishing of conversations about climate change and folklife of environments, and inspired by the long legacy of folklore and social justice work and scholarship on folklore and stigmatized forms, this panel (or panel series) calls for papers interested in engaging the folklore or folkloristics of "toxic heritage," thought broadly. We are actively seeking papers, conversations, media pieces, methodological reflections and public and applied projects engaging the question of how folklore (and allied fields) deals with "toxic heritage." We're also very excited about papers and projects considering how the field has approached these questions in the past, and may or should in the future. We're especially excited to join up with projects considering:

  • Folklore and critical race studies; folklore projects/folklorists engaging anti-blackness; ethics/politics of engaging with tradition bearers and traditions that may participate in structures of violence
  • Questions and negotiations of who gets to decide what forms of heritage are/aren't toxic, for whom, and under what timescales or for what communities/species
  • Mobilizations of monument, festival, material culture, and other folklife genres to support or make more difficult the work of revolution or political/public redress
  • The question of what it could mean to imagine a folkloristics/public folklore around "giving up," refusals, or divestments, when our predominant mode has been celebratory, community-collaborative, and preservationist/bent on salvation or salvage
  • Politics and practices of divestment/disruption of toxic heritage as a part of state and public folklife programs, or public-sector/applied collaborations
  • Questions of when and how folklife documentation can be mobilized for claims of redress re: toxic heritages, violences, exposures and injustices. What violences can folklife documentation and public folklore/scholarly modes matter for? Can folklore/ethnography work ever address or disrupt structural violences (anti-blackness), etc.?

My own work considers the folklife and vernacular expressive forms surrounding everyday and site-based environmental toxicity; and I would be excited to connect this work beyond the emerging folklife/environmental humanities conversation to larger—and urgent—questions of the stakes of doing community-collaborative work marked by both ruptures of violence and long-simmering toxicities.



Last edited Friday, March 23, 2018

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