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AFS Review: In Memoriam

Peter Narváez (1942-2011)

Friday, November 11, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesse A. Fivecoate

By Diane Tye (Memorial University of Newfoundland) — 

The discipline of folklore lost one of its greatest champions with the passing of Peter Narváez on November 11, 2011. Peter was a faculty member in the Department of Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland for more than thirty years (1974-1995) where he taught and researched across a broad range of subject areas, including vernacular song, blues, jazz, Newfoundland folklore, popular culture, folk custom and belief, and occupational folklife. In addition to publishing many articles, Peter edited three major collections of essays, including the ground-breaking Media Sense: The Folklore-Popular Culture Continuum (with Martin Laba, 1986). After his death, a collection of his revised essays was published under the title, Sonny’s Dream. Peter was a past president of the Folklore Studies Association of Canada and the Association for the Study of Canadian Radio and Television. He was audio-visual editor for Ethnologies and sound recordings review editor for The Journal of American Folklore. In 2002 he co-edited with Pauline Greenhill a special issue of JAF on Canadian folklore. In 2006 Peter was awarded the Marius Barbeau Medal by the Folklore Studies Association of Canada in recognition of his contributions to Canadian folklore studies. An outstanding blues musician and composer, he was central to the creation of a blues community in Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2012 Music Nl honored him posthumously with a life-time achievement award. Everyone who knew Peter Narváez felt his deep commitment to his students, to Newfoundland and Labrador, and to the discipline of folklore. See also Neil V. Rosenberg, "Remembering Peter," MMaP Newsletter (Winter 2012), published by the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place, Memorial University.

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