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AFS Review: Notes

Sustaining Folklore in the Academy and Beyond: Folklore and Education at the 2013 Annual Meeting

Tuesday, September 24, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
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Paddy Bowman of Local Learning and AFS Education Section Conveners Lisa Rathje and Nelda Ault reviewed the AFS program to identify sessions of particular interest to folklorists working in education. The following AFS panels tell a story that is about measuring impact, creating programs that engage new audiences with our work, and questioning the traditional narrative about what doing work in "education" or with "youth" means today. There are opportunities here to learn about best practices and to hone your own professional toolkit with the latest developments in evaluation, technology, and interdisciplinary work. There are also times within this schedule to have meaningful discussions with "fellow travelers" and ask those hard questions that will only work to advance our field and disciplinary practice--questions that look at violence in society, social justice efforts, and understanding what it means to live meaningfully and sustainably today.


Celebrate Local Learning @ 20, in the Exhibit Room, Waterplace Ballroom, 9 am-1 pm and 2-6 pm Thursday and Friday, and 9 am-1 pm Saturday

Wednesday, 10:15 AM—12:15 PM

01-05: ChinaVine's EduVine: A Curriculum on Learning about Cultural Identity, Providence II
Sponsored by the Folklore and Education Section

Kristin G. Congdon (University of Central Florida, retired), chair

Doug Blandy (University of Oregon), EduVine as Open Education (10:15)

Diane Kuthy (Towson University), Building and Sustaining Communities of Learners (10:45)

Jing Li (Anhui University of Science and Technology), Chinese Kites and EduVine Kites (11:15)

Kristin G. Congdon (University of Central Florida), Exploring Lessons in Cultural Identity Using EduVine (11:45)

EduVine is a curriculum grounded in the ChinaVine website and designed to teach participants about their own cultural identity as they learn about China’s folklore and culture. Panel members will discuss varying aspects of the curriculum including its cultural context, its open source materials, its technological tools, its nonprescriptive approach, and the ways in which it worked in a pilot program with students and preservice teachers. Challenges and successes will be analyzed.

Thursday 8:00 AM—10:00 AM

03-01: Children's Folklore in the 21st Century: Folklorists of Childhood Respond to the Newtown Tragedy, Narragansett A
Sponsored by the Children's Folklore Section and the New Directions in Folklore Section

Elizabeth Tucker(Binghamton University), chair

Simon J. Bronner (Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg), "The Shooter Has Asperger’s”: Autism, Belief, and "Wild Child” Narratives (8:00)

John Price (Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg), Making the Play: The Folklore of Youth Socialization and Behavior in Little League Baseball (8:30)

Elizabeth Tucker (Binghamton University), The Endangered Child: Choking Games in the Online Childhood Underground of YouTube (9:00)

Trevor Blank (State University of New York, Potsdam), Cooking Up Creepypasta: Emerging Themes in Digital Narratives of the Supernatural (9:30)

At the American Folklore Society’s annual meeting in 2000, the Children’s Folklore Section sponsored a panel in response to the Columbine tragedy of 1999. In the aftermath of the horrifying tragedy at Newtown in 2012, in which 20 children and 6 teachers died at the hands of a late-adolescent shooter, this panel again gathers folklorists of childhood to re-examine the use and urgency of children’s and adolescents’ folklore for youth and adults. Our presentations address diverse aspects of contemporary children’s folklore, but all of them reflect the need for folklorists to analyze how children’s culture develops and changes, particularly in relation to intertwined roles of play and violence in youth folk practices.

03-06: Drawing Deeply From the Well of Culture: Sustainable Educational Practices, Providence III
Sponsored by the Folklore and Education Section

Maureen K. Porter(University of Pittsburgh), chair

Linda Deafenbaugh (University of Pittsburgh), Developing the Capacity for Tolerance: A Dynamic Sequence for Implementing Folklife Education (8:00)

Maureen K. Porter (University of Pittsburgh), A Sustainable Sense of Place: Model Ground to Stand Upon (8:30)

Nancy Gift (Berea College), Sustainability and the Great Commitments (9:00)

Ruth Olson (University of Wisconsin, Madison), discussant (9:30)

To live sustainability we must draw deeply from the well of culture, an embodied practice that must be infused into our educational system at every level. Sustainability is about identifying, meeting, and cultivating human capacities across generations in ways that bring stakeholders together to honor social justice, tolerance, dignity, respect, voice, and agency as habitual thoughts and actions. We see pedagogy that is grounded (literally and culturally) in place-based education principles and fortified by folklife standards and practices as the key. We share research narratives and dynamic visualizations of concepts and their relationships toward fostering these capacities and sustaining change.

Thursday 10:15 AM—12:15 PM

04-09: Public Folklore, Pedagogy, and Production: An International Case Study, Newport
Sponsored by the Nordic-Baltic Folklore Section, the Folklore and Education Section, and the
Public Programs Section

James P. Leary (University of Wisconsin, Madison), chair

Arndís Hulda Au∂unsdóttir (University of Iceland),Trausti Dagsson (University of Iceland), Sæbjörg Gísladóttir (University of Iceland),Nancy Groce (American Folklife Center)

Recognizing the international nature of our field, and committed to the development of "whole folklorists” competent in all phases of our discipline’s practice, this forum combines the presentation and discussion of documentary methods and a range of public productions on workers’ cultures emerging from a fall 2012 graduate course—Public Folklore: American Perspectives, Icelandic Possibilities—in the Department of Folkloristics and Ethnology at the University of Iceland. Our intention is to provide a case study and an internationally applicable, worker-centered model of a "studio” course, as well as to stimulate vigorous discussion regarding the methods, challenges, and possibilities of kindred production- and community-oriented public folklore courses in several universities and nations.

04-12: Feasting on Granny's Flesh: Little Red Riding Hood's Pedagogical Possibilities in the General Education Classroom, Blackstone

Linda J. Lee (University of Pennsylvania), chair

Robin Gray Nicks (University of Tennessee), Wolves, Girls, and Wolf Girls: Teaching "Red Riding Hood,” Teaching Analysis (10:15)

Adam Zolkover (independent), Teaching Freud with Fairy Tales: Dreams and David Kaplan’s "Little Red Riding Hood” (10:45)

K. Elizabeth Spillman (Pennsylvania State University), "Once Upon a Time I…”: Teaching Memoir through Fairy Tales (11:15)

Linda J. Lee (University of Pennsylvania), Revising Red: Adaptation as Interpretation in ATU 333, "Little Red Riding Hood” (11:45)

The presentations in this session consider a variety of pedagogical approaches to using fairy tales in general education classrooms. Students from nonliterature majors who are reluctant to read longer, seemingly more challenging texts will often enthusiastically read fairy tales—only to find that these narratives challenge their expectations about what a fairy tale is and what it can mean. We consider various ways that a single tale type—”Little Red Riding Hood” (ATU 333)—can be incorporated into different college courses, including composition, humanities, and literature courses. Each paper focuses on a specific lesson plan or assignment and considers how engaging with fairy tales more generally—and with specific versions of "Little Red Riding Hood” more particularly—explicitly addresses challenges presented by the general education classroom.

Thursday 2:00 PM—4:00 PM

05-08: Diamond Session: What Do Folklorists Do? We Teach, Washington
Sponsored by the Folklore and Education Section, the Independent Folklorists Section, and the Public Programs Section

Anne Pryor (Wisconsin Arts Board), chair

Nelda R. Ault (independent), Then I Heard Their Story and They Became People, Not Problems: Folklorists, Refugees, and Building Communities (2:00)

Jennifer Bell (Center for Development, Acculturation, and Resolution Services) and Nadia De Leon (Stanford University), Using Seven Practical Ideas to Build Cultural Awareness (2:07)

Natasha Agrawal (Carroll Robbins Elementary School, Trenton, NJ), Training Teachers to Connect with Elementary School Children from the Thai-Burmese Refugee Camps (2:14)

Anne Pryor (Wisconsin Arts Board), Local Culture Pedagogy (2:21)

Jade D. Banks (Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center), The Folk Culture Intern Model and Teen Engagement in The Will to Adorn Project (2:28)

Richard Burns (Arkansas State University), A State Folklore Society and Its Community-Based Initiatives (2:35)

Deborah A. Bailey (Missouri Folk Arts Program), Teaching Culture is a Two-Way Street, or "Why Exactly Are We Going to the Stearnsy Bear Shop?” (2:42)

Gregory Hansen (Arkansas State University), discussant (2:49)

Folklorists in both public and academic venues interact with learners of all types. We teach participants core folkloristic concepts in order to support community ethnographic work. Seven presentations will illustrate how folklife education occurs in multiple forms and myriad places, and with many functions. Venues include universities, state folklore societies, a community scholar program, a folklife festival, and K–12 classrooms. Topics include training teens to practice reflexive ethnography, educators to teach local culture, community members to study their communities, and teachers and volunteers to work effectively with refugee communities.

Friday 12:15—2:00 PM

Folklore and Education Section Meeting, Washington

Friday 4:15-6:15 PM

Education Happy Hour, Omni Bar. Bring a friend, a grad student, a teacher!

Saturday 8:00 AM—10:00 AM

09-04: Diamond Session: Tales from Out of School: Folklore and Education in Non-K-12 Settings, Providence I
Sponsored by the Folklore and Education Section

Betty J. Belanus (Smithsonian Institution), chair

James Abrams (Open-Hearth Project), Theme Work: Ethnography and Languages of Solidarity in a Labor Classroom (8:00)

Camila Bryce-LaPorte (Mission for Christ Church), Mission for Christ Weekend School: Engaging Youth in a Multicultural World (8:07)

Susan Eleuterio (independent), Foklife Education for Lifelong Learners (8:14)

Lisa Overholser (New York Folklore Society), Engaging Community with the New York Folklore Society’s Youth Community Documentation Project (8:21)

Rebecca Smith (Western Kentucky University), Cooperative Learning: Girl Scout/Folklorist Partnerships (8:28)

Sally Van de Water (Smithsonian Institution), The Will to Adorn Youth Access Project: Engaging Teens in Reflexive Ethnography (8:35)

Jan Rosenberg (Heritage Education Resources), discussant (8:42)

Bonnie Sunstein (University of Iowa), discussant (8:49)

Panelists in this Diamond session will discuss their involvement in one of the best kept secrets in folklore and education: some of the most effective folklore teaching and learning happens outside of the K–12 classroom. Questions to be explored include: What can folklore programs developed for Boy and Girl Scouts, after-school, weekend school, and adult education settings offer learners that K–12 classroom-based programs cannot? How does this programming supplement, augment, or enhance K–12 education and help create a lifelong folklore learning experience? Are folklore and education programs in these settings more or less sustainable than in the K–12 classroom?

09-10: Sustaining Intention: Fostering Disposition, Dialogue, and Collaboration, Kent

Nancy L. Watterson (Cabrini College), chair

Nancy L. Watterson (Cabrini College), Hands-on Justice: Exploring Somatic Solidarity through Comparative Movement and Martial Arts (8:00)

Darryl Mace (Cabrini College), Composing Disposition: Teaching Inclusion through Active Engagement (8:30)

Michael Murray (Bard High School Early College, Newark), Responding to Selves, Responding to Others: Place-Based Writing to Learn (9:00)

What might lessons in diversity and inclusivity, reflective writing assignments, and martial arts workshops have in common? As innovative and integrative approaches to community-based learning, they offer compelling strategies for folklorists and other educators to develop stance, disposition, reflexivity, and deliberative dialogue—skills for acting in the world. This panel explores various community learning initiatives and exercises of intention, broadly conceived, as tools to introduce compassionate, creative, and critical learning across the disciplines. For those of us concerned with helping students learn about sustainable practices—lifelong attitudes and strategies for being civically engaged—we explore together teaching processes and pedagogical reflections.

Saturday 10:15 AM—12:15 PM

10-10: Forum: More than Measuring: A Conversation with Dennie Palmer Wolf, Kent Sponsored by Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education; the Folklore and Education Section, the Public Programs Section, and the Independent Folklorists Section

Paddy Bowman (Local Learning) and Lisa Rathje(Independent), chair

Dennie Palmer Wolf (WolfBrown)

Honing evaluation strategies and research skills is essential for folklorists working in many settings. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Local Learning and our annual professional development workshops co-sponsored with the Folklore and Education Section, conference attendees are invited to a conversation with the distinguished evaluator of arts and cultural organizations and programs, Dennie Palmer Wolf of WolfBrown, an international arts consulting firm. Author of More Than Measuring: Program Evaluation as an Opportunity to Build the Capacity of Communities and Building Creative Capital (both online at she will include her work with City Lore as a case study to demonstrate how organizations focused on traditional arts and culture might approach evaluation and research in ways consistent with their values.

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