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AFS Review: Notes

AFS Annual Meeting Sessions of Interest on Women's Folklore

Tuesday, September 29, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon K. Larson
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This list was compiled by the AFS Women’s Section in order to provide those AFS 2015 attendees who may be interested in various aspects of women’s folklore a guide to sessions of potential interest. There may be other papers not included here which may also be of interest, so please read the program carefully. The AFS Women’s Section seeks to connect women folklorists, or any folklorists interested in women’s issues in folklore in a supportive community in which all aspects of women’s folklore can be discussed. There is a strong element of feminist scholarship shared among members. If you would like to join our section, consider coming to the Women’s Section Business Meeting from 7:45-8:45pm on Friday, October 16, in Tokyo/Vancouver during the AFS 2015 Annual Meeting. You may also join the group online at

Special Event

Friday 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

The Dan Crowley Memorial Concert: Crone-ology: The Crones Tell Almost All (Tokyo/Vancouver), Sponsored by the Storytelling Section and the Women’s Section

Kay Turner (New York University), Milbre Burch (University of Missouri), and Theresa Vaughan (University of Central Oklahoma), chairs

Ticket purchase required ($10)

Sessions of Interest

Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

01-09  Folk/Ag Part I: Ecologies of Place—Cultural Landscape, Environment, and Women’s Food Production (Shanghai)

Jess Lamar Reece Holler (Western Kentucky University and University of Pennsylvania), chair

  • Danille Elise Christensen (Virginia Tech), Hobby, Lifestyle, Authentic, Elite: Labels, Material Systems, and the Politics of Home Food Preservation 
  • Paulina Guerrero (Indiana University), The Smith Island Women’s Crab Co-op: Sense of Place, Maritime Foodways, and Environmental Crisis 
  • Hannah Cooper Davis (Western Kentucky University), Eyes on the Pies: Communal Visions of Collaborative Competition 
  • Ann K. Ferrell (Western Kentucky University), discussant

Thursday 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

03-06  Frame and Negotiating Identity (Melbourne)

Brett H. Furth (Texas A&M University), chair

  • Amanda Randhawa (The Ohio State University), Women, Religion, and Ritual in Northern Punjab 
  • Brett H. Furth (Texas A&M University), The Dilemma of Religious Cultural Appropriation: Divergent Ethnic Neo-Pagan Approaches toward and Justifications for Appropriating from Non-European Cultures Afsane Rezaei (The Ohio State University), "My Stealthy Freedom”: Gender, Power, and Repositioning of the Self in Women’s Narratives of Public Unveiling in Iran

Friday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

04-06  Women in Folklore and Literature, Part I: International Perspectives (Melbourne), Sponsored by the Folklore and Literature Section and the Women’s Section

This first of a two-panel series of papers on women in folklore and literature, sponsored by both the Women’s Section and the Folklore and Literature Section, focuses particularly on International perspectives. Much folkloristic literature explicitly invokes traditional folklore genres (such as fairy tales), as is the case in most of the papers on this panel. Whether looking at actual folktales, medieval treatises, or contemporary stories and novels inspired by folktale traditions from around the world, our scholars approach the work from contemporary feminist perspectives, gleaning new meanings and implications in these evocative works about women’s lives.

Jill Terry Rudy (Brigham Young University), chair 

  • Theresa A. Vaughan (University of Central Oklahoma), Teaching the (Absent) Woman: Advice for the Medieval Housewife in Le Ménagier de Paris
  • Veronica Muskheli (University of Washington, Seattle), Brides and Bridles: Female Batyr and Her Horse in Central Asian Wonder Tales
  • Danielle M. Roemer (Northern Kentucky University), Rosario Ferré’s "Sleeping Beauty”: Rebellion and Confinement
  • Mayako Murai (Kanagawa University, Japan), Tales of Transformation, Transformation of Tales: Hiromi Kawakami’s Tread on a Snake 

Friday 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

05-06  Women in Folklore and Literature, Part II: Contemporary and Domestic Perspectives (Melbourne), Sponsored by the Folklore and Literature Section and the Women’s Section

In this second of a two-panel series of papers on women in folklore and literature, sponsored by both the Women’s Section and the Folklore and Literature Section, our focus shifts from international examples to more contemporary and domestic perspectives. Folkloristic literature is fertile ground for contemporary writers to explore women’s issues in various genres often inspired by traditional folklore. These papers reveal how myths, trickster tales, and legends channel the truths of women’s lives through popular literary modes today. The multivalent nature and creative potential of ancient genres emerges as freshly reimagined from contemporary women’s perspectives.

Mary Magoulick (Georgia College), chair

  • Katie Lyn Peebles (Marymount University), A New Beauty: Mythic Ecology in Robin McKinley’s Chalice Mary Magoulick (Georgia College), A Woman of Words: The Startling Female Trickster in Louise Erdrich’s Fiction
  • Gretchen Kay Lutz (Houston Community College Southeast), The Folk of Omelas: Urban Legend and Storytelling Style in Le Guin’s "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”
  • Nan McEntire (Indiana State University), Our Bodies, Our Selves? Perceptions of Women in Contemporary Legends

Friday 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

06-08  Fieldwork Reencountered (Odessa), Sponsored by the Women’s Section

Feminist ethnographic practice has long been concerned with ethical dilemmas of preserving the voice and authority of our interlocutors while at the same time engaging in critical analysis.  These concerns have led to new approaches, such as reciprocal ethnography and collaborative research.  Our session moves to a consideration of how we might re-engage with old fieldwork, our own, and that produced by others, when returning to consult with interlocutors is no longer possible or practicable.  What can we learn from the extant record?  How can a return to old fieldwork from a new vantage produce new insight, new projects and new research partnerships?

Katherine Borland (The Ohio State University), chair

  • Christine J. Widmayer (University of Wisconsin, Madison), What She Left Behind: Reencountering Family Stories After Death
  • Katherine Borland (The Ohio State University), Her Story, Our Story, My Story: Intersubjective Dimensions of Meaning in Family Folklore
  • Adrienne Decker (Utah Division of Arts and Museums), Outside the Box: Stewardship of Utah’s Public Fieldwork Collections
  • Patricia Sawin (University of North Carolina), Discussant 

Saturday 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

09-09  Gendered Ecologies of Enactment: Creatively Rendering Encounters for Transformative Listening (Shanghai), Sponsored by the Folklore and Creative Writing Section

Sandy Rikoon (University of Missouri), chair

  • Jane Beck (Vermont Folklife Center), An Encounter with Daisy Turner: To Africa and Back
  • Elaine J. Lawless (University of Missouri), An Encounter with a Mentor: Enacting a Life
  • Alison A. Balaskovits (University of Missouri), Rape Stories: How We Enact Violent Encounters
  • Misha Rai (Florida State University), Food I Never Ate: A Family Encounter

 Individual Papers of Interest


Session 01-06 (Melbourne)

8:00 Christine Elyse Blythe (Memorial University of Newfoundland), Mormon Midwives: Natural Childbirth and the Creation of Religious Identities

8:30 Teresa F. Keeler (Pasadena City College), Sworn to Secrecy: Uncovering the Untold Stories of the "Girls” of World War II

Session 03-11 (Barcelona)

2:30 Nikki Cox (University of Oregon), Static Femininity: Stereotyped Representation of Women in American Horror Story: Murder House

Session 03-14 (Marina)

3:00 Patricia Sawin (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), "It’s Magic”: Mothers’ Stories of Adoptive Family Formation


Session 05-03 (Centennial C)

10:45 Aldona Watts (Ruta Projects) and Juilan Watts (Ruta Projects), Land of Songs (57 min.)

This is a screening of a woman-produced film on women traditional artists. Filmmaker Aldona Watts will be present, and Teresa Hollingsworth will the the discussant. For more information, go to

Session 06-04 (Centennial D)

2:30 Jing Li (Gettysburg College), Telling Her Story as a Woman: The China-Made Hua Mulan (2009)

Session 06-10 (Tokyo/Vancouver)

2:30 Norma E. Cantú (University of Missouri, Kansas City), Performing an Imagined Past: The Princess Pocahontas Pageant in Laredo, Texas

3:30 Rachel V. Gonzalez-Martin (The University of Texas), La Niña de la Portada: Quinceañera Aesthetics and the Making of "Miss Cover Girl”

Session 06-13 (Palos Verdes)

3:30 Michael P. Jordan (Texas Tech University), Depictions of Women in Kiowa Drawings from Fort Marion: Reassessing 19th-Century Kiowa Gender Roles


Session 08-08 (Odessa)

10:15 Thomas A. McKean (Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen), Oil Wives

Session 08-14 (Marina)

10:45 Anika Wilson (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Other Wives Were None of Her Concern: Women’s Contested Narratives in Malawian Courts

Session 09-06 (Melbourne)

3:00 JoAnn Conrad (California State University, East Bay), Chance Encounters: Meetings with Extraordinary Women

Session 09-07 (Naples)

2:30 Yuko Nakamura (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Vector Ecologies, Spatial Encounters, and Gender Enactments: A Historical Ethnography of Women’s Placemaking in Tokyo, Japan, after the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake

Session 09-08 (Odessa)

3:00 Devin Payne Serke (Western Kentucky University), Clinic Escorting: Standing Up for Reproductive Justice at the EMW Women’s Surgical Center

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