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AFS Review: Notes

A Guide to Annual Meeting Events Sponsored by the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section

Tuesday, October 6, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon K. Larson
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The American Folklore Society’s Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section is presenting a series of Section-sponsored forums, panels, an oral history session, the annual section business meeting, and the not-to-be-missed annual Don Yoder Lecture in Religious Folklife, given this year by Dr. Erika Brady.  The topics range across issues of belief realized through material culture, humor, human-animal relationships, death and vernacular memorialization, applied science and medicine, and media misrepresentations of belief systems and communities.  Of special interest is the oral history session focused on folk religion and belief, looking at the "life of learning" choices, chances, and triumphs of participants Dr. Diane Goldstein, Dr. Jim Griffith, and Dr. Leonard Primiano moderated by Dr. Pravina Shukla.  As the Section honors and remembers their mentor Dr. Don Yoder, who passed away in August, his legacy is found, in part, in the diversity of these presentations. Please put them on your calendar as you plan your AFS schedule and the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section looks forward to your participation in the discussions that will follow.

Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

01-02 Author Meets Critics: Joseph Sciorra’s Built with Faith: Italian American Imagination and Catholic Material Culture in New York City (Ocean room)

Sponsored by the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section 

Leonard Norman Primiano (Cabrini College), chair 
Sabina Magliocco (California State University, Northridge)
  • Kay Turner (New York University)
  • Joseph Sciorra(Queens College) 
  • Michael Ann Williams (Western Kentucky University)

Thursday 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 a.m. 

02-13 Bad Dogs and Good Horses: Human-Animal Relationships in Narrative (Palos Verdes)

Sponsored by the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section

Margaret Kruesi (American Folklife Center), chair
Charlie Groth (Bucks County Community College), Stories Unleashed: Dogs’ Role in Narrative Stewardship on Lewis Island

  • Ellen McHale (New York Folklore Society), The Good Horse: Human/Animal Relationships at the Thoroughbred Racetrack

  • Victoria Harkavy (Independent), Tails, Tales, and Tactics: Remembering Childhoods with Animals
  • Nikki Silvestrini (University of Oregon), When the Bark Is as Bad as the Bite: Conflicting Narratives in Animal Rehabilitation

Thursday 8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
The Don Yoder Lecture in Religious Folklife (Ocean room)

Sponsored by the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section
Margaret Kruesi (American Folklife Center) and Leonard Norman Primiano (Cabrini College), chairs

Erika Brady (Western Kentucky University)
, "A Subtle Thing Withal”: Reflections on the Ineffable, the Unspeakable, and the Risible in 
Vernacular Religion

Many years ago as a graduate student studying William Langland’s Vision of Piers Plowman, I came upon what was evidently a popular scatological riddle pertaining to a profound theological teaching. Since that time I have continued to ruminate over the role of humor—especially sexual and scatological humor—arising from within vernacular Catholicism. In this talk, I will consider the serious play of such forms of expression and their significance for folklorists concerned with the nature of belief in the sacred.

Sabina Magliocco (California State University, Northridge), discussant

Friday 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 

05-05 "Talking Folklore: A Conversation with Leading Scholars of Folk Religion and Belief" (Casablanca) 

This forum features a conversation with prominent folklorists who will reflect on their respective careers, and meditate on the past and future of our discipline. The forum will be recorded for the AFS "Collecting Memories” Oral History Project. This year’s forum will focus on folk religion and belief, by looking at the "life of learning" and the choices, chances, and triumphs of participants Diane Goldstein, Jim Griffith, and Leonard Primiano. Pravina Shukla will once again facilitate this exchange about their academic and public work, their fieldwork and festivals, and also their important involvement in our field and in our scholarly society over the past several decades.

Friday 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

06-11 Emergent Ecologies of Death: Vernacular Traditions of Mourning, Memory, and Memorialization (Barcelona)

Sponsored by the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section 

Daniel Wojcik (University of Oregon) and Jack Santino (Bowling Green State University), chairs

  • Daniel Wojcik (University of Oregon), The Art of Grief: Mourning, Memorialization, and Vernacular Creativity 

  • Rosalynn Rothstein (University of Oregon), Memorialization and the Necropastoral: An Aesthetic Analysis of Floral Arrangements at Spontaneous Shrines

  • Vanessa Cutz (University of Oregon), We Have Returned to a Place of Loss: Pilgrimage to Poland as a Holocaust Memorial

  • Robert Dobler (Indiana University), The Eternal Refresh: Mourning and Postmortem Subjectivity on the Internet

Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 

07-07 Medicine, Science, and Human-Animal Relationships (Naples) 

Sponsored by the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section

Carolyn E. Ware (Louisiana State University), chair
Shawn L. Terrell (Appalachian State University), Community Based Animal Healthcare in Southern Appalachia: Local Knowledge of Illness, Ecology, and Folk Veterinary Medicines

  • Eric A. Eliason (Brigham Young University), Animals as Producers and Products of Folklore: Natural Selection in Traditional Aesthetics and Behavior

  • Debra L. Shutika (George Mason University), Folklore Speaks to Science: Teaching Folk Medicine in the Applied Science Classroom

  • Jisha C.K. (Central University of Jharkhand), Kalari Treatment and the Kalari Massage System

Saturday 12:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section Meeting (Ocean room) 

The sections will announce the winners of the Don Yoder prize and William A. Wilson prize for best student papers.

Saturday 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

09-11 Popular Media and Vernacular Belief: (Mis)Representations at Modernity’s Crossroads (Barcelona) 

Erika Brady (Western Kentucky University), chair

  • Mariya Lesiv (Memorial University of Newfoundland), Clairvoyants, Diplomas and "Putin the Savior”: The Supernatural and Progress in Contemporary Ukraine and Russia
Glenn Hinson (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Faith in Blackface: Racist Representations and Touristic Play in New Orleans "Voodoo”

  • Leonard Norman Primiano (Cabrini College), Distorted Images: The Use of Documentary Photography and the Ethical Treatment of Religious Individuals and Communities

  • Margaret Kruesi (American Folklife Center), discussant

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