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AFS Review: Notes

2016 AFS/ISFNR Joint Meeting Guide: Museum-Focused Programs

Thursday, September 22, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesse A. Fivecoate
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By Jason Baird Jackson
Convener, Folklore and Museums Section

Museum-minded folklorists and their friends have much to look forward to when the American Folklore Society and the International Society for Folk Narrative Research convene together in Miami from October 19 to October 22, 2016. The overall meeting program is very rich and museum folklorists have worked hard contributing to a program that offers—for those who wish pursue a focused track—the chance to engage with museum colleagues and museum work from beginning to end. Of course, everyone can dip into and out of these museum-focused offerings as best suits their interests. Thanks to all who have supported the Folklore and Museum’s section’s first year of conference programming. Particular thanks go to Local Learning for devoting attention throughout 2016 to the field of museum education. Thanks as well to our colleagues at HistoryMiami Museum for their support of museum-related activities at the Miami meeting. 

The Experiments in Exhibition workshop will be held Wednesday afternoon at HistoryMiami Museum, with sponsorship from HistoryMiami Museum, Local Learning: National Network of Folk Arts in Education, and the Folklore and Museums, Folklore and Education, and Public Programs sections of the AFS. This successful program has been a museum-focused feature of the meetings since the 2014 annual meeting in Santa Fe. This year’s focus is Experiments in Exhibition: Moving Beyond (Dis)ability Accomodation with Universal Design. (Details on signing up are available on the AFS website.)

Thursday morning (8-10 am), the Folklore and Museum’s Section is sponsoring “Exploring a Model: Three Adaptations of Indiana’s Rotating Exhibition Network (03-06), a paper panel featuring Katrina Wynn, Lisa L Higgins, Lisa Rathje, and Jon Kay. Concurrently, museum folklorists might also wish to attend papers by Kelley D. Totten (on craft education) and Paddy Bowman (on museum education) being presented in Folklore and Education: Bridging the Gap (03-11)

In the second Thursday session (10:15 am-12:15 pm), the Folklore and Museums section is sponsoring Folklife and Museums: Twenty-First Century Perspectives. This panel, led by C. Kurt Dewhurst, Patrica Hall, and Charles H. Seemann, will center on a reworking and republication of the key edited book Folklife and Museums: Selected Readings.

The 2nd annual Folklore and Museums Section Meeting will follow (12:45-1:30 pm). Falling in the midst of a busy day of programming, members are encouraged to bring a lunch to this gathering. Plans for strengthening our still new section will be discussed and everyone is invited.

On Thursday afternoon (2-4 pm) many museum folklorists are likely to be interested in the panel Moving Forward: The Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the Next Fifty Years (05-07), which has been sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution. It includes Olivia Cadaval, Amanda Dargan, Martha Gonzalez, Helen Klaebe, Michael Knoll, Sabrina Motley, and Nick Spitzer. In this same slot is a diamond session that includes discussion of recent museum programming by Traditional Arts Indiana—Representing Traditional Arts in Public Folklore Programming: Evaluating Student Engagement and Artist Experiences (05-03) with Maria Elise Zeringue, Mathilde Lind, Jessie Riddle, Barbara McGinness, Laila Rajani, and Caroline Miller.

Friday morning (8-10 am), the Folklore and Museums section is sponsoring An Unfinished Story: The Bosnia Project at Western Kentucky University (06-03). Presenting on this initiative are Brent Björkman, Ann Ferrell, Kate Horigan, and Virginia Siegel.

Another panel sponsored by the Folklore and Museums section follows at 10:15 am-12:15 pm. This is Heritage and Material Culture (07-03), an event that includes presentations by Daniel C. Swan, Suzanne Godby Ingalsbe, Teri Klassen, and Jason Baird Jackson.

After lunch (2-4 pm) on Friday, the third Folklore and Museums Section sponsored session of the day is the Pop-Up Museum Session: Sharing Fieldwork Artifacts and Stories (08-19) with Betty J. Belanus, Jessica Doble, Andrea Graham, Hanna Griff-Sleven, Felica Katz–Harris, Elyse Marrero, Anne Rappaport, and Lynne Williamson.

Museum folklorists can return to action on Saturday morning (8-10 am) with Reframing Narratives: Curating Southern Cultural Expression (09-02), sponsored by the Folklore and Museums section and including participation from Gabrielle A. Berlinger, Glenn Hinson, Katy Clune, Jon-Sesrie Goff, Elijah Heyward, Emily Ridder-Beardsley, and Zoe van Buren.

In the second Saturday slot (10:15 am-12:15 pm), the Folklore and Museums section has sponsored Stories, Art, and Aging: Researching Vernacular Forms of Creative Aging (10-02), a panel including presentations by Simon Bronner, Jon Kay, Masha MacDowell, and Alan Jabbour.

On Saturday afternoon (2-4 pm), a number of panels are likely to be particularly enticing to museum folklorists, among them are Material Culture (11-17) with Kristin C. Erickson, Luisa Del Guidice, Deirdre Clemente, and Christine Zinni and a panel sponsored by the Local Planning Committee—Preparation, Preservation, and Presentation: Archives and Folklife Collections (11-05) with Joanna (Jody) Katherine Norman, Timothy A. Barber, Ross Brand, Maria R. Estorino, Eric Griffis, and Natalie Underberg-Goode. In this same slot, a special event to be held at HistoryMiami is Honoring Lydia Cabera’s Story (11-18) with Solimar Otero, Kay Turner, Martin Tsang, Sarah Piña, Eric Mayer-García and Jerrilyn McGregory. This last event has been sponsored by the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries, HistoryMiami Museum, the AFS Cultural Diversity Committee, and these AFS sections: Archives and Libraries, Chican@, Folk Belief and Religious Folklife, Folklore Latin@, Latinoamericano, y Caribeño, LGBTQA, and the Women's Section.

In addition to the Folklore and Museums section meeting midday on Thursday and the Folklore and Education section meeting that is happening at the same time, special note is also taken here of the Folk Arts and Material Culture section meeting midday on Friday, the Public Programs section meeting Friday evening (7:30-8:30), and the Archives and Libraries section meeting scheduled for Saturday at midday.

A reception hosted by Indiana University Press will be held from 6:30-8 pm on Friday evening to celebrate the launch of the Material Vernaculars book series, a co-publication of the press and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures.

In conclusion, I want to express thanks to the Local Planning Committee for its hard work planning what promises to an outstanding annual meeting. See you in Miami!

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