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Taped Sessions from 2017 AFS Annual Meeting Published on Youtube

Thursday, March 8, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rosalind V. Rini Larson
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You can now watch eight special sessions from the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Folklore Society in Minneapolis, Minnesota that have been published to the AFS Youtube channel. To view these sessions, visit the 2017 AFS Annual Meeting playlist.

"A Conversation with Tim Lloyd"

Tim Lloyd, Michael Ann Williams, and Randy Williams (chair)
Sponsored by the American Folklore Society, the Archives and Libraries Section, and the AFS Oral History Project

Randy Williams (Utah State University) and Michael Ann Williams (Western Kentucky University) interview Tim Lloyd (American Folklore Society) about his life and work at the 2017 American Folklore Society Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"How to Get Your Work Published" (Professional Development Workshop)

Gary Dunham
Sponsored by the American Folklore Society and Indiana University Press

So you’re working on a folklore book or article manuscript and want to get it published. How do you go about doing that? How does the publishing process work? This open workshop will cover the scholarly publishing process for books and journals in its entirety. Topics explained include the inside of a scholarly press—who does what, choosing the right publisher for you, when and how to contact a publisher, the review process, handling rejection, contracts and copyright, and what happens to your manuscript after contract.

"A Conversation with Bill Ferris"

Bill Ferris and Glenn Hinson (chair)
Sponsored by the American Folklore Society and the AFS Oral History Project

Few folklorists have played as important a role in shaping public perceptions of our discipline as Bill Ferris. For more than four decades, Dr. Ferris has served as one of the field’s most tireless public advocates, eloquently arguing for the centrality of folklore to all cultural study, while demonstrating how insights arising from the study of vernacular culture inherently contribute to the struggle for social justice. Well-known as a scholar of the blues and other forms of southern vernacular artistry, Dr. Ferris joins us in this special AFS session to reflect on his life as a folklorist and a public scholar.

"Back to the Future: Questions for Theory in the 21st Century" (Francis Lee Utley Lecture)

Elliott Oring, Marcia Gaudet, and Frank de Caro (chair)
Sponsored by the AFS Fellows

There is a tendency for folklore scholars to read theory in other fields and apply those theories to their own disciplinary subject. The idea is to “stay current,” be on “the cutting edge,” or even, perhaps, “keep in step.” There are definite costs to the pursuit of such theoretical fashions, however. It allows theories in other disciplines to drive folkloristic inquiry. The theories often do not address questions that emerge from the study of the materials—legends, songs, proverbs, festivals, or jokes—that are the objects of the folklorist’s scrutiny. In fact, in applying these theories to folklore, it may be that many deep and important questions are overlooked. What folklorists may need to do is look backwards in an attempt to identify those questions that have driven the field and to craft research and build theories that speak to these questions.

"Ecojustice and Folklife" (Don Yoder Lecture)
Jeff Todd Titon, Margaret Kruesi (chair), Mary Hufford and Rory Turner (discussants)
Sponsored by the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section

Ecojustice combines environmental responsibility with social justice. It aspires to combat the effects of global warming, habitat degradation, and environmental hazards upon the Earth and all living beings. In this lecture, I consider ways that folklife studies may bring to ecojustice traditional ecological knowledges with the ability to sustain local populations and to maintain cultural and material resources for survival. I outline a sound ecological path that may help establish more just and fair relations among humans, other living beings, and the environment.


"Communicating About the Field" (Professional Development Workshop)
Lynne S. McNeill, Trevor J. Blank, Andrea Kitta, Clifford Murphy, and Dorothy Noyes
Sponsored by the American Folklore Society

As stewards of the discipline of folklore studies, we strive to succeed in our field while also successfully collaborating with other fields and educating the general public. We need to communicate in different styles to different audiences, working with non-folklorists’ partial understandings of our field while avoiding oversimplifying or undervaluing the academic rigor of our work in the eyes of other scholars. On the academic front, interdisciplinary work is hampered by other scholars’ unfamiliarity with what our discipline encompasses. Folklore is a perennially popular subject in the media, but unless we can speak accessibly and engagingly about our work (and about the field in a broad sense), journalists and other content producers will continue to turn to non-folklorists for interviews and consultations. Participants in this workshop will discuss how best to communicate about our work outside the field, and will encourage contributions from those in the audience.


"Her-Story: A Feminism and Folklore Retrospective 2017"
Patricia Sawin and Kay Turner (chairs), Kristina Downs, Lisa Gilman, Jeana Jorgensen, Solimar Otero, Summer Pennell, Afsane Rezaei, and Brittany Warman
Sponsored by the American Folklore Society and the Women’s Section

Following the 2016 Folklore and Feminism Retrospective in Miami that covered the years 1970 to 1995, AFS President Kay Turner has invited a group of new generation feminist folklore scholars to participate in a follow-up session. This panel will review the discipline’s study of gender and feminism from 1995 to the present, examining increasingly intersectional and global approaches to feminism and folklore in particular. We hope to both continue and expand upon the invigorating discussions begun in 2016, focusing on contemporary theory and practice, pedagogy, issues around fieldwork, and activism.


"The Witch in Flight" (AFS Presidential Address)
Kay Turner and Dorothy Noyes (chair)
Sponsored by the American Folklore Society

The witch in flight provides an excellent point of departure for considering certain analytical benefits found at the intersection of folkloristics, performance, feminism, and queer theory. As it should, the study of folklore leads us to ask some big, sometimes strange, questions. One of these might be, “Why do witches fly?” and secondly, “Why should we care?” This address seeks to answer both, or at least to suggest that attempting to answer big old cultural questions is more than half the fun of being a folklorist. Tales of the witch wife and Baba Yaga’s hens will guide our ascent even as we interrogate the lurid, nearly pornographic images of flying females made and distributed in the early 16th century by Albrecht Dürer’s student Hans Baldung Grien, followed 200 years later by Goya’s etchings of horrifying brujas poderosas (powerful witches). Visual culture and oral-literary culture compete to encode the meaning of the witch in flight, but a 21st century expanded view of folklore holds the key—or should we say broom handle—to a deeper understanding of her flight and ours.

In addition, an audio recording was made of “Resistance, Reclamation and Re-Creation in Minnesota Native American Women's Storytelling,” a special forum with five Minnesota Native women who are active in carrying forward traditional story content and modes of telling in novel formats, including film, play writing, poetry, mapping, and quilting. That recording will be posted when it is available.

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