The American Folklife Center is pleased to welcome John B. Fenn III as the Head of the Research and Programs section. Fenn will be supervising the members of our staff involved in public programming, publications, research, and training in the field of folklife.
John Fenn’s academic training is in folklore and ethnomusicology (Ph.D., Indiana University, 2004). Prior to his appointment at the Library of Congress, John was an Associate Professor at the University of Oregon. There he served as the Program Director for the Arts and Administration Program, and was a core faculty member in the Folklore Program. Since 2011 he has been a member of the Executive Advisory Committee for the Oregon Folklife Network, which has its administrative office at the University of Oregon.
While at Indiana University, Fenn worked for the Lotus World Music and Culture Festival as Assistant Festival Producer. He has conducted fieldwork on expressive culture in Malawi (Southeast Africa), China, Indiana, and Oregon—exploring a wide range of practices, traditions, and communities. Throughout his career he has merged his training in folklore and ethnomusicology with an interest in documentation, public presentation, stewardship, and interpretation of cultural forms and expressions.
Fenn has been an active member of both the American Folklore Society and the Society for Ethnomusicology since 1996. In addition to presenting academic papers, he has organized numerous sessions and participated in the Public Programs Section (AFS) and Applied Ethnomusicology Section (SEM). In conjunction with the AFS Archives and Libraries Section, he also helped run professional development workshops for several years on digital audio documentation and archival practices.
Today (January 9, 2017) was his first day at the Library of Congress, and was mostly devoted to his new staff orientation. We’re looking forward to his arrival for his first full day at AFC tomorrow.