We’re back with another episode of the Folklife Today podcast! To round out both Women’s History Month and Irish American Heritage Month, we’re presenting A Tribute to Irish American Women. Find it at this page on the Library’s website, or on Stitcher, iTunes, or your usual podcatcher.
As usual, I’ll present links to relevant blog posts, videos, and audio selections in this post. But first:
To explain the context, on February 6, 2020, the Library of Congress held the live event “Fearless: A Tribute to Irish American Women.” The event featured a conversation among award-winning novelist Alice McDermott, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, and CBS anchor Margaret Brennan. As part of the event, an audio recording selected by the American Folklife Center and presented by our director, Betsy Peterson, served as a prompt for conversation.
As extended programming surrounding this event, staff from four Library divisions—AFC, Manuscript Division, Prints & Photographs Division, and Hispanic Division —were asked to develop a display of items related to the event that would facilitate connections and engage the public with diverse collections. The Center’s contributions took two forms: a display of collection items for the public and a curated mix of field recordings. (Read more about our participation in this blog post.)
The mix of field recordings we created for the event served as the basis for this podcast episode. To talk about them, John Fenn and I were joined by AFC’s director Betsy Peterson, since she was central to the event. Betsy took the opportunity to tell our followers her news: she’s retiring! We will have more to say about that here on the blog, but until then we wish Betsy the best. We will all miss her. Her long list of accomplishments at AFC includes updating our publications and media engagement through greenlighting both the Folklife Today blog and the podcast. We’ll strive to continue adding to her legacy for a long time to come!
The episode also included guests Jennifer Cutting and Melanie Zeck. All three guests helped John and me talk about the recordings, so many thanks to all of them!
Following the live event back in 2020, I wrote two extensive blog posts on the audio recordings. Since the items we used on the podcast were a subset of those, you can get all the complete audio, bibliographic information, and background in these two blog posts:
As always, thanks for reading and thanks for listening!