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Welcome, 2022 Folklife Interns!

The American Folklife Center staff happily welcomes our 2022 Folklife Interns, especially since they will be onsite with us at the Library of Congress! Elisa Alfonso and Bryan Jenkins deserve a hearty congratulations as the pool was again quite competitive this year, with over 170 candidates submitting applications. As with all prior years, the final decisions were extremely difficult and we applaud all who sought the opportunity. Elisa will be traveling from Austin, TX to work with us, while Bryan is D.C.-based. A bit more about each of them follows below, and for background on the paid internships at the AFC, check out this post from back in 2018 when we launched the program.

Woman poses with her cat.

Elisa Alfonso (with Mr. Zeke). Photo courtesy of Elisa Alfonso.

Elisa Alfonso just finished her third year with the Ph.D. program in Ethnomusicology at University of Texas at Austin, where she is currently working on her dissertation titled, “Re-Sounding History: Soundscapes, Music, and Memory in Operation Pedro Pan.” Academically, she is interested in music and migration, memory, trauma studies, childhood studies, children’s musicking and soundscapes, Cuban-U.S. relations, digital ethnography, and Cuban-American studies. Her personal interests include vegan baking, YouTube, playing flute, and hanging out with her cat, Mr. Zeke.

She is excited to work for the Library of Congress this summer, and hopes to learn about all aspects of working in a (massive) public library and the vast archives in the Center. She’s especially excited to learn more about how archival materials can be brought to life and utilized in supporting social justice concerns by putting these collections in conversation with living artists, marginalized communities, and the LOC patronage at large.

Bryan M. Jenkins is a Ph.D. candidate in the Communication, Culture and Media Studies program at Howard University. His research explores how marginalized groups utilize the digital space as a tool to educate and empower one another, and his dissertation investigates Black podcasts as a critical educational tool for Black communities while extending the traditions of Black orality.

Head shot of man wearing suit and tie.

Bryan Jenkins, one of the AFC’s 2022 Folklife Interns. Photo courtesy of Bryan Jenkins.

Recently, he served as the inaugural Doctoral Fellow for the Traditional Arts DC program where he worked on projects that documented the importance of Black Washington, D.C. natives’ culture, and art. He aspires to continue working on projects focused on the use of digital technology as a tool to help document the culture and history of marginalized communities. From this internship, he hopes to gain further experience in conducting and presenting cultural research in an impactful way.

Join all of the AFC staff in welcoming Elisa and Bryan into the fold!

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