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Web Archives and Cuban Songs: Interns and their Interests on the Folklife Today Podcast

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Head shot of man wearing suit and tie.
Dr. Bryan Jenkins, one of the AFC’s 2022 Folklife Interns.

We’re back with another episode of the Folklife Today podcast! Find it at this page on the Library’s website, or on Stitcher, iTunes, or your usual podcatcher.

In this episode, John Fenn and and I interview the American Folklife Center’s recent interns, Bryan Jenkins and Elisa Alfonso, about the items and collections that caught their interest while they worked here. As usual, in this post I’ll present links to relevant blog posts, videos, and audio selections in this post.  But first:

Get your podcast here!

During his time with us here at AFC, Bryan M. Jenkins earned his Ph.D. from 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. Bryan 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. One of the collections that really caught his eye and his imagination was the Web Cultures Web Archive, so for this podcast he chose to interview AFC reference librarian Allina Migoni about Web archives.

Woman poses with her cat.
Elisa Alfonso (with Mr. Zeke). Photo courtesy of the photographer.

Elisa Alfonso is in her fourth year in the Ph.D. program in Ethnomusicology at University of Texas at Austin. She is currently working on her dissertation titled, “Re-Sounding History: Soundscapes, Music, and Memory in Operation Pedro Pan.” 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. For our podcast, Alfonso discussed several versions of the Latin American children’s song “Señora Santana,” and speaks of its association with the 1960s Cuban children’s exodus that later became known as Operación Pedro Pan–the subject of her dissertation. The podcast presents several versions of the song from Cuban, Mexican, and Spanish Americans in Florida, Texas, and California.

We were honored to have both of these scholars on the podcast, and of course to have them intern at the American Folklife Center. We hope you enjoy the segments they helped produce!


As is often the case, much of the material in the podcast is discussed elsewhere on the blog, and other resources are available on the Library’s website. Find the relevant links below!

Find our post introducing the recent interns here.

Bryan’s Segment

Find the Web Cultures Web Archive at this link.

Find the home of the Library of Congress web archiving program, with links to many web archives, at this link.

Find our director Nicole Saylor’s announcement of the Web Cultures Web Archive at this link.

Find our colleague Trevor Owen’s discussion of the scope of web cultures archiving here.

Elisa’s Segment

Find most of our versions of “Señora Santana” at this link.

Lottie Espinosa from California sang two songs with the “Señora Santana” lyrics, but she didn’t call them by that title:

Our classic children’s song post on “Ring Around the Rosie” is here.

Our podcast on children’s songs is here.

And another fun post about kids’ explanations of their songs is here.

Finally, a blog post about the Cuban American songs from the Florida WPA is here.

As always, thanks for reading and thanks for listening!

In case you need that podcast link again…here it is!

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