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Head and shoulders portrait of Deena Owens
Deena Owens, Folklife Intern at the Center. Photo courtesy of Deena Owens.

Folklife Interns 2023 on the Folklife Today Podcast

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

In this episode, John Fenn and I talk to our latest cohort of Bartis interns in the Folklife Internship program about their work. We introduced the interns themselves, Joe Zavaan Johnson and Deena R. Owens, in this blog post toward the beginning of their time at AFC. Each of them created a research guide for the Center, Joe on African American banjo materials and Deena on shape-note singing. In this blog we’ll give you links to their great work and related resources. But first…

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The Blogs and Guides Behind the Podcast

The podcast had Joe and Deena talk about the research guides they created. Each guide was featured here on the blog as well. Here are the links to the guides and the blog posts.

Joe’s Guide is titled “African-American Banjo Music: Resources in the American Folklife Center.” It’s a directory to materials at the Library of Congress, and especially in the American Folklife Center, about African Americans who play the banjo. Joe had more to say about the guide in the podcast (of course) but also in this guest blog post here at Folklife Today.

Joe Z. Johnsons plays the banjo
Joe Z. Johnson is a player and researcher of the banjo. Photo courtesy of Joe Johnson.

Deena’s guide is called “Shape-Note Singing: Resources in the American Folklife Center.” Deena was particularly concerned to capture the diversity of shape-note participants and the diversity of styles. She went to special effort to include examples of both four-note and seven-note shape systems, and to include African American shape-note gatherings. She also announced the guide and wrote about it here on the blog, in this post.


General Resources

Visit the following links for general resources:

All Folklife Today Blogs mentioning shape-note singing

All Folklife Today Blogs mentioning the banjo

All AFC topical Collection Guides

As always, thanks for reading and thanks for listening!

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

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