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Category: AFC History

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Alan Jabbour and the American Folklife Center

Posted by: Stephen Winick

This is a guest blog post by Carl Fleischhauer.  It presents a version of the talk he gave at our Alan Jabbour tribute event earlier this year. It has been edited for presentation in this blog. These remarks are about Alan Jabbour as founding director of the American Folklife Center: his thinking, activities at the …

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Photos From AFC’s Alan Jabbour Legacy Event

Posted by: Stephen Winick

  On January 18, 2018, AFC sponsored a special event in our Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series.  Alan Jabbour, 1942 – 2017: His Legacy in Folklife and Traditional Music brought together speakers who worked closely with Alan to examine the contributions he made during his career to cultural documentation, the promotion of traditional music, and …

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Memories of Peter Bartis

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Note: the following is a guest post by our colleague Kate Stewart, former AFC archivist and former Folklife Today blogger. If you have a memory of Peter to share, please do so in the comments on the blog post at this link. In the spring of 2011, I had just begun learning the ropes of working at …

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Peter Bartis April 26, 1949-December 25, 2017

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The American Folklife Center is very sad to report the death of our longtime staff member, Peter Bartis. Peter died on December 25, 2017, from cancer. He had been in hospice for several days, with his spouse Ben, his brother Jim, and several AFC staff members visiting him daily. At the time of his retirement …

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Folklife at the International Level: Issues in Protecting Traditional Cultural Expressions

Posted by: Michelle Stefano

In the last “Folklife at the International Level” post, Wend Wendland, Director of WIPO’s Traditional Knowledge Division, recounted that the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) was formed by WIPO member states in 2000. The aim was to discuss issues relating to the protection of TCEs (called at …

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From “Mule-een” to New Orleans: Just What Was Lead Belly Saying?

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Introduction The great American songster Lead Belly, first recorded by John A. and Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1933, is a towering figure in global popular music. In some cases, his influence can be clouded, or hard to understand, because of his own enigmatic personality and because of the fragmentary nature of …

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Nicholas Ray: frustrated folklorist

Posted by: John Fenn

This blog post about the filmmaker Nicholas Ray is part of a series called “Hidden Folklorists,” which examines the folklore work of surprising people, including people better known for other pursuits. Nicholas Ray (1911-1979)—iconoclastic filmmaker, writer, friend to trouble, and…folklorist? To those who know the name, Nicholas Ray is most readily recognized as the director who brought …

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Billy Bragg, Skiffle Historian and Singer, Visits the Library July 21

Posted by: Stephen Winick

This blog post about the singer-songwriter Billy Bragg is part of a series called “Hidden Folklorists,” which examines the folklore work of surprising people, including people better known for other pursuits. Billy Bragg will be here for a book talk, July 21 at 7:00 pm in the Mumford Room of the James Madison Memorial Building. …

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AFC’s Occupational Folklife Project Goes Online with “Working the Port of Houston” Collection

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The following is a guest post by Nancy Groce, Senior Folklife Specialist and Director of the Occupational Folklife Project. After seven years of planning, research, fieldwork, and archiving, the American Folklife Center is delighted to announce that the first installment of its Occupational Folklife Project (OFP) launches today on the Library of Congress’s website with …