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Fieldwork During the Pandemic: Upcoming Online Lectures July 13 & 20

Composite photo made up of head and shoulders portraits of a man looking right, a man looking forward, and a woman looking left

Archie Green Fellows Edward Millar, Joseph O’Connell, and Josephine McRobbie

The American Folklife Center is happy to announce a two-part series of hour-long online Zoom presentations with live Q&A featuring recent and current Archie Green Fellows discussing the impact of the pandemic on their fieldwork experiences. We’re calling the event Occupational Folklife and Fieldwork in the Post-Pandemic World: Adaptation, Innovation, and the Future, Parts 1 & 2Registration is required, but don’t worry…you’ll find the registration links down near the bottom of this post!

Each of the program’s two parts will feature live 15-20 minute presentations by two Archie Green Fellows (AGF) with Nancy Groce serving as moderator.  Nancy is an AFC staff folklorist and director of the AGF program, as well as the host of our America Works podcast. The discussions will be on two successive Tuesdays, July 13 and July 20.

Prior to the pandemic, Archie Green Fellows’ research, like so much folklife research, was predicated on in-depth in-person interviews documenting the experiences of contemporary American workers. The in-person aspect of the documentation process was, of course, severely disrupted by the pandemic. This 2-part series will explore these researchers’ adaptation to virtual research, describing what worked or didn’t work as they were forced to modify their methodologies and change to virtual online interviewing, as well as how they addressed or are addressing the challenges. Presentations will be followed by a short moderator-led discussion among participants, after which the speakers will respond to questions from pre-registered attendees.

The Archie Green Fellows for part 1 on July 13 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time will include oral historian Sarah Filkins, who interviewed prominent women architects; and folklorist Ed Millar, who is in the midst of interviewing dirt track workers at western New York’s Ransomville Speedway.

Part 2 on July 20 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time will feature oral historian Alana Glazer, who is interviewing nurses working at Veterans Administration hospitals; and folklorists Josephine McRobbie and Joseph O’Connell, who documented midwives, doulas and other birth workers in North Carolina.

To register, follow the links below. Keep in mind that by registering, you are consenting to receiving follow-up emails about this event, such as a post-event survey and the webinar recording.  Also, please disregard any “event is over capacity” notice for this event, if you receive one from Zoom.

Register for part 1 with Sarah Filkins and Ed Millar, July 13 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time at this link.

Register for part 2 with Alana Glazer, Josephine McRobbie, and Joseph O’Connell, July 20 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time at this link.

Please request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]

Speaker Biographies

PART 1: July 13

Head and Shoulders portrait of a woman looking slightly left

Archie Green Fellow Sarah Filkins

Sarah Filkins
A 2019 Archie Green Fellow whose fieldwork collection on “Women Architects” was recently posted to the Occupational Folklife Collection, Sarah Filkins trained as an architect specializing in the preservation of historic structures. Her research on buildings and their inhabitants led to an exploration of oral history methodology, technology, and ethics for documenting the past and present. She feels that “recording the work of women who are architects, through the Archie Green Fellowship, was a unique opportunity to utilize my skills and document the journeys, challenges, and accomplishments of very talented architects, designers, and leaders, whose work often goes unrecognized in a profession historically unwelcoming to women.”

Edward Millar
A 2020 Archie Green Fellow who is currently completing fieldwork on “The Ransomville Speedway: Dirt Track Workers in Western New York,” Edward Y. Millar joined the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University as Curator of Folk Arts in 2015. He received an MA in Folklore from the Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2014, with areas of interest in occupational folklife, foodways, folk art, popular culture, public folklore, and ballads. As Curator of Folk Arts, Edward works with local communities and tradition bearers in New York State’s Buffalo-Niagara region to organize and develop exhibitions, public programming, and other initiatives that help highlight artistic expressions underrepresented within the area’s arts and cultural institutions.

PART 2: July 20

Head and shoulders portrait of a woman looking forward.

Archie Green Fellow Alana Glaser

Alana Glaser
A 2020 Archie Green Fellow who is currently completing documentation on the nurses who are “Nursing American Veterans,” medical anthropologist Alana Lee Glaser is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at St. John’s University in Queens, New York. Her first book A New Day (forthcoming Temple University Press) chronicles the impact of the 2010 New York Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights on the multicultural, immigrant-led organizations responsible for its passage, as well as its unexpected consequences in the daily lives of individual Caribbean and West African women working as caregivers in New York City.

Josephine McRobbie
A 2019 Archie Green Fellow who co-directed a project on “Midwives, Doulas and Birth Workers in North Carolina,” Josephine McRobbie is an oral historian and audio producer based in Durham, North Carolina. In recent months, she has produced public radio features for WFIU Public Media about farm stress, heirloom grain farming, and the visual histories of taste.

Joseph O’Connell
A 2019 Archie Green Fellow who co-directed a project on “Midwives, Doulas and Birth Workers in North Carolina,” Joseph O’Connell is an independent folklorist and PhD student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His recent interpretive projects have focused on regional music in Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley and the cultural expressions of fishing communities on the Oregon coast.

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