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Category: Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series

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Botkin Folklife Lectures Plus: Barry Jean Ancelet on Theory and Practice of Folklore in Cajun and Creole Louisiana

Posted by: Stephen Winick

In this post, we'll feature a Botkin Lecture classic: Barry Jean Ancelet, Professor Emeritus at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, speaking on Theory and Practice of Folklore in Cajun & Creole Louisiana. As usual, this blog features videos of both the lecture and an interview with Barry Jean Ancelet. As you'll hear John Fenn say in introducing our speaker, we have presented many eminent colleagues in the Botkin series, but few of them have made as significant an impact on the documentation, public awareness, and revitalization of their chosen areas of interest as Professor Ancelet has for Cajun and Creole culture in Louisiana. Even fewer of them have been officially knighted by the government of France for their efforts. Those are just a few of the reasons we're delighted to present his lecture in our series.

Portrait of Beverley Diamond

Botkin Folklife Lecture Premiere: Beverley Diamond

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Welcome to a video premiere in the Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series! This lecture, Listening to Divergent Histories through Canadian Music, features ethnomusicologist Beverley Diamond, Professor Emerita, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland. Dr. Diamond is a Canadian ethnomusicologist who assumed the Canada Research Chair in Traditional Music at Memorial University in 2002. She has worked extensively with indigenous peoples in North America, Norway and Finland exploring the relationship of music to issues of cultural identity. In this video, Listening to Divergent Histories through Canadian Music, Dr. Diamond reflects on how her approaches to documenting culture have shifted over fifty years, echoing not only changes in the academic realm but changes in her relations with Indigenous and other culturally diverse communities. You’ll find the video embedded in this blog post.

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Botkin Folklife Lecture Premiere: Paddy Bowman and Lisa Rathje

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Welcome to a video premiere in the Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series! This lecture features folklorists Paddy Bowman and Lisa Rathje, respectively the founding director and executive director of Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education. In this video, Bowman and Rathje present an overview of folklore in K-12 education in the U.S. They discuss their work with Local Learning, their visions, and the diverse and dynamic ways that folklorists and traditional artists are currently engaged in K-12, museum, and community education. For 30 years, Local Learning has trained American educators in folkloristics, created opportunities in education for traditional artists, created resources that bridge folklore and education, and developed important partnerships, including an ongoing relationship with Teaching with Primary Sources here at the Library of Congress. You'll find the video embedded in this blog post!

Head and shoulders portrait of Steve Zeitlin

Botkin Folklife Lecture Premiere: Steve Zeitlin

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The Poetry of Everyday Life: Reflections of an Urban Folklorist. Welcome to a video premiere in the Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series! This lecture features folklorist Steve Zeitlin, the founding director of City Lore, one of America’s leading research centers for the documentation of urban folklife and grassroots culture. You'll find the video embedded below! In his lecture, Steve eloquently reflects on his career, recounts some of his most meaningful projects, and discusses the relationship of folklore to everyday language and speech in contemporary America. Drawing on his experiences as both a folklorist and a poet, he discusses how colloquial speech and shared verbal art forms like poetry work to preserve cultural heritage and create community in a complex metropolitan landscape like New York and, more broadly, throughout 21st-century America.

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“Show the Girls the Snakes!” – Watch as The Kitchen Sisters and Frances McDormand Charm the Library of Congress

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The American Folklife Center was delighted to relaunch our in-person Botkin Lectures on September 15 with a major event in the Coolidge Auditorium here at the Library of Congress. The evening presentation, which was part of the Live! At the Library series, featured the renowned documentarians The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva) in conversation with their friend and collaborator, the Academy-Award-winning actor Frances McDormand.  Fortunately, if you were unable to attend -- or you want to hear it again – the entire event was recorded on video, and you can watch it right in this blog post!

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

The Kitchen Sisters and Frances McDormand Live at the Library of Congress September 15

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The American Folklife Center is delighted to announce a live program at the Library of Congress: Live! at the Library: The Kitchen Sisters with Frances McDormand Stories from the B Side of History Presented by Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress September 15, 2022, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Library of Congress, Coolidge Auditorium This event is part of the Live! at the Library series and the Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series. Admission is free, but attendees must secure tickets at the link provided in this blog post. All the info is in the post!

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Botkin Folklife Lectures Plus: Camille Moreddu on French American Traditions

Posted by: Stephen Winick

This post features a lecture by Camille Moreddu, a cultural historian from France who is studying what she calls the "French Creole Corridor," French-speaking communities, primarily in the Upper Midwest, which retained fascinating French music and song recorded by collectors in the 20th and 21st centuries. In her lecture. Moreddu reviews the repertoire found in these and related collections--from Great Lakes voyageurs’ songs and French-Canadian fiddle tunes to the ballads, winter ritual songs, and local songs of the Creole settlements of the Upper Mississippi River Valley. She also discusses methods and experiences of the different collectors; the histories of colonial era Francophone settlers as well as later immigrants from France, Belgium, and Canada; and how the French cultural presence was integrated into the narrative and historiography of the American frontier. We also conducted a brief question and answer session with Moreddu, and appended it to the lecture video itself. Moreddu kindly did her lecture twice--once in English and once in French--to make it as accessible as possible to people with an interest in these collections, and we did the Q & A in both languages too!

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

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

Posted by: Stephen Winick

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 & 2.  Registration is required, but don't worry...you'll find the registration links down near the bottom of this post!