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.
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!
The American Folklife Center is pleased to announce the return of live events in our Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series! The first onsite Botkin lecture in over two years will be Wednesday, September 7, at 4:00 pm in the Whittall Pavilion, and will feature the renowned documentary photographer Martha Cooper.
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!
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!