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Category: Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series

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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!

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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!

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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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Alan Jabbour 1942 – 2017

Posted by: Stephen Winick

On behalf of the American Folklife Center, I’m very sad to pass on the news of the death of our founding director, Alan Jabbour. Alan was a folklorist, fiddler, fieldworker, and friend of the highest caliber, and he will be missed at AFC and around the world. AFC’s current director, Betsy Peterson, expressed the feelings …

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James P. Leary and Folksongs of Another America

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The following installment in Botkin Folklife Lectures Plus post introduces James P. Leary, a distinguished folklorist and researcher who has published extensively on Library of Congress collections in the American Folklife Center. In addition to his lecture video, it includes photos, audio, and video from AFC's collections of Midwestern folk music, including Croatian, French, Scandinavian, Oneida, English, Welsh, and other ethnic groups. Most of the quotations from Leary in this article come from an email interview we did in July 2015, but I also quote occasionally from the lecture itself, which is also here as an embedded video.

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

Thoughts on Martin Luther King Day

Posted by: Stephen Winick

On Monday, January 19, we will be celebrating the Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States. King, the foremost leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, was actually born eighty-six years ago today: January 15, 1929.  The Civil Rights Movement has struggled and continues to struggle for equal rights for all people, …

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

The Lomaxes’ 1934 French Louisiana Recordings Go Online

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The following is a guest post by Joshua Caffery, who was the John W. Kluge Center’s Alan Lomax Fellow until April 2014.  Caffery is a scholar of vernacular traditions in Louisiana, as well as an archivist and a musician. He is the author of Traditional Music in Coastal Louisiana: The 1934 Lomax Recordings, and the …