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Work and Transformation: Documenting Working Americans

Symposium Co-Sponsored by the American Folklife Center and the
Institute for Museum and Library Services

December 6-7, 2010
Thomas Jefferson Building, Room 119
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540

Schedule

Monday, December 6, 2010
Room 119, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress

Webcast View the webcast of the opening remarks, panels 1 and 2, and the keynote address. Running time 03:40:00.
   
1:00-1:30 Welcome and Introduction:
  • Peggy Bulger, Director, American Folklife Center [biography]
  • Marsha Semmel, Deputy Director for Museum Services, Director for Strategic Partnerships, IMLS [biography]
   
1:30-2:15 Panel 1: Archie Green Fellows, Presentation #1: Heartland Passage: Work and Workers on New York State's Erie Canal
Folklorist Steven Zeitlin [biography], the first of four 2010 Archie Green Fellows and the Executive Director of CityLore in New York City, will discuss his documentation project concerning the modern Erie Canal, and the implications of his research for a broader understanding of work in contemporary America. He will be accompanied by Captain Steve Wunder of the tugboat Seneca [biography].

Presenter: David Taylor, Head, Research and Programs, American Folklife Center [biography]
   
2:15-2:30 Break
   
2:30-4:00  Panel 2: Documenting a Transformative Moment: Stories and Statistics about Work
What do work-related narratives tell us about the current historical moment? How can stories and statistics be blended together more effectively? How does the transformation of documentary media (including digital formats and social networking media) change the roles played by scholars and creators?

  • Robert McCarl (Archie Green Fellow) Boise State University [biography]
  • Richard D'Abate, Executive Director, Maine Historical Society, "Maine Memory Network" [biography]
  • D'Vera Cohn, Senior Writer, Pew Research Center [biography]
  • Facilitator: Lynda DeLoach, National Labor College [biography]
   
4:00-5:00 Keynote Presentation: Steven Greenhouse, Labor and Workplace Reporter, The New York Times [biography]

Introduction: Kurt Dewhurst, Michigan State University and Chair, American Folklife Center Board of Trustees [biography]
   
5:30-7:00 Reception: James Madison Building, First Floor, Madison Hall

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Room 119, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress

Webcast View the webcast of panels 3 and 4. Running time 02:51:58.
   
9:00-9:05 Welcome
   
9:05-9:30 Occupational Traditions and the Culture of Work: A Survey of Archival Collections Held by the American Folklife Center, presented by Michael Taft, Head of the Archive, American Folklife Center
   
9:30-10:15  Panel 3: Archie Green Fellows, Presentation #2: Routes to Recovery
2010 Archie Green Fellows Nick Spitzer [biography] and Maureen Loughran [biography], producers of the popular nationally-broadcast radio program American Routes, will discuss their project to document working musicians in New Orleans, and the implications of this research for a broader understanding of work in contemporary America. They will be accompanied by Derrick Tabb of the renowned Rebirth Brass Band.

Presenter: David Taylor, Head, Research and Programs, American Folklife Center [biography]
   
10:15-10:30  Break
   
10:30-12:00 Panel 4: Culture at Work: Art, Humanities, and the 21st Century Workforce
What are the roles of arts and humanities workers (scholars, artists, administrators, etc.) and cultural institutions in training the workforce of the 21st century? What do they offer?

  • Nick Spitzer (Archie Green Fellow), producer of American Routes [biography]
  • Mary Boone, State Librarian of North Carolina, "Project Compass" [biography]
  • Sunil Iyengar, Director, Office of Research and Analysis, National Endowment for the Arts [biography]
  • Jeffrey Groen, Research Economist, Employment Research and Program Development, Bureau of Labor Statistics [biography]
  • Facilitator: Nancy Rogers, Senior Project Coordinator, Strategic Partnerships, IMLS [biography]
   
12:00-1:10 Lunch on your own
   
Webcast View the webcast of panels 5, 6, and 7 and the closing remarks. Running time 03:08:16.
   
1:10-1:15 Welcome back
   
1:15-2:00 Panel 5: Archie Green Fellows, Presentation #3: Lana Turner, Cold Toads, Why Cedars Need Cottonwoods, Stoplights a Mile Underground and that Damn Superfund!: Pedaling Idaho's Silver Valley in Search of the Resource Commons
2010 Archie Green Fellow Robert McCarl [biography], Boise State University, will discuss his documentation project concerning the mining communities of Idaho's Silver Valley, the changing nature of mining, the role of unions, and the miners' evolving relationship to the local ecology movement as both try to improve conditions in one of the US's largest superfund sites.

Presenter: Stephen Winick, Writer/Editor, American Folklife Center [biography]
   
2:00-3:30 Panel 6: Looking Back, Looking Forward: The Future of Work
How are long-standing occupations and older workers adapting to changing circumstances and contexts? What can we learn from this? What are the educational and work opportunities for youth in the coming decade?

  • Steven Zeitlin (Archie Green Fellow), Director, CityLore, New York City [biography]
  • Jennifer Correa, Manager of the Science Career Ladder Program,  New York Hall of Science [biography]
  • Donna Rothstein, Research Economist, Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics [biography]
  • Facilitator: Mark Popovich, Hitachi Foundation [biography]
   
3:30-3:45 Break
   
3:45-4:55 Panel 7: Closing Roundtable: Documenting the Future Workplace
How can we best document the contemporary American workplace and follow its transformation in the future? Can we use ethnographic and descriptive information to inform policy and shape resources, and at the same time generate data for future researchers?

  • Kurt Dewhurst, Chair, American Folklife Center Board of Trustees [biography]
  • Joyce Ray, Associate Deputy Director of Discretionary Programs, IMLS [biography]
  • Michael Taft, Head of the American Folklife Center Archive [biography]
  • Mary Chute, Deputy Director for Library Services, IMLS [biography]
  • Facilitator: Christina Barr, Executive Director, Nevada Humanities [biography]
   
4:55-5:00 Closing Remarks:

  • Nancy Groce, Folklife Specialist, American Folklife Center [biography]

 

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