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Benjamin A. Botkin head and shoulders portrait
Folklorist Benjamin A. Botkin, 1926. Photo courtesy of the Botkin family.
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Benjamin A. Botkin Folklife Lecture Series

Through the Benjamin A. Botkin Folklife Lecture Series, the American Folklife Center (AFC) presents distinguished experts speaking about their research and current issues and best practices in folklore, folklife, ethnomusicology, and related fields. Lectures are recorded for the AFC archive and posted on the Library's website. (See below for list of speakers and topics.) The series honors Benjamin A. Botkin (1901-1975), a pioneering folklorist who headed the Library's Archive of American Folksong from 1942-1945.


2018 Botkin Lectures

American Folklife Center Summer Music Jam (Irish)

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Three men, each holding an instrument: a violin, an accordion, and an Irish drum (bodhrán)
Michael Winch, Terence Winch, and Jesse Winch
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July 28, 2018, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Veterans History Project Information & Welcome Center (LJ-G51)
Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress

The American Folklife Center is hosting a series of informal jams to celebrate our living folk traditions, and to bring to life the collections from our vast ethnographic archive. All sessions will include a short tour of the resources available to musicians in the Center's Folklife Reading Room. So grab your fiddles, whistles, accordions, or whatever other instruments you play and come on over to the Library of Congress for the second jam, dedicated to Irish music. The session will be led by the Winch family, brothers Jesse (bouzouki and bodhrán) and Terence (accordion), founders of the celebrated Irish band Celtic Thunder, and Terence's son Michael, a member of the Bog Band and a composer of theater scores. The jam will feature well known Irish session standards as well as tunes mined from the American Folklife Center Archive.  

Request ADA accommodations five days in advance at 202-707-6362 or [email protected]

 

Philadelphia Folklore Project: Sustaining Community Cultural and Artistic Practices
Including a Screening of the Film Because Of The War 

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 Because of the War, A film by Tony Shapiro-Phim. Artwork shows four women surrounded by flowers.
Because of the War
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August 9, 2018, 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Pickford Theatre, Third Floor
James Madison Memorial Building

This presentation and film screening features an overview of the influential Philadelphia Folklore Project, followed by a screening of PFP's recently completed documentary Because of the War, with Selina Morales, Philadelphia Folklore Project director; Toni Shapiro-Phim, cultural anthropologist and filmmaker; and Fatu Gayflor, performer and artistic director of the Liberian Women’s Chorus For Change


The Philadelphia Folklore Project

Since 1987, the Philadelphia Folklore Project has worked to sustain vital and diverse living cultural heritage in communities in the Philadelphia region through collaborative projects, research, documentation, and education, prioritizing folk and traditional arts in service of social change. Philadelphia Folklore Project staff members identify local folk artists and support their artistic growth; produce public programs advancing folk artists and traditions significant to Philadelphia communities; develop education programs benefiting children and adults; and document outstanding practitioners and practices. This presentation will include a screening of the Folklore Project's latest production: the documentary film, Because of the War, which tells the stories of four Liberian women who have been using their music to address injustice and inspire action for social change. Survivors of Liberia's civil wars, they are accomplished, brilliant singers—as well as mothers, refugees, immigrants, and Africans – who haven't stopped contributing positively to the world, no matter the obstacles. Because of the War documents the power of traditional songs to make meaningful connections between and among people, and to help rebuild communities impacted by violence and migration. A discussion session with the filmmaker and featured artist follows the screening.

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Fatu Gayflor, singing
Fatu Gayflor
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Fatu Gayflor

Fatu Gayflor is an award-winning singer from Liberia. She was a principal member of Liberia’s National Cultural Troupe, the country’s premiere performing arts ensemble, in the 1970s and 1980s, and became a very successful recording artist. Now a resident of the United States, where she has lived since 1998, she performs at Liberian community events across the country. In 2013 Fatu co-founded and became the artistic director of the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change, an ensemble of highly accomplished Liberian women singers, dancers and songwriters, all based in Philadelphia.

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Selina Morales
Selina Morales
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Selina Morales

Selina Morales is a public folklorist, and the director of the Philadelphia Folklore Project, where she tends the folk arts and social justice mission of the organization and collaborates with colleagues to develop innovative programming. Selina completed her MA in Folklore at Indiana University. She is a faculty member of the Master of Arts in Cultural Sustainability program at Goucher College. Selina has been an invited speaker in university and community settings on social justice and folklore, urban folklore, Caribbean folk healing and belief, public folklore, and collaborative exhibition design.

 

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Toni Shapiro-Phim holding a camera
Toni Shapiro-Phim
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Toni Shapiro-Phim

Toni Shapiro-Phim received a PhD in cultural anthropology from Cornell University. Her dissertation, books, and other publications focus on the history and cultural context of dance and music around the world, particularly in relation to violence, migration, conflict transformation, and gender concerns. Toni serves as Director of Programs at the Philadelphia Folklore Project where she conducts ethnographic research, curates exhibitions, and produces performances, humanities forums, and publications highlighting aspects of the cultural practices of Philadelphia’s diverse communities. Because of the War is her first film.

 

American Folklife Center Summer Music Jam and Mini-Concert (Ballads)

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Bobby McMillon
Bobby McMillon
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August 10, 2018, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Whittall Pavilion, Ground floor
Thomas Jefferson Building

The American Folklife Center is hosting a series of informal jams to celebrate our living folk traditions, and to bring to life the collections from our vast ethnographic archive. The third in this series will be a ballad sing. The first part of this event will feature a mini-concert by the famed North Carolina traditional singers Rick Ward and Bobby McMillon. Then we’ll go around the room and everyone can sing their favorite ballad.


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Rick Ward
Rick Ward
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Rick Ward, of the well known Ward family of Beech Mountain, North Carolina, continues his long-established family musical and instrument-building traditions. Ballad singer and storyteller Bobby McMillon of Burnsville, North Carolina, is a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award recipient and has appeared at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the A.P. Carter Memorial Festival.

Request ADA accommodations five days in advance at 202-707-6362 or [email protected]

 

Botkin Lecture Series Past Events Archive

Includes descriptions of each lecture, photos, and informational essays from the event flyers. Links to webcasts of lectures are included as available.

2018 Lecture Series

2017 Lecture Series

2016 Lecture Series

2015 Lecture Series

2014 Lecture Series

2013 Lecture Series

2012 Lecture Series

2011 Lecture Series

2010 Lecture Series

2009 Lecture Series

2008 Lecture Series

2007 Lecture Series

2006 Lecture Series

2005 Lecture Series

2004 Lecture Series

 

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   July 17, 2018
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