TITLE: Force and Violins: What the FBI Had on Folksingers
SPEAKER: David Dunaway
EVENT DATE: 2008/03/19
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 50 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Among the sufferings of those pursued during the McCarthy era, the situation of folksingers and folklorists was unique. Suspected by their government, they were hunted by the FBI almost everywhere. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, one can now know the extent of privacy crimes committed against Pete Seeger and other folklorists.
For more than 20 years, the FBI and CIA conducted surveillance on folk musicians and folklorists organizing the folksong revivals of the 1930s and 1940s. As a result of speaker David Dunaway's successful suit under the Freedom of Information Act, it is now possible to reveal that surveillance, the texts it generated, and how it affected history.
Speaker Biography: David King Dunaway received his first Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, studying folklore, history and literature. For the last 30 years he has been documenting the life and work of Pete Seeger, resulting in "How Can I Keep From Singing: Pete Seeger," published initially by McGraw Hill in 1981, and currently revised, updated and republished by Villard Press at Random House in March 2008. He has served as a visiting lecturer and Fulbright Scholar at the universities of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Copenhagen, Nairobi and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Author of a half dozen volumes of history and biography, his specialty is the presentation of folklore, literature and history via broadcasting. Over the last decade he has been executive producer in a number of national radio series for Public Radio International; his reporting appears in NPR's "Weekend Edition" and "All Things Considered." He is currently professor of English and broadcasting at the University of New Mexico.
SERIES: Benjamin Botkin Lecture Series