TITLE: Work & Transformation: Panels 3 & 4
SPEAKER: Michael Taft, Nick Spitzer, Maureen Loughran, David A. Taylor , Mary Boone, Sunil Iyengar, Jeffrey Groen, Nancy Rogers
EVENT DATE: 12/07/2010
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 171 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
This symposium featured presentations by the 2010 recipients of the American Folklife Center's Archie Green Fellowships on their research and documentation of the culture and traditions of American workers in New York, Idaho, and Louisiana. Panels also included representatives of community-based documentation projects supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services concerning the role of America's libraries and museums as vibrant centers for the documentation of oral history and the development of 21st century skills. Speakers also included social and economic policymakers, who explored the value of using personal narratives about work to address broader social issues.
Speaker Biography: Michael Taft is head of the archive of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. He holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland and an MLIS from the University of Alberta. While he has spent the last fifteen years as an ethnographic archivist, with previous positions as curator of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina and archivist at the Vermont Folklife Center, he spent twenty-five years as a folklore professor, fieldworker and researcher. Among his work on occupational traditions, he studied professional musicians in Newfoundland, dance teachers in Saskatchewan, movie theater employees in Saskatoon, university professors at the University of Saskatchewan, librarians in Edmonton, and archaeologists in Nova Scotia.
Speaker Biography: Nick Spitzer, a 2010 Archie Green Fellowship recipient, is a folklorist, and the producer and host of American Routes, a weekly 2-hour public radio program devoted to vernacular music and culture that reaches nearly a million listeners each week. He is also a professor of American studies and communication at Tulane University. He specializes in American music and the cultures of the Gulf South. He received a PhD in anthropology from the University of Texas. Prior to his current work, Spitzer was a senior folklife specialist at the Smithsonian and served as artistic director for the Folk Masters concert and broadcast series from Carnegie Hall and Wolf Trap. During the Clinton years, he directed the annual American Roots Independence Day Concert on the National Mall, broadcast live on NPR. He remains a contributor to NPR's All Things Considered and has worked as a commentator on vernacular American music and culture with Peter Jennings, for CNN, CBS's Sunday Morning and PBS's Great Performances. His work as a folklorist was profiled in 2002 on ABC's Nightline, the same year he was awarded the Benjamin Botkin Prize in public folklore. In 2002 he co-curated the exhibit "Raised to the Trade": Creole Building Arts of New Orleans at the New Orleans Museum of Art. He is an essayist and co-editor of Public Folklore (with Robert Baron, 2007) and co-author of Blues for New Orleans: Mardi Gras and America's Creole Soul (with Roger Abrahams, John Szwed, and Robert Ferris Thompson, 2006). In 2006, Spitzer was named Louisiana Humanist of the Year for his cultural-recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina.
Speaker Biography: Maureen Loughran, a 2010 Archie Green Fellowship recipient and senior producer for the nationally syndicated radio series American Routes, is an ethnomusicologist who studies popular music and media in the United States. At American Routes she maintains the archive and assists with various research projects. She has a B.M. in Music Theory and Literature from Saint Mary's College, Indiana. After college, Maureen lived in Ireland, where she earned a Higher Diploma in Irish Folklore from University College, Dublin, and an MA in Irish Studies from Catholic University. She interned with both the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and The Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin. In 2008, she completed her PhD in ethnomusicology at Brown University, with a study of punk activism and underground radio in Washington, DC. Loughran is also a founding member of the sound art/documentary collective, the D.C. Listening Lounge.
Speaker Biography: David A. Taylor is the head of Research and Programs at the American Folklife Center. His work includes planning and carrying out research projects and public programs concerned with American, ethnic, regional, and occupational cultures; providing technical and reference assistance to cultural institutions and individual researchers; and leading the Center's research and programs unit He also serves as the head of acquisitions for the Center's archive, the nation's first archive devoted to traditional life, one of the largest repositories of its kind in the world. He is the founder and director of the Center's annual field school for cultural documentation, which was launched in 1994. He has directed a number of team-based, multi-disciplinary, field-documentation projects for the Center, including the Italian-Americans in the West Project (1989-1992), the Maine Acadian Cultural Survey (1991), and the Working in Paterson Project (1994). He has served as a member of the United States delegation to the World Intellectual Property Organization's intergovernmental committee on folklore, traditional knowledge and genetic resources. His areas of specialization include field research methodology, material culture, maritime culture, and occupational culture.
Speaker Biography: Mary Boone is the state librarian of North Carolina. She will discuss Project Compass, a one-year initiative launched in 2009 to gather and share best practices among state libraries nationally for providing library-based employment services and programs to the unemployed. Read more about Project Compass on her weblog, Mary Boone in Her Library.External Link Also, a monograph by Betha Gutsche, A Year with Project Compass, is available online.
Speaker Biography: Sunil Iyengar is director of the Office of Research and Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. Since his arrival at the NEA in 2006, his office has produced such reports as "The Arts and Civic Engagement: Involved in Arts, Involved in Life" (2006), "Artists in the Workforce: 1990-2005" (2008), "All the World's A Stage: Growth and Challenges in Nonprofit Theater" (2008), and "Reading on the Rise: A New Chapter in American Literacy" (2009). Besides supervising all research reports, brochures, and technical notes, he is the primary author of "To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence" (2007), and he revised the guide "How the United States Funds the Arts" for its most recent edition (2007). He regularly speaks with arts groups, educators, researchers, and journalists about the results and implications of NEA research. Before joining the NEA, Iyengar worked as a reporter, managing editor, and senior editor for a host of news publications covering the biomedical research, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries. He writes poetry, and his book reviews have appeared in numerous prestigious national publications. Iyengar has a BA in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Speaker Biography: Jeffrey Groen is a research economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He has written articles on labor and demographics related to employment, geographic mobility, and higher education. His research has examined the economic and demographic effects of Hurricane Katrina with a focus on the experiences of evacuees. He recently co-authored the book "Educating Scholars: Doctoral Education in the Humanities" (with Ronald Ehrenberg, Harriet Zuckerman, and Sharon Brucker, 2009), which describes the effects of the Graduate Education Initiative, a ten-year project of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to improve graduate education in the humanities. He has a PhD in economics from the University of Michigan and a BS in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Speaker Biography: Nancy Rogers is currently serving as IMLS/NEH senior project coordinator for Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action, a major initiative launched by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to shine a spotlight on the need for improved collections care in the nation's museums and libraries. She also coordinates partnership projects with StoryCorps and the Salzburg Global Seminar. For over a decade, she was director of Public Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities, where she was in charge of grants for museum exhibitions, library programs, film and radio series in the humanities, and projects involving such groups as senior citizens, rural families, and at-risk youth. A graduate of Coker College, Rogers received a PhD in French literature from the George Washington University. She is a specialist on the novels of George Sand and has published widely on Sand, Germaine de Sta'l, Balzac, Stendhal, Jane Austen, Kate Chopin, and other 19th-century writers. She is currently translating George Sand's Nanon (1872) and writing a critical introduction to the novel. Rogers is the recipient of an NEH Fellowship-in-Residence at Princeton University, and two Independent Study, Research, and Development awards. She is the author of two books on American English style and more than 30 articles and reviews.