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  • Film, Video
    Botkin Lecture: Songs and Tunes from the French Creole Corridor French cultural historian Camille Moreddu presents an overview of the American Folklife Center's collections of songs and music recorded in various Midwestern French-American communities during the first half of the 20th century. She 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...
    • Contributor: Winick, Stephen - Moreddu, Camille
  • Film, Video
    And Wheat Completed the Cycle: Flour Mills, Social Memory, and Industrial Culture in Sonora, Mexico "The abandoned flour mills throughout the region," said a Mexican researcher interviewed during fieldwork in northern Mexico, "are the equivalent for Sonorans of the pyramids in Central Mexico." In this talk about her research as a Fulbright Fellow in Sonora, Mexico for the last nine months, folklorist and anthropologist Maribel Alvarez explores the role of wheat - a grain introduced by the Spanish to...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2010
  • Film, Video
    La Quinceanera: A Coming of Age Ritual in Latino Communities Norma Cantu, professor of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio, presented this talk as part of the Benjamin Botkin Lecture Series sponsored by the American Folklife Center. The Quinceanera, the traditional coming-of-age celebration for Latinas, is an an elegant party on the girl's 15th birthday, highlighting God, family, friends, music, food and dance. Many questions emerge as one looks at this...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2006
  • Film, Video
    Place and the Politics of Belonging One of America's greatest ironies is that, although a nation of immigrants, the country also has a longstanding history of ambivalence, and at times hostility, toward its newest arrivals. In the last decade, the increased number of immigrants living in new destinations, those settlements located outside the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, has coincided with an upsurge in local anti-immigrant sentiment.
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2010
  • Film, Video
    Taiko Drumming in Asian American Los Angeles Ethnomusicologist Deborah Wong offers a vivid introduction to the Japanese American and Asian American taiko scene in the greater Los Angeles area. Taiko is a contemporary form of ensemble drumming that is built on the foundation of traditional Japanese festival music. This new tradition is called kumi-daiko, or "group taiko," because taiko ensembles usually feature numerous drums of at least three different sizes played...
    • Contributor: Wong, Deborah
  • Film, Video
    Graffiti, Folklore and Community Life: Photographing Contemporary Culture In this two-part presentation, renowned photo documentarian Martha Cooper shares some of her favorite photographs and discuss her projects, approaches, and reflections on photography and documentation.
    • Contributor: Cooper, Martha
  • Film, Video
    Dick Spottswood: Mini Symposium The renowned discographer, researcher, author, broadcaster and scholar of folk and ethnic music Dick Spottswood participated in a two-part event at the Library, featuring an interview about his career and accomplishments followed by a panel with prominent Washington area folklorists, ethnomusicologists, discographers and archivists highlighting his numerous contributions to American music.
    • Contributor: Spottswood, Dick
  • Film, Video
    Picturing American Folk Masters Photographer Tom Pich and folklorist Barry Bergey, co-authors of the recently published book "Folk Masters: A Portrait of America," discuss their award-winning project. During the past 25 years, Pich has traveled across the country to the homes and studios of recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts' National Heritage Fellowships, the highest honor given to America's folk and traditional artists. His photographs provide...
    • Contributor: Bergey, Barry - Pich, Tom
  • Film, Video
    Reel Folk: Interview with Bernard MacMahon & Allison McGourty As a part of its "Reel Folk" event examining cultural explorations on film, Stephen Winick and Mary Sue Twohy interviewed Bernard MacMahon and Allison McGourty of the PBS "American Epic" documentary series. The series chronicles the period from the 1920s through the 1940s when collectors for both commercial record companies and public institutions like the Library sought and recorded traditional American roots music, including...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2017
  • Film, Video
    Voices from the Canefields: Folksongs from Japanese Immigrant Workers in Hawaii Drawing on research for his recent book, "Voices from the Canefields," author Franklin Odo situates over two hundred songs of Japanese immigrant workers in Hawaii, in translation, in a hitherto largely unexplored historical context. According to Odo, folk songs are short stories from the souls of common people. Some,like Mexican corridos or Scottish ballads reworked in the Appalachians, are stories of tragic or heroic...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2013
  • Film, Video
    A Conversation with Stetson Kennedy Pioneering folklorist, social activist and writer Stetson Kennedy, of Jacksonville, Fla., discussed his long and wide-ranging career and explored the theme of "Building Democracy in America" in a lecture presented by the American Folklife Center as part of its Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series. The event was co-sponsored by Holland & Knight LLP. The program was introduced by Peggy Bulger, director of the American...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2005
  • Film, Video
    Not the Same Old (Folk) Song and Dance: Field Recordings in the European Communities of the United States In the 1930s, Library of Congress fieldworkers recorded the folk music of non-English-speaking communities throughout the United States. There, they captured songs and styles that had died out in the lands of their birth, as well as emerging fusions of the ancient and modern. From the songs of a sacred Spanish mystery play performed in Texas to wild Polish wedding music played in Wisconsin,...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2006
  • Film, Video
    Force and Violins: What the FBI Had on Folksingers 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...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2008
  • Film, Video
    Decoration Day in the Mountains Decoration Day is a late spring or summer tradition that involves cleaning community cemeteries, decorating them with flowers, holding religious services in cemeteries, and having dinner on the ground. These commemorations seem to predate the post-Civil-War celebrations that ultimately gave us our national Memorial Day. Little has been written about this tradition, but it is still practiced widely throughout the Upland South, from North...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2011
  • Film, Video
    Collecting Jewish Cultural Treasures in a Post-WWII New York Lobby During the summer of 1948, only three years after the end of World War II, Ben Stonehill, a man devoted to Jewish culture, recorded recently-arrived Jewish survivors of the war who were temporarily housed in a hotel in upper Manhattan. The singers included men, women, and children. Stonehill collected over a thousand songs of many kinds: joyful as well as sad, mainly in Yiddish...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2013
  • Film, Video
    Home Canning: Cultural Narratives, Technological Change & the Status of Traditional Knowledge Drawing on filmstrips, posters, cartoons, newspaper captions, canning manuals, mail-order catalogs and other sources, Danille Christensen offered examples that explore how technological changes contributed to the dismissal or even demonization of women's experience-based domestic knowledge in the area of home canning. Shelf-stable canned goods -- heat-sterilized fruits, vegetables and meat preserved in sealed containers -- have been part of everyday American life since the...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2016
  • Film, Video
    Archie Green: The Making of a Working-Class Hero This talk explores the relationship between folklorist Archie Green's formative political experiences at home, at school, and at work during the "Age of the CIO" and his subsequent development of "laborlore" as a public-oriented interdisciplinary field.
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2012
  • Film, Video
    I'd Still be Puerto Rican, Even if Born on the Moon: Documenting Puerto Rican Migration & Community through the Arts This presentation tells the story of the Puerto Rican diaspora to the mainland U.S. during the 20th century and into the 21st through the lens of expressive culture. This history has been well recorded, but by drawing on the work of folk and traditional artists, as well as the work of contemporary artists, the speaker explores the traditions practiced or developed in New York...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2013
  • Film, Video
    Translating Africa in Global Contexts Although African myths and folktales have long been trivialized as childish, translators today are revealing new insights, which show that Africa led the world in the invention of the most sophisticated literary styles. Critics now particularly value the figurality, or use of metaphor, which dominates the African literary imagination. The ethics and politics of translating African oral literature, or folklore, are a microcosm of...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress
    • Date: 2010
  • Film, Video
    Alan Jabbour, 1942-2017: His Legacy in Folklife & Traditional Music Betsy Peterson, Carl Fleishhauer, David Furchgott, Ken Perlman, Stephen Wade and Karen Jabbour pay tribute to the life of Alan Jabbour, American musician, folklorist and founding director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2018
  • Film, Video
    Open Mic: Stories from StoryCorps In 2005, StoryCorps converted an Airstream trailer into a traveling recording studio -- a MobileBooth -- and launched its first cross-country tour, visiting cities and towns across the country to record the stories of the American people. Four StoryCorps staffers joined the American Folklife Center for this "Open Mic" discussion.
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2016
  • Film, Video
    Squeeze This! A Cultural History of the Accordion in America Polka, zydeco, and "Lady of Spain": If this is your idea of the only genres wherein the accordion flourishes, prepare to be enlightened by the history of this robust instrument's odyssey across the American musical landscape and its dramatic rise, fall, and rise again in 20th century popular culture.
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2012
  • Film, Video
    Global Gypsy: Balkan Romani Music, Appropriation & Representation Carol Silverman discussed the phenomenon of Balkan "Gypsy" music. In the last 20 years, the music has exploded in popularity, becoming a staple at world music festivals and dance clubs throughout the U.S. and Western Europe. At the same time, thousands of Balkan Roma (the ethnic group frequently referred to as "Gypsies") have emigrated westward due to deteriorating living conditions, and entrenched stereotypes have...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2016
  • Film, Video
    Old Cultures/New Contexts: Presenting the Traditional Music and Dance of Urban Immigrant Communities Ethnographer and performer Ethel Raim, co-founder and artistic director of New York's celebrated Center for Traditional Music and Dance (CTMD), discusses her five decades of work with community-based traditional artists in urban America. Beginning at a time when to most Americans "folk music" was practically synonymous with rural and Anglo-Saxon, Raim built on her own interests in Balkan music and dance to document and...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - Library of Congress. African and Middle Eastern Division
    • Date: 2008
  • Film, Video
    Listen to Our Story: Alan Lomax, Folk Producer/Folk Promoter Nathan Salsburg of he Association for Cultural Equity explores two key undertakings from this aspect of Lomax's career, his 1959 "Southern Journey" field-recording trip and its later ancillary, the American Patchwork video recording project (1978-1985). He argues that Lomax's technological, curatorial and promotional savvy were fundamental to the success of his mission. He also discusses the outlets that ACE has pursued, since Lomax's retirement...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2015