Western States Folklore Society 2013 Annual Meeting
Date: April 19-20, 2013
Location: University of California, San Diego in La Jolla CA
The deadline for abstracts is March 1, 2013. This year's theme is "Folklore in a Digital Age."
For more information visit http://www.westernfolklore.org/Meetings.html
The 2013 Annual Meeting of the American folklore Society (AFS)
Will be held on October16-19 in Providence, Rhode Island. The theme for the meeting, on which presentations will be encouraged but not required, is "Cultural Sustainability". For more information, please visit the AFS website.
"Back to the Newly-Digital Networked Normal"
Tuesday,May 14, 2013, 4:00 p.m.
Location: Knight Library Browsing Room
“Back to the Newly-Digital Networked Normal”-- Probably from the very beginning of recorded history, we humans have been busily devising ever more complex ways to interact with each other. From physical mimicry, to oral narration and musical instruments, to books, movies, TV, and now—as so many have been quick to point out—these so-called “new” media. Termed “new folk culture” by Harvard law professor Yochai Benkler and “participatory culture” by media scholar Henry Jenkins, analysts are celebrating the new normal of network communication. But is it really new? Or has the age of durable media and commercial broadcasts only been an awkward silence in the long chatter of human history? If so, that silence has been broken by a digital roar. We can hear it in everything from homemade videos of ourselves playing guitar licks on YouTube to advice about how to treat sick kids in network forums. But this raucous situation is really only a return to our normal state of being: humans connecting through ongoing acts of communication that create a vernacular web of signification. And with this happy return, old questions re-emerge. How do we judge “expert” and “amateur” expression in this new network free-for-all? Who is disempowered and who is empowered by such judgments? As researchers and teachers, what do we professional academics do for a globalized community that may no longer need us? From protestors tweeting on the streets of Tunisia to Oregon teenagers sharing their videos on Facebook, all of us can again place the highest value on spinning our own webs of signification. In that daily spinning of communication and meaning, maybe we will discover ourselves more tightly bound together; a global web that both tolerates the diversity of individuals and values the connections that weave us into a single human community.
Robert Glenn Howard (PhD, University of Oregon, 2001) is Professor of Communication Arts and Director of the Folklore Program at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. In 2012, he co-founded the Digital Studies Program at Wisconsin after winning a 2.2 million dollar grant to improve academic education in Wisconsin. His teaching and publications span several fields including Communication, Folklore Studies, Journalism, and Religious Studies. Most broadly, his research seeks to uncover the possibilities and limits of empowerment through everyday expression in network communication technologies by focusing on the intersection of individual agency and participatory performance. He combines rhetorical theory, critical cultural theories, as well as theories of performance and performativity with network graphing methods as well as more traditional ethnography. Howard is the author of over 30 academic articles and has published three books: Digital Jesus (2011), Network Apocalypse (2011), and Tradition in the 21st Century (2013).
Traveling Shows: Children's Books, Émigré Artists, and the Avante-Garde
“Traveling Shows: Children's Books, Émigré Artists, and the
Avant-Garde," a lecture by JoAnn Conrad, UC Berkeley.
May 30, 2013
4:00 p.m. EMU
Sponsor: Folklore Program
Information: (541) 346-3946.
Among children's books illustrators in the United States in the 20th
century, many were recent émigrés from Eastern Europe. Fleeing the
Russian Revolution, pogroms, the Nazis, or seeking out the vibrant art
communities in Western Europe, these artists' paths to the U.S. were
circuitous, and often the U.S. was not necessarily the planned
destination. Along the way, all seem to have been part of artistic and
ideological movements in Europe, particularly the avant-garde.
In the U.S., many of these artists were employed in the corporate world
of the Golden Books--the publisher of cheap, mass produced children's
books directed at middle class consumers. Thus, despite coming from an
avant-garde background, these artists now found themselves not only
involved in radical capitalism and consumerism, but as agents in the
mythologizing of a particular vision of America. From the corporate
standpoint, these artists held value because they worked for cheap and
because their productions evoked nostalgia for the "old world" that
satisfied American expectations at the time.
But since many of these expatriates were of Jewish heritage, their
artwork also evokes the echoes of now-destroyed shtetl life and of the
Russian countryside, overlain by the artistic experimentation of the
1920s. These artists incorporated traces of a now vanished homeland in
their images, which were unremarkably incorporated into mainstream
Americana. Their art also displays a residual sensibility about the
nature of art and its perception, and the role of art in shaping a new
society that comes from this radical European past. As this lecture
demonstrates, their visual experiences spill out over the page and call
the viewer into an emotional and experiential relationship that makes
the narrative almost irrelevant.
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JoAnn Conrad received her PhD in Folklore from UC Berkeley under the
direction of Alan Dundes. As a folklorist and anthropologist, her research is tied to the study of narrative--particularly the use of
narrative to "make sense" of the world around us and the way that
narrative renders cultural constructions apparently "natural." Her work
includes investigating the use of folklore in ethno-political identity
issues in Kazakhstan and among the Sami of Norway; the use of
cartographic images to shape "reality;" as well as film and fairy tale.
Most recently, her work has focused on 20th century émigré artists who
found employment illustrating children's books in the United States, and
who not only introduced a new, modern, avant-garde sensibility, but also
challenged conventional attitudes towards children's books, while, at
the same time, contributing to their commodification.
"Living Memory, Embodied Ancestors: Ethnographic Research in the Italian Diaspora"
Luisa del Giudice, Director of the Italian Oral History Institute
Thursday, April 4, 2013, 4:00 p.m.
Location: EMU Walnut Room
"Living Memory, Embodied Ancestors: Ethnographic Research in the Italian Diaspora"--
“The dead are not dead,” wrote twentieth century Senegalese poet, Birago Diop (1906-1989), translating from the French: “the dead are never gone;/ they are in the shadows./The dead are not in earth; /they’re in the hut, in the crowd,/the dead are not dead.” How and why do we engage these voices of the past, and how are ancestral memories embodied? This lecture examines the dialogic rapport with our past: what do the ancestors want from me and what would I/we ask of them? It specifically addresses the issue of displaced and misplaced identities, collective cultural neuroses, and somatized trauma--in this case in a transnational life poised between Italy (Terracina) and the diaspora (Toronto, Canada; Los Angeles, California).
Luisa Del Giudice is an Independent Scholar, has taught at UCLA and Addis Ababa Univ., Ethiopia, and was Founder and Director of the Italian Oral History Institute. She has published and lectured widely on Italian and Italian American and Canadian folklife, ethnology, oral history, and has produced many public programs in Los Angeles (e.g., Performing Ecstasies: Music, Dance and Ritual in the Mediterranean; Italian Jews: Memory, Music, Celebration; Watts Towers Common Ground Initiative). Among her monographs and sound recordings: Cecilia: Testi e contesti di un canto narrativo tradizionale; Studies in Italian American Folklore; Italian Traditional Song; Il canto narrativo al Brallo; Imagined States: Nationalism, Utopia, and Longing in Oral Cultures (ed. with Gerald Porter); Performing Ecstasies: Music, Dance, and Ritual in the Mediterranean (ed. with Nancy Van Deusen); Oral History, Oral Culture and Italian Americans (Palgrave). Forthcoming: In Search of Abundance: Paesi di Cuccagna and Other Gastronomic Utopias (Bordighera); Sabato Rodia's Watts Towers: Art, Migrations, Development (Fordham UP). She was President of the Kommission für Volksdichtung (Ballad Commission), a member of the SIEF Executive Board, and is on the Executive Council of the American Italian Historical Association. In 2008 she was named a Fellow of the American Folklore Society and Knighted (Cavaliere) by the President of the Republic of Italy.
"Applied Humanities: Revisiting the Divide"
Peter Tokofsky, J. Paul Getty Museum
Thursday, January 17
4:00 p.m., Knight Library Browsing Room
Economic and employment realities are prompting some leading humanities programs to reconsider the training of graduate students with a goal of preparing them for a variety of employment options in applied humanities fields, such as museums. The debate between “pure” humanities and “life beyond the tenure track” has dominated discussions at recent meetings of the Modern Language Association, the American Historical Association, and within various other fields.
In this talk, Dr. Peter Tokofsky revisits debates over distinctions between the two spheres, which played out in disciplines such as folklore studies and art history in the 80s and 90s, and he reflects on current arguments from the perspective of someone whose own career straddles the academic and applied humanities divide.
Peter Tokofsky directs academic programs and the public speaker series at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Tokofsky is also adjunct associate professor of Germanic Languages at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has published extensively on the history of folklore studies and carnival celebrations in German-speaking Europe. He directs UCLA’s summer travel study program to Vienna, Munich, and Berlin.
Presented by the UO Folklore Program and sponsored by the Oregon Humanities Center, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of Academic Affairs, the UO Libraries, the Comparative Literature Program, the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, the Humanities Program, the Department of History, the Arts and Administration Program, and the Department of English.
Social Justice Real Justice Conference
The Social Justice, Real Justice Conference (SJRJ) takes place on Thursday, February 14 through Saturday, February 16. The goal of the conference is to provide a space in which students, faculty, community organizations, marginalized communities and allies can come together to speak openly on the issues that underrepresented groups are faced with regionally, nationally and globally. During the conference students and faculty can network with community organizations to provide practical, hands-on approaches to those who want to further their own involvement in activism and organizing. The SJRJ is excited to announce it keynote speakers, which include Dr. Cornel West, Sra., Delores Huerta, Winona Laduke, with Robin Kelly and David Barsarmian. The conference will also include musical performances by Dead Prez, Rocky Rivera, and Climbing PoeTree.
All of those who wish to attend the conference must register.
Registration is free and easy. For more information about the conference, including the issues that will be covered and background information on keynote speakers, please click here. For any additional questions, feel free to contact SJRJ organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is up now!
Detailed information is available.
POSTER1 and POSTER 2
"West of Center: The Intentional Communities of Oregon and the Legacy of Jim Kopp”
Timothy Miller, University of Kansas
Friday, February 22, 3:00 p.m.
Location: Knight Library Browsing Room
Dr. Timothy Miller, professor of Religious Studies, University of Kansas, examines the intentional communities in Oregon, including the lesbian land communities featured in West of Center. He also discusses Kopp’s research to uncover and preserve that important history. Sponsored by Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, and the UO Folklore Program.
"Apocalypse Now...and Then" Films
October 3: Dr. Strangelove
October 10: The Seventh Seal
October 17: Melancholia
October 24: Children of Men
October 31: The Rapture
November 7: The Omega Man
November 14: Take Shelter
November 21: Night of the Comet
Every Wednesday, 7 pm
This film series is sponsored by the UO Folklore Program and held in conjunction with the course “Apocalypse Now and Then: The End of the World in American Culture and Consciousness.” For information, contact Folklore Program Director Daniel Wojcik: email@example.com; 346-3946.
Past Campus Events (Click Here)