Text and Community Forum for AFS 2011 in Bloomington, Indiana. "Peace, War, Folkore" Theme.
Featured book: Storytelling on the Northern Irish Border: Characters and Community (Indiana University Press, 2008) by Ray Cashman, Ohio State University
Moderators: Margaret Yocom and Polly Stewart
Forum Participants: Ray Cashman, Carl Lindahl, Margaret Mills
Order Storytelling on the Northern Irish Border at amazon.com, $29 new, $19 used
Introduction to Storytelling on the Northern Irish Border:
Ray Cashman’s Storytelling on the Northern Irish Border: Characters and Community (Indiana, 2008) examines the “social work” of storytelling in an area of longtime conflict. This study discusses the telling of local character narratives as a community-based traditional practice that provides a counterweight to sectarian views and violent actions. His book has received the Chicago Folklore Prize from the American Folklore Society and the Donald Murphy Award from the American Conference for Irish Studies.
Ray Cashman is currently writing "Folklore as Personal Expression and Social Critique: Packy Jim, A Voice from the Irish Border."
From the Long Abstract proposal for Text and Community Forum at AFS 2011:
We propose to continue the “Text and Community” Forum that has occurred at ten previous American Folklore Society conferences.
We will offer conference attendees the opportunity to gather with folklore colleagues and discuss one main text, under the guidance of the author of the text, two discussants, and two co-moderators. Some of us in the Society, years away from graduate school, would like the chance again to sit with colleagues who share our vocational calling. Others of us who work as the only folklorist at an institution hunger for scholarly discussions of texts with folklore colleagues. Folklore graduate students would like the chance to discuss a text with folklorists from many different institutions. We want to restage this space where we have the chance to speak in detail about ideas that engage us.
Our primary aim is to encourage an intellectual discussion among a wide range of Society members (professionals at art commissions and museums, independent folklorists, university professors, etc.), and we have set up guidelines for choosing the text accordingly. Above all, we want a text with broad appeal. The main text could be from an area outside of folklore; if so, it will offer folklorists new perspectives on our scholarly endeavors. Or, the text could be a folklore text, either a new publication or an older text that we could talk about in new ways. Our text could be a book, an exhibit catalogue, a film, a CD, or another medium that the organizers choose. We may supplement the main text with a companion text and/or a contrastive reading. We invite scholars and, when possible, the author(s) of the book to be forum discussants.
This year, because of the conference ”Peace, War, Folklore” theme, we have chosen Ray Cashman’s Storytelling on the Northern Irish Border: Characters and Community (Indiana, 2008) that examines the “social work” of storytelling in an area of longtime conflict. This study discusses the telling of local character narratives as a community-based traditional practice that provides a counterweight to sectarian views and violent actions.
Before summer, one of our co-moderators will publish a page on her website that summarizes the reading and presents study questions. The co-moderators will tell Society members about our forum through electronic mail lists, including the AFS list. We encourage those planning to attend to read as much of the text as they can; people who have not read the book, however, are welcome.
At the Forum, we co-moderators will lay out our plans for the session, introduce our author and our discussant and facilitate the conversation. The author talks about his book, his fieldwork. Our discussants will speak for about seven minutes each. Most of the Forum will be group discussion. At the session’s end, we will discuss ideas for next year’s Forum. We have consistently chosen as our Forum text(s) materials that either develop the AFS Conference theme, or are written by one of the plenary speakers, or that address issues of interest to the region where the Conference is being held, or that are written by folklorists in that same region.
Past Text and Community Forums
- 2009. Boise, Idaho. Teresa Jordan's Riding the White Horse Home (NY: Vintage, 1994). Discussants: Teresa Jordan, Darcy Holtgrave, David Stanley. Conference theme: "Examining the Ethics of Place."
2007.Quebec City, QC, Canada. Julie
Cruikshank's Do Glaciers Listen?: Local Knowledge, Colonial
Encounters, And Social Imagination (University of Washington
Press, 2005). Discussants: Julie Cruikshank, Cristina Bacchilega, and
Tom Mould. Conference theme: "Politics and Practices
of Intangible Cultural Heritage."
2006. Milwaukee, WI. Henry Glassie’s The Stars
of Ballymenone (Indiana University Press, March 2006).
Henry Glassie will be present, and Ray Cashman will introduce
him. Discussants: Margaret Mills, Jo Radner, and Jack Santino.
Conference theme: "Homelands and Diasporas."
– 2005. Atlanta, GA. Once Upon A Virus: AIDS
Legends and Vernacular Risk Perception (Logan: Utah
State University Press, 2004) by Diane Goldstein. Panelists:
Diane Goldstein, Charles Briggs, and Cory Thorne. Co-sponsored
by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered Section of
AFS. Conference theme: "Folklore, Equal Access, and
– 2004. Salt Lake City, UT. Folklore and the Cultural
Landscape. WILSON, William and HUFFORD, Mary (University
of Pennsylvania). Reading Wallace Stegner, Mormon
Country , with an introduction by Richard W.
Etulain (Nebraska 2003) and Yi-Fu Tuan, Escapism
(Johns Hopkins, 1998).
2003. Albuquerque, NM. Chicana Traditions. CANTÚ,
Norma E. (University of Texas, San Antonio); NÁJERA-RAMÍREZ,
Olga (University of California, Santa Cruz); LUCERO, Helen
(National Hispanic Cultural Center); ROMERO, Brenda M. (University
of Colorado) Chicana Traditions: Continuity and Change
(Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002)
– 2002. Rochester, NY. Vernacular Photography. KIRSHENBLATT-GIMBLETT,
Barbara (New York University); BATCHEN, GEOFFREY. TEXT AND
COMMUNITY. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett will present “Kodak
Moments, Flashbulb Memories: Reflections on 9/11."
Participants are asked to read Chapter 3 "Vernacular
Photographies" of plenary speaker Geoffrey Batchen's
Each Wild Idea and visit Lorie Novak’s website
Collected Visions (http://cvisions.cat.nyu.edu) that explores
how photographs shape memories.
– 2001. Anchorage, AK. Collaborations among Native
and non-Native scholars. DAUENHAUER, Nora (Independent Scholar);
DAUENHAUER, Richard (Independent Scholar); MATHER, Elsie
(Independent Scholar); MORROW, Phyllis (University of Alaska);
TOELKEN, Barre (Utah State University). Discussion of Native
American Oral Traditions: Collaboration and Interpretation,
Larry Evers and Barre Toelken (USU, 2001) and Haa
Tuwunaagu Yis, For Healing Our Spirits: Tlingit Oratory
by Nora and Richard Dauenhauer (U WA, 1990).
– 1999. Nashville, TN. Heritage. KIRSHENBLATT-GIMBLETT,
Barbara (New York University). Discussion of Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s
1998 Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage
as well as a companion text (Karal Ann Marling, Graceland:
Going Home With Elvis)
– 1998. Place. KIRSHENBLATT-GIMBLETT, Barbara (New
York University). Discussion of Lucy Lippard’s 1997
study The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered
(Photo credit for the cover of "The Stars of Ballymenone":
Chris Meyer )