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 home >> about the center >> awards >> past recipients

Past Recipients of Research Awards

and Fellowships

Archie Green Fellowships


Nic Hartman, Southwest Folklife Alliance, Tucson, Arizona, for a study documenting the rich variety of people – from produce brokers to truck drivers to customs inspectors to multi-generational business owners–involved in the Nogales' century-old fresh produce industry, while also examining how social and economic changes affect (and will affect) the Arizona-Sonora borderland. 

John McKerley, Jennifer Sherer and the University of Iowa Labor Center, Iowa City, Iowa, to document the occupational culture of foreign-born workers to Iowa's meatpacking industry and explore the ways in which these men and woman have reshaped (and been reshaped by) the state's work culture and community life.

Christopher Mulé, Brooklyn Arts Council and Domestic Workers United, Brooklyn, New York. A team of folklorists will join with Domestic Workers United, an organization primarily representing Caribbean, Latina, and African nannies, housekeepers, homeworkers, and elder caregivers to document the experiences of domestic workers in the New York metropolitan area.


Bob Bussel, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Labor Education and the Research Center at the University of Oregon, to document the occupational culture of home-based health care workers caring throughout Oregon. Conducted with the support of the Service Employees International Union Local 503, which represents over 11,000 Oregon home care workers.

Dale Cahill and Darcy Cahill of Bakersfield, Vermont, to conduct oral history interviews with tobacco workers and tobaccos farm owners in the Connecticut River Valley.

Andy Kolovos and the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury, Vermont, to interview contemporary farmers, growers, local specialty food producers, and food marketers in the state of Vermont.

Maida Owens, Director of the Louisiana Folklife Program, and the Louisiana Folklore Society to interview workers, shopkeepers, and business owners in multigenerational small businesses and trades in the greater Baton Rouge area.


Brent Björkman, Kentucky Folklife Program, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky and Jon Kay, Traditional Arts Indiana, University of Indiana, Blooming, Indiana, to conduct ethnographic/oral history field interviews documenting park rangers working in Kentucky and Indiana.

Sara Jordan, independent scholar, Logan, Utah, to conduct interviews with housekeepers, many of them refugees and immigrant entry-level workers, employed by Utah’s health care and hospitality industries.

Lucy Long, Center for Food and Culture, Bowling Green, Ohio, to document the occupational folklore of ethnic grocery store owners and workers in five Midwestern cities (Toledo, Columbus, Cleveland, and Dayton, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan) and explore how ethnic groceries serve as community focal points and provide an interface between ethnic and mainstream American culture.

Anne Pryor, Mary Hoefferle, Ruth Olson, and Mark Wagler of Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture in Madison, Wisconsin, to document the occupational folklore and traditions of teaching in different sub-groups of Wisconsin teachers: elementary art teachers, fourth/fifth grade classroom.


Deborah Fant, Northwest Folklife, Seattle, Washington, in cooperation with the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO:  to document approximately 50 Washingtonians who work in diverse occupations throughout the state.

Hannah Harvester, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY), Canton, New York: to document the lives and changing relationships of dairy farmers and farm workers in New York's North Country.

Ellen McHale, independent scholar, Esperance, New York: to document the culture and traditions of "backstretch workers" – trainers, grooms, exercise riders, boot and "silk" makers, saddlers, hot walkers, etc. –  who work largely unseen at America's racetracks and horse farmers.

Murl Riedel, Kansas Humanities Council, Topeka, Kansas, in cooperation with the Wichita-Sedgwich County History Museum: to document the voices of Boeing workers and community members about their experiences at Boeing and the aircraft manufacturer’s impact on urban Kansas.

Candacy Taylor, independent scholar, 29 Palms, California: to document hairdressers and beauty shop workers in approximately 20 salons in five U.S. regions: California, Midwest, South, Northwest, and Northeast.


Pat Jasper, director of the Houston Folklife and Traditional Arts Program at the Houston Arts Alliance: to document the diverse culture of work associated with the Houston port and ship channel.

William Westerman, Princeton University: to document the working lives of South Asian immigrant taxi drivers in New York City.

James Leary, University of Wisconsin, and labor historian Bucky Halker: in support of their study of the cultural traditions of ironworkers in America's Upper Midwest.

Tanya D. Finchum and Juliana M. Nykolaiszyn, Oklahoma Oral History Research Program: to document, through oral history interviews, the occupational culture and traditions of the American "Big Top" circus in the small town of Hugo, Oklahoma.


Robert McCarl, Boise State University: to study the environmental ethics of different occupational groups in Idaho's Silver Valley.

Nick Spitzer and Maureen Loughran, American Routes: to produce a special "Routes to Recovery" series of five 2-hour radio programs, devoted to economic and social recovery across the United States, and focusing on workers in several occupational categories, including cowboys, automobile workers, and the building trades.

Stephen Zeitlin, Director of City Lore,External Link The New York Center for Urban Folk Culture: to coordinate a team of folklorists and filmmakers in producing Heartland Passage, a documentary film about workers along the route of New York State's Erie Canal, including tugboat captains and engineers, machinists, harbormasters, drydock workers, and locktenders.

The 2010 awardees presented talks on their research at the American Folklife Center's symposium Work and Transformation: Documenting Working Americans, December 6-7, 2010.

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The Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies


Deirdre Ni Chonghaile, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, "Music of the Aran Islands."


Judith Cohen: York University, "Alan Lomax in Spain."

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Blanton Owen Fund Award


Andrew Flachs, Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, to support a multi-layered oral history based ethnographic study of the historical and contemporary relationship of farming communities in the Lower Illinois River Valley to their natural environment and cultural past and present.

Joseph O'Connell, Raleigh, North Carolina, to conduct archival research and oral history interviews with individuals from a unique family-run troupe of performing artists, Bertelle’s Birds,” which toured the mid-western United States from the 1940s to the 1980s. The proposed research focuses on the Quaker background of the show and the family’s vision for evangelizing through performing animals.


Eric César Morales, Bloomington, Indiana, to support fieldwork  on Pacific Island dance community in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the popularity of Polynesian performers in casinos and entertainment venues make that city the central locale in the Polynesian diaspora. 

Susan Taffe Reed, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to support fieldwork documenting communities presenting summer powwows traditions in Appalachian Pennsylvania. 


Bradley Hanson: to support the documentation and study of the cultural impact of the Tennessee Jamboree, a weekly radio barn dance program serving the communities of LaFollette  and Campbell Counties in Tennessee.


Stephen J. Taylor: to support the recording of oral history interviews with former residents of the barrier islands of Accomack and Northampton counties on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, in connection with a study of personal narratives of homecoming on Portsmouth Island, North Carolina.


Clifford Murphy: to support the documentation of the traditions and expressions of Country and Western musicians in the state of Maine.

Karen N. Brewster: to support ethnographic fieldwork exploring ecology, belief and culture as expressed in found object folk art creations of Native Americans in the Lower Yukon River Valley.


Sandra Grady: to support ethnographic fieldwork among Somali Bantu refugees being resettled in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jaman Matthews: to support documentation of life in the Mississippi Delta in photographs and fieldnotes.

Carrie Leonard: to support documentation of Inupiaq life in Noorvik, Alaska, in photographs.


Yolanda Hood: to support fieldwork among Nigerians living in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Gerald E. and Corinne L. Parsons Fund Award


David Blake, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, to support research into Pete Seeger’s performances during Seeger's 1950s music industry blacklist that began with initial accusations of his Communist ties in 1952, and continued through his House of Un-American Activities Committee testimony in 1955, his conviction of contempt of Congress in 1961, and the reversal of his sentence in 1962. The researcher examines how Seeger’s college concerts during this period influenced the development of intellectual and critical approaches to folksong as part of the folk revival of the late 1950s and 1960s.

Cristina Benedetti, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, to support research on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. She will trace connections between gatherings and how the historical "layering" of political performances in this space has contributed to its symbolic power. While many scholarly works about the Mall focus on its landscaped, sculpted, and built aspects, Benedetti  investigates the ways that everyday people engage with this space, whether in protest, or for tourist, entertainment, commemoration, or leisure activities.

Sita Reddy, Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., to support research on the visual materials—including ethnographic films—of Indian yogis or fakirs. Her research focuses on colonial, postcolonial and transnational representations of yoga’s encounters with modernity, and the social practices, interactions, and ethnographic contexts around such representations.


Scott Barretta, Oxford, Mississippi, to undertake research on the legendary bluesman Mississippi Fred McDowell in preparation for a documentary film. The researcher is particularly interested in reviewing  1968 interviews conducted by Pete Welding that are now part of the Pete Welding Collection in the AFC archive.

Brian Miller, Saint Paul, Minnesota, to research traditional songs and singers from Minnesota recorded by Robert Winslow Gordon in 1924. The recordings are now part of the AFC archive.


Maurice Mengel, University of Cologne, Germany, to work with the AFC’s large and previously unstudied collection of Romanian materials in the Gheorghe and Eugenie Popescu-Judetz Collection.

Alexandro Hernandez, UCLA, to study rare son jarocho recordings and films in the several divisions of the Library and explore their relationship to social justice movements in Los Angeles.
Michael Largey, Michigan State University, to explore the historical and political roots of ethnographic research done in Haiti during the 1930s.



Nancy Yunhwa Rao: to support research on the musical life of Chinese Americans, with a focus on Chinatown opera culture in the first half of the 20th century.

Danille Elise Christensen: to support research on the cultural history of home canning and food preservation.


David Greely: to support research on Cajun and Creole music.

Emily Kader: to support research concerning Irish and Appalachian "Jack tales," to encompass similar traditions in the Caribbean and in African American communities in the American South.


Cecilia Salvatore: to support a project that will identify and evaluate the Library's institution-wide assets pertaining to the culture and history of Micronesia.

Mark Noonan: to support a project that will analyze regional and chronological variations in Sacred Harp singing practices utilizing the Center's extensive archival collections of shape note hymnals and recordings.


Gregory Hansen: to support a research project on the vernacular architecture and social history of Heishmans Mill, a 19th century grist mill located in central Pennsylvania.

Marion S. Jacobsen: to support a research project focusing on the evolution and popularization of the piano accordion in America from 1920-1960, using the collections of the Library of Congress.


Jocelyn Arem: to support a research project focusing on the cultural impact of the 1960s folk revival movement, using the collections of the American Folklife Center.

Barbara Fertig: to support a research project focusing on African American residents of coastal Georgia communities, using the collections of the American Folklife Center.

Cecilia Conway: to support a research project focusing on the Beech Mountain, North Carolina collections at the American Folklife Center.


Michael McCoyer: to support his research on levee camps and Mississippi Delta life in the early 20th century using the Coahoma County materials in the Alan Lomax Collection and other Library resources.

Kathleen Ryan: to support her research on "Propaganda, Memory and Oral History in World War II Female Veterans," using Veterans History Project materials and other Library resources.


Eileen M. Condon: for research on Puerto Rican traditional music in Dutchess County, New York.

Sydney Hutchinson: to support doctoral work in ethnomusicology at New York University for a research project titled "Analysis of Musical Change in Dominican Merengue Típico".

Linda Goss: for research on African-American storytelling traditions.


David Stanley: to research collection materials related to cowboy ballad performers, including correspondence, transcriptions, and ephemera in several Library Divisions.

David Hoffman: to conduct research on symposia, public hearings, position papers and other materials related to US national policy on the topic of indigenous rights and cultural and environmental conservation.


Andrea Frierson-Toney: to research African-American traditional music from Gee's Bend, AL, in the Robert Sonkin Collection. Research on the performance tradition will be adapted into a theatrical production.


Nicole Saylor: to create a web page highlighting the ethnographic fieldwork of Sidney Robertson Cowell (1903-1995) in Wisconsin. This site will be an addition to the Mills Music Library's Helene Stratman-Thomas project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Now available: "Online Collection Showcases Wisconsin Folksongs From the Thirties and Forties."External Link


No award.


Barrett Golding: to support the creation of two public radio programs presenting music and stories from Florida using WPA-era material from the Archive's collections. This also included an interview with Stetson Kennedy, head of the WPA Florida project.

Nancy-Jean Seigel: to support her work researching, organizing, and adding to the files of the Helen Hartness Flanders Collection in the Archive of Folk Culture.

Mark Jackson: to support the creation and publication of a CD based on the music and spoken words of John Handcox, a sharecropper and member of the Arkansas-based Southern Tenant Farmer's Union who was recorded at the Library of Congress in 1937.


Larry Polansky: to support research for the publication of work on folksong transcription and notation by the ethnographer Ruth Crawford Seeger.

Anne Laskey & Gail Needleman: to undertake research for educational music textbooks using folksong based on the Kodály method.


Susan Lutz: to support for research on a documentary film entitled Sunday Dinner: Food, Land, and Free Time.

Yücel Demirer: to locate representations of Kurdish national identity in the Woodrow Wilson Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.


Carl Lindahl: to fund research on British and Irish American folk tales. Publication information: American Folktales: From the Collections of the Library of Congress.External Link

Jason Baird Jackson & Victoria Lindsay Levine: to support a project focusing on Yuchi Dance Music.


William T. Dargan: to fund for research project on African-American lining-out hymn performance.

Lucy Long: to support research on the Appalachian plucked dulcimer.


Julia Bishop: to support research on The James Madison Carpenter Collection.

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Henry Reed Fund Award


Jamie Weems of Ridgeland, Mississippi: in support of an innovative project to reunite local contra dance and old-time string band traditions unique to an under-documented area of Mississippi.


Don Roy of Portland, Maine: in support of his project to create and print a book of fiddle tunes from his Maine Acadian family music heritage.


Jeri Vaughn of Seattle, Washington: to support reunion concert appearances for old-time fiddle and guitar duo Robert and Lee Stripling in their home town of Kennedy, Alabama and to subsidize Vaughn's 30-minute documentary film of the brothers' reunion tour.


Elizabeth LaPrelle of Rural Retreat, Virginia: to fund travel allowing this Appalachian ballad singer (then age 16) to perform and compete at music gatherings during the summer of 2004, and to surround herself with older singers from whom she could learn traditional songs, styles, and aesthetics.


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   December 1, 2015
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