Benjamin A. Botkin, former head of the Archive of American Folk Song, Library of Congress. Photo courtesy
of the National Council for the Traditional Arts.
Benjamin A. Botkin Folklife Lecture Series
Through the Benjamin A. Botkin Folklife Lecture Series, the American
Folklife Center presents the best of current research and practice
in Folklore, Folklife, and closely related fields. The series invites professionals from academia
and the public sector to present findings from their research. The lectures are free and open to the public. In addition, each lecture is recorded for permanent deposit in the Archive of Folk Culture, where
researchers can access them.
Benjamin A. Botkin (1901-1975) was a pioneering
folklorist who believed that people continually create folklore
out of their collective experiences. He
was national folklore editor of the Federal Writers' Project
(1938-39), chief editor of the Writers' Unit of the Library
of Congress Project (1939-1941), head of the Archive of American
Folksong (1942-45), and author of numerous folklore treasuries. The American Folklife
Center is indebted to his work as both a folklorist
and a government official. For all these reasons, the American
Folklife Center has chosen to name this lecture series in his
honor. Select this link for a biographical sketch, " Benjamin
Botkin's Legacy-in-the-Making," by Jerrold Hirsch.
2014 Botkin Lectures
Friday, December 2, 2014
12:00 Noon to 1:00 pm
Montpelier Room, Sixth Floor, James Madison Building
Corsican Language and Expressive Culture, presented by Alexandra Jaffe, University of California, Long Beach
Since the mid-20th century, a variety of social, economic and political factors have affected the cultural practices and conceptions of identity on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. In this presentation, linguistic anthropologist Alexandra Jaffe focuses on the Corsican language and Corsican expressive culture. She addresses both the island’s shift towards the French language and the Corsican language revitalization movement that began in the early 1970s. Drawing on ethnographic data, Dr. Jaffe offers examples of continued use of the Corsican language in traditional cultural forms, such as the paghjella musical tradition, and poetic jousts called chjam' è rispondi as well as in the use of Corsican in newer media and artistic genres such as novels, plays, bilingual radio, television, and advertising. The talk focuses on cultural continuity and change in response to changing political and economic circumstances.
Includes descriptions of each lecture, photos, and informational essays
from the event flyers. Links to webcasts of lectures are included as available.
2014 Lecture Series
2013 Lecture Series
2012 Lecture Series
2011 Lecture Series
2010 Lecture Series
2009 Lecture Series
2008 Lecture Series
2007 Lecture Series
2006 Lecture Series