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Image: Benjamin Botkin
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

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Lavinia Jones Wright and Alex Steyermark
Lavinia Jones Wright and Alex Steyermark with a 1930s Presto disc recorder.
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Friday, September 5, 2014
2:00-4:30 pm
Mumford Room, Sixth Floor, James Madison Building

The 78 Project: Documenting Historic Sound in the Contemporary World

Since August 2011, Alex Steyermark and Lavinia Jones Wright, The 78 Project’s creators, have been traveling across the United States, recording contemporary musicians on a 1930s Presto disc recorder, and filming their journey for an ongoing web series and a recently completed feature film. During this event they will screen the film, The 78 Project Movie, answer questions about the project and their experiences, and demonstrate their process as they cut a record and film the recording live with special guest musicians from the Library of Congress.

Botkin Lecture Series Past Events Archive

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

2005 Lecture Series

2004 Lecture Series

 

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   July 15, 2014
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