Telling good stories, exploring history, and fostering community traditions.
Among my interests is lore (also called “folklore,” though I have recently decided to abandon the “folk” modifier). Lore expresses the culmination of sacred and profane experiential phenomena filtered through memory and performed utilizing dynamic social conventions that fluctuate in spacetime. It comprises and is mediated through colloquial language traditions (ritually and conceptually speaking), and is exemplified through storytelling conventions. I like when people can tell a good story, one that can inspire creative and critical thought. Lore is a kind of “meta” media, given that cultural conventions and technological innovations shift how we think about, compose, perform, and experience stories. Part of my work is an extension of this idea, as connected to community and archival issues. Of particular interest to me lately is the way lore has historically been treated as “folklore”–polarized and marginalized from mainstream culture, even at times under the guise of “preserving” stories and cultural expressions that are thought of as becoming lost in the unending machine of Modern change. Lore has been and continues to be, for me, a poignant aspect of the human experience–of all our experiences–and as such, who “owns” or has access to lore (particularly through archives) is the primary site of social power negotiations.
“[…] The colour and flavour of certain places cannot be dissociated from the always unexpected social level on which we find ourselves in experiencing them.”Claude Lévi-Strauss
- Foundation for Endangered Languages Conference PresentationI just finished a conference held at Tulane University in New Orleans, sponsored by the Foundation for Endangered Languages. The conference theme at Tulane was […]
- Story Corps and the Great Thanksgiving ListenI’ve said it many times: I love what Story Corps does. Ever since I first heard about their goals back in 2004, I’ve been inspired […]
- The Museum of YouThis is a great presentation:
- World Flutelore and Recent Folklore InterestsA recent project I had the opportunity to participate in was Dale Olsen’s World Flutelore book. As an assistant to his research, I (with a […]