Past Recipients of Research Awards
Archie Green Fellowships
Charitie Hyman, an independent folklorist and mental health worker from Madison, Wisconsin, for her project "Power Place, and Prestige: The Occupational Folklore of Psychiatric Nurses in Wisconsin." Documenting work-related narratives from a diverse group of nursing professionals, this project explores issues of race, power, and prestige in workplace relationships and enhances archival holdings on the highly-skilled traditional occupation of nursing, which is presently under-documented in the AFC archive.
Meredith A.E. McGriff, a folklorist from Bloomington, Indiana, for research on "Production Potters of the Midwestern United States." Her project documents the occupational folklore of production potters in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. She will focus on commercial production potters who are working full-time in this regional craft-based profession, with particular emphasis on those who participate in guilds or pottery tours, to explore how these workers balance individual craftsmanship and artistry with the need for developing and maintaining an occupational community.
Virginia Nickerson, an independent scholar and documentarian from Montpellier, Vermont, for "Trash Talk: Workers in Vermont's Changing Waste Management Industry." Her project documents the occupational stories and experiences of two dozen people engaged in different sectors of the waste management chain--trash collection, sorting, marketing, processing, management, and regulation – to provide a picture of the daily lives of workers in an economically and environmentally important, but often hidden industry during a time of significant change.
Candacy Taylor, an independent scholar and documentarian from Denver, Colorado, for "The Business of the Green Book: Documenting and Celebrating African American Entrepreneurs." Her project documents people who work in more than 30 contemporary businesses that were listed in The Green Book, a travel guide published between 1937 and 1967 that listed businesses—e.g., restaurants, hotels, barbershops, taverns, drug stores, and garages--that welcomed African American customers. Only 3% of the 9,500 businesses listed in The Green Book are still in operation and Taylor's interviews with their current owners and staffs explore their histories, how they stayed in business, and the business’s current relationships to their changing communities. This project is part of a larger project on The Green Book that Taylor has undertaken with support from a number of prestigious institutions, including Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. The resulting interviews also will supplement the Civil Rights History Project that AFC recently completed in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History.
Clare Luz, a gerontologist at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, for documenting "Personal Home Care Aides in Michigan." Working with a team that includes other MSU faculty members, including folklorist Marsha MacDowell and colleagues at the MSU Museum and Michigan Traditional Arts Program, Dr. Luz will document occupational histories of 30 personal care aides (PCAs) in central Michigan, who have “historically have been marginalized and under-documented.”
Jess Lamar Reece Holler, an independent Ohio-based folklorist, for her project "Back-of-House: Kitchen Workers in Central Ohio" to document the oral histories of veteran, part-time, and upstart back-of-house food workers in Columbus’ kitchens, community markets, food trucks, and pop-up eateries, who are “at once food artisans and wage laborers” engaged in a skilled trade in which many work without the benefits, security, or collective organizing afforded other occupational groups.
Christopher Sims, a documentarian from Efland, North Carolina, to record interviews with "Cultural Role-Players of Fort Polk, Louisiana." These "role-players"– who are both recent immigrants and long-term area residents—have evolved a unique occupational culture as they simulate Iraqi and Afghan villagers on the training grounds of a large US Army base as "extras" interacting with soon-to-be-deployed troops in a simulated but serious workscape.
Kim Stryker, an independent folklorist from Falls Church, Virginia, to document the occupational narratives of "Winery Workers in Virginia Vineyards." With a team of researchers, she will conduct audio and video interviews with workers involved at various levels and in sub-specialties within Virginia’s rapidly expanding wine industry, an industry that is emblematic of the paradigm shift in small-scale agriculture and economic pressures that is forcing traditional famers to adapt by producing more value-added products and explore agritourism.
Sarah Bryan, a folklorist in Durham, North Carolina, for "Folklife of the Funeral Services Profession." For research to document the work of morticians and funeral directors in North and South Carolina.
Jaime Lopez and his colleagues at the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies (HVAC) and Local Union #3, The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) in Queens, New York for "Illuminating History," an oral history project documenting contemporary electrical workers in metropolitan New York, who, "through manufacture, installation, and maintenance," make critical contributions to the fabric of daily life in New York City.
Margaret Miles of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a Social services worker, writer and documentarian, for documentation of workers in the emergency homeless services in three interrelated Midwestern urban centers:Bismarck, North Dakota, Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota, and Chicago, Illinois.
Laura Orleans, a folklorist and director of the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center in New Bedford, Massachusetts, received support for "Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront," a project to conduct a large ethnographic field project interviewing more than 60 shore-side workers involved in the local commercial fishing industry, with a particular emphasis on previously under-documented Central American and female workers.
(See more information on these recipiants in Folklife Today at this link.)
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.
(See more information on these recipiants in Folklife Today at this link)
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, 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.
The Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies
Fellows are listed on the Kluge Center pages for the Alan Lomax Fellowship.
Blanton Owen Fund Award
Dana David Gravot, a visiting scholar at the Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, to conduct fieldwork on traditional herbal remedies and their medicinal uses with individuals in parishes surrounding Lafayette.
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.
Matthews: to support documentation of life in the Mississippi Delta in photographs
Carrie Leonard: to support documentation of Inupiaq life in
Noorvik, Alaska, in photographs.
Yolanda Hood: to support
fieldwork among Nigerians living in Atlanta, Georgia.
Gerald E. and Corinne L. Parsons Fund Award
Gerald E. and Corinne L. Parsons Fund Awards
Peter Szok, Professor of History at Texas Christian University, for "Insurgent Beauty: Native American Art in Modern Panama." He will review the Library's collection of Panamanian newspapers and periodicals in order to produce a monograph on Panama's Native American art from 1968 to the present, with particular emphasis on in influence of Guna artwork. His research at the Library will supplement his already extensive scholarship on Guna artwork as well as extensive oral histories he has already completed with contemporary Guna artists.
Jillian Gould, professor at in the Department of Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland, to support for her project "The Early Life and WPA Fieldwork of Herbert Halpert (1911-2000)." Award enabled recipient to spend time at the American Folklife Center examining archival records documenting Halpert's early life and fieldwork with the goal of writing an intellectual biography of this important folklore scholar.
Jess Lamar Reece Holler and Jeffrey Paul Nagle, folklorists from the University of Pennsylvania, for their project "Older Than You'd Think, and More Urgent: Legacies of Public Folklore and Cultural Conservation Methodology for the New Public Environmental Humanities." The award enabled Holler and Nagle to visit the American Folklife Center to research the history, methodological design, reception, and curation of public folklife documentation and survey projects conducted on environmental cultures from 1970 to the present; explore the emerging interdisciplinary field of public environmental humanities; better understand the rich legacy of public folklore work on environmental humanities studies; and inform best practices and methodologies in designing community-collaborative cultural documentation projects that respond to environmental change.
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
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
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."
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
Anne Laskey & Gail Needleman: to undertake research for
educational music textbooks using folksong based on the Kodály
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.
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
Henry Reed Fund Award
Emily Hilliard/West Virginia Humanities Council of Charleston, West Virginia: to support "West Virginia Folklife Presents Ballad Singer Phyllis Marks," a free public concert and oral history interview with the respected 88-year-old West Virginia traditional ballad singer.
Mélisande Gélinas-Fauteux of Montreal, Canada: to support travel to the Library of Congress to research field recordings of North American French-language folk songs in the American Folklife Center archive to identify material for her upcoming CD "In the Footsteps of French Folksong."
North American Guqin Association of Fremont, California: to present a concert, master class, and roundtable discussion; perform archival research and fieldwork; and publish a documentary CD revolving around the work of the late Chinese guqin (7-string zither ) artist Zha Fuxi.
Friends of the Cumberland Trail (Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail/Sandrock Recordings) of Caryville, Tennessee: to support a year-long series of public CD release concerts in eleven counties along the Cumberland Trail for a recording documenting the grassroots music of the Cumberland Plateau and Cumberland Mountain region of Tennessee.
Arts in McNairy of McNairy County, Tennessee: to develop several projects based on an archive of folk music recordings amassed by community scholar Stanton Littlejohn, who recorded square dance callers and old-time and rockabilly musicians who came to his home between 1947 and 1957.
Otobaji Stewart and Van Nguyen-Stone of Oakland and San Francisco, California: to create a documentary film on the making of ritual drums in the African-based spiritual tradition of Lucumi.
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