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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

Friday, December 2, 2014
12:00 Noon to 1:00 pm
Montpelier Room, Sixth Floor, James Madison Building

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Alexandra Jaffe
Alexandra Jaffe.
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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.

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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   November 10, 2014
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