The Jack Henning Graduate Fellowship in Labor Culture and History
This fellowship has been established by the Archie Green Fund for Labor Culture and History to honor the life and work of Jack Henning, San Francisco labor leader. Its purposes is to encourage innovative study of the expressive culture of working people in the United States, their identities, philosophies, and the problems they encounter. For further information, visit the Henning Fellowship page.
Association of Western States Folklorists to meet concurrently with WSFS
The Association of Western States Folklorists (AWSF), the professional organization of public sector folklorists working in the West, will hold its annual meeting separately but concurrently with the WSFS annual meeting, April 10-12, 2014. AWSF invites WSFS members who have registered for the WSFS meeting to join us for any sessions they would like, space permitting.
In particular, AWSF sponsors an annual field trip, affectionately known as The Graze, in which folklorists travel to sites of folkloristic interest in the area where the meeting is being held. The Graze will take place on Thursday, April 10, beginning at around 9 am and going until mid- or late afternoon. Among the sites planned are the location of the Bear River Massacre, in which upwards of 300 Northwestern Shoshone were killed by the U.S. Army. We will also likely visit at least one folk artist and see one or two historic barns. Transportation will be by private vehicle, so if you will have a car at the meeting and want to participate, please let us know. There is no cost for the Graze other than for gasoline and lunch, but we do need to know if you plan on attending so we can arrange carpooling. If there are not enough private cars to manage the number of people wanting to participate, or if the number of cars becomes unwieldy, we may have to rent a bus, in which case there would be an additional cost.
A meeting agenda will be made available by AWSF about one month before the meeting. Please send email to Elaine Thatcher or call 435.752.5920 to register for the Graze or with any questions about the AWSF meeting. Registration for the full AWSF meeting is through WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation). The registration fee has not yet been set, because it depends upon the costs of the meeting, which are still being determined. For information, please contact Elaine Thatcher or Chrissy Deal at WESTAF, or 303-629-1166. Visit the AWSF website to keep up with the planning of the AWSF meeting.
Note: The Association of Western States Folklorists and the Bridger Folk Music Society will sponsor a concert/presentation as a part of the AWSF annual meeting. It will be presented by Hal Cannon and Gary Eller on their recent research on folk songs of northern Utah and southern Idaho. The event will be Saturday, April 12, 2014, at 7pm at the Whittier Community Center in Logan, Utah. The Whittier Center is a downhill walk of approximately 1.5 miles from the University Inn, where most conference participants will be staying. Directions and rides will be provided at the meeting. Ticket prices will be approximately $10-13 and tickets will be available at the door. Information is available by email from Lisa Duskin-Goede, or by phone at (435) 713-1426 (work), (435) 752-9650 (home), or (435) 757-5420 (cell).
The Society has a new editor
Western States Folklore Society's new editor is Prof. Tok Thompson at University of Southern California. Please note his new address for all manuscript submissions except reviews by visiting the Contact Us page
Folklore students awarded travel stipends.
For the third consecutive year, three student travel stipends of $100 each were awarded for the Annual Meeting. This year‘s meeting was held at the UniversityCalifornia, San Diego, April 19-20, 2013. The three recipients were Suzanne Barber (Indiana University; “Human/Dog Co-Creation: "Naturecultures" and Folkloristic Posthumanism”), Tiffany Christian (Washington State University; “LGBT Guilds as Folkgroups in World of Warcraft”), and Matthew Hale (Indiana University; “Cosplay: Intertextuality, Public Texts, and the Body Fantastic”).
The photos below show Suzanne and Matthew receiving their checks from WSFS Business Manager Elliott Oring. Tiffany was unable to attend the Business Meeting.
Students were to indicate they are applying apply for the stipend, submit their abstracts before the deadline, and submit both a 100 word abstract for publication in the program and a 350 word abstract describing the paper in more detail and focusing on the conceptual point of the paper.
Computational Folkloristics: Call for Papers for the Special Issue of the Journal of American Folklore edited by Timothy R. Tangherlini.
Over the course of the past decade, a revolution has occurred in the materials available for the study of folklore. The scope of digital archives of traditional expressive forms has exploded, and the magnitude of machine-readable materials available for consideration has increased by many orders of magnitude. Many national archives have made significant efforts to make their archival resources machine-readable, while other smaller initiatives have focused on the digitization of archival resources related to smaller regions, a single collector, or a single genre. Simultaneously, the explosive growth in social media, web logs (blogs), and other Internet resources have made previously hard to access forms of traditional expressive culture accessible at a scale so large that it is hard to fathom. These developments, coupled to the development of algorithmic approaches to the analysis of large, unstructured data and new methods for the visualization of the relationships discovered by these algorithmic approaches—from mapping to 3-D embedding, from time-lines to navigable visualizations—offer folklorists new opportunities for the analysis of traditional expressive forms. We label approaches to the study of folklore that leverage the power of these algorithmic approaches "Computational Folkloristics" (Abello, Broadwell, Tangherlini 2012).
The Journal of American Folklore invites papers for consideration for inclusion in a special issue of the journal edited by Timothy Tangherlini that focuses on "Computational Folkloristics." The goal of the special issue is to reveal how computational methods can augment the study of folklore, and propose methods that can extend the traditional reach of the discipline. To avoid confusion, we term those approaches "computational" that make use of algorithmic methods to assist in the interpretation of relationships or structures in the underlying data. Consequently, "Computational Folkloristics" is distinct from Digital Folklore in the application of computation to a digital representation of a corpus.
We are particularly interested in papers that focus on: the automatic discovery of narrative structure; challenges in Natural Language Processing (NLP) related to unlabeled, multilingual data including named entity detection and resolution; topic modeling and other methods that explore latent semantic aspects of a folklore corpus; the alignment of folklore data with external historical datasets such as census records; GIS applications and methods; network analysis methods for the study of, among other things, propagation, community detection and influence; rapid classification of unlabeled folklore data; search and discovery on and across folklore corpora; modeling of folklore processes; automatic labeling of performance phenomena in visual data; automatic classification of audio performances. Other novel approaches to the study of folklore that make use of algorithmic approaches will also be considered.
A significant challenge of this special issue is to address these issues in a manner that is directly relevant to the community of folklorists (as opposed to computer scientists). Articles should be written in such a way that the argument and methods are accessible and understandable for an audience expert in folklore but not expert in computer science or applied mathematics. To that end, we encourage team submissions that bridge the gap between these disciplines. If you are in doubt about whether your approach or your target domain is appropriate for consideration in this special issue, please email the issue editor, Timothy Tangherlini at email@example.com, using the subject line "Computational Folkloristics—query". Deadline for all queries is April 1, 2013.
All papers must conform to the Journal of American Folklore's style sheet for authors. The guidelines for article submission are as follows: Essay manuscripts should be no more than 10,000 words in length, including abstract, notes, and bibliography. The article must begin with a 50- to 75-word abstract that summarizes the essential points and findings of the article. Whenever possible, authors should submit two copies of their manuscripts by email attachment to the editor of the special issue at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The first copy should be sent in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (rtf) and should include the author's name. Figures should not be included in this document, but "call outs" should be used to designate where figures should be placed (e.g., "
"). A list at the end of the article (placed after the bibliography) should detail the figures to be included, along with their captions. The second copy of the manuscript should be sent in Portable Document Format (pdf). This version should not include the author's name or any references within the text that would identify the author to the manuscript reviewers. Passages that would identify the author can be marked in the following manner to indicate excised words: (****). Figures should be embedded in this version just as they would ideally be placed in the published text. Possible supplementary materials (e.g., additional photographs, sound files, video footage, etc.) that might accompany the article in its online version should be described in a cover letter addressed to the editor. An advisory board for the special issue consisting of folklorists and computer scientists will initially consider all papers. Once accepted for the special issue, all articles will be subject to the standard refereeing procedure for the journal. Deadline for submissions for consideration is June 15, 2013. Initial decisions will be made by August 1, 2013. Final decisions will be made by October 1, 2013. We expect the issue to appear in 2014.
Utah State University invites applications for Fellowship in Folklore Studies.
The Folklore Program at Utah State University is once again inviting applications for the Fellowship in Folklore Studies, available to an incoming master's student beginning Fall, 2013. The Folklore Program at Utah State offers a graduate specialization in either Folklore or Public/Applied Folklore and works closely with the American Studies Program, the Department of English, Museum Studies, and the Fife Folklore Archives. Areas of specialization include contemporary legend, gender, the supernatural, foodways, ethnic folklore, place and landscape, and internet folklore.
The USU graduate program attracts students from around the world, including Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Iceland, India, Japan, Mongolia, the Navajo Nation, the Ukraine, the UK, Romania, and Sweden. Faculty have served as editors for several of the field's top journals, including The Journal of American Folklore and Western Folklore, and on the Executive Board of the American Folklore Society. Faculty books have won the Chicago Folklore Prize, the Köngäs-Maranda Prize, and the Brian McConnell Book Award, and faculty members have received departmental and college awards for their research, teaching, and service. Faculty members also engage in extensive media outreach, serving as sources or subjects for international, national, and regional news stories (including interviews with NPR's Weekend Edition, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Metro, the Salt Lake Tribune, Canada's Ottawa Citizen, the Food Network channel and the program "Animal Planet").
Utah State University houses the Fife Folklore Archives, a nationally recognized archive and repository for the papers of the American Folklore Society, the folklore papers of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and significant collections such as the G. Malcolm Laws Ballad Collection and the Wayland D. Hand Collection of American Popular Belief and Superstition. Students in the Folklore Program have many opportunities to work closely with the archives, to conduct archival research, and to deposit their own research in the archive. Internship opportunities are also available through the Fife Folklore Archives and the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress.
The deadline for fellowship applications is January 15, 2013. Applicants will also be considered for Graduate Instructorships in the English Department. The value of the Fellowship is approximately $14,000.00.
Interested students should contact both Dr. Steve Siporin, Director of the Folklore Program, and Dr. Evelyn Funda, Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of English. The Department of English's website has specific information on the application process for graduate studies at USU. Applications for study may be downloaded from the School of Graduate studies.