Congratulations to all of the organizers, funders, presenters, listeners, friends, performers, discussants and others who made the recent Public & Private conference at Indiana University a big success. Held March 27-28, 2009, this was the second in a projected series of conferences jointly organized by the folklore students at The Ohio State University and the folklore and ethnomusicology students at Indiana University Bloomington. This year’s conference attracted students from a number of different U.S. graduate programs, featured excellent keynote presentations by Jim Leary of the folklore program at the University of Washington and Richard Bauman of Indiana University, and was concluded by a very memorable (sometimes hilarious) coffeehouse featuring a diversity of music, dance and poetry performances by members of the IU Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. There was a first rate poster presentation and undergraduate as well as graduate student participants did fine work with both paper and poster presentations. There was plenty of food and good conversation. I am really appreciative of, and impressed by, all the hardwork that so many colleagues invested into this big event.
Theoretically, the conference also did significant work, as many of the papers and discussions focused tightly on the conceptual issues evoked by the meeting theme. Some smart brainwork was built upon good ethnographic and historical research and I think that all of the participants came away from the meetings with an improved tool kit with which to think critically about the nature of these productive but slippery conceptions.
The URL will surely no be stable, as information for what was an uncoming conference becomes legacy content, but the program can presently be found online here. Related material should appear eventually in IU ScholarWorks Repository.
Good work everyone.