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Posts from the ‘Webcasts’ Category

A First Rate Podcast: Artisan Ancestors Visits the Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology

A perfect example of how scholarly research in folklore and anthropology can be made accessible and interesting for a wider audience is the Artisan Ancestors podcast produced and hosted by my friend and colleague Jon Kay. (Jon is, among other roles, the Director of Traditional Arts Indiana.) If you have not yet encountered the Artisan Ancestors show, I urge you to check it out. As Jon describes it, the focus of the show is on strategies for “researching creative lives and handmade things.” Jon does interviews with people involved in such work with the goals of encouraging and guiding newcomers to such studies and of expanding the horizons of those already deeply involved. Long adept in the skills of the public folklorist, Jon has mastered the podcast genre. He is a great interviewer and he knows how to do in interview with the needs of his audience and the requirements of the medium in mind. The production values are high but it is clear that he has worked out a system that gets good results without endless, expensive work.

In his newest episode (#26) Jon interviews Dr. Candace Greene, another friend and the Director of the Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA). The interview explores the purposes and goals of SIMA in a way that not only introduces this training program (for which I was a faculty member this past summer) but also encourages deeper understanding of the broader value of museum collections for research in social and cultural history. It is a great interview and listening to it will illustrate not only the value of the SIMA effort but also suggest the value of podcasting initiatives such as Artisan Ancestors. Kudos to Jon and Candace for their great job with this episode.

Streaming Video from #AFS11: Attend a Folklore Meeting Online!

Let the #AFS11 posts begin. The 2011 American Folklore Society meetings will be held here in Bloomington on the campus of Indiana University. This is the 1st time since 1968 that the meetings have been held on a college campus (that 1968 meeting was also here at IU). It may be a record meeting in terms of attendance and many innovative program items are going to be debuted. The first of these to mention, and the one of greatest potential interest to those who cannot attend, is the news that selected portions of the meeting will be accessible online via streaming video. In the remainder of this post (below the fold, so to speak) I will share the details. Highlights include the Opening Plenary Address by Henry Glassie  (“War, Peace, and the Folklorist’s Mission”), The Francis Lee Utley Memorial Lecture of the AFS Fellows by Margaret Mills “Achieving the Human: Strategic Essentialism and the Problematics of Communicating across Cultures in Traumatic Times”, and the AFS Presidential Address by C. Kurt Dewhurst “Museums and Folkloristics: Folklorists’ Legacy and Future in Museum Theory and Practice.” This is just a portion of the events that are scheduled to be streamed. Learn the details on how to do it and what is going to be accessible below. (The first two of these three major addresses relate to the conference theme–Peace, War, Folklore. This theme was chosen to articulate with the IU “Themester” theme of Making War, Making Peace. The full conference program is freely accessible here. It contains abstracts for all events.) Read more

New Topics for the Open Folklore Screencast?

Its time to start work on one or more new informational screencasts for the Open Folklore portal site and project. The first (posted below in case you have not seen it) focused on using the search tools at the Open Folklore portal site. What topics would be most useful to the folklore studies community? To students? To interested folks in general? Your feedback is welcome in comments here or via the Open Folklore project email address openfolklore(at)gmail(dot)com.

Creative Commons Webinar for Traditional Arts Indiana

In the wake of the recent Creative Commons-focused Artisan Ancestors podcast that I did with Jon Kay, I am leading a free webinar on the Creative Commons. Traditional Arts Indiana (which Jon directs) is organizing the event. I will be introducing the CC and addressing its special relevance to those working in or with the “traditional” arts and vernacular/community culture.  The event is free and will happen online on June 14 at 12:15 p.m. (timed for the lunch hour).  Full details on how to participate can be found here, on the Traditional Arts Indiana website. We are planning to be together online for about 45 minutes and there will be opportunities for questions/discussion. If you are interested, please join in.

Exciting New Presentation Formats for #AFS2011

Work on the 2011 American Folklore Society Meetings is now in high gear. The AFS meetings next fall will be held on my home campus at Indiana University Bloomington. As we get ready to host the meetings, I have been particularly involved in getting ready to introduce a new quick format presentation format and to re-boot the poster format along museum exhibition lines.  These new possibilities are described in the document circulated today by the Society. I hope that a large and diverse group of scholars takes an interest in attending the meetings and that these two new presentation formats appeal to scholars of all levels of seniority and to those working across the full breadth of folklore studies and its congeners. I want to personally express thanks to those senior scholars who have agreed to attend and host the poster exhibitions opening event and to my colleagues participating in the trial run for what are now (in AFS-speak) being called “Diamond” presentations at the 2010 meetings in Nashville. Here are the details from the home office:


Dear Colleagues,

In the next few weeks we will post online the Invitation for Participation for the American Folklore Society’s 2011 annual meeting, set for October 12-15 at the Biddle Hotel and Conference Center in the Indiana Memorial Union complex on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington. We encourage participation by folklorists throughout the world in our gathering.

This will be AFS’s first meeting on a university campus since our last meeting in Bloomington in 1968. Our hosts will be the Indiana University Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, and the theme of the meeting, on which presentations are encouraged but not required, is “Peace, War, Folklore.”

All proposals for the annual meeting program will be due by March 31. The entire process includes registration for the meeting, payment of the registration fee, and submission of your proposal.

We’re sending you this message to bring you up to date on two new developments within our annual meeting. The first has to do with an improvement in the proposal submission process, and the second involves the introduction of two new presentation formats.

But first, here is a link to a video documenting the Bloomington annual meeting committee’s musical “Invitation to Bloomington 2011” performed at our annual business meeting in Nashville last October.

Now to the news:

1. No More Long Abstracts Required from Individual Presenters in Pre-Organized Sessions

Beginning with the 2011 annual meeting, people who will be making presentations in pre-organized paper and Diamond sessions (for more information on Diamond sessions, see below) no longer have to submit long (500-word abstracts) for their presentation, just short (100-word) ones.

As in the past, individuals participating in organized paper and Diamond sessions will provide their short abstracts to their session chair in advance of the March 31 deadline. Session chairs will submit long and short abstracts for the session as a whole, and short abstracts for all presentations, as part of the session proposal.

2. Two New Presentation Formats at AFS 2011

While our meeting will feature the presentation of papers, discussion forums, media works, and professional development workshops as it has done for many years, in 2011 we are giving special emphasis to two new forms of presentation.

Re-Imagining the Research Poster in Folklore Studies: AFS Research Poster Exhibitions

The 2011 Annual Meeting Program Committee and the Society are making a special effort to capitalize on the research poster’s special virtues for folklorists. AFS Executive Board member and Indiana University Associate Professor of Folklore Jason Jackson will curate the 2011 Research Poster Exhibitions.

Posters, a vital means of scholarly communication in many fields, allow for the integration of graphic and textual information. They share the strengths characteristic of the informal settings in which folklorists often learn, teach, and study. Many folklorists are deeply involved in studying topics that lend themselves to the poster exhibition framework.

The current digital moment has created new opportunities to extend the power of this genre. Posters can stand alone as documents of scholarly research in folklore studies, and can also be augmented through informal oral presentation or the use of multimedia enhancements. They can also be repurposed after a conference into gallery and web-based exhibitions. Like conference papers, posters can also serve as a foundation for other genres of scholarly communication, including articles and book chapters. Posters themselves have begun to be peer-reviewed, revised, and published in scholarly journals.

This year, in lieu of poster panels organized by the membership, we are soliciting individual proposals for poster presentations on one of four broad topics: Peace, War, Folklore (the 2011 annual meeting theme), Folklore and Folklorists Making a Difference, Folklore Studies and the Digital Humanities, and Musical Cultures.

Poster presentations selected for each grouping will be brought together to comprise one of four formal exhibitions, which will be initially presented at an opening reception on Thursday morning. At that time, a distinguished scholar with special knowledge of the exhibition theme will host each exhibition, and will make public remarks about the exhibition’s posters.

Steve Zeitlin from City Lore will host Peace, War, Folklore

Marsha MacDowell from the Michigan State University Museum will host Folklore and Folklorists Making a Difference

Kimberly Christen from Washington State University will host Folklore Studies and the Digital Humanities

Jeff Todd Titon of Brown University will host Musical Cultures

The reception will also provide time for presenters to dialogue informally with each other, with interested conference attendees, with the hosts, and with other special guests. The posters will remain on exhibition throughout the conference.

Post-conference publication of selected posters is a possibility. We have invited a number of journal editors to attend the poster exhibition opening as special guests. Editors so far agreeing to attend include Regina Bendix (co-editor of Ethnologia Europaea), Kristina Downs (co-editor of Folklore Forum, which is interested in receiving submissions from participating poster exhibitors), Rob Howard (editor of Western Folklore), Jason Baird Jackson (editor of Museum Anthropology Review), and Tok Thompson (co-editor of Cultural Analysis).

AFS Diamond Presentations: An Invitation

On the basis of their increasing popularity among scholars and with the inspiration of a successful experiment undertaken at the 2010 Annual Meeting in Nashville, the American Folklore Society invites individual and organized session proposals in what we are calling the Diamond format, a formalized presentation genre structured by time and images:

Individual Diamond presentations are seven minutes long and are organized around 21 slides that are set to advance automatically every 20 seconds.

Audience response to such presentations have been very enthusiastic, and the format offers a number of specific advantages:

· As with the highly structured expressive genres that folklorists have often studied, this format calls upon presenters to be creative and selective in organizing their presentations.

· Focused presentations and images aid and engage audiences, even those unfamiliar with the topic or those whose first language differs from that of the presenter.

· This format is valuable not only for presenting image-based topics (such as studies of material culture or cultural performance), but also for all presenters concerned with visual communication and those who wish to experiment with visual techniques to enhance communication.

· This format is an easy starting point for the creation of audio slidecasts and small digital exhibitions—more durable modes of scholarly communication valuable to diverse online audiences—as well as in such settings as media kiosks in gallery exhibitions.

· The brevity of the format allows extra time for discussion.

· Brief but structured, the format supports multidimensional, open-ended presentations, making it very appropriate for the presentation of new projects or works-in-progress.

You may submit proposals for individual Diamond presentations, which the Program Committee will group into sessions, or organized Diamond sessions of six to ten presentations. All Diamond sessions will be constructed with an initial seven minutes allotted for preparation and introduction of the session as a whole, seven minutes for each Diamond presentation, and the balance of the available time dedicated to discussion of the full set of presentations. At the discretion of the session chair, the discussion time may be used for response by a formal discussant, open “full room” questions and answers, break-out time in which presenters can confer with interested audience members, or a combination of these discussion formats.

For those who would like to know more about the sources of inspiration for this format, there is much discussion around the web of a variety of similar (but not identical) formats, including the format known as Pecha-Kucha, developed in the design fields in Japan. Some of these are associated with formally trademarked brands of presentation events. Also available online are videos and slidecasts of presentations made in these related formats:

A YouTube version of Jason Jackson’s AFS 2010 Diamond presentation on the Open Folklore project:

A Pecha-Kucha presentation on YouTube:

“Hate Long, Rambling Speeches? Try Pecha-Kucha” by Lucy Craft [NPR on Pecha-Kucha]:

A discussion of Pecha-Kucha in anthropology with links to examples and information:

The Pecha-Kucha Organization:

On Lightning Talks:

On the Ignite Format and Events:

Search also “Pecha Kucha” in YouTube, “Death by PowerPoint,” “Ignite,” “Lightning Talks,” and Wikipedia.


Please feel free to circulate this email to your non-AFS-member colleagues who may not have received it directly. We look forward to seeing you in Bloomington this October. Thank you for your support of our field and Society.

Open Folklore Project Subject of First Savage Minds Podcast

A brief note expressing deep thanks to Alex “Rex” Golub for inviting me to participate in his experiment developing a podcast series for the group (anthropology) blog Savage Minds. Our topic was the Open Folklore project. At 42 minutes long, I am doubtful that anyone will have the patience to actually listen to me going on and on, but it was a good experience for me. It helped me clarify my own thinking and gave me practice talking informally about the project in the run up to the upcoming American Folklore Society (AFS) meetings.

One thing that I should have said is that my remarks represent my own (not always fully formed) thoughts and do not necessarily represent the views of my colleagues working on the Open Folklore project or the official policies of the AFS or IU Bloomington Libraries.

The podcast is available in iTunes here or directly from the Savage Minds website here.

Thank you Savage Minds.

AcademiX Presentations on Open Access Now Online

I am happy to report that the videos from the AcademiX 2010 conference on “Learning in an Open-Access World” are now online.  One can get to them via this page on the site or one can just go into iTunes University in iTunes and search on AcademiX or a particular presenter’s name. While they are embedded in iTunes, they are free to all those who wish to consult them.  As discussed here earlier, my presentation is titled: “Innovation and Open Access in Scholarly Journal Publishing.” The other presenters and their titles are:

  • John Wilbanks (Creative Commons) Commons-Based Licensing and Scholarship – The Next Layer of the Network
  • Ben Hawkridge (Open University) New Channels for Learning – Podcasting Opportunities for a Distance University
  • Kurt Squire (University of Wisconsin-Madison) Education for a Mobile Generation
  • Nick Shockey (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) The Digital Natives are Getting Restless – The Student Voice of the Open Access Movement
  • Richard E. Miller (Rutgers University) and Paul Hammond (Rutgers University) This is How We Think – Learning in Public After the Paradigm Shift

I hope that our presentations are useful to the community in their this new form. Thank you to Apple for hosting the gathering and making these materials freely available online.

AcademiX 2010: Learning in an Open-Access World

The second conference of the week was AcademiX 2010, an event sponsored by Apple and (an Apple affiliate organization comprised of people interested in educational uses of Apple technology). The event’s complex structure made it a real learning experience for me. I had not previously participated in an event of this type. I was at Northwestern University, one of two primary sites for the conference. The other main site was at MIT. These two sites were connected with each other, with the Apple HQ in California, and with secondary sites at Duke University, San Diego State University, the University of Kansas, the University of Minnesota, and the University of New Mexico. Beyond these physical conference sites, there were a great many conference participants experiencing the conference online from their desktops. Video and audio linked all of these places and people together.

The focus of the event was “Learning in an Open-access World.” My mandate was to speak about academic open access in the scholarly communications sense relating to peer-reviewed scholarly literature, but the program was broader than this area. John Wilbanks (Creative Commons) spoke of “Commons-Based Licensing and Scholarship: The Next Layer of the Network.” Ben Hawkridge (Open University) presented “New Channels for Learning: Podcasting Opportunities for a Distance University.” Kurt Squire (University of Wisconsin-Madison) discussed the findings of his research on “Education for a Mobile Generation.” Nick Shockey (SPARC) presented “The Digital Natives Are Getting Restless: the Student Voice of the Open Access Movement.” In the final slot, Paul Hammond (Rutgers University and Richard Miller (Rutgers University) co-presented “This is How We Think: Learning in Public After the Paradigm Shift.”

Read more

Scholarly Publishing and Scholarly Values Revisited

This is a note (1 of 2) to report on my two speaking events this week. I had wanted to write more of them, but business and a weak internet connection at my hotel have kept me from it until now. Here are some notes on the first of these two events.

Earlier in the week I was a guest of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. I had been invited to be the keynote speaker for a ” A Forum for Authors and Creators of Academic Works.” The event was titled: Scholarly Publishing and Scholarly Values: Choosing our Future and it was organized by a great group of UMN folks committed to work on scholarly communications issues. It was an honor to be asked to participate in this event and I learned a great deal from my time talking with everyone there. On Monday night I was treated to a wonderful meal and a small group discussion of the UMN campus context and big picture of scholarly communications at the university. On Tuesday at lunch, I met with the UMN Scholarly Communications Collaborative and we had a pleasant meal filled with a great and (for me) very informative conversation about changes and developments in scholarly communication. After lunch was the event itself. I spoke of my experiences working as a scholarly editor trying to make sense of the changing publishing landscape, with special attention to open access efforts and the factors that are shaping them. I offered a number of provocations/predictions and tried to address the questions that were posed for the event as a whole (listed here). The event was recorded and streamed to folks who could not fit into the room at the library. It is now available online at: An important part of the forum was hearing from three faculty discussants and participating in a wide-ranging discussion with the in-person and online audiences.

One of the discussants was Gabriel P. Weisberg, a senior art historian at UNM who has been very involved in the founding and continuing good work of Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century Visual CultureThis is an impressive gold open access journal now publishing its 9th volume. Professor Weisberg described the history of the journal, its successes and niche, and reflected upon questions of long-term sustainability in OA journals published outside the framework of commercial or society publishing.

Another discussant was Neil E. Olszewski, a UMN professor of plant biology. He provided a scholarly society perspective, reflecting on his work as a member of the publications committee of the American Society of Plant Biologists, a society that is confronting the same issues that are posing challenges for those North American scholarly societies who have come to depend on publishing revenue to support non-publishing activities. Professor Olszewski is also the incoming chair of the UMN library committee, a parallel role to that which I have served in at IUB over the past year.

The final discussant was geneticist Stephen C. Ekker. In addition to publishing extensively in the gold OA journal PLoS One, he is the Editor-in-Chief for Zebrafish, a journal published by one of the remaining small science publishers Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

With this rich and diverse background, the panelists made a range of important observations on the changing landscape of scholarly communications and were able to very effectively engage with the excellent questions posed by the audience. I learned a great deal from their observations and appreciate their generous response to my own reflections.

My thanks go to Dean of the Libraries Wendy Pradt Lougee, to her exceptionally talented staff and colleagues, to the UMN Provost and other event sponsors, and to the engaged audience that came out for this event. The organizers did a wonderful job and it was an honor to visit such a dynamic scholarly community.

Scholarly Publishing and Scholarly Values: Choosing our Future

I am very pleased to have been invited to the University of Minnesota to speak to the faculty and librarians there about scholarly communications. I will surely share reflections after the event but I wanted to pass on the details now. I really look forward to talking to, and learning from, everyone there. I am very appreciative of this opportunity. Find the details here.

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