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Material Culture Journalism, 5

Material culture journalism, continued. Thanks to those who share stories…

Gritty’s Evolution from Googly-eyed Hockey Mascot to Meme to Leftist Avatar, Explained | On our burning hunger for moral clarity and the unexplainable heart of the universe” by Todd VanDerWerff in Vox. (HT/AZ) #antisystemicmovements #mascots #costume

Smithsonian Secretary David J. Skorton to Step Down from Top Spot in June” by Peggy McGlone and Maura Judkis in The Washington Post #museums

Missouri Family Hand-makes Cookie Cutters in any Shape you can Imagine” by AOL/In The Know (HT/Missouri Folk Arts Program) #smallbusiness #foodways

The Juul Fad Is Far Bigger Than I Ever Would Have Guessed” by Kevin Drum in Mother Jones. #capitalism #publichealth

Year End Obituary: Charles Harrison, Inventor Of The Plastic Garbage Can” by NPR/All Things Considered. #AfricanAmericanHistory #Sears #IndustrialDesign

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Material Culture Journalism, 4

Five Siblings Run the U.S.’s Only Baijiu Distillery in Their Mom’s Backyard” by Anne Ewbank in Atlas Obscura. (HT/TL) #foodways

Chanel Shoes, but no Salary: How One Woman [Anthropologist] Exposed the Scandal of the French Fashion Industry” by Stefanie Marsh in The Guardian. (HT/MB) #exploitation #precarity #fashion

New App Uses Indigenous Basketry Patterns to Teach Math Concepts” by Diane Luckow in Simon Fraser University News. (HT/KH?) #basketry #technology #ethnomathematics

The Dollar Store Backlash Has Begun” by Tanvi Misra in Citylab. #inequality #retail

Dollar Stores Are Targeting Struggling Urban Neighborhoods and Small Towns. One Community Is Showing How to Fight Back” by Marie Donahue and Stacy Mitchell at Institute for Local Self-Reliance. #inequality #retail #urban&rural

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Reviews for Material Vernaculars Titles

The Material Vernaculars book series, published by the Indiana University Press in partnership with the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, is maturing. Four titles have now appeared and one more (Wedding Clothes and the Osage Community) is in production. Additional potential titles are under consideration or being finalized. The works already published have now begun being reviewed. Here are some of those reviews. Thanks as always to the journals that seek reviews of scholarly books. It is hard work soliciting, securing, editing and publishing such reviews, but they are of great value and are appreciated.

Folk Art and Aging by Jon Kay

Bronner, Simon. 2017. “Review of Folk Art and Aging: Life Story Objects and Their Makers by Jon Kay.” Journal of Folklore Research Reviews. http://www.jfr.indiana.edu/review.php?id=2104

Haymond, Raven. 2018. “Review of Folk Art and Aging: Life Story Objects and Their Makers by Jon Kay.” Western Folklore 77 (3-4): 350-352.

Mundell, Kathleen. 2018. “Review of Folk Art and Aging: Life Story Objects and Their Makers by Jon Kay.” Journal of American Folklore 131 (520): 222-223.

Stephens, David P. 2016. “Review of Folk Art and Aging: Life Story Objects and Their Makers by Jon Kay.” Material Culture Review 82-83. https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/MCR/article/view/25633/29754

Framing Sukkot by Gabrielle Berlinger

Carter, Thomas. 2018. “Review of Framing Sukkot: Tradition and Transformation in Jewish Vernacular Architecture by Gabrielle Berlinger.” Journal of Folklore Research Reviews. http://www.jfr.indiana.edu/review.php?id=2236

Material Vernaculars edited by Jason Baird Jackson

Deutsch, James I. 2018. “Review of Material Vernaculars: Objects, Images, and Their Social Worlds edited by Jason Baird Jackson.” Western Folklore 77 (1): 94-96.

Yohe, Jill Ahlberg. 2018. “Review of Material Vernaculars: Objects, Images, nd Their Social Worlds edited by Jason Baird Jackson.” Journal of Anthropological Research 74 (1): 132-133. https://doi.org/10.1086/696164

It is too new for reviews yet, but don’t miss The Expressive Lives of Elders edited by Jon Kay.

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Material Culture Journalism, 3

Thanks to all the friends sharing the material culture journalism. Here is a new batch. The passing of Shan Goshorn is particularly sad to note.

The making of the Finnish First Lady’s tree-based eco dress. A guide to the creation of Jenni Haukio’s Independence Gala gown, from a forest in Joensuu to the red carpet at the Independence Day reception in Helsinki” by YLE/UUTISET (HT/HV) #craft #innovation

Shan Goshorn, Whose Cherokee Art Was Political, Dies at 61” by Alex Lemonides in the New York Times. (HT/JL) #loss #indigenous #art

Creating Tradition” [A Profile of Florida Seminole Artist Brian Zepeda] by Tina Marie Osceola in Life in Naples Magazine. [HT/Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Museum] #indigenous #craft #art

Why We Cover High Fashion” [“The Times’s fashion director and chief fashion critic reflects on what makes haute couture relevant'”] by Vanessa Friedman at the New York Times. #elitism #dress

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Material Culture Journalism, 2

Continuing with the Material Culture Journalism series….

We Broke Into A Bunch Of Android Phones With A 3D-Printed Head by Thomas Brewster at Forbes. (H/T JB) #techology

An Epidemic Is Killing Thousands Of Coal Miners. Regulators Could Have Stopped It by Howard Berkes at NPR. (Part of a long, ongoing investigation) #globalassemblages

Golden Cape Made from Golden Orb Spider Silk by Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Australia. (HT/MK) #craft

The Last Woman who Makes Sea Silk” by [two versions] Great Big Story / CNN. (H/T MK) #craft

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Material Culture Journalism, 1

Happily, next month I will again teach a graduate course in material culture studies at Indiana University. In that context I will be even more interested than usual in finding and sharing journalism of possible relevance. Every so often, I will probably share some links for the benefit of any interested friends, colleagues, and students in the course. If you see a good story, share the link in the comments.

Why do all new apartment buildings look the same? The bland, boxy apartment boom is a design issue, and a housing policy problem by Patrick Sisson at Curbed. #architecture

I used all the best stuff for a week and it nearly broke me. Living like a fancy millennial was wonderful, until it wasn’t by Rebecca Jennings at Vox. #consumption

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Make Time to Watch “The Flight of the Condor: A Letter, a Song and the Story of Intangible Cultural Heritage”

Don’t miss the recent documentary film “The Flight of the Condor: A Letter, a Song, and the Story of Intangible Cultural Heritage”. by Áslaug Einarsdóttir and Valdimar Tr. Hafstein. If you watch the film (30 minutes) above or via Vimeo, be sure to circle back to the projexct website http://flightofthecondorfilm.com/ and take note of Valdimar’s new book from Indiana University Press: Making Intangible Heritage: El Condor Pasa and Other Stories from UNESCO.

Valdimar is an innovative researcher and a leading scholar in folklore studies and European ethnology. His writings on heritage policy and practice are essential contributions to the field and the new film does an outstanding job of telling a complex and compelling story in an engaging way that, in doing so, illuminates a global phenomena of importance.

While you are still feeling warm feelings about UNESCO’s recent inscription of reggae and dry stone walls on the world heritage list, watch The Flight of the Condor and think more deeply with Valdimar about the work of heritage, the circulation of cultural forms, and the ways that the contexts of our understanding can change so wildly across time, space, and social position.

CFP: Limitations and Adaptations: Negotiating Aesthetics, Power, and Positionality

I am happy to share the call for papers for the 12th joint student folklore conference organized by the students at Indiana University and the Ohio State University. Save the date and get your plans together to attend in Bloomington.


Limitations and Adaptations: Negotiating Aesthetics, Power, and Positionality
Twelfth Annual IU/OSU Student Folklore Conference
February 22–23, 2019

The Indiana University Folklore Student Association, in collaboration with the Folklore Student Association at the Ohio State University, invites submissions for the twelfth annual Indiana University / Ohio State University student folklore conference to be held in Bloomington, Indiana on February 22–23, 2019. We welcome proposals from folklore, ethnomusicology, and related disciplines. Presenters are encouraged to submit proposals related to the conference theme of “Limitations and Adaptations.” Some questions to consider could include the following:

  • What limits do people face in vernacular cultural production? How are these limits formed or identified? What are the power structures behind them?
  • How do limits shape artistic production?
  • How do people use vernacular cultural production to transcend limits/barriers or to adapt to change/oppression?
  • Does adaptation create or take place in a liminal space?
  • How do people adapt to limitations cross-culturally?
  • How might researchers be limited by factors such as identity, language, and environment? What impact might these limits have on selection, collection, or transmission of research?
  • What is the role of the researcher in either adhering to or pushing back against limitations? Is your project overcoming limitations in some way?

Proposals for papers, posters, roundtables, panels, workshops, and other formats are welcome. All presenters should write a 250-word abstract of their presentations. Prearranged or collective sessions should additionally include a session title, 250-word session abstract, and list contacts for all members of the panel/roundtable, if relevant.

All submissions will be due via google forms by December 30, 2018.

Submission link: https://goo.gl/forms/AX0ngluMRtgLcZZy2

Housing form: https://goo.gl/forms/FnaiT2R7nLOnPMhV2

For additional questions, please contact us at iuosu2019@gmail.com.

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T̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶t̶s̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶H̶A̶U̶. Good News! The Free-to-Readers Version of The Expressive Lives of Elders

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Good news everyone. The free-to-download-and-read version of the latest title in the Material Vernaculars series–The Expressive Lives of Elders: Folklore, Art, and Aging edited by Jon Kay is now available. While I hope that you will purchase an ebook edition or a paperback edition or a hardback edition of this great new book, or that you will use the JSTOR Books or Project Muse Books edition if you have access to such from a library with which you are affiliated, it is important to make sure that everyone who needs to access this significant work can do so, hence the importance of durable (its not going to be withdrawn), free access to everyone. Remember, if you can purchase a copy or use one of the toll access, library-supported versions, you are helping Indiana University Press generate the financial resources to continue investing in free and/or open access projects such as the Material Vernaculars series.

How do you access it? Go to https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/22075 and look for the “View/Open button. That will lead you to the PDF download.

Find all of the existing Material Vernaculars titles in free PDF format here: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/21727 Find them described and ready to buy here: http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/index.php?cPath=1037_3130_10392&CDpath=3_5

If you value the work that Indiana University Press does, consider making a donation to support its work or, just browse the press’s website and purchase some great books and journals.

As I prepare this post, the Press is having a 40% off sale!!!!!!!!!!

Congratulations to Jon and to all of the authors who contributed to The Expressive Lives of Elders. Thanks to the peer-reviewers, to everyone who has already purchased a copy, and to everyone at the IU Press, the IU Libraries, and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures who is supporting the Material Vernaculars series so enthusiastically.

Happy reading!

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Google Celebrates Native Artist in November 9th Doodle

A guest post by Emily Buhrow Rogers.

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A carved bear by Amanda Crowe (Eastern Band Cherokee) from the collections of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University. ca. 1973. Museum purchase. 7″ x 2″ x 4.75″ (1973-19-002)

In honor of Native American Heritage month, Google today celebrated renowned Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians artist, Amanda Crowe (1928-2004). Born and raised on North Carolina’s Qualla Boundary, Amanda Crowe is perhaps best known for her fluid and expressive animal carvings, which have been collected and praised by museums and art galleries across North America. She is also famous as an educator. After training at the Art Institute of Chicago, she returned to North Carolina and took up a post as studio art teacher at Cherokee High School. Here, she trained hundreds of students from her community in the art of woodcarving and influenced generations of Cherokee artists. The Mathers Museum of World Cultures collected several of her works and displayed them in the 2015-2016 exhibition, “Cherokee Craft, 1973.” Her bear sculptures instantly became staff favorites. (Here is a screenshot from the Doodle. Here is a link to the Doodle video. https://youtu.be/Je2du-WEnPQ

Google Crowe Image

The Doodle video was made in cooperation with Amanda Crowe’s nephew, William “Bill” H. Crowe, Jr., and the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, from whom the Mathers Museum of World Cultures obtained its Cherokee collection in 1973.

Emily Buhrow Rogers is a doctoral candidate in cultural anthropology at Indiana University, where she is also a research associate of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. She was the curator of the museum’s exhibition Cherokee Craft, 1973. Her dissertation research focuses on craft and environmental knowledge among the Choctaw people of Mississippi.

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