Folklife and Museums: Twenty-First Century Perspectives (American Association for State and Local History)

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9781442272927: Folklife and Museums: Twenty-First Century Perspectives (American Association for State and Local History)

Much has changed in the fields of museology and folklife during the past 30 years, when Folklife and Museums: Selected Readings was first published by Aaslh Press in 1987. Folklife and Museums: Twenty-First Century Perspectives is a brand new collection of cutting-edge essays that combine theoretical insights, practical applications, topical case studies (focusing on particular subject matter areas and specific cultural groups), accompanied by up-to-date “resources” and “suggested readings” sections. Each essay is preceded by an explanatory headnote contextualizing the essay and includes illustrative photographs.

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About the Author:

C. Kurt Dewhurst, Ph.D., serves as the Director of Arts and Cultural Initiatives and Senior Fellow. University Outreach & Engagement; Curator of Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Michigan State University and Professor of English at Michigan State University. He is also Director Emeritus of the MSU Museum. His research interests include folk arts, material culture, ethnicity, occupational folk culture, cultural economic development, and cultural heritage policy.

Patricia Hall is an independent folklorist and museum consultant living and working in San Diego, CA. Previously, she served as Director of Education for the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), where she designed and led museum seminars; oversaw the Association’s Consultant Service; published and produced written and audiovisual materials (So You’ve Chosen to be a History Professional and Now That You’ve Chosen History: Here’s How to Get the Job); and presented papers and published numerous articles on the relationship of folklore and history.

Charlie Seemann is the Executive Director Emeritus of the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from San Francisco State University and an M.A. in Folklife Studies from the University of California at Los Angeles. He was Deputy Director for Collections and Research at the Country Music Foundation/Country Music Hall of Fame for 12 years, and then Program Director at The Fund for Folk Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico, before coming to the Western Folklife Center in 1998. He retired from that position in July 2014

Review:

Folklorists have been pioneers in museums for over half a century, moving the field toward more richly collaborative work, closer engagement with communities, and radically inclusive practices. This volume explores, from multiple angles, the significant and under-appreciated relationship between folklife and museums. (William S. Walker, Associate Professor of History, Cooperstown Graduate Program, SUNY Oneonta)

Folklife and Museums: Twenty-First Century Perspectives is for everyone—regardless of discipline—who is in any way responsible, or is seeking to become responsible, for content, interpretation, programming, and community engagement in any museum dealing in any way with culture. An impressive array of experts explore how the field of folklore, the role of museums, changing technology, and the expectations of people and communities today intersect both to demand and to provide new approaches to advancing knowledge and understanding of human activity and relationships. The result is a fresh look and a must read. (G. Rollie Adams, President and CEO Emeritus, Strong Museum)

Bridging theory and practice, this collection continues the fruitful dialogue between folkloristics and museology with important thought-pieces and case studies. As the relationship between museums and their publics is being redefined, these essays remind us that folklore’s commitment to ethnographic practice, participatory ethos, and community voices continues to complicate and enrich to all aspects of museum practice. (Michael Atwood Mason, Director, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage)

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