University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

March 21, 2008
Contact: Joy Crawford-Washington, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6211

USA to Host the Alabama Community Scholars Institute on Folklore

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The Alabama Community Scholars Institute will be held June-20-28 at the USA Student Center. This training program is for people who want to do research, document and present various aspects of Alabama’s traditional culture, including the music, food, crafts, stories, celebrations and work traditions of their own communities. The deadline for applications to attend the training is Thursday, April 10.

Throughout the eight-day program, participants will study how to do fieldwork, recognize traditions, conduct field surveys, interview, record, photograph, video tradition bearers, log and transcribe interviews.

The institute will also be helpful to staff members and volunteers of museums and cultural centers, those in cultural tourism and school teachers who want to involve their students in collecting oral histories.

Dr. Kern Jackson, professor of English and director of the African-American Studies Program at the USA, is helping to coordinate the event.

Nick Spitzer, nationally known folklorist and host of "American Routes" on Public Radio International and Michele Forman, an award-winning documentary film maker, who teaches at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, will also facilitate the training sessions.

This training is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and sponsored by the Alabama Folklife Association.

For more information or to register for the training call Joyce Cauthen at 205-822-0505 or e-mail her at To view a complete schedule of training sessions, visit

The Alabama Folklife Association is a statewide non-profit organization with a purpose to promote knowledge and appreciation of Alabama Folklife through activities such as festivals, conferences, field work, videos, recordings, publications and a journal, "Tributaries."

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