Western Kentucky University

Student Papers

Student Papers

kaitlyn and Jack

 

 

43rd Annual WKU Student Research Conference

Samantha Bruer and Thomas Harper Allen County Log Architecture Survey

Jacob Buechler The Highway Is Alive Tonight: The Use of Landscape in U.S. Supernatural Roadway Legends

Lacey Cornell Mennonites and the Conventional Health System in Scottsville, Kentucky

Jacobe Crowley Banksy Street Art: Redefining the Context of the Museum and the Everyday

Alessandra Dreyer Secondhand Roses: Narrative Staging at Labold and Sons Salvage, Local Art Gallery and Vintage Boutique

Hope Hawkins Flowers Knick-Knacks and Patriotism: Assemblage Patterns in Rural Baptist Cemeteries of South Central Kentucky

John "Jack" LeSieur Giving Voice to Objects: Ethnography in the Cultural Resource Management Toolkit

Kaitlyn Markert Lost But Not Forgotten

Bess McHone Contrasting Cultures: Islam and Jinn in Kentucky

Devin Payne Louisville Shotgun Houses: An Ethnographic and Vernacular Approach to Contemporary Living Spaces

Renee Pinkston and Kimberly Huddleston Massey Springs Resort: Archaeological and Vernacular Architecture Investigations of Historic Spring Resort Hotels in Western Kentucky

Jacob Stickle Self-Actualization and Identity Formation on the Appalachian Trail

Lilli Tichinin Negotiating Gender in the Word of Whitewater Kayaking

Marleda Upton Taxidermy: From Hunt to Trophy

 

30th Annual Kentucky Heritage Council Archaeology Conference

Renee Pinkston Massey Springs Resort: Archaeological and Vernacular Architecture Investigations of Historic Spring Resort Hotels in Western Kentucky Using multiple techniques of study is important when it comes to reconstructing past life ways in a concrete sense, but also in a more abstract sense. Massey Springs Resort, located in south-central Kentucky, was an important locus of human activities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This research demonstrates the ways in which the separate disciplines of vernacular architecture, folklore, and archaeology are able to, when used together create a more complete idea of the material culture of the people during this period and in this area.

 


2013 IU/OSU Folklore and Ethnomusicology Graduate Student Conference "Publics and Networks: Discourse, Circulation, and Power"

Becca and Ginger IU/OSURebecca Smith Snuffy Smith, South Park, and the Spice Girls: Art, Aesthetics, and Humor in the Group Identity of Corsair Artisan Distillery.  A tour of the Corsair Artisan Distillery in Bowling Green, KY includes those things one would expect to see in a distillery: a largecopper pot still, barrels of varying sizes lining the walls, bottles- some labeled and others awaiting labels, some full and others awaiting liquor - a few t-shirts, and commemorative glasses. However, if one were to look just beyond the still and barrels, one would fi nd a space profusely decorated in humorous displays of play-on-words, artistic interpretation, and employee commentary. Material and verbal expressive forms are primary discursive elements that realize Corsair's public space, where employees of Corsair have added various photos of pop icons from the Spice Girls to the Korean singer Psy of "Gagnam Style" fame, used visual imagery from television shows like Futurama and Beavis and Butthead to create an ironic commentary on their workplace, and developed a working "battle cry" evoked by and building upon these and other pictures on the walls. Using the criteria Gail Matthews talks about in her article "Mercedes Benzene: The Elite Folklore of Physical Chemists," and Elliot Oring's words on identity, I examine the folk decorations at Corsair Artisan as a refl ection of the community created within the workplace, as well as a shortcut to communication between the employees when the workplace is also a tourist destination.

Ginger Brothers Strasburg Pottery: Framed Tradition. While working in the Shenandoah Valley in the summer of 2012, I came across an art that was specifi c to the region: pottery. In the city of Strasburg Virginia community tradition and value has shaped the style and aesthetic in which pottery is created. My research explores dynamics, aesthetics, style, and individual expression in relation to set community standards. I sought out and researched the creative processes associated with pottery by speaking with two artists, community historians and museum professionals in the region. I also drew upon the research of Henry Glassie, Gerald Pocius, and Garth Clark my research looked at the dynamics of pottery in both the discipline of art and folklore. In conducting my research I discovered that the relationship that potters have to their work comes from historical frameworks of authenticity. The tradition of Strasburg pottery fi ts into community standards of collection and reproduction. In the eyes of the community aesthetic, pottery becomes valuable when it follows styles and creative processes that mimic those of the past. Degrees of authenticity are framed in specifi c processes which include making clay, clay forms and skill set, color choices, and fi ring techniques. Potters are allowed some artistic freedom in their creations, such as in color or molding techniques, however, the pot still should follow historical example. Pottery is a connection, not just an art in the Shenandoah Valley. Pottery serves as a link between the past, present and future in the Shenandoah Valley and is appreciated by collectors and artists alike.

Ehsan Estiri Why are they crying? 'Nakhl Gardani': An Ethnography and Analysis of a Religious Ritual in Rim of Desert. My paper has introduced a ritual in heart and rim of desert in Iran, called Nakhl Gardani. Nakhl Gardani is a Shiite religious ritual in which a structure or frame called Nakhl is carried by participants. The frame, weighing more than a ton, is carried by some participants in a route, from point A to point B, as other central audiences follow the structure. Religious rhymes are being sung at the same time during the ritual. Although Nakhl Gardani is being practiced in many areas in Iran, my ethnographic data is obtained from observation of the ritual in a small town called Ferdows, located in east of Iran. In addition to describing the ritual, this essay intents to reveal the emic meaning of the ritual by means of ethnography and casual interview. Besides, in light of Gellian theory, I am going to detect the "indexes" and "agency" in the ritual. Although, the ritual is obviously religious, the "agency" here, I suggest, is not only in relation with the Shiite ideology, but also reinforces the "social stratifi cation" in town: Nakhl Gardani provides an opportunity for participants to emphasize and sustain the community hierarchal 22 2013 IU/OSU Student Conference order. In other words, the social stratifi cation which has been most probably created due to lack of water and water rationing in an agricultural society, is being projected and preceded in Nakhl Gardani; even when the town is no longer agricultural, nor is water crucially important.

Afsaneh Rezaei Inverted Religious Orders and Hierarchies in Two Iranian Muslim Women's Rituals. In the institutional religion of Islam, women seem to have often been assigned a peripheral role, or placed at the bottom of the religious hierarchy in which men have always had the authority. At the same time, a number of religious rituals have been developed by women themselves that have exculded men as participants, and can b e argued to have brought Muslim women the religious centrality they have often been deprived of. Looking at two of such rituals, Rowze and Moloudi, which are held by Iranian Muslim women either for mourning the martyrdom or celebrating the birth of their religious fi gures, I will argue whether these rituals have served such a purpose for Muslim women, and if so, to what extent each has brought them the religious centrality and served as inversion to the hegemonic masculine religious orders. As a fi nal note, I will discuss whether these rituals, if considered as symbolic inversions to the institutional masculine religion, have either defi ed those disciplines or reinforced them by keeping women at their traditionally assigned domestic sphere for practicing their religion. The required data for this paper has been mainly gathered through participant observation in both rituals in the urban areas of contemporary Iran. Written questionnairs and casual interviews with the informants have also been conducted in order for the ritual descriptions to be more accurate.

 

Lacey Cornell IU/OSU

Lacey Cornell For God's Sake, No Tomato-Juice: The Art of the Clambake. Clambakes are in the simplest sense, picnics. They are gathering celebrations comprised of many groups of people enjoying each other's company with music, dancing, and an abundance of delicious food. Sometimes, however, the focus of the entire event is the food, so very little entertainment is required. Clambakes are inherently folk cookery, but they have found a home in modern life and in some popular culture forms. This study takes an academic approach, focusing on the history of the clambake, beginning with its origins and delving into the way in which it has changed throughout time with a review of ingredient variations, including a poem devoted to the importance of omitting tomatoes from clam chowder, a common side dish in the clambake tradition. Clambakes centered in one region: the Northeastern portion of United States, otherwise called the East Coast. In a world of many different types of cuisines and preparatory methods, clambakes are quite distinctive, because they are literally prepared on beaches using tools found nearby, such as large rocks, wood for a fi re, and seaweed or rockweed. Modern life has changed the ways in which people practice this art of cookery, including the phenomenon of ready-tocook clambakes that can shipped across the country or even the slow removal of the practice altogether for faster forms of cooking.

 

 

2012 OSU/IU Folklore Student Conference

Molly

Molly Bolick “I Chose to Stay”: A Narrative of Resistance, Transformation, and Empowerment.  This paper focuses on a narrative told by Julia Watkins about her civil disobedience, in which one act of social justice activism becomes the means to her own empowerment. In this paper, I follow the fl ow of Julia’s narrative as she told it to me, as she maps her path to transformation by action. I utilize what Debora Kodish (2011:37) calls “existential and experiential authenticity” in discussing what Julia describes as her life before and after her social action. “I chose to stay,” she told me, where “staying” has levels of personal, political, and social meaning. As such, I also explore these layers of meaning in the performance that have shaped the telling and are vital to understanding and interpreting it—Julia’s narrative is a conversation between two activists, two women, two close friends.  

 

tony

Tony (Gongbo) Liang Seeking the Vanishing Mother River: A Brief Introduction of Chinese Paper-cutting and its Current Study. Chinese paper-cutting not only is an art form, but also represents the cultural values of many people throughout China. Chinese paper-cutting and paper-cutting-like art have an over-2600-year history, which started in the Central Plains of China where the Yellow River goes across the plains. The Yellow River is called “the mother river,” and its basin, which is the area of the Central Plain, is called “the cradle of Chinese civilization.” Traditional Chinese papercutting, which used to be performed by women, played an essential role in Chinese women’s life. It was passed from one generation to the next orally and through demonstration. Girls usually learned Chinese paper-cutting when they were four years old from female family members. Paper-cutting did not have any specifi c patterns, even though it had some traditional uses. Artists created paper-cuttings without any restrictions. However, audiences were always able to identify the purpose for each piece. Paper-cutting was a simple way for women to pursue aesthetic needs, while at the same time expressing their attitudes about the society and about their lives as well. Women had no social status in ancient Chinese society, even no salutation. People used to address women as one’s daughter, one’s wife, one’s mother, or one’s mother-in-law. They could never make decisions for themselves and, therefore, had to suffer the psychosocial repercussions. However, in spite of its long history and important social value, paper-cutting started to vanish in China, due to urbanization and industrialization. After the Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, China started to pay more attention to intangible culture heritage. I was involved in a project to study and to preserve Chinese paper-cutting. After seven years, this important tradition was listed in the UNESCO Intangible Culture Heritage Lists in 2009. My hope is that this action will help to preserve this human cultural asset.

 

smj

Sarah McCartt-Jackson “Clogging’s Just Clogging”: Approaches to Vernacular Percussive Dance Study.  Because the term clogging often evokes invented tradition framing such as team precision clog-dancing at festivals and in competitions, vernacular percussive dance presents challenges to folklore study. Many question if contemporary clogging is a traditional form, asking if there is a place for dance no longer connected to a traditional past. Ultimately, vernacular percussive dance scholarship should attempt to go to the primary source of tradition change—those practicing vernacular percussive dance. Richard McHargue and his Richard McHargue Cloggers represent an example of a community folk group of cloggers who have a unique style of dance that blends elements of tradition with contemporary standards. This combination within one clogging group in Richmond, Kentucky, raises important questions about how folklorists defi ne, analyze, and frame traditions that are affected by increasing impacts of unconventional or non-traditional forms. This paper compares interviews, literature, and video documentation on vernacular percussive dance (specifi cally, buckdancing, fl atfooting, and clogging) to investigate how vernacular dancers understand their art in their own terms. The fact that many dancers differentiate between buck dancing, buck-and-wing, and clogging indicates their own system of genre classifi cation, which has diagnostic value. I argue that understanding how dancers classify their genres leads to a better understanding of the dancers’ frames and worldviews—especially in relation to tradition. Most signifi cantly, Richard McHargue and his cloggers view their style of clogging as an evolved, but traditional, form of vernacular percussive dance.

 

amber

Amber Slaven Anime: Alteration and Invention to the Tale Tradition.  The creative cultural output of a people is often used to determine, judge, and make assumptions about the ideas and conventions of the people who created it. This output can take many forms, including written works, verbal accounts, and artistic creations. Many of these forms have been altered by modern modes of expression, such as television, radio and the Internet. While modern advancements can alter the nature of traditional cultural 

material, they can also assist in the adaptation of that material to suit the differing tastes of new generations. It is obvious that the introduction of cinema and television created a means for the presentation of various cultural outputs in a manner that allowed them to maintain prevalence and take on new dimensions. Therefore, anime (Japanese Animation) acts as a conduit for traditional tales in a way that interacts with the oral tradition. This genre creates shows that act as an animated tale that has the same characteristics and functions as traditional tales. In this paper, I aim to explore the international characteristics of anime, which draws on many sources for the content and settings of tales and for their motifs and themes. These characteristics have led to an ever-growing international audience for the consumption of anime. While I acknowledge the Japanese origin and material used in anime, I will explore the relationship between anime and tales in an international vein. 

 

katie

Katrina Wynn I Could Tell Lots Of Stories. Whatever you call it, family narrative, family stories, “family saga” (Boatright 1973), or “family novel” (Wilson 1991), this form of narrative serves an important function in family and cultural life. Family narratives tie families together, entertain, comfort, pass on tradition, present a selected image of the family, express cultural patterns, and inform individual identity. In this paper, I will investigate the functions and evaluative elements of my family’s folklore. I analyze three stories of my mother’s that I feel were signifi cant and representative of my family’s narratives. My aim is to explore not only the stories themselves, but the wider storytelling traditions and contexts in which my family’s narratives are told. Briefl y, I look at the ways my family’s narratives do and do not correlate with the narrative subgenres laid out by Zeitlin’s book on family folklore. Finally, I will look at the interplay between my family’s narratives and my personal narrative of both my family and my identity. Concentrating especially on this last aspect, I will look at how I use my family’s narratives to frame my understanding, interpretation, and presentation of my family and myself. I conclude that family narratives play a vital role for my family because they point to a metanarrative about our family

 

 Last Modified 11/21/13