Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology News
Folk Studies Alumnus Dr. Jon Kay to Give Talk on April 8th for PCAL Alumni Speaker Series
- Monday, April 5th, 2021
On April 8th at 5:30pm, the Potter College Alumni Speaker Series will host alumnus Dr. Jon Kay for a virtual keynote talk titled, "Folklore, Art, and Aging: The Power of Creative Practice in Later Life." Dr. Kay earned his MA in Folk Studies in 1997 and is now Associate Professor of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University and director of Traditional Arts Indiana.
Dr. Kay works at the intersection of folklore, the arts, and gerontology and believes that growing old is an important developmental stage of creativity. Dr. Kay's book Folk Art and Aging: Life Story Objects and Their Makers will serve as the foundation for his keynote talk and offers "an absorbing and fresh perspective on aging and crafts... and explores how elders choose to tap into their creative and personal potential through making life-story objects."
Creative practices not only help seniors cope with the "ailments of aging and loneliness," but also help to serve as "meaningful memory projects" to help them "forge new identities for themselves that do not erase their earlier lives but build on them and new lives that include sharing scenes and stories from their memories."
According to Kay, "We are witnessing a great change in the demographics of the world. This year, 2021, people aged 65 and older will outnumber children under the age of five for the first time in human history, all the while many elders are struggling with feelings of isolation, boredom, and helplessness. This talk will both inform and inspire attendees about how elders are using their creative practices to resist the challenges facing them as they age.”
The Potter College Alumni Speaker Series celebrates the accomplishments and diverse paths our alumni have taken, while advising current students on career options and networking opportunities. The mission of Potter College is to help students expand the range of their opportunities by providing them with a broad education that will prepare them for meaningful work in an almost limitless number of careers across a lifetime. Access the Zoom link to this talk and learn more about the Series and future events: https://www.wku.edu/pcal/alumnispeaker.php
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