Spring Colloquium of the Center for Folklore Studies
Stories of settlement sometimes migrate along with the settlers. In the chain of colonization that stems out from the ancient Mediterranean, the community that sends settlers to colonize another place was inevitably once a colony itself. The narratives that legitimate the possession of the mother country are thus available for transferral to the new colony.
Because colonization exerts violence upon the existing inhabitants of the territory and usually upon the landscape itself, stories to legitimate the occupation are both necessary and deeply ambivalent, carrying traces of the violence they seek to efface. Stories are sometimes exchanged between the colonizers and the colonized, their symbolic coding enabling a debate that could hardly take place in plain language.
In this one-day event, the first of a planned annual Colloquium on Tradition and Politics, ethnohistorians, classicists, and folklorists will explore narrative representations of the encounter between colonizers and indigenes across the Mediterranean and North and Central America. In addition to comparing the contexts of these acts of narration, we will trace the migrations of the narratives themselves across different colonial situations. The second half of the event will address the act of comparison itself as seen from different disciplinary perspectives: folklore, classics, and postcolonial studies. The expectation is that we can recover some of the dynamic of consent and resistance in the colonial process through a context-sensitive philology.
The Center for Folklore Studies is grateful for the co-sponsorship of CIRIT (OIA Interdisciplinary Initiative) and the Department of Greek and Latin.
To reserve a place for lunch, send an email to Nancy Yan. Make certain the subject line on your email specifies "Colonization Narratives Conference."
9-10:30 Case Studies 1.From Classical Antiquity to Native North America and Back
Welcome: Dorothy Noyes.
Jason Baird Jackson, Associate Professor of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Indiana University. "The Story of Colonialism, or the Ox-hide Purchase (AaTh 2400) in Native North America"
Adrienne Mayor, Visiting Fellow in Classics and Human Values, Princeton University. "Fossils and Foundation Stories in Classical Antiquity and Indigenous America."
10:45-12:00 Case Studies 2. Early Modern Recyclings of Classical Founding Legends
Dorothy Noyes, Associate Professor of English, OSU. "Settlers and Invaders: Festival Origins and Resentful Dependence in Seventeenth Century Languedoc."
Daniel Reff, Professor of Comparative Studies, OSU. "Sympathy for the Devil: Devil Sickness and Songs among the Tohono O'Odam."
1:30-3:00 Diffusion, Appropriation, Parallels: How to Compare?
The View From Folklore: Roger D. Abrahams, Hum Rosen Professor of Folklore (Emeritus), University of Pennsylvania
The View From Classics: Sarah Iles Johnston, Professor of Greek and Latin, OSU
The View From Postcolonial Studies: Chadwick Allen, Associate Professor of English, OSU