Rethinking the Ballad: A Symposium with Richard Firth Green and Friends

June 9, 2014
Friday, February 28, 2014 - 8:30am to 5:00pm
Ohio Union, Barbie Tootle Room
Richard Green

Co-sponsored by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise, the Folklore Student Association, & the School of Music.

In this symposium, Richard Firth Green, guests, and students take the pulse of ballad scholarship. They consider changes in the understanding of Anglophone balladry as old songs are revived, remediated, and repurposed for new audiences, giving us new perspectives on texts and tunes. Coming from folklore, literary studies, medieval studies, and ethnomusicology, they also explore disciplinary and generational shifts of interest and avenues of inquiry into a much-studied but still elusive genre.

Keynote Address: Todd Harvey

(Curator of the Alan Lomax Collection of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress).

"Captain Wedderburn's Courtship": Reimagining ballad scholarship at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

The American Folklife Center archive holds significant collections of song, making it a valuable resource for ballad scholarship. Ethnographic field recordings comprise the majority of early 20th century holdings in the archive. These recordings make possible exploration of ballads in their cultural context to an extent that text-only sources do not. A gulf exists, however, between knowledge that holdings exist and access to these materials in a manner increasingly expected by contemporary scholars. A central matter in archival discourse today, 'meeting the needs of users' depends on numerous factors including the Center's willingness to embrace ideas from outside disciplines and disparate user groups.

See also Harvey's Barnett Seminar talk on February 27th from 1-2pm.

Schedule of Events

8:30 - 9:00am

Registration, Caffeine, Carbohydrates

9:00 - 10:00am

Landscapes of Violence

  • Andrew Richmond(Department of English, OSU), Rivers of Blood at the Banks You Know: Vision Literature Motifs and Rhetorical Constructions of Localized Landscapes in Thomas the Rhymer
  • Sarah Harlan-Haughey(Department of English, University of Maine), Women on the Brink: Water and Death in Maine/Maritimes Balladry

10:00 - 10:15am

Break

10:15 - 11:15am

Gender and Concealment

  • Christofer Johnson(Department of English, OSU), 'She Dressed Herself in Man's Array': Gender, Sexuality, and Agency in the Cross-Dressing Ballads
  • Kate Burling(University of Capetown/Project Narrative), Conrad's Secret Agent: the Role of 'The Butcher Boy' Ballad in the Telling of Winnie Verloc

11:15 - 11:30am

Break

11:30 - 12:30pm

Delving

  • Richard Firth Green(Department of English, OSU), 'I saw a dead man won the field': the Genesis of The Battle of Otterburn
  • Sally Schutz(Department of English, Texas A&M), Ballad Hysteria: A Response to Fatalistic Ballad Scholarship

12:30-1:30pm

Lunch

1:30 - 2:30pm

Enlivening

  • Jennifer Wollock(Department of English, Texas A&M), On Reading and Singing 'Tam Lin'
  • Graeme Boone(School of Music, OSU), Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter, and the Harry Smith Ballad Collection

2:30 - 2:45pm

Break

2:45 - 3:45pm

Keynote Address

Todd Harvey(Curator of the Alan Lomax Collection of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress) "Captain Wedderburn's Courtship": Reimagining Ballad Scholarship at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

3:45 - 4:45pm

Wrap-up Discussion

Graeme Boone, Richard Green, and Dorothy Noyes


Available documents:
Schedule of Events [pdf] and
Event Flier [pdf]

[pdf] - Some links on this page are to .pdf files.  If you need these files in a more accessible format, please contact patterson.493@osu.edu. PDF files require the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader software to open them. If you do not have Reader, you may use the following link to Adobe to download it for free at: Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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