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Louisiana Folklore Society to meet at Loyola University New Orleans

Loyola press release - February 21, 2001

(New Orleans)—Ethnic cultures as diverse as New Orleans 7th ward artisans, the Creoles of Cane River and the "up river" roots of jazz and "voodoo queen" Marie Laveau will be topics at the spring meeting of the Louisiana Folklore Society. The meeting will be held March 16 – 17, at Loyola University New Orleans, 6363 St. Charles Avenue. The folklore society has been documenting the state’s rich traditional heritage for over forty years.

On Friday, March 16, from 10 a.m. to noon the Louisiana Folklore Commission will hold its semi-annual meeting, which is open to the general public. Attendees will learn about the diverse public folklife initiatives currently supported by the state.

At 8:00 p.m., on Friday, as part of the Biever Lecture Series, Daryl Cumber Dance, professor of English at the University of Richmond (Virginia), will present "Following in Zora’s Dust Tracks; or How I ‘Growed Ten Feet High." Dance will discuss the influence of Zora Neale Hurston has had on her own life’s work of collecting African American folklore. Professor Dance’s work as been supported by two Ford Foundation Fellowships, two National Endowment for the Humanities Grants and a Fulbright research grant. Dance's is the editor of the Norton Anthology of African-American Women's Humor and is one of the pre-eminent collectors of Black folklore alive today.

The panels on Friday will be from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and will include:

  • "Place and Identity in New Orleans," a discussion of the distinctive communities of the city such as the Irish Channel and the 7th Ward;
  • In "Plantation and Rural Emanations," the Creoles of Cane River and the "up-river" country roots of jazz will be examined.

The Saturday panels will be from 9 a.m. to noon:

  • The "Spirit at Work: Identity, Belief, and Practice" panel will examine folk Catholicism and Marie Laveau (panel members include University of New Orleans Professor Martha Ward);

"Current Ethnography in New Orleans" will feature a discussion of children’s, ethnic and gender folklore (Louisiana State University Anthropology Professor Joyce Jackson is included on this panel).

The folklore society publishes an annual journal, The Louisiana Folklore Miscellany, edited by David Estes, Ph.D., associate professor of English at Loyola. For more information call Estes at (504) 865-2476 or Ray Brassieur, Louisiana Regional Folklore Program, (504) 539-9644.

All events will be held in the Audubon Room in the Danna Center. Parking is free in the West Road Garage on campus. Professor Dance’s lecture is part of the Biever Guest Lecture series at Loyola. Based on the heritage of Catholic Jesuit higher education in Louisiana since 1849, Loyola University New Orleans was chartered in 1912. Today, the university serves approximately 5,550 undergraduate and graduate students.