(University of Papua New Guinea). Festivals as Post-colonial Counter-Discourse.
focuses on festivals in Papua New Guinea drama as post-colonial
discursive practice. It draws from selected plays by Leo Hannet
("The Ungrateful Daughter"), Nora Vagi-Brash ("Taurama")
and Peter Kerpie ("Voices from the Ridge"). The paper
argues that in writing their plays, Papua New Guinea playwrights
have appropriated their traditional festivals not only to reinscribe
and celebrate their identities, but more importantly as the melting
point of dramatic conflict. Thus, celebrations which are therapeutic
also serve as strategies for interrogating the hegemony of canonical
texts and representations.
Algan. (Ohio University). Bathing as a Ritual: Turkish
Baths or Hammams.
a ritual itself. Even though the modern era has reduced this ritual
to a daily, private, and hygienic routine, we have abandoned neither
the meaning of this relaxation and purification ritual nor its socialization
aspect in public baths like saunas and hammams (Turkish baths).
In this paper I seek to explain how the ritual of bathing in a Turkish
bath is perceived and interpreted by Islamic thought, as well as
how hammams were construed by Christian mores. Describing the bathing
rituals of women in Turkish baths, I also interrogate the social
significance of hammams for Muslim women.
Anagnostu. (The Ohio State University). Roundtable Discussion:
The Invention of Heritage in Festival "Contact Zones ".
under Amy Shuman for roundtable description.
Ancelet. (University of Southwestern Louisiana). The
Unbearable Lightness of Begging: Carnivalesque Laughter in the South
Louisiana Mardi Gras.
In this paper,
supported by slides and based on some theories on the nature of
carnival laughter, including those of Bakhtin, Lindahl, Fabre, and
Davis, I will explore the nature of the carnivalesque laughter that
is at the heart of the Mardi Gras. This laughter is generated by
the festival play of bands of masked and costumed "beggars"
who roam the countryside gathering the ingredients for a communal
gumbo. In exchange for these ingredients, the Mardi Gras runners
sing and dance for the members of the household. They also provide
laughter by improvising visual, verbal, gestural and theatrical
"jokes" during what can be some rather intense begging
rituals that sometimes border on extortion. These "jokes"
can be based on slapstick, political or social satire and parody;
they can be simple, complex, innocent, edgy, clever, or obscene;
and they work most effectively when the "punch line" is
Antonsen. (The Ohio State University). The Unwanted
Folk Festival: Identity Politics During a Village's Wells Dressing Week.
Eyam is popularly
known as the "Plague Village" because the villagers quarantined
themselves in the bubonic plague epidemic of 1665-66. This paper
will briefly illustrate the tradition of wells dressing as it is
carried out in Eyam in order to look in greater depth at economic
and social circumstances that have placed Eyam's wells dressers
unwillingly at center stage in a crowded, bustling, tourist-charged
festival atmosphere that they find distasteful. This paper will
also articulate the connection between local economic and social
forces and the village's historical, cyclical self-image as a community
Austin. (Bowling Green State University). Ill Legal
Conventions? Graffiti and Hip Hop at the 1997 Scribble Jam.
conceptualized youth cultures self-authored public displays as "resistant
rituals," and the appropriation of subcultural style by the
mass market as a type of co-optation of that resistant potential.
But what conceptual frameworks are appropriate for understanding
an "illegal" public art--graffiti--when its subcultural
creators begin to establish their own national/international festivals
for "legal" display? This question is pursued through
some of the contradictions and possibilities present within the
1997 Scribble Jam held in Cincinnati, Ohio.
B. Balthrope. (California State University). Abortion
Foes March on Supreme Court: Roe v. Wade After Twenty-Five Years and
a Public Display of Sorrow and Disapproval.
From 1973 on,
a sizable segment of the American population publicly mourns the
Supreme Court's Roe v Wade decision, which despite subsequent restrictions
is still operative. The rhetoric of the abortion conflict--the use
of terms like pro-life and pro-choice--reflects a larger conflict
in American society, one which encompasses the role of law in enforcing
morals and the proper place of women.
Belyn. (The Ohio State University). The Hare Krishna
The Hare Krishna
movement started in the U.S. in the late 1960s, and is still in
existence today. Followers (devotees) living in a local Hare Krishna
house were interviewed about their faith, way of life and dress.
The devotees dress and adorn their bodies in a symbolic way that
has specific meaning to their ideology. The devotees' life styles
also reflect their commitment to their religious ideology.
(Indiana University). Ceremonies From a Squatter Neighborhood in Istanbul.
Based on the
fieldwork conducted in the summer of 1997 in Istanbul, my paper
focuses on circumcision ceremonies in a squatter neighborhood as
yet another way to understand the margins of human life. I argue
first that ceremonies create social space where the ties of family,
neighborhood and kin can be re-affirmed, and second that they connect
to the memory of the migrants' village which enables them to craft
their identity. Constructed according to the shared knowledge of
the participants, these ceremonies are not closures to the daily
experiences, rather, they punctuate everyday life.
Buff. (Bowling Green State University). Casino-Era
Powwow Culture: Gender and Generation Down the Red Road.
on ethnographic and secondary source research, this paper explores
contemporary urban powwow practices. Contemporary powwows are, in
Eric Hobsbawm's words, "invented traditions". Powwow Princesses,
MCs and Drum Group Stars serve not only as "goodwill ambassadors,"
translating alterity into a language that tourists can understand,
but as powerful signs and actors in the landscape of contemporary
Indian culture. My focus on gender and generation in this paper
comes out of my increasing conviction that these are the terrains
on which transmigrant peoples struggle for their right to be dual
citizens--to be entitled with respect to the dominant nation, as
well as to their narratives of homeland, exile and return.
Callahan. (Indiana University). "Performing Inter-Nationalism"
in Stuttgart, 1904-1907: French and German Socialist Nationalism and
the Political Culture of an International Socialist Congress.
have left the cultural dimensions of the Second International unexplored
and unexplained. Examining the 7th International Socialist Congress
held in Stuttgart in 1907 reveals that French and German socialists
rearranged the structure of the public discourse on the nation by
articulating a socialist nationalism within the framework of internationalism;
hence, an inter-nationalism. This articulation took place through
political symbolism, ritual, and public display. The Stuttgart congress
represented a well-orchestrated public spectacle designed to perform
an "inter-nationalism" which would sustain the socialist
cause and intimidate bourgeois governments. The success of the congress
was, however, undermined by the inability of French and German socialists
to reconcile their conflicting versions of inter-nationalism.
Cash. (Indiana University). "Heritage Not Hate:"
The Confederate Battle Flag as Symbol in Civil War Reenacting.
addressing events in the Southern states concerning the officially
sanctioned display of the "Stars and Bars," or the Confederate
battle flag, is evidence of the continuing debate on the meaning
of this historical artifact. Opponents of the sanctioned display
point to the long association of this symbol with hate groups. Defenders
consider the flag an inheritance representing noble self-sacrifice,
honorable men and women, and family heritage. They argue that the
battle flag represents "heritage, not hate," implying
that it represents more than a single group's historical experience.
Chetro-Szivos. (University of Massachusetts). Notre
Dame de Saint Rosaire Festival: The Making of Symbol, and Construction
of Personhood in Acadian American Culture.
is an ethnographic study which examines an annual community event
that takes place among members of an Acadian American community
in Massachusetts. I explore how a church fair and the production
of a traditional ethnic dish are used to memorialize a culture.
The production of food is a symbolic act that distinguishes the
members of this community, and helps them celebrate their culture
and reconstitute their lives. This event gives its members a context
to give expression to a central tenant of their culture.
Corrette. (Bowling Green State University). "I
came for the hotel rates..." Academics on Holiday: An Exploration
of How Academics Use and Interpret Conference Culture.
This work investigates
how academics "use" and interpret academic conferences
which they attend. It would seem that conferences serve a multitude
of functions in terms of career advancement, professional networking,
exploration of ideas and research issues, and as a space of "holiday."
While cultural critics may berate conferences as symbols of erudite
isolation, there appears to be relatively little written on how
scholars actually perceive and use conferences. I intend to explore
conferences as liminal spaces where academics, when away from various
professional or personal constraints, may engage in multiple roles.
It then behooves us to understand the liminality of conference license.
Werbin Crane. (California State Polytechnic University).
Seeing in the Dark: Doctoring the Individual and Community through Ceremony
and Ritual with Special Emphasis on Visual Symbology.
ceremonies and rituals offer encompassing paradigms for conflict
resolution and doctoring of both the individual and the community.
Within a compressed system of belief, language, image, sound, taste
and touch, Bear Medicine and Yuwepi ceremonies, conducted in the
dark, exemplify strength. Visual symbology is of special interest
as it represents what cannot be easily verbalized. (In honor of
Robert Stead, Lakota medicine man and chief, Rosebud, S.D., who
saved the presenter's life)
Darcy. (University of Wisconsin--Madison). Montaigne,
Blanchot, Derrida, and the Politics of Eulogy.
eulogized his friend, Paul de Man, he saw death as an occasion for
making a claim of friendship in a series of public lectures. Interestingly,
both Montaigne's famous essay "On Friendship" and Blanchot's
collection of essays organized under the title of Friendship discuss
their topic in terms of dead friends. Why are discussions of friendship
associated with funeral eulogy, engaged under conditions of grief
rather than celebration? This paper interrogates the degree of relief
and fantasy involved in making a public claim of friendship for
someone when death elides the fragile politics of that claim.
Duntley. (College of Wooster). Hopeful Anniversaries:
Commemoration and Diversity in Seattle's Japanese American Protestant
miles of each other in Seattle are five historic, century-old mainline
Protestant Japanese-American churches in an urban neighborhood that
is 36% Asian American. Increasing ethnic diversity requires these
churches to confront the issue of "Japanese identity."
Religious ritual and commemorative five-year Anniversary cycles
project a collective ethnic memory and hopeful future appropriate
to a multicultural membership. These celebrations effectively engraft
each church's unique history to the Christian story, claiming kinship
with the Japanese "ancestors" and Biblical "family."
Estes. (Oakland University). Public Display, Political
Protest, and the Rights of Citizens: Anti-Jay Treaty Crowds, Conflict,
and the Public Sphere in the 1790s.
meetings, protests and demonstrations against the Jay Treaty in
1795 were not simply denunciations of the measure. Rather, they
were also vehicles by which citizens claimed for themselves a newer,
more modern understanding of the role of the public in matters of
political policy. This new conception swept away older notions of
deference to authorities and furthered an ongoing struggle over
inclusion in the political public sphere. This paper will examine
the public displays and demonstrations over the Jay Treaty to reveal
both the political attitudes being expressed by the participants
and the development of 1790s political culture.
(Indiana University). Using Sex to Sell a Rally: An Analysis of Two
Public Displays of Resistance.
During an October
weekend in 1997, the Kinsey Institute of Indiana University commemorated
its 50th anniversary, the Concerned Women for America staged a rally
decrying the Kinsey Institute, and some people staged a "lascivious
exhibition" to celebrate the loosening of sexual mores. This
paper analyzes speech and symbolic communication during those events
with a focus on the rhetorical use of references to sexual behavior.
Videotapes from the events are supplied by Bart Everson, publisher
of a talk show series appearing on Free Speech TV and on the internet
Gaudet. (University of Southwestern Louisiana). Carnival
on 12th Street: Reasserting Creole Identity Through Festive Play.
in the predominantly Creole and African American 12th Street area
of Lafayette, Louisiana, reflects both the cultural diversity of
Creoles of Color and the dynamics of asserting Creole identity in
a region more widely known as Cajun Country. The festive play of
the Creole Mardi Gras incorporates Afro-Caribbean performance styles
as well as French Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras chants and rituals.
This presentation will explore how Creole identity is reflected,
challenged, asserted, and celebrated in the intercultural borrowings
and negotiations of this carnival performance.
Gebhart. (Michigan State University). Tribe 8, A New
Way of "Rubbing Up Against" the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival:
Festival as a Discursive Style of Lesbian Community Building.
is to evaluate the 1994 and 1996 performances of the all-lesbian
punk band, Tribe 8 and the ways in which they function as sites
of on-going negotiation, as well as to shed light on the ways in
which these acts add to the foundation upon which lesbian communities,
within the festival context, are constructed. Tribe 8's performances
can be used to evaluate the ways
in which public space is utilized to express what has been traditionally
seen as private (i.e. female sexuality, women acting out rage and
anger) as well as examining the ways in which lesbians upend societal
definitions of gender and power.
(Re)Presenting Nations in Syria at the End of Empire.
In the immediate
aftermath of the First World War, two distinct nationalist blocs
competed to impose their vision of political community within Greater
Syria (present-day Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan). Each
bloc mounted demonstrations to win support from the population,
display symbolically what it deemed the proper ordering of society,
and disseminate a specific rendering of the national narrative that
would vindicate its right to rule. Reading these demonstrations
as texts enables the historian to understand the integrated symbol
systems promoted by political rivals and the process by which mass
politics spread in the Arab Middle East.
A. Grant, Jr..
(Pace University). American Press Reaction to the 1963 "March on
On August 28,
1963, two hundred thousand Americans, led by Doctor Martin Luther
King, Jr., participated in the historic "March on Washington."
The highlight of the "March on Washington" was Doctor
King's "I Have Dream" address at the Lincoln Memorial.
The events of August 28, 1963 attracted prime coverage in every
daily newspaper in the United States. Among the prominent publications
editorializing on the "March on Washington" were the New
York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Post, Atlanta Constitution,
Chicago Tribune, Milwaukee Journal, Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, New
Orleans Times-Picayune, Houston Post, Denver Post, Los Angeles Times,
San Francisco Chronicle, and the Portland Oregonian.
Kentucky University). Breakthrough into Ritual: Experiencing St. Mary's
of the Barrens.
abound within the landscape of this former seminary, and these places
have become personally meaningful to members of the resident community
of retired Vincentian priests. Moving through the landscape becomes
ritual as community members interact with the landscape and incorporate
it into individual expressions of faith and personal history. Using
Leonard Norman Primiano's concept of vernacular religion, this paper
focuses on a sometimes neglected area: material manifestations of
religious faith, using experiential ethnography to understand not
the precepts of "official" religion, but the personal,
sometimes idiosyncratic, expressions of religion as it is lived.
State Community College). Slide Presentation: Costumes of Carnival.
photographed these promenaders in their carnival costumes on the
Evening of Mardi Gras, 1996, in Venice, Italy.
State Community College). Masking and Racial Passing at Mardi Gras.
"Have a Good Time While You Can: An Impression of the Carnival
in New Orleans" (1928) is his 1903 memoir of a grandfather
who transfers his parental role for his grandson to a friend's African-American
servant so that the child may join in the Mardi Gras festivities.
Parental authority supersedes racial separation, and Robert, the
servant, manipulates the opportunities that masking affords them.
Robert and the boy experience both the Mardi Gras of African-Americans
and the Mardi Gras of whites that segregation prohibits. In how
they use the masks, they easily pass back and forth between the
Charles T. Groth.
(University of Pennsylvania). Here We Go 'Round the Hanukkah Bush: Holiday
Celebration in Mixed Religious Heritage Families.
from different religious backgrounds form a family, their religious
diversity gives them potential for added conflict and added creativity.
Not only do religiously diverse families have differing theologies
to contend with, they have differing value systems and expressive
cultures to negotiate--and all three factors can conflict. This
paper concentrates on families affiliated with Christianity, Judaism,
and Unitarian Universalism as they celebrate Jewish and Christian-derived
holidays the "time bombs" of family religious life. This
paper builds on scholarship which addresses creativity and agency
in ritual and celebration, such as the works of Barbara Myerhoff,
Ronald Grimes, Jack Santino, and Penina Adelman.
L. Hann. (Indiana
University). Belly Dancing and Ant Dancers: Comraderie and Memory at
U.S. combat veterans and their families hold annual reunions sharing
in commemorative and leisure activities. Like family reunions, these
groups also resemble the fictive kinship networks described by Winter
(1995). Dispersed throughout veterans reunions are an abundance
of creative and meaningful invented traditions. Reunions provide
opportunities to struggle, celebrate, laugh, and argue over the
memories of combat, allegiance to nation, and relationship to family.
This paper suggests that reunions function as a site for veterans
to actively "define their patriotism" and that collective
memory is forged and reshaped through ritual enactments of fictive
kinship networks (Bodnar 1997).
University). Iowa Folklife Montage.
Montage is a short documentary video on the Iowa Folklife Festival.
The video's montage style of re-presentation is often associated
with postmodernism. Its content, however, offers a view of folk
culture that is more complicit with older ideas about the subject
matter of folklore. In this way, the idea of folklife that emerges
through the video challenges ways in which we construct ideas of
traditionality, modernity, and postmodernity through folklife festivals
and similar display events.
(John Jay College of Criminal Justice). Beauty on Display: Beth Henley's
In the Miss
Firecracker Contest and The Debutante Ball, Beth Henley creates
female characters who squirm feebly and haplessly through the pageantry
of beauty contests and debutante "coming out" parties.
These social rituals are solely and specifically female; in both
cases, reputation and redemption are on the line. My paper examines
specifically the playwright's use and rejection of female stereotypes
in these plays, and her development of female characters against
a social backdrop that values beauty as a commodity.
(University of Missouri). Commemoration: The Unbroken Circle of Jesse
incorporates scholarship on public memory, and historical and legend
research to explore the life of Jesse James and how one commemoration,
the 1997 Pony Express/Jesse James Weekend, partially insures that
the Missouri outlaw never will be stricken from public memory. In
this study, commemorations become "cultural productions"
echoing the work of Dean MacCannel (1976:85). Twenty-seven interviews
with volunteers, reenactors, and visitors show that the cultural
production contributes to the public memory of Jesse James. This
study also suggest that the weekend's scheduled events, the people
who volunteered, and the festival's creator, Gary Chilcote, are
all memory makers.
Jankowiak and Todd White.
(UNLV). The Spectator and Performer in Four New Orleans Celebrations:
An Exercise Guarded Fellowship.
focuses primarily on the performer, neglecting in the process the
spectator. Moreover, most festival research does not examine behavior
patterns found in ordinary life and thus we have no base line to
distinguish between the typical and the atypical. The results of
an extensive field study that examine spectator behavior during
two New Orleans celebrations: The Christmas Parade (September),
Saturday Night during Mardi Gras, and Mardi Gras itself (Fat Tuesday).
The results of this study were then compared with behavior exhibit
in a non-festival Saturday evening. The findings of our study and
its implications for understanding the Carnival and other festival
traditions will be discussed.
Community College). African American Emancipation Celebrations in Central
New York State: Patterns of Regional Networking in the Nineteenth Century.
emancipation celebrations, by the mid-nineteenth century, had evolved
into huge public rituals that served various social, cultural, and
political functions for free blacks in the northern states. A number
of small and scattered African American communities in upstate New
York coordinated their efforts to develop a particularly strong
and sustained regional
commemorative tradition between the 1840s and 1880s. This paper
will place these regional celebrations in the broader context of
African American commemoration and historical memory, while examining
some of the functions the celebrations served within the region.
Ohio State University). Roundtable Discussion: The Invention of Heritage
in Festival "Contact Zones ".
under Amy Shuman for roundtable description.
S. Kim. (The
Ohio State University). Playful Ritual and Ritualistic Play in Traditional
Korean Mask Dance-Drama, Talch'um.
Korean mask dance-drama, or "talch'um," was enjoyed by
the members of the peasant class who were able to temporarily escape
their oppressed status by participating in the intricate performative
event of play and ritual. During the performances, the ruling class
was mocked, laws were subverted, and reality was challenged. The
ultimate goal of talch'um is the state of "sin-myung"
in which the performers and the audience merge and both become cleansed
through the redefinition of the situation. Talch'um is a sacred
ritual, yet the highest sacredness is reached through play. In this
paper, I use the theories of Turner, Huizinga, Callois, Schechner,
and Gadamer to examine this complex tradition.
Ohio State University). Power and the Ku Klux Klan.
As a part of
American history, Ku Klux Klan has continued as a hate group against
the black, Jews, and Catholics as well as other ethnic groups. Their
robes and hoods, which symbolize their belief in God help them continue
their secretive behaviors against their enemies. Even though they
have been losing power since 1920s, they still remain as a mysterious
group throughout the U.S.
of Southwestern Louisiana). St. Joseph's Day Altars in the Catholic
and Spiritualist Churches.
the celebration of St. Joseph's day with a food laden altar is considered
primarily an Italian Catholic tradition. While the tradition is
strongly rooted in Italian American culture, a parallel celebration
is observed by members of the Spiritualist church, which is traditionally
African American. The Spiritualist tradition has been adapted from
the Catholic and it retains many of the same characteristics. It
should not, however, be read as simply an imitation of the Catholic
practice. The two traditions as practiced by members of the different
churches have common elements and each serves as a unique centerpiece
for religious observation.
Ohio State University). The Zulu Krewe and Mardi Gras.
The Mardi Gras
Krewe of Zulu began in 1909 as a New Orleans' neighborhood group
with the purpose of participating in the annual Mardi Gras festivities,
as well as serving as a benevolent aid society for the local African-American
community. Traditionally, African-Americans were excluded from the
all male, all white krewes of New Orleans; this exclusion represented
the social reality of the Zulus' members and their mockery of this
reality was manifested through the costumes of Mardi Gras.
(SUNY at Fredonia). Showering the Bride: A Ritual of Gender and Consumption.
notions of gender and the emergent consumer society intersected
in the turn-of-the-century wedding, transforming it into an extravaganza
of consumption by and for women. The bridal shower emerged at this
time as an occasion that existed solely for the purpose of female
friends and relatives presenting gifts to the bride-to-be. This
paper will argue that the rituals of the bridal shower confirmed
and enacted the wedding's new focus on consumption and on the bride.
Although the rituals masked the shower's blatant consumerism, revealing
some uneasiness with the new materialism, they reveled in domesticity
as women's "proper" role.
(University of Minnesota). The Staging of History: Theatrical, Temporal,
and Economic Borders of "Historyland".
a Hayward, Wisconsin tourist attraction in the 1950s and 1960s,
re-created the history of the area's logging industry by transporting
Hayward's old buildings to a site outside of the town where they
were aesthetically arranged into "Old Hayward." Its tourists
could visit a "real life" lumberjack town, shop in the
old buildings, and encounter an "authentic" Indian Village,
with "full-blooded Indians" that trapped animals and prepared
wild rice. This paper explores the means of "heritage production
" that Hayward's tourism economy engaged in, and examines the
performative elements of this staging of history.
(Miami University). Contesting Gender Roles and Re-scripting Family
In this presentation,
I will discuss how and to what extent families adapt or transform
celebrations and self-representation in response to changing gender
roles. I will compare results from case studies of celebration in
two contemporary American families as well as representations of
gender in family photographs.
Kentucky University). Sacred and Secular Festival Celebrations at Holden
of this paper will be to explore how Holden Village, an isolated
retreat center located in the Cascade Mountains in Washington State,
celebrates itself as a community and reveals its values and world
views through the annual July Fourth festival and Jubilee! Day festival.
I will explore how festival participants and observers use parody
and inversion to make fun of these values and world views within
these socially sanctioned festivals. I will use my own experiences
as a participant-observer at these festivals, as well as the Holden
Village Mission Statement, as the point of departure for my analysis.
and Seamus Metress.
(University of Toledo). The Belfast Anti-Internment Parade and its Sociohistorical
Each year since
August 9,1971, Irish nationalists have marched in Belfast to protest
the introduction on that date of internment without trial. The early
morning internment raids of August 1971, were a significant element
in propelling the non-violent civil rights movement into a full
scale guerrilla war between British forces and the IRA. Many observers
believe that internment along with Bloody Sunday in January of 1972
were the major politicizing forces of early 1970s in the six counties.
This presentation will consider this annual anti-government parade
as a politically useful mode of communication that builds, maintains,
and confronts power relations in the Northern Statelet. Some comparison
to loyalists' parades commemorating the 17th Century Battle of the
Boyne and Siege of Derry will be considered. Our analysis will attempt
to place this event within the immediate and long term sociohistorical
dynamics of British and Irish history.
Green State University). The Dead Against the Government? Social and
Political Changes in the Celebration of the Day of the Dead in Lithuania.
The Day of
the Dead, celebrated on November 1st, is an important seasonal holiday
in Lithuania. It follows the Christian tradition of commemoration
of the dead. During the Soviet period, the festival was considered
"unsanctioned." The public attendance of the graveyards
on the Day of the Dead revealed the people's resistance to the Soviet
regime. After the festival was recognized as an official state holiday
in 1991, it is now facing new challenges as it encounters the Western
culture in Lithuania. This presentation, thus, aims to show how
social and political changes are reflected in the content of the
(Mary Baldwin College--Richmond Center). Rescuing May Day: Contemporary
Countercultural Festivals and Pageant in Two States.
By the 1960s,
American celebrations of May Day had been tamed into school-sponsored
wrapping of May poles with crepe paper and genteel daisy chain convocations,
its use as a worker's day of protest discredited by its identification
with Communism. Even so, its rich histories of carnival, disruption
and resistance, made May Day ripe for appropriation and reinvention,
a task undertaken locally by communities with roots in late 1960s
and 1970s counterculture. This paper will examine two local May
Day traditions, a large community celebration in Minneapolis and
a smaller one in rural southern Rhode Island, that emerged during
the 1970s and 1980s.
(University of California, Santa Cruz). La Charreada!: Rodeo a la Mexican.
and Directed by Olga Najera-Ramirez. This half-hour video examines
the Mexican charreada (or Mexican rodeo event) as practiced in the
United States. Based on five seasons of ethnographic field work
centered in Sunol, California and extending to other parts of the
United States and Mexico, this video provides an intimate view of
the charreada as
described by mexicanos living on both sides of the United States-Mexico
border. In particular, it focuses on the charreada as means through
which notions of Mexican identity are articulated, negotiated, and
disseminated. Produced in English and Spanish (English subtitles
are provided for Spanish).
(Ohio University). Representations of Meals and Utopian Feast in American
scenes in which a meal is prepared, served, or consumed often represent
the signs of carnivalesque. This essay examines comedic food scenes
in American films which signify an excess of food, language, and
drink. Mikhail Bakhtin's "carnival" presents an alternative
vision of the festive ritual as a temporary suspension of hierarchical
distinctions, conventional rules, and linguistic decorum. While
media and modern society offer characteristics of Bakhtin's carnivalesque
activities, the aspects of a truly utopian feast are rarely given
full representation in American film.
A. K. Njoku.
(Western Kentucky University). The Recontextualization of "Iri
Ji Ohuu"A Nigerian Agricultural Village Ritual in the American
Industrial City of Houston, Texas: The Problem of Proper Interpretation.
of relocation and proper interpretation of Nigerian rituals in the
United States are explored. Based upon the "Iri Ji," festival
in Houston, Texas, the paper demonstrates and explains ritual as
prescribed actions that emanate from folk belief and tradition.
The author makes two main generalizations: First, a ritual is a
legitimate way of looking at prevailing ethnic customs in America.
Second, a proper interpretation of immigrant rituals must include
elements from the primary cultures of the immigrants and from their
social conditions in the New environment.
Ohio State University). Roundtable Discussion: The Invention of Heritage
in Festival "Contact Zones ".
under Amy Shuman for roundtable description.
Public Displays of Ado(o)rnment: Decoration as Liminality at MediaWest
stereotypical view of a media fan is that of an asocial, obsessive
loner, fans are actually parts of a wide-swept creative community,
complete with its own traditions. Media conventions, a particularly
beloved tradition, present a forum for fans to interact with one
another and display their creativity. At a particular convention,
MediaWest*Con, participants celebrate their identities as fans of
a particular show or genre by creating elaborate displays that they
affix to the doors to their hotel rooms. This phenomenon of door
decoration creates a dynamic space for artistic interaction, adding
to the carnivalesque qualities of the convention.
(The Ohio State University). Heavy Metal Bands.
In many recent
years, heavy metal bands with their audience have formed their own
particular appearance with symbolic meanings. Heavy metal fashion
is represented by the uniform of blue jeans, black T shirts, boots,
and black leather or jeans jackets with tattoos. This fashion style
may enable them to express attitudes, values, and norms of their
own in our society.
(Lexington Theological Seminary). Shepherds in the Field: The Megiddo
Mission and the Celebration of True Christmas.
the Megiddo Mission of Rochester, New York has excited considerable
local interest with its springtime celebration of "True Christmas."
For the celebration, the church is decorated with spring flowers
and a program is presented which features costumed drama and band
and vocal music. Until the 1960s, a business adjacent to the church
featured True Christmas window displays. Newspaper advertisements
and True Christmas cards with spring themes were part of the celebration
until the 1950s. The Mission also campaigned against the celebration
of Christmas in December with tracts and newspaper advertisements.
of Pennsylvania). Killing Killers: An Examination of Death Penalty Practice
My paper explores
execution praxis and the crucial role played by the media in (re)constructing
state killings for the public. Focusing on Karla Faye Tucker's execution
and Dateline's coverage of it, I demonstrate the myriad ways in
which her violence is contrasted with the state's. Where Tucker's
killings are Bacchanalian and impulsive, Tucker's killing is restrained
and considered. Where Tucker's victims are mutilated, bloody and
vengeful, Tucker-as-victim is not violated, does not bleed and is
not angry. Ritually prepared for her death and killed by technology,
Tucker, we are assured, goes gently into her goodnight. I examine
the implications of--and the contradictions within--such framing.
of Pennsylvania). Bloody Scenes, Screaming Teens and those Troublesome
Queens: When Prom Promises are not Met.
assertion, "A society can neither create itself nor recreate
itself without at the same time creating an ideal," is useful
in understanding the symbolism of high school proms, modern mating
rituals whose queens symbolize regenerative promise. But for every
idealized prom queen in popular prom discourse there is a dysfunctional
counterpart who uses her power in anti-social ways. My paper examines
the bad prom queens of film and fiction whose actions threaten their
communities. I analyze the misogynist conservatism of texts like
Carrie--where young women's power is constructed as horrific--and
how such narratives intersect with the feminist project of Alix
Kates Shulman's Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen.
of Arizona). Silent at the Wall: Women in Israeli Remembrance Day Ceremonies.
development of the Israeli Remembrance Day ceremony indicates a
earlier willingness of the state to circumvent the constricts of
religion. Since the Western Wall became the venue, the ceremony
rigidified and the role of women became prescribed silence. The
exclusion and silencing of women remains virtually unnoticed. Using
a combination of theoretical models, feminist criticism, and historical
research, my paper analyzes women's participation in the Remembrance
Day ceremonies and concludes that as long as the Western Wall remains
the site of these ceremonies, women will not be welcome as full
B. Perry III.
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Celebrating National Community:
The Myth of the German "War Christmas" of 1914.
Eve, 1914, Father Jakob Eber, a military priest, visited the German
front line at Verdun, offering Christmas mass and joining officers
and enlisted men in the first Christmas of World War I. This paper
uses Father Eber's diary to reconstruct his holiday experience in
the context of a nation-wide network of celebration and introduces
popular post-war myths engendered by the "war Christmas."
The paper underscores the importance of celebration, memory, and
myth for shaping contests over the meaning of German national identity.
Slides from contemporary publications illustrate the visual aspects
of German Christmas in 1914.
(Kean University). Some Psycho-Social Observations of Rites and Ceremonials
in the End of the Coffee Harvest Fiesta of Maricao, Puerto Rico.
The rites and
ceremonials celebrated during the "End of the Coffee Harvest
Fiesta," (known in Spanish as "El Acabe," meaning
"The Ending"), are discussed as representing unique psycho-social
aspects and as expressive forms of popular culture which serve to
promote community involvement and identity. Some values and behaviors
which are considered indigenous and commemorative of the traditions
of the coffee region are specifically highlighted during this presentation.
The psycho-social framework for focusing on rites and ceremonials
seems to be a valuable research approach for studying existing and
emerging popular cultural forms.
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Politics as Dramatic Performance.
To look at
social movements and the activities of their organizers is to recognize
the theatrical element in politics and government, as well as to
understand protest demonstrations as serious attempts to reconstruct
the world through drama. This sort of performance must confront
enormous difficulties, among them: the legitimizing staging of the
established institutions; the unpredictability of both setting and
participants; and the need to engage "the media" and at
the same time make it possible for participants to feel authentic.
(Bowling Green State University). TV Guide and Halloween: A Qualitative
Halloween Preview issue marks an intersection between calendar time
and prime-time. This paper looks both at how Halloween programming
has played out historically and how TV Guide has framed the cultural
meaning of the holiday. Issues for the week before and the week
containing October 31 were analyzed for each year from 1977-1997.
There are four types of articles: discussions of the holiday and
associated programming, celebrity interviews, short stories, and
preview material. The increasing frequency of mentions in this popular
periodical suggest the growing acceptance and importance of Halloween
in the pantheon of holidays.
Kentucky University). "If you were there, you'd never seen it":
Writing Fiction and the Ethnographer's Attempt to Uncover the Unseen
in a Religious Healing Ritual.
postmodern ethnographer understands the impossibility of uncovering
ultimate truth. Conventional ethnographic methods have come into
question, namely participant-observation which is limited to seeing
only that which is outwardly expressed. Spiritual experience is
intensely personal and inward. Using my father's supernatural visions
as an illustration, I will address some of the issues postmodern
ethnographers face. I will present a highly experimental fictional
treatment of an actual healing event, and discuss the problems and
solutions fiction-writing pose. Other theoretical, methodological,
and ethical issues to be addressed are reflexivity, reciprocal ethnography,
(The Ohio State University). Introduction.
to the panel relates how appearance is used to define and structure
group behavior within particular subcultures where rituals or public
displays are a critical component of the culture. Each subculture
will then address (12-15 min. per person) (1) the collective values,
beliefs, or lifestyle are held by the group, (2) what is the social
reality of the group and how do members use appearance to reflect
this reality, and (3) what symbolism or codes are used in appearance
in rituals or public displays.
Green State University). A Sound As Pure As The Person: Believable Performances
of Sincerity In a Country Music Ritual.
image as an expressive form particularly bound to authenticity has
recently been described as the product of institutional fabrication.
In contrast, I argue that country's central aesthetic standard depends
more on performances of sincerity. Focusing on holiday reunion performances
by a local country "star" who serves as staff musician
on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, this paper explores the manner in
which critical evaluations of local country performances exist in
dialogue with the institutional narrative of country authenticity.
The Joe Edwards Christmas Show reenacts shared values equating musical
sound with individual integrity.
(Indiana University). Egg Salad and Turkey Soup: American Holiday Food
Leftovers and Traditional Expression.
universal as holiday foodways are holiday food remains and their
traditional treatments. This paper will focus on the varied ways
Americans attempt to solve/anticipate the holiday food leftover
crisis, and the variety of expressions in response. It is significant
to note that normal aesthetics get shifted in these situations--tinted
egg salad after Easter, turkey tetrazini and turkey soup after Thanksgiving
and Christmas, ham salad after other holidays--and how families
come to expect the leftovers equally with their initial holiday
(University of Pennsylvania). Performing and Displaying Rocky Balboa:
Popular Uses of Popular Culture.
integrate the symbol of Rocky into their daily lives through performance
and displays, while some tourists incorporate images of Rocky into
their perception of Philadelphia. The scholarly literature that
has analyzed the relationship between popular fictional characters
and tourism has focused on how popular culture artifacts portray
cities, tourists, or ethnic groups. However, little is written about
how communities integrate popular culture symbols (or heroes) in
the touristic dimension of cities. This paper concentrates on the
performative uses of Rocky Balboa in Philadelphia, analyzing how
the city is modeled by a mass media character.
(Washington University). Riffing on the Text: The Improvisational Element
This talk is
based on my ethnographic studies of three improvisational genres:
small group jazz, improvisational theater, and children's dramatic
play. I will present an interactional semiotic model of improvisation,
based on close analyses of transcribed dialogue. The model allows
a comparison of performance genres, particularly the differences
between relatively formalized or ritualized genres, and unscripted,
improvisational performances like festival and celebration. I will
discuss how all performances, including rituals, incorporate improvisational
elements, and I will discuss the implications for the relationships
between ritual text and performance.
(Bowling Green State University). An Ethnography of Rodeo Queen Culture:
Clandestine Feminism Expressed through Excessive Feminine Masquerade.
patriarchal, traditional, and ritualistic culture of rodeo, women
occupy contested and contradictory positions, as equestrian athletes
and at the same time as decorative spectacles. Nowhere within rodeo
culture are these seemingly contradictory practices more pronounced
than within the sub-culture of "rodeo queening." Through
an ethnographic analysis, this paper argues that rodeo queens participate
in excessive feminine masquerade not easily defined by patriarchal
codes. Rodeo women practice a clandestine feminism, rarely subverting
the patriarchal structure of rodeo in overt ways, but finding personal
empowerment and agency through the activity of "competing."
Ohio State University). Roundtable Discussion: The Invention of Heritage
in Festival "Contact Zones ".
are often produced for an audience larger than the culture of the
performers; designed explicitly to provide an occasion for cultural
exchange, they occur in what Mary Louise Pratt describes as "contact
zones," social spaces in which groups negotiate their differences
and discover their shared interests. Contact zones, especially those
of colonialism, often involve conditions of coercion, conflict,
and inequality. Even the marketplace model of potentially mutual
benefit operates in the context of a dominant culture's rules for
who can exchange what with whom, and which commodities are assigned
which values. Folk festivals are both exempt from and integrated
into other sorts of marketplaces of exchange, and while they sometimes
provide alternative means for groups to exchange ideas and learn
about each other, they are never entirely separate from the cultural
antagonisms they may be designed to escape.
(Ohio University). Images of the Olympic Festival: How People Perceive
the Media's Portrayals of Male and Female Athletes.
What are the
power issues surrounding the Olympics that deny men and women their
lived experiences? How are these issues manifested in the Olympics
through the themes of spatiality, temporality, corporeality, and
relationality? To answer these questions, I conducted and interpreted
conversations with three women and three men during the 1998 Winter
Olympics. Issues included not just the power available to the athletes
but also the relationships fans have with the Games and the power
of the audience members to watch the Games on television.
(The University of Texas at San Antonio). Enter the Ladies. The Early
Years of the Battle of Flowers Parade in San Antonio, Texas.
traces the early evolution of the Battle of Flowers parade, the
only parade in the United States organized and put on solely by
women. It began as a slapdash, last-minute parade in 1891 with the
excuse of a visit by President Harrison, which ended in a melee.
During the 1890s it grew to be a large-scale patriotic parade, but
always thematically and stylistically colored by the ladies who
organized it. It will be contrasted to the Tournament of Roses,
which began around the same time with the same inspiration, but
which evolved very differently.
(Northwest Missouri State University). Power on Parade: The Veiled Prophet
Parade, Class Conflict, and Civic Instruction in St. Louis, 1877-1880.
When St. Louis'
Veiled Prophet Celebration was founded in 1878, the founding members
of the event envisioned it would be a multi-purpose celebration.
This paper examines the ties between the origins of the celebration
and the St. Louis General Strike of 1877. The celebration represented
an effort by members of the St. Louis business class to reclaim
the streets of St. Louis from the working-class and to substitute
their own version of "street theatre" for that which workers
had formerly provided. These celebrations provided workers with
advice on morals and proper social order. The Veiled Prophet organization
was also designed to advance the economic standing of the city,
while its members advanced their own fortunes.
(Texas A&M University). The Texas Aggie Bonfire: Construction and
Destruction as a Rite of Passage.
explores how participating in a university tradition creates and
affirms identity by reinforcing group membership. The annual creation
of Texas A&M University's bonfire, reportedly the largest in
the country, can be read as a rite of passage. During the construction
process student workers become initiated into Aggie culture: they
not only learn safety precautions and building techniques, but learn
to emulate senior class members' attitudes, attire, and bonfire-specific
vocabulary. Many of these behaviors fly in the face of convention,
creating a carnivalesque atmosphere which reaches its peak on the
night of the bonfire's destruction.
York University). Mimetic Messengers.
The work of
a bicycle messenger is, for the most part, solitary. When we consider
this in light of the extreme conditions in which the messenger exists,
it seems logical that such an individual would desire some form
of community. Bicycle messenger races are the most coherent, large-scale
expression of this desire. The interesting thing about these races
is the extent to which they strive to recreate the stressful, unpredictable
conditions of the work environment. Why this particular need to
recreate? Is this not a strange bit of mimesis? My aim is to explore
what this can tell us about the deeper structure of human desire.
Green State University). "Any Mummers Allowed In?" Nativism,
Nationalism, and Revitalization in Newfoundland Music.
Since the confederation
with Canada (1949), there have been many changes in the culture
of Newfoundland, through increasing urbanization and industrialization,
as well as emigration to other parts of North America. These factors
have resulted in a renewal of interest by Newfoundlanders in traditional
folklore, as shown in songs such as Bud Davidge's "Any Mummers
Allowed In?" Mummering, the Christmas practice of house visiting
while in costume, has been adopted as a symbol of native identity
and pride. This presentation will explore theories of revitalization,
nativism, and nationalism, in reference to Davidge's song.
Truglio. (Cornell University). The Peculiar History
of May First in the United States, 1870-1894: The Creation and Re-Formation
of an American Holiday.
history of May First in nineteenth-century America, as it developed
from a Spring celebration into both an urban "moving day"
and the rallying point for labor's national 8-hour agitation, demonstrates
several characteristics common to many American holidays. The peculiar
creation and subsequent reformations of May First clearly shows
both the transformation of purpose over time and across space, and
the contestation of the use of public space, ceremonial time, and
symbolic content which determines the political meanings of American
holidays. As the political message of May First became increasingly
unpopular so did this unofficial holiday.
Green State University). Wielding the Freedom Song: The Exercise of
Power in the Context of Demonstration.
within the context of civil rights marches in Alabama in the 1960s,
constituted a means by which civil rights activists exercised power.
Using folklorist Beverly Stoeltje's model for examining power in
the performance of what she terms "ritual genres," the
presentation will demonstrate that activists asserted influence
via their capacity to adopt, adapt, and ultimately wield freedom
songs as a non-violent weapon in the. struggle for civil rights.
University of Southern Mississippi). "Anything to Scare the Children":
Cajun Women and Mardi Gras Masking.
symbolically central to the rural Cajun Mardi Gras run. Masking
allows Mardi Gras clowns to remain anonymous while temporarily assuming
new identities. As women began running Mardi Gras in some communities,
they also began making Mardi Gras masks and costumes that reflect
their own aesthetics and reshape local tradition. This paper explores
notions of traditions and its boundaries in relation to Mardi Gras
disguises. It also addresses ways in which masking allows women
to play with, and sometimes challenge, traditional cultural ideals
(Bowling Green State University). Jersey Devil Time: The Construction
of Celebration in New Jersey's Pinelands.
will examine the ways in which residents of southern New Jersey
reacted to a sudden "appearance" of the legendary Jersey
Devil, as strange tracks in the snow appeared all over the area
in January of 1909. Local citizens created an atmosphere of spontaneous
festivity that John Gutowski has termed "protofestival."
Today, these festive energies have been channeled into various forms
of organized festival and public ritual, most importantly as an
integral part of Halloween in South Jersey. Regional newspapers
have been the most active force in ensuring the continued association
of the Jersey Devil to local Halloween celebration.
of Pennsylvania). Toward a New Concept of Ethnic Culture.
An ethnic culture
is not just a "hybridized" or "Creolized" one, but
an emerging "third culture." To avoid ethnocentrically labeling
the Other or the erasure of history, we need notice that this third
culture is shifting its cultural core from its home culture and forming
a new set of symbols and values. With an example of a Chinese Kung Fu
class, I hold that any ethnic culture in the U.S. is in the process
of a mutative transformation and in time will be a distinct culture
with its own name.