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May 12, 2017

Dr. Carol Silverman to Present “Global Gypsy: Appropriation, Hybridity and Race”

On June 2 at noon in PLC 159, Dr. Carol Silverman of the Folklore Program and Department of Anthropology will present from her research on Balkan “Gypsy” music.

Work-in-Progress and Books-in-Print talks is sponsored by the Oregon Humanities Center.

Talks by OHC fellows on their current research or recently published books. All talks take place on Fridays at noon in the OHC Conference Room, 159 PLC. All are welcome to attend. Brown-bag lunches are welcome. Seating is limited; early arrival is recommended.

“Global Gypsy: Appropriation, Hybridity and Race”

In the last twenty years, Balkan “Gypsy” music has exploded in popularity, becoming a staple at world music festivals and dance clubs throughout the United States and Western Europe. At the same time, thousands of Balkan Roma (the ethnic group frequently referred to as “Gypsies”) have emigrated westward due to deteriorating living conditions, and entrenched stereotypes have arisen amidst deportations and harassment. In this heightened atmosphere of xenophobia, Roma, as Europe’s largest minority and its quintessential “other,” face the paradox that they are revered for their music yet reviled as people. Focusing on clubs and festivals, this illustrated ethnographic presentation investigates the ramifications of the current scene for Romani performers and non-Romani musicians, producers, audiences and marketers.


for more information on talks, visit

April 20, 2017

76th Annual WSFS Meeting, April 21-22, 2017

Welcome Conference attendees! The Folklore Program is very much looking forward to hosting the Western States Folklore Society conference this coming weekend at the University of Oregon.

For information about the conference, please go to

March 26, 2017

Dr. Carol Silverman to present at Oregon Humanities Center Colloquium

As part of the Oregon Humanities Center Work in Progress Colloquium Series, Dr. Carol Silverman of the Department of Anthropology and Folklore Program will present finding from her recent research, “Global Gypsy: Appropriation, Hybridity and Race.”  

The colloquium will be held on Friday, June 2,  at noon, in 159 PLC

March 9, 2017

Dr. Loren Kajikawa Lecture, “Listening to Hamilton in the Age of Trump”

The hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” gets praise for its focus on diversity and inclusion, but UO musicologist Loren Kajikawa cautions fans to hold their applause — at least some of it.

Kajikawa credits the musical with drawing attention to racism by retelling the story of the nation’s founders through marginalized groups, but he argues that its narrative overlooks an economic inequality that continues to limit many Americans. Kajikawa will address this discrepancy in his upcoming Quack Chats pub talk, “Listening to Hamilton in the Age of Trump,” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, in the Erb Memorial Union’s Falling Sky Pizzeria.

“‘Hamilton’ takes brilliant aim at our racist past, but it mostly gives a free pass to the dark economic forces that have bound race and capitalism from the colonial period onward,” said Kajikawa, who specializes in hip-hop and rap music and matters of racial representation.

“Hamilton” incorporates many components of Kajikawa’s academic expertise as it tells the story of Alexander Hamilton with a diverse cast and a hip-hop-based score.

“Its focus on racial diversity without concern for economic justice reflects current tensions in politics and in popular culture,” he said.

Kajikawa appreciates “Hamilton” for advocating for racial justice, but he points to the show’s portrayal of its title character as a clear example of the disconnect between racial and economic issues. He argues that the show heralds Hamilton as a champion of the people, without addressing the first U.S. secretary of the treasury’s role as the chief architect of Wall Street, which helped fund the expansion of slavery and enabled many of the nation’s wealthiest 1 percent to rise to affluence.

Kajikawa will also dive into the show’s integration of hip-hop and how it and the hip-hop culture plays out in the show.

“The show’s creator, Lin Manuel Miranda, borrowed a story from hip-hop — of struggle and perseverance and overcoming odds — and found the ways those elements are mirrored in the story of one of our Founding Fathers,” Kajikawa explained.

Kajikawa jokes that as someone who specializes in both hip-hop music and race, he had very little choice but to add his voice to those providing commentary on “Hamilton.” But when he started listening to the show’s music, he found himself an unexpected “super fan.” His entire family soon adopted his enthusiasm for the score, which he said is a rarity with his household’s musical preferences.

The event is open to the public, and participants are encouraged to ask questions and engage in a conversation with the researcher during the presentation. The talk is part of a series of events that fall under the umbrella of Quack Chats, a public outreach initiative led by University Communications.

February 28, 2017

Kristen Gallerneaux Presentation “Sonic Spectres”

Media historian, folklorist, and artist Kristen Gallerneaux will present her illustrated lecture Sonic Spectres at UO’s Lawrence Hall Room 166 on Tuesday, March 7 at 6:30 pm. Uniting esoteric histories, acoustics, and place, she will share a decade of accumulated historic and artistic research including artifacts found in her collections as a museum curator, fieldwork from “charges landscapes,” trace elements of the material and audible history of paranormal culture, and objects that shouldn’t exist.

Kristen Gallerneaux is the Curator of Communication and Information Technology at the Henry Ford Museum, where she continues to build upon one of the largest historic technology collections in North America.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

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