This Land is Our Land: Gender, Place, and Social Action in Folk Song

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"Our Singing Country" collected and compiled by John and Alan Lomax

“Our Singing Country” collected and compiled by John and Alan Lomax

The fall 2015 semester afforded the opportunity to imagine and (re)articulate a digital humanities (DH) project for the certificate I am pursuing in DH alongside my doctorate in English at Northeastern. Over the next two semesters I will be developing and writing about the project tentatively entitled “This Land is Our Land: Gender, Place, and Social Action in Folk Song” and I wanted to provide description, background, and rationale–perhaps others embarking on a DH project will find this project narrative beneficial. This project challenges notions that folk songs are “traditional” instead of “rhetorical” by examining the song compilation Our Singing Country: Folk Songs and Ballads (Parente 162). Collected and arranged by John and Alan Lomax, with assistance from WPA contributors, the songs were recorded for the Library of Congress in the late 1930s – early 1940s, and were transcribed for this collection. There are approximately 200 songs in the collection, which includes identifying information about who contributed each song and where the songs were collected. The songs are organized by type (e.g., “Religious Songs,” Social Songs,” “Men at Work,” “Outlaws,” “Hollers and Blues,” “Negro Gang Songs”) and further classified by …read more

Read more at : Areti Sakellaris