Through blog posts, podcasts and videos presentations of public programs and concerts, you can learn more about the American Folklife Center's collections directly from folklorists, specialists, and performers.
Folklife Today is a blog for people interested in folklore, folklife, and oral history. The blog features brief articles on folklife topics, highlighting the unparalleled collections of the Library of Congress, especially the American Folklife Center and the Veterans History Project.
The highlighted blog posts below focus on the topic of foodways, and offer entry points into food-related materials in the American Folklife Center collections.
Discover the treasures of the Library through its experts and special guests. Find full podcast series produced by the American Folklife Center by following the links below.
Since its inception in 1976, the American Folklife Center has routinely hosted public programs at the Library of Congress in the form of concerts, lectures, panels, and symposia. From 2006 on, most of these public programs have been video recorded and made available online.
There are a number of playlists available on the YouTube page that gather videos from certain seasons of our Homegrown Concert series External or pull together various lectures as a sampler External of the types of topics covered. You can also simply search "folklife" on the YouTube page External to pull up hundreds of videos.
It is also possible to view entire series of American Folklife Center videos on the Library's website. Those links are provided below. Many (if not all) of the same videos can be found on the Library's YouTube channel.
The below film, "Fermentation with Marlyn McClendon," is part of the American Folklife Center's 2021 Homegrown Foodways in West Virginia film series. Co-produced with the former West Virginia State Folklorist, Emily Hilliard, and Mike Costello and Amy Dawson of West Virginia's Lost Creek Farm, filmmakers Costello and Dawson join Marlyn McClendon (Lobelia, WV) as she explores both her Korean and Appalachian heritage at the dinner table, often preparing traditional Korean foods with ingredients grown or foraged nearby. In the film, Marlyn and her mother, Yong, prepare traditional kimchi and a variety of other Korean dishes for a meal shared with friends and neighbors. (Event date: September 1, 2021)
Also part of the Center's Homegrown Foodways in West Virginia film series is the film, "Foraging and Relations with Jonathan Hall," where filmmakers Costello and Dawson are joined by fellow hunter and forager Dr. Jonathan Hall as they sustainably harvest and preserve ramps. Jonathan reflects on the experience of being a Black outdoorsman hunting and foraging in virtually all-white spaces in rural West Virginia, discussing how racism has created unique barriers to entry to the practice of outdoor foodways traditions in Appalachia. As a teacher to his friends, to his children, and professionally, as a professor, Dr. Hall uses wild food to educate about the conservation of the resources that sustain us, informed by the ethos of "relations" that has guided Indigenous communities for thousands of years before white settlers arrived in Appalachia. (Event date: August 18, 2021)