Awards and Honors, Collections and Resources, Southern Folklife Collection, Special Collections

Southern Folklife Collection Names Research Fellows

Two academic scholars and a Grammy-winning musician will be the first research fellows at the Southern Folklife Collection in UNC’s Wilson Special Collections Library. Tara Forbes, Michael Kramer, and Abigail Washburn will each conduct research that makes use of resources in the Southern Folklife Collection (SFC).

Each fellow will visit the SFC in 2016 and, while there, will provide a public talk or performance.

The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation funded the awards, which provide a travel stipend of up to $1,500.


Tara Forbes

Tara Forbes is a doctoral student in English at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Her dissertation, “Singing Solidarity: Class Consciousness, Emotional Pedagogy, and the Songs of the Industrial Workers of the World,” covers the songs and song culture of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in the United States in the early twentieth century. Forbes will make use of the SFC’s Archie Green Papers to examine how industrial workers circulated and learned songs.

Michael Kramer

Michael Kramer (UNC M.A. 2001 and Ph.D. 2006 in history) is author of The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture and visiting assistant professor in the history department and American studies program at Northwestern University in Illinois. Kramer is currently researching his next book, “This Machine Kills Fascists”: Technology and Culture in the American Folk Music Revival. Collections at the SFC will help him investigate how technology shaped the folk revival and its relationship to cultural heritage and tradition.

Abigail Washburn

Banjo player and folk musician Abigail Washburn is the winner of the 2016 Grammy Award for best folk album, along with her husband Béla Fleck. Washburn will use her fellowship to seek inspiration in the SFC, where she will consult archival recordings of and documents about gospel music, Appalachian ballads, early blues, Chinese folk music and stories, folk opera, and shadow puppetry.

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