Events, Southern Folklife Collection, Special Collections

Symposium, Concert Remember Work of Folklorist Archie Green Nov. 21

Work’s Many Voices: A Memorial Symposium in Honor of Archie Green
Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009
Symposium 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Reception 5 p.m. | Concert 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Special Collections Library
Free and open to the public
Registration required: RSVP to Liza Terll, Friends of the Library (, 919-962-4207)
View symposium schedule (updated Nov. 16)

Archie Green (L) with Dock Walsh, 1962. From the Archie Green Collection, Southern Folklife Collection.

Archie Green (L) with Dock Walsh, 1962. From the Archie Green Collection, Southern Folklife Collection.

Folklorist Archie Green will be remembered in a day-long symposium and evening concert Nov. 21 at UNC.

Green, who died in March at the age of 91, played a central role in establishing the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and the Southern Folklife Collection at UNC’s Wilson Special Collections Library. His personal and professional archives are part of the Southern Folklife Collection.

Green’s experiences as a shipwright and union activist informed his later work as a scholar, said Steve Weiss, head of the Southern Folklife Collection. “Archie paved the way for a new kind of study of American workers as people with a rich history and culture,” said Weiss.

The memorial symposium, “Work’s Many Voices,” will pay tribute to Green’s interest in the life, culture, and art of workers in the United States.

“We needed a full day to touch on even a few aspects of Archie’s wide-ranging interests and scholarship,” said Weiss.

The program includes panel discussions about laborlore—the combined study of both folklore and labor history—and music.

Norm Cohen, independent folk music researcher and author of the books All This for a Song (newly published by the Southern Folklife Collection) and Long Steel Rail: The Railroad in American Folksong, will deliver the keynote address at 11 a.m.

The evening concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. and feature performances by ballad singer Elizabeth LaPrelle, old-time musicians Stephen Wade and Mike Craver, and string band the New North Carolina Ramblers.

Since Green’s passing, similar tributes have been held in his memory at the Library of Congress, the University of Illinois, and San Francisco State University. “Archie was a very influential person who inspired and mentored generations of colleagues and students,” said Weiss.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required by Nov. 14. To sign up, email Liza Terll, Friends of the UNC Library,

The event is co-sponsored by the Southern Folklife Collection and the UNC Folklore Program.

Related Links

Work’s Many Voices Symposium Schedule of Events
Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, at the Wilson Special Collections Library, UNC-Chapel Hill
Register by Nov. 14: Liza Terll, Friends of the Library, (, 919-962-4207)

Schedule updated Nov. 16, 2009

8:30 a.m.  Opening reception and coffee.

9 a.m.  Remarks from Sarah C. Michalak, University Librarian and Associate Provost for University Libraries; and Daniel Patterson, Kenan Professor Emeritus of English at UNC and former chair of the Curriculum in Folklore.

9:15 a.m.  Laborlore Panel: Brendan Greaves, public art and community design director at the NC Arts Council; Tim Prizer, Ph.D. student in anthropology at UNC; Kieran Taylor (moderator), assistant professor of history at The Citadel, Charleston, S.C.

11 a.m.  Keynote: Norm Cohen, folk music researcher, author of All This for a Song and Long Steel Rail: The Railroad in American Folksong.

Noon Lunch (on your own)

1 p.m.  Film Screening: I Am a Man, documentary on the sanitation workers whose labor movement led to Rev. Martin Luther King’s visit to Memphis in 1968. Co-produced by John Hubbell, recipient of the Archie Green Occupational Folklife Graduate Fellowship.

1:30 p.m.  Music Panel: Pat Huber, associate professor of history at Missouri University of Science and Technology and author of Linthead Stommp: The Creation of Country Music in the Piedmont South; John Hubbell, creative director of Old Bridge Media, Memphis, Tenn.; David Whisnant, owner of Primary Source History Services; Jack Wright, producer of the CD Music of Coal: Mining Songs from the Appalachian Coalfields.

3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Remembrance Panel: Julie Ardery, co-editor of rural blog the Daily Yonder; Robert Cantwell, Townsend Ludington Professor of American Studies at UNC and author of If Beale Street Could Talk and When We Were Good; Adam Machado, independent researcher and writer; Chris Strachwitz, founder of Arhoolie Records.

5 p.m.  Reception

6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.  Concert: Elizabeth LaPrelle with Amy Davis and Jon Newlin, traditional ballads; Stephen Wade with Mike Craver, old-time music; New North Carolina Ramblers, string band.


8 Responses to “Symposium, Concert Remember Work of Folklorist Archie Green Nov. 21”

  1. Where will parking be?
    Spaces for handicap?

    S. Marlow

    Posted by Sandra Marlow | October 30, 2009, 12:13 pm
  2. Hello, Sandra. I believe one of the event organizers has been in touch with you about your questions. Here is some information for others with questions about parking:

    The University provides this map of campus visitor parking: In addition, most employee and student lots are open to the public on Saturdays. Handicapped spaces in close proximity to Wilson Library are available in the parking lot directly behind the Undergraduate library (on South Road).

    Thanks for your interest in this event!

    Posted by Library Staff | November 2, 2009, 2:17 pm
  3. from tokyo,japan

    i always am very interested in his work.


    kiyohide kunizaki at tokyo folklore center

    Posted by kiyohide kunizaki | November 15, 2009, 10:45 am
  4. We’re delighted to hear of interest from the Tokyo Folklore Center. Thank you for commenting.

    Posted by Library Staff | November 16, 2009, 3:41 pm
  5. My father-in-law talks about Archie quite fondly. I myself think he was a little bit of a nut.

    Posted by Jeff | March 3, 2010, 11:22 pm
  6. My mother was actually one of Archie’s humanities students at the University of Louisville back in 1976. She says that Archie was her favorite professor. She was very sad to hear about his passing in March. I took her to this Symposium Concert in November and she was very pleased with this event. In fact, she was so moved by it, she contributed a substantial gift to the university. So we wanted to thank you for having this event. I meant to post this message of our appreciation earlier, but I got busy and forgot.

    Posted by Eric | October 29, 2010, 7:31 pm
  7. Just wanted to give you a shout from the hills of the West Virginia, great information. Much appreciated.

    Posted by Extenze Ingred | August 17, 2011, 6:33 pm


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