FSAC 2006 – Abstracts

Tirthieth Annual Meeting
York University  -Toronto , Ontario
May 27-29  2006

 

 

Jedediah Baker, Memorial University of Newfoundland

My Father the Car Thief: A Structuralist Interpretation of a Personal Experience Narrative from the Bronx, New York

My father tells many stories about his youth, growing up in the city streets of the Bronx, New York. One of the most interesting stories involves his attempted theft of a taxicab meter and his subsequent narrow avoidance of a severe beating by a group of angry Puerto Ricans. My paper takes this personal experience narrative and explores it using a structural analysis, discovering some things about the nature of this particular story, as well as about narratives that surround an addict’s life-changing moment, the moment when they decide to stop doing drugs.

 

 

Frédéric Belley

L’héritage indigène de l’identité religieuse mésoaméricaine

The academic discussion on the indigenous heritage component of the Latin identity in its process of redefinition cannot leave out the religious dimension of this identity constructs. The historical moment of the period corresponding to the Mesoamerican communities came to Canada being as Latin, and bringing their faiths drive makes this moment singular. It is a moment of religious institution process. The interrogation that appears relating to this moment is do we find an indigenous religions heritage inside the Mesoamerican religion identity? The religious Latin identity in these communities is a step of construction, of the evolution of the institution of their faith. It is the making of a new order in these communities, at the level of politics and religion. It drives on the current heritage of the Christian and catholic Latin identity as a memorial input inside the “communities of faith” which consider today themselves as pluralists in their beliefs.

 

 

Kelly Best, Memorial University of Newfoundland

“That’s the thing about being a DJ”: Spinning disks as a part-time job – an ethnographic investigation into performance practice and the facilitation of flow

This communication explores the dynamics between repertoire selection and the energy level of dance club patrons through an ethnographic analysis of two part-time, amateur DJs employed at a well-known club in St. John’s, Newfoundland during the winter of 2005. Although both DJs strived to establish and maintain optimal energy levels through the selection of the appropriate music based on a genre-based format, the realization of this format often required improvisation based on the response of the dancers. This research sought to describe this process of improvisation as performance practice in an effort to gain insight into contemporary Newfoundland public dance venues.

 

 

 

John M. Bodner, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The End of Work: Begging, the Performance of Poverty and Occupational Folklife

From the Edwardian proto-sociologist Hartman (1566) to the architects of Ontario’s Safe Street Act (2000) the labouring practices of the desperately poor has been instrumental in constructing social perceptions and augmenting the marginality of the poor and shelterless. Despite this apparent interest the investigation of street occupations and street kid’s subsistence economies has been retarded by a lack of ethnographic investigation and the adoption of a simplistic criminal perspective to street labouring. This presentation will address the ubiquitous activity of begging (panning) amongst a street kid community in which I conducted four months of participant observation based fieldwork.

 

 

 

Christine Bricault, Université Laval

Du foin au vin. Mise en réseau touristique d’une nouvelle ressource régionale : la Route des vins de Brome-Missisquoi

This paper will present the primary results of my fieldwork on the Wine Route in Brome-Missisquoi (Eastern Townships, Quebec) in the fall of 2005. From August to October 2005, during the high season of wine-growing tourism, nearly twenty interviews were carried out with the wine-growers and the regional authorities working on the promotion, enhancement and development of the Wine Route. The tourist networking process of a new regional resource and the local, and regional, re-identification that seems to ensue from it (discourses and tourist documentation) will be examined in this paper. Some remarks on the methodology will also be shared.

 

 

 

Ian Brodie, Cape Breton University

History, Mimicry, Poetry, Poo: Ron James on Tour

Based on fieldwork and interviews conducted in November 2005, this paper offers preliminary observations on the stand-up performances of Ron James, currently one of Canada ‘s most successful stand-up comedians. Using Rosenberg’s paradigm of “professionalisation” (1986) as a framework, I attempt to identify the strategies James employs for simultaneously establishing both a local, regional, or national persona (thus making him relevant) and an iconoclastic persona (thus making him interesting), the two criteria I have been establishing as essential to stand-up.

 

 

 

Jeanette Browne, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Forms and Functions of Folklore in The Confessions of Nipper Mooney

Ed Kavanagh opens his novel, The Confessions of Nipper Mooney , with a mystical tale of a young boy having been stolen by fairies; he takes us on an adventure through this boy’s adolescent life and includes in his novel the many aspects of folklore that surround Nipper in his every day experiences. This paper proposes that the function of folklore in this novel is to show the power cultural beliefs have in the lives of individuals. Kavanagh has written an insightful novel so steeped in folklore that the turning of every page introduces his readers to another aspect of folklore and another great adventure in the life of Nipper Mooney.

 

 

 

Mary Channen Caldwell, Queen’s University

Dance, Music and Everything Else: A Panorama of Gertrude P. Kurath

Gertrude P. Kurath (1903-1992) took on many roles during her lifetime, from dancer and choreographer, to field worker and scholar in ethnomusicology and anthropology. In addition to engineering change in these disciplines, the prolific and multifaceted Kurath was also a leading scholar in the area of early dance research, or, as she termed it, ethnochoreology. This paper will look at the life and work of Kurath with a particular focus on her fieldwork, her research methods, especially with regard to her development and use of dance notation systems, and her substantial contribution to Native American dance and music research.

 

 

 

Rita Colavincenzo, Memorial University of Newfoundland

“Peasant” Food in Disguise: Cheese as Class Indicator in the Retail Market

In exploring the cheese business in one Washington D.C. store, I will draw upon my professional experience in the cheese business, examining how an agrarian food has come to signify “high” class and culture. In what ways has “dressing up” cheese transformed the consumer into a culinary tourist? How is the taste experience shaped by environment? Does the naming of origin controlled and raw milk cheeses influence customers’ buying decisions? These are some of the questions I will raise in my examination of consumer cheese culture.

 

 

Cynthia Cotton, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Historical and Modern Geisha Tourism Options in Kyoto, Japan

This paper examines the historical roots and current incarnation of four main avenues of geisha tourism and explores the options at hand for the development of “the flower and willow world.” The impact of cultural tourism on the authenticity of geisha traditions will also be discussed, with focuses on the extent to which the traditions have been changed to make them financially viable tourism products ad what these alterations mean for the culturally-motivated tourist. The basis of this paper stems from my trip to Kyoto, Japan in late 2005, and the geisha tourism I experienced during my time there.

 

 

 

Véronique Covanti, Université du Québec à Montréal

Expression artistique en contexte d’immigration : mémoire et partage

Artistic productions generated by various cultural groups living in Canada give us a chance to reflect on the possibility of encountering another culture through the medium of migrant art. We propose to study capoeira and samba cultural practices as they are lived by the Brazilian community in Montreal, and adopted by Montrealers for whom they have become leisure activities. As symbolic representations and sociocultural reflections, can music and dance allow us to know this culture, and give us access to Brazilian myths, history, and imagery?

 

 

 

Lynda Daneliuk, Memorial University of Newfoundland

A House with Many Stories: The Creation of Local Legend

The quintessential “haunted house,” a beautiful and historic structure located in St. John’s, Newfoundland, was burned to the ground at the end of 2005. With a wide variety of belief and contemporary legend narratives surrounding it, I became interested in how this house became the subject for storytelling. Examining the various narratives and beliefs related to this long-abandoned – and now destroyed – building, I plan to explore how this location became more than wood and bricks to the people who knew it, and entered into local tradition and legend.

 

 

Sébastien Després, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Belief and Identity through the Production of Music in the Roman Catholic Liturgy: An Ethnographic Study of La Sainte Famille Parish Unity’s Youth Musical Ensemble, Shaïda

Shaïda, a musical ensemble created by youths aspiring to “liven up” the Mass by singing and playing instruments (everything from violins to electric guitars and drum kits), typically counts 15-20 participants and attracts parishioners from all over. This (auto)ethnography explores youths’ response to (youth-created, youth-centered) opportunities for involvement, the significance of “youth space”, and how participation fosters a sense of belonging and community. An overview of the group’s impact on its members, the community, and the church follows a discussion on Shaïda’s music, style, performance, and genre.

 

 

 

Holly Everett, Memorial University of Newfoundland

A Welcoming Wilderness: The Role of Wild Berries in the Construction of Newfoundland and Labrador as a Tourist Destination

Wild berries have long been integral to Newfoundlanders’ and Labradorians’ food stores. Berries may also be the province’s most successful culinary tourism product to date, combining attributes of health, wilderness, and resourcefulness. Whereas ethical uncertainty precludes some tourists from trying seal products, and health concerns prevent the enjoyment of other local favourites, berries are beyond reproach. Reifying the text and images of national and provincial tourist literature emphasizing the province’s outdoor nature product, berries serve as an iconic image of a resourceful people intimately connected to a bountiful, welcoming wilderness. This presentation will examine the construction and consumption of this image.

 

 

 

Célia Forget, Université Laval et Université de Provence

Les « snowbirds » à la conquête de l’Amérique ou comment vivre à plein temps dans un véhicule récréatif ?

Leaving town; it’s what several millions of Canadians do by living full time in a recreational vehicle. They are called full-time RVers. They hit the North American roads to discover new territories and they base their lifestyle on mobility. Some of them spend the winter in Florida, others decide to go to the deserts of Arizona or to Mexico, and all of them return to Canada in the spring. Often represented as “retired snowbirds,” full-time RVers are a little known population which reflects a new conception of the North American culture of mobility that I propose to explore in my presentation.

 

 

 

Martin Fournier, Université Laval

Nouveau regard sur le patrimoine. Le projet de Dictionnaire du patrimoine culturel de l’Amérique française

The heritage left by the French immigrants and their descendants in North America takes many forms and covers a vast territory. But many features of this rich heritage are still unrecognized. This is why a large-scale French North American Cultural Heritage Dictionary project has recently been undertaken. In addition to meaningful places and valuable buildings, the Dictionary will present many representative cultural practices, showing the diversity of French cultural expressions in North America. Moreover, by emphasizing the dynamic rather than the fixed character of heritage, this Dictionary will advance the reflection on the historical development and the meaning of heritage.

 

 

 

Jocelyn Gadbois, Université Laval

L’Audiothèque du patrimoine immatériel. Une vitrine pour les porteurs de tradition

Among the issues related to intangible heritage, electronic diffusion is an important one. Many websites aim to present online “heritage objects,” “artifacts” or “mentifacts” stemming from ethnological investigations. The Intangible Heritage Audio Library is a direct fallout of the Inventory of Ethnological Resources of Intangible Heritage Project (IREPI). It contains about thirty extracts of interviews recorded in the summer of 2004. In addition to the IREPI website, the Intangible Heritage Audio Library offers another display window that contributes to the promotion of Québec’s tradition bearers. This paper will briefly expose the genesis of this initiative, its content and its particularities.

 

 

 

Jillian Gould, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Invisible Boundaries: Kosher/Treyf Spaces and Observances in a Toronto Jewish Retirement Home

In order to accommodate all varieties of Jews, the Baycrest Terrace retirement home is run according to the standards of the most exacting denomination: the religious Orthodox. Even so, Terrace residents are a diverse population: multi-ethnic and religiously varied. This paper will explore how space is negotiated at the Terrace by examining the invisible boundaries of “kosher” and “treyf” (non-kosher) spaces; how and why Jewish laws are enforced – and observed – in some spaces, but not in others; and finally, by highlighting the varying degrees of “public” and “private” space within this large domestic setting.

 

 

 

Kristin Harris Walsh, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Food as Theatre: The Teppenyaki Experience

The performance of cooking and serving food can be as significant an avenue of study as its personal and cultural symbolism. This paper examines Teppenyaki as a food event that relies upon the performance of the chef as an integral aspect of the enjoyment of the meal itself. While Teppenyaki is a part of Japanese foodways, ethnographic data obtained at Teppenyaki restaurants in Hsin Chu, Taiwan, and Toronto, Ontario, and theoretical approaches from foodways and theatre/performance studies, are the basis of this paper. The theatrical nature of Teppenyaki preparation as well as the performer/audience connection will be explored as a key aspect of this foodways event.

 

 

 

Philip Hiscock, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Centre and Edge, City and Suburb: Gazeebow Unit’s Hip-hop Music in Newfoundland

Gazeebow Unit is a small musical group of high-school students from the Airport Heights suburb of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Formed in 2005, within months they had an established audience for their fresh, rap inflected, local songs, which are informally distributed through peer to peer downloading systems, with no radio play or other formal support. Gazeebow Unit’s songs are immediately recognizable as both “rap music” and “Newfoundland culture.” The latter is mainly achieved through local accents and catch phrases. This paper looks at their wide appeal through cultural references transcending musical genres and painting a picture rooted in both the hip-hop and their community.

 

 

 

Anna Hoefnagels, Carleton University, Ottawa

Canadian Female Powwow Drummers: Challenges to ‘Tradition’ and ‘Feminism’

Many gendered activities are evident at Native American powwows in Canada, including the gender-specific categories of dancing, and male-dominated musical performances. According to some powwow musicians, women are restricted from striking the drum used at powwows, and may only sing in a supportive capacity to the male performers. However, these conventions are being challenged through the creation of mixed-sex and all-female drum groups. In this paper I identify the primary reasons given for the restriction of female participation in music-making, and through an analysis of different musicians’ definitions of tradition and feminism, I propose that Native women who perform powwow music independently of men are forcing an examination gender restrictions within their communities.

 

 

 

Heather King, Memorial University of Newfoundland

A Glimpse into the Occupational Folklife of a Wildlife Management Officer in Newfoundland from 1960-67

This ethnographic exploration gives insight into the occupational folklife and the cultural scene of the workplace of Heman Whalen in his role as a Wildlife Management Officer in Newfoundland and Labrador. The scope of this inquiry has been narrowed to Heman’s work with caribous, his work skills and forms of expressive culture. This study uses Robert McCarl Jr’s. model regarding a canon of work technique and work processes because therein lies the source of oral expressions of the workplace (1978: 3). As Jack Santino suggests, because verbal expressions of each occupation vary due to the unique challenges of each type of job, a general model for occupational narratives may not suffice (1978: 63). Thus, this study includes varied ideas of work culture, as well as concepts of male identity.

 

 

 

Andrea Kitta, Memorial University of Newfoundland

A Shot in the Dark: Vaccine Urban Legends and Conspiracies

Was the AIDS virus a part of the polio vaccine? Does the MMR vaccination cause autism? Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? Gulf War Syndrome? And is the government behind it all? These are just a few of the many legends concerning immunizations and vaccinations. Although many believe that medical problems are caused by vaccines which were not properly tested or researched, there are those who believe that immunizations and vaccinations are a part of a conspiracy to decrease population, test new drugs on children or soldiers, or infect our enemies with the AIDS virus. In this paper, I will explore these conspiracy theories via the internet and attempt to understand the logic behind them.

 

 

 

Natalie Kononenko, Ukrainian Folklore Centre, University of Alberta

How God Paired Men and Women: Using Stories to Negotiate Gender Roles in Post-Soviet Ukraine

Religious stories such as the one about pairing lazy men with industrious women, referred to in the title, and the story about St. Peter and God debating whether the man or the woman should be the head of the household have become popular in post-Soviet Ukraine. Part of the reason for their popularity is the revival of religion. But much more is going on. Religion was a largely feminine activity in Soviet times. Now women are subordinate to the clergy. Through religious stories, women attempt to justify their new, subordinate roles in the church. At the same time, they seek to assert female power.

 

 

 

Svitlana Kukharenko, University of Alberta

Magic Beliefs and Practices Associated with Ukrainian Weddings

Magic was and remains an important part of the marriage ceremony as it is practiced in Ukraine. With the collapse of the Soviet system, overt expression of magical practices is now common. Ukrainian immigrants to Canada, however, virtually eschew all magic practices. They espouse a realistic and materialistic worldview, one possibly motivated by their desire to blend in with their new, Western, surroundings. My paper will compare Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Canadian weddings using ethnographic literature and approximately 40 retrospective personal interviews which I recorded in both countries.

 

 

Anne Lafferty, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The Unexpected Intensity of Mourning among Protestants in Rural Areas of Newfoundland

In the recent past, in at least some rural areas of Newfoundland, it was customary for recently bereaved people to express their grief visibly and sometimes dramatically. This makes cultural sense for Catholics of Irish descent. For Protestants, however, whose cultural background was presumably largely English, this is surprising, as most evidence I am aware of suggests that English mourning was very restrained. In this paper, I will explore possible roots of the custom of intense and visible expression of grief for Newfoundland Protestants.

 

 

 

Karine Laviolette, Université Laval

Tourisme et identité en Fransaskoisie

Involved in cultural identity claims and stimulated by the diversification of their community’s economy, Acadians and Cajuns have promoted their culture in a tourism perspective. This has led them to question the foundations of their culture, to choose the elements that define and characterize it, and to take borrowed elements as their own. The tourists’ interest in Cajun and Acadian culture has enhanced the self-worth of the members of that culture. It has also aroused their pride and heightened their feeling of belonging to the group. I wanted to find out if tourism could play a similar role in the valorization of the French-speaking communities in Saskatchewan. The results of the research carried out during the course of my PhD are introduced in this paper.

 

 

 

Michael MacDonald, Carleton University

This is Important! The Winnipeg Folk Festival and the Revolutionary Establishment

This is important! The Winnipeg Folk Festival and the Revolutionary Establishment examines the founder Mitch Podolak’s use of the Trotskyist Dialectic. Influenced by Hegel and Marx the W.F.F’s organizational structure creates an organism forcing an active expression of Canadian culture with disregard to state cultural policy. This paper will examine the application of the Trotskyist philosophical and economic model and track its expression in the mundane interactions on the folk festival grounds. The festival will be seen as a revolutionary establishment, a space for counter hegemonic experience, made possible by conscious preparation of the dialectic.

 

 

 

Richard MacKinnon, Cape Breton University

Protest Song and Verse in Cape Breton Island

In regional enclaves throughout North America where labour and capital have fought numerous battles over the years, there are found many songs about labour and protest. Peter Narváez has conducted pioneer research on the protest song tradition and the use of strike songs in the company town of Buchans, Newfoundland. In Cape Breton Island, where coal mining and steel making have long been an essential part of the region’s culture and economy, protest song and verse are found in abundance. This paper explores some of the protest song and verse of Cape Breton Island showing how these vernacular materials have continually been used for solidarity during times of upheaval and change.

 

 

Lisa Machin, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Public and Private Performance in Military Custom: The Remembrance Day Celebrations of 56 Field Engineer Squadron

The military is an occupation with its own culture and identity, of which only a small part is visible to the public. The focus of this paper is the November 11th Remembrance Day celebrations of 56 Field Engineer Squadron (FES) in St. John’s, Newfoundland as a cultural performance that has both public and private aspects. I aim to show that both the public and the private Remembrance Day celebrations of 56 FES are culturally appropriate and equally important to their observance of this day and that these performances communicate different aspects of the group’s occupational identity to both members and non-members, and that they serve to integrate unit members by separating them from non-members, be they civilian or other military units or branches.

 

 

 

Lynn Matte, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Oral Narratives of the 1929 Tidal Wave

Stories of the 1929 Tidal Wave that struck the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland continue to circulate in oral tradition. Survivors, their descendants and those intrigued by the event pass along information about tragic and amazing occurrences tied to the disaster. My MA research explores the way these stories are structured and the different functions these stories serve. I also examine how the stories have been appropriated for mass consumption by the heritage and tourism industry.

 

 

 

Jodi McDavid, Memorial University of Newfoundland

“Cast the First Stone”: Preliminary Findings on Anticlericalism in Atlantic Canada

Focusing on material gathered during recent fieldwork for my PhD dissertation, this paper discusses initial research on anticlericalism in the context of Atlantic Canada. Special attention is given to the predominance of anticlerical sentiments in vernacular non-ethnographic texts, as well as to the problematics of comparison of local to global anticlericalism and to the use of anticlericalism as a theory by historians and anthropologists as well as folklorists.

 

 

 

Rhiannon McKechnie, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Friend or Numskull: How Tourism and Regionalism Influence Stereotypes and Blasons Populaires in Newfoundland

In this paper I explore blasons populaires and stereotypes about Newfoundlanders, focusing on two dominant ones. The first is that of the friendly, happy, hospitable and hardy Newfoundlander, an image that was shaped and influenced in large part by tourism. The second image I investigate is that of the dumb, drunk, lazy “Newfie”. I take an exoteric/esoteric (see Jansen 1959: 205-11) approach to the material, asking (as an outsider) what some of the Newfoundlanders (insiders) think we mainlanders (outsiders) think about them and what they, in turn, think about us.

 

 

 

Jordan Mitchell, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Hearing or Listening?: An Exploration of the Relationship between Performance Participants at an Open Mic night in St. John’s, Newfoundland

In this paper I explore the experiences of participants as socially situated and idiomatic listeners at an Open Mic Night in St. John’s , Newfoundland . For this project, I asked participants to provide an account of their overall experiences throughout the evening and I conducted interviews to interrogate the intersubjective meaning of these experiences. This ethnography provides insight into the complex relationship between individuals as actors and receivers within a unique social setting. Central to this essay is the role that prior experiences play in structuring the attention of audience members. My methodology explores alternative and collaborative approaches to ethnographic research.

 

 

 

Sarah J. Moore, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Coming Out Stories: Personal Experience Narratives in the Gay and Lesbian Community

For the gay and lesbian community, no personal experience narrative is as ubiquitous as the “coming out” story. “When did you come out?” The answer given to this frequently asked question often leads to the telling of a personal experience narrative, and although it may be told in numerous forms, it is almost universally recognized in the gay and lesbian community as a coming out story. Most gays and lesbians tell their story at some point in their lives, to someone, and it may be presented in a variety of ways depending on the audience, the situation, or the time in one’s life that it is being told. The coming out story is a recognizable narrative construction that has various functions, meanings and interpretations, and may be analysed in terms of gay and lesbian folklore, a tool for empowerment and a means for communication and identification in the queer community.

 

 

 

Rosie Patch, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Better Objects = Better Lives: Hobbyists Hope to Change the World by Knitting

My study of contemporary hobby knitting in St. John’s, NL, revealed hobby knitters’ ideals of personal and social improvement through making objects by hand. Knitters’ negative views on mass production recall Christopher Alexander’s romantic notion of the homeostatic structure of unselfconscious production. The rise of hobby knitting in popular culture demonstrates a shift of women’s expressive culture from private and everyday spheres into public settings and the realm of special events. Through knitting, individuals have used cultural bricolage to make their own meanings out of mass-market goods and traditional practices. Coded feminist messages can be found in the evasive and productive pleasures women find in knitting.

 

 

 

Leslie Pierce, Memorial University of Newfoundland

“Not the Cream of the Crop”: Using the Word ‘Skeet’ as Vernacular Speech in Newfoundland

This paper explores issues of gender, class, geography, and collective identity through the use of the word “skeet” in Newfoundland vernacular speech, focusing specifically on St. John’s and surrounding areas. Often used under the guise of humour, this example of blason populaire provides a means of distancing ourselves from the less favourable aspects of our local identity. The biases and implication of the word have been heavily shaped by the speech, intelligence, and the physical appearance of those who are labelled in this way. This ethnographic study was based on interviews conducted in 2004 for a course in Newfoundland Folklore.

 

 

 

Mary Piercey, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The Musical Culture of an Inuk Teenager

William R. Bascom (1954) argues there are four functions of folklore: amusement/entertainment, validation of culture, education, and maintaining conformity. Peter Narváez (2005) suggests there are three additional functions: economic, physical/emotional response, and magical/religious. In this paper, music, one aspect of folklore, is used as a point of entry into the understanding of Inuit culture. I demonstrate how the analysis of the song repertoire of an Inuk teenager reveals some functions and meanings her song choices have for her in the particular Inuit culture of Arviat, Nunavut. I will present four informally learned songs from my informant Gara Mamgark, and explore issues about her musical aesthetics and values in relation to her physical and social environment.

 

 

 

Jean-François Plante, Université Laval

Vie urbaine en Nouvelle-France : La cloche et le canon

In an earlier paper to the members of FSAC, I presented an overview of the acoustic world present to the people living in New France. In the continuation of my work on this question, I have seen that the soundscapes of the city appear in strata that can be distinguished by the specific sound volume of each of those levels. According to the milieu where they evolve, people use their own sound means in order to maintain an audible and essential place in the rivalry opposing individuals as well as institutions.

 

 

 

Heather Read, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Dreamcatchers and Inukshuks: Examining commercial representations of Newfoundland and Labrador ‘s First Nations people

This paper explores material representations of First Nations culture available for purchase in the tourist shops of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. As the provincial capital, St. John’s stores communicate significant messages regarding shared history and current lived experience of all people living in Newfoundland and Labrador. In examining First Nations’ tourist paraphernalia in this context important questions arise: What is sold and who creates it? How are First Nations people represented? What are the overt and subtle meanings of the pieces? Interviews with employees, tourists and First Nations people will further probe the complexities of these cultural representations.

 

 

 

Martine Roberge, Université Laval

Inventorier le patrimoine immatériel: problématique, méthodologie, mise en valeur et enjeux de la diffusion

Intangible Heritage remains poorly known even though it reflects a complex and diversified cultural space, and could become an important lever for economic, social and cultural development. Tradition bearers enrich collective identities with their knowledge and know-how. To recognize and promote them, the Société québécoise d’ethnologie, the Canada Research Chair on Heritage and the Musée québécois de culture populaire, in partnership with the Culture and Communications Department of Quebec, have implemented a substantial Inventory of Ethnological Resources of Intangible Heritage Project (IREPI) which intends to identify Quebec ‘s regional knowledge and know-how. This paper traces the outlines of this far-reading project started in 2003 and presents the conceptual and methodological tools developed for the making of an inventory file and a Web site.

 

 

 

Habib Saidi, Université Laval

L’avenue Habib Bourguiba : la rhétorique d’un espace d’entre-deux

This presentation explores the social and cultural transformations which continue to affect Tunisia, particularly in the areas of tourism and modernisation. Using Michel De Certeau’s ideas about taking a stroll in the city and those of Homi Bhabha about ambivalence, I study the dynamic, even vertiginous character of these transformations. In order to do this, I take as an example the promenading of Tunisians on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis, between the “Old Medina” and the “modern” part of the city. Thus a parallel arises between taking a stroll as a form of investing a transitional and interstitial space and the rhetoric surrounding such a space as it is invented and reinvented by the strollers in a continual going and coming between an internal otherness, traditional behaviour, and an external otherness, modern influences.

 

 

 

Tara Simmonds, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Sprouting Forth: An Exploration into the Issues of Food and Ideology within St. John’s Only Vegetarian Restaurant

In June 2005, “The Sprout” opened its doors for business in St. John’s Newfoundland. As such, it immediately took on the potentially dubious distinction of becoming the only restaurant to offer an entirely vegetarian cuisine within a city that is well known and loved for its fine selection of seafood and it propensity towards deep fried delicacies. “The Sprout,” however, has been extremely popular with the diners of St. John’s since its inception. Based extensively on an interview conducted with the cofounders and owners of the restaurant, this presentation will investigate “The Sprout” from various different angles. Primarily, I will explore the ideology and vision behind “The Sprout”, and how it fits in to a larger vegetarian movement or mentality. Also, I will look at how this ideology directly influences and is reflected in areas such as ingredient choice, menu, and aesthetic decisions. Finally, I will offer possible explanations concerning how and why “The Sprout” appeals to such a large and varied audience, and how vision and choices behind the restaurant affect what people take away from their dining experience.

 

 

 

Gordon E. Smith, Queen’s University

“Saying it whose way?”: Reflections on Writing about Folk Music in Canada

In this paper, I examine the genesis of The Canadian Journal for Traditional Music / La Revue de musique folklorique canadienne over its thirty year existence. These reflections include issues surrounding folk music collecting and classification, as well as debates surrounding what constitutes real folk music. The over 200 texts in the Journal’s 30 volumes show emergent ideas in folklore paradigms with respect to writing about music. I also consider tensions and competing paradigms between English and French approaches. Throughout, I raise questions about the place of the Journal in the context of folklore and ethnomusicological research through comparisons with other related journals.

 

 

 

Robert James Smith, Southern Cross University, NSW Australia

Marking the Territory with a Dog’s Eye: Foodways and Regional Folklore

Foodways, in a settled society, are largely seen to be derivative of the parent culture and then overlaid by global patterns. The emergence of distinctive foodways has been seen to be highly limited – largely an expression of commercialism, with only slight variations seeming to emerge from the people, and this variation expressed in regional identity (e.g. Davey, 1993). This paper identifies the emergence of a strongly localised pattern. It probes the texts of public presentation of one item of food and, using Raymond Williams’ “structure of feeling,” reveals assumptions and attitudes that have implications for the study of contemporary regionalism.

 

 

Michael Taft, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Herbert Halpert, Pioneer Collector of Urban Folklore

Herbert Halpert is best known in Canada as the founder of the Folklore Department at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and is primarily known in the United States for his fieldwork in the rural South, New Jersey, and the mid-West. Less known is that, while working for the Federal Theater Project in 1938 and 1939, Halpert recorded 38 discs of ballads, children = s songs and rhymes, street cries, burlesque show barking, and conversation from New York City residents. I will outline the significance of the collection as an early example of the contextual documentation of urban folklore, and play selections.

 

 

Janice Esther Tulk, Memorial University of Newfoundland

First Nations Music in an Urban Context: A Culture of Sharing and Friendship

In St. John’s, Newfoundland, the Native Friendship Centre is home to a flourishing Aboriginal Drumming and Dancing Group. Operating through the Centre, this group is open to members of all First Nations, as well as non-Indigenous persons with a respect for Indigenous culture. The resulting union of diverse traditions and experiences is considered by members to be a primary strength of the group. In the absence of song carriers or Elders who orally transmit cultural knowledge, the group turns to audio recordings and workshops with visiting cultural experts to assist the revitalization of First Nations culture in the capital city.

 

 

 

Diane Tye, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Molasses: From “Poor Man’s Meal” to Regional Icon

Molasses was once a staple of working class life in Atlantic Canada; it helped fill you up when there was little else to eat. Today it is often viewed nostalgically and is closely tied to the region’s identity. To have molasses on your bread is to mark yourself as an Atlantic Canadian, or more specifically as musician Dick Nolan proclaims, to have molasses in your tea is to be a Newfoundlander. This paper reflects on how molasses and memory come together for Atlantic Canadians to create past landscapes and how popular culture transforms nostalgia into icon, shaping molasses into a symbol of regional identity.

 

 

 

Anya Zub, Beeton, Ontario

Going North: A look at the border between North and South Ontario

Using a series of personal experience narratives collected from former and current residents of Northern Ontario, this paper examines the debate concerning the location of the border between the Southern and Northern halves of the province. By closely investigating the individual beliefs and shared sentiments of both those people born and raised in Ontario, and those who have immigrated to the area later in life, I have found that there are strong sentiments regarding this question of border, as well as to what is deemed a “Northern Ontario” identity.

 

Top of page