BYU Presents Folklore Archives Founder’s Lecture with Simon Bronner

News from the Field

Brigham Young University will present the William A. Wilson’s Folklore Archives Founder’s Lecture, featuring a lecture by folklorist Simon J. Bronner, on January 26, 2022 at 2pm MST, in person or online (via Zoom).

“This lecture shares a continuing conversation I (Dr. Bronner) had over the years with the late Bert Wilson sparked by a fateful field trip we took to his pioneer home and landscape in Idaho. Analyst turned into the one being analyzed, he reflected on the importance of standing in the landscape to appreciate the whole of the LDS experience. Although writing that ‘the main function of the landscape is to provide a resonant background,’ he diminished the significance of the land and region in favor of individual experience in other writings, particularly in his criticism of the ‘Concept of the West.’

“In this talk, I return to the resurgent question of the land, and what I call ‘makerspace’ and ‘space in-between,’ as formative, or ‘resonant’ backgrounds for cultural development. Although Bert Wilson as historian and religious man was looking backward in time and was focused on the West, I use this opportunity to look forward to assess the effect of globalization and the digital revolution theoretically on region, building, and land in human experience and cultural practice.”

Simon J. Bronner is Dean of the College of General Studies and Distinguished Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He has also held distinguished professorships in folklore and humanities at Penn State University and Missouri University of Science and Technology. He has also taught at Harvard University, Utah State University, Osaka University (Japan), Leiden University (Netherlands), and the Latvian Academy of Culture. He is the author or editor of over forty books, including most recently Americanness: Inquiries into the Thought and Culture of the United States (2021), Jewish Cultural Studies (2021), The Practice of Folklore: Essays Toward a Theory of Tradition (2019), Oxford Handbook of American Folklore and Folklife Studies (2019), and Contexts of Folklore (2019). He is the editor of the book series Material Worlds for the University Press of Kentucky and Studies in Folklore and Ethnology for Rowman & Littlefield. He has received the Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award and Kenneth Goldstein Lifetime Achievement Award for Academic Leadership from the American Folklore Society and the Mary Turpie Prize for Teaching, Advising, and Program Development from the American Studies Association.

Watch the presentation virtually

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