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Climate Change Needs Folklorists!: A Workshop on Helping Communities Deal with Climate Change

February 22 at 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EST

Organized by: American Folklore Society

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Climate Change Needs Folklorists!: A Workshop on Helping Communities Deal with Climate Change

February 22 at 3:00 pm 4:30 pm EST

Dig into the ways you can be involved in addressing the impact of climate change in a workshop, “Climate Change Needs Folklorists!,” with Maida Owens (Louisiana Folklife Program and the Bayou Culture Collaborative), February 22, 2022, 3:00 pm EST.

Climate change is predicted to cause increasing disruption throughout the world. While most focus has been on environmental changes, our cultures will also be impacted by massive migration—twice as large as the Great Migration from the U.S. South or during from Dust Bowl. Many communities will have to deal with newcomers; other communities will gradually collapse. Both declining communities and those rapidly growing will benefit from folklorists’ skills and approaches.

Black and white photo of a number of dead trees with a body of water in front of them
Photo by Monique Verdin

Folklorists can be key, not only for communities where their cultures are at risk of disappearing but also in preparing communities to receive newcomers. Engaging with policy makers and participating in community resilience conversations also builds best practices and refines interventions for this new, highly relevant folklore specialty. 

Louisiana, one of the states coping with sea level rise and intensifying storms, has one of the more organized and focused state plans to address this existential threat. As state folklorist, Maida Owens has become involved with climate change policy makers and coastal planning agencies in order to have cultural issues be considered in planning. She will share lessons learned, suggest ways for folklorists to join these efforts in their own areas, and hopefully prompt a dialogue among folklorists.

This interactive workshop provides an introduction to the field of climate adaptation and resources for those new to this topic and offers opportunities for those with experience working with climate change to participate.  

This is an opportunity to more deeply engage with Maida’s work, which she discussed in “Conversations for the Field: Urgencies for the Field” at the 2021 Annual Meeting. 2021 meeting registrants can access the conference proceedings through April 2022.Register

American Folklore Society

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