Participants in this combined Panel and Roundtable will explore the position folklorists and ethnologists occupy between culture-makers and cultural theorists. Each will discuss the creative dimensions of scholarship and how art-making offers new "tracks" for communicating academic knowledge.
"Closer to the ground than we are the artists and activists who make social life and whose collective labor shapes its forms. We long to be creative writers or makers of the revolution, not parasites upon such endeavor" (Noyes, "Humble Theory"). Dorothy Noyes' musings on the position folklorists and ethnologists occupy between culture-makers and cultural theorists suggest a kinship and a division between those who make expressive culture and those who study it. Such a division reveals how we are asked to build academic and professional selves by drawing boundaries between our creative practices and our academic pursuits. However, as we begin to explore the hidden processes and unspoken dimensions of academic research, such boundaries become less distinct. In the spirit of curiosity and vulnerability that characterizes art-making, but also much of research, we invite papers that explore the influence of art-making on the academic process. We hope to investigate the boundaries between the personal and the professional, the amateur and the expert, and the creative and the critical, as we explore the tracks that creative practice leaves upon our academic selves. While rarely voiced within academic discourse, we believe a discussion of our artistic practices can help us better understand the creative dimensions of scholarship, and we explore how art-making might offer new avenues for communicating academic knowledge. We welcome papers from individuals who engage in art-making at any level and in any medium, including creative writing, visual art, movement, music and new media.