December 16, 2021
Focusing on the recording of a bluegrass song she cowrote in the Sardinian language that foregrounds rurality, place, and nostalgia for a Sardinian past, Dr. Jacobsen examines themes of Sardinian language stigma, cultural intimacy, and ordeals of language as they emerged in the process of writing, recording and performing this song which you will hear in the talk.
Kristina Jacobsen is an associate professor in two departments – music and anthropology at the University of New Mexico. She is an ethnographer, singer-songwriter, and ethnomusicologist who has studied Navajo country music. Her book The Sound of Navajo Country: Music, Language and Diné Belonging (2017) was the winner of the 2018 IASPM-US Woody Guthrie Award for most outstanding book on popular music. Dr. Jacobsen is a touring singer-songwriter, fronts the all-female honky-tonk band Merlettes, is the founder and co-facilitator of the UNM Honky-Tonk Ensemble, and has released four albums of her own songs.
Dr. Sharon Gmelch, University of San Francisco and Union College, gives an illustrated talk about her return to Ireland to interview Irish Travellers, an indigenous nomadic minority group, and about the changes that have occurred in their culture since her first field work among them in 1971-72. The use of fieldwork photographs taken by George Gmelch proved to be an effective way to get Travellers to reflect on their changed lives. The results of this research were published in 2014 as Irish Travellers: An Unsettled Life. A documentary film was also made about Sharon and George’s return research.
Sharon Bohn Gmelch earned a PhD in cultural anthropology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her interests include visual anthropology, gender, ethnicity, and tourism. She is the author of ten books, including Nan: The Life of an Irish Travelling Woman (1986/91), which was a finalist for anthropology’s Margaret Mead award, and The Tlingit Encounter with Photography (2008). She also co-produced an ethnographic film on the Tlingit. She has conducted research in Ireland, Barbados, Alaska, and the Napa Valley, and published Tasting the Good Life: Wine Tourism in the Napa Valley (2011, with George Gmelch). Her most recent book is In the Field: Life and Work in Cultural Anthropology (2018, with George Gmelch).