Indiana State University Newsroom

Folklore conference set for Nov. 4-5

October 25, 2010

The Hoosier Folklore Conference will take an Irish turn when the conference is held at Indiana State University Nov. 4-5.

The conference theme, "Creative Cartographies," allows for the mapping of multiple cultures in a country, region, town, family or home. Ireland becomes the place being mapped during the two-day conference. The public is invited to attend this free conference.

Nan McEntire, ISU associate professor of English and conference organizer, spent her spring semester on a Fulbright scholarship in Ireland researching traditional music and was inspired to bring a piece back to Indiana.

Three experts - two from Ireland - will share Irish folklore and music with the Indiana audience during the conference.

"They are going to be fantastic," McEntire said. "You can just walk in and get a dose of Ireland."

The conference begins on Thursday, Nov. 4, with two speakers from Indiana State's Joseph Schick Lecture series. Both talks will take place in Root Hall A-264.

Vincent Woods, a poet and playwright in Dublin, will speak at 2 p.m. on "Black Pig and Straw Men: Shaping Drama from Folk Tradition." In his talk, Woods will explore Irish folk tradition and draw on his his play, "At the Black Pig's Dyke," to illustrate the concerns and conflicts in ancient ritual.

Henry Glassie, a professor emeritus of folklore at Indiana University Bloomington, will speak at 3:30 p.m. on "History and Wit in Artful Narration." His talk will focus on the Irish border during the Troubles, specifically among the farming people of Ballymenone, and narration that revealed their dilemmas and inspired courageous endurance.

On Friday, Nov. 5, the conference moves to Hulman Memorial Student Union's Dede III. Glassie begins the day with a talk at 10 a.m. on "Mapping a Small Irish Place." Woods follows him at 10:30 a.m. with "A Song of Lies: Poems of Place and People," during which he will read a selection of his poems and discuss the roots and influences of his work.

At 2:30 p.m., Mick Moloney, an Irish musician and scholar who is now the Global Distinguished Professor of Music and Irish Studies at New York University, will speak on "‘If It Wasn't for the Irish and the Jews:'" Exploring Irish and Jewish Historical Musical Links and Influences on Vaudeville and Early Tin Pan Alley in America."

At 4:30 p.m., an Irish traditional music session is planned to take place at Market Bella Rosa. The public is invited to attend this free event.

Then at 8 p.m. in the Center for Performing and Fine Arts Recital Hall, Mick Moloney, will give a recital and lecture as part of the Schick Lecture series. Moloney will in his talk, "Harrigan, Hart, and Braham and the Beginnings of American Musical Theater," explore the world of music, song, drama and social history.

Mick Moloney

Henry Glassie

Vincent Woods

Contact: Nan McEntire, Indiana State University, associate professor of English and director of the ISU Folklore Archives, at 812-237-3134 or

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or