1999 Abstract

Anthony J Amato. (Saint Mary's College). Godless Carols: Ritual, Conflict, and Community in the Carpathians, 1880 to 1914.

Few peoples have been viewed through the prism of ritual as consistently as the Hutsuls. The customs and ceremonies of these Ukrainian-speaking inhabitants of the southeastern Carpathian Mountains have inspired a large number of studies. Over the past two centuries, conflict has played an important role in defining the place and purpose of Hutsul rituals. Turn of the century debates about one Hutsul tradition, Christmas caroling, offer insight into the nature of ritual and demonstrate that shared rituals do not necessarily mean shared definitions. Rituals function as conduits through which conflict and competition can be channeled, but the role of conflict and competition in ritual is not limited to the interaction among participants--conflicting and competing definitions shape rituals.

Joe Austin. (Bowling Green State University). Photographic Exhibit: Read My Name: Graffiti Writing and Public Display in New York City.

Contestations over the meanings of "the public" in late-20th century academia are mirrored by struggles within U.S. central cities over claims to access and ownership of public spaces. This exhibition illustrates aspects of one of these conflicts through photographs of two "productions"--graffiti murals--in public school yards within New York City. One production was created along a Halloween theme in 1991. The second was created in the "Harlem Hall of Fame" in 1998, and simply recognizes the "masters" of the New York graffiti scene. Both run several hundred feet in length, and reflect the spectacularized (illegal) name-writing tradition of urban graffiti.

Daniel Beams. (University of Kentucky). The Celebration of "Domingo de Ramos" in Porcon-Cajamarca, Peru: Cultural Solidarity in the Face of Ideological Transition.

Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) has been celebrated for centuries in Porcon with a procession of palm fronds and crosses behind an image of Christ on a donkey, all of which parade through the community and converge on the Catholic church for a day of drunken celebration. Traditionally this has been a community wide event celebrated by everyone who is Catholic, which was everyone. Because of a variety of influences, half of the residents of Porcon have converted to Protestantism in the preceding 30 years. Along with this ideological shift has come a condemnation of the public celebration of Palm Sunday. Despite this criticism and diminished support, Domingo de Ramos remains central to the reproduction and maintenance of Catholic (or non-Protestant) identity.

Mark Bendall. (Southampton Institute). Summer Rights.

The project analyses parades of sexual dissidence. Why do people attend festivals campaigning for, and often expressing, dissident sexual liberation? Comparisons can be made between London festivals, particularly Pride, and those in other parts of the world, such as the Miami Winter Party. Reference will also be made to displays such as SM pride. How far are these rituals narcissistic displays of the body, how far do they have a serious political purpose and cultural impact? What is the globalizing impact of festivals from one part of the world that imitate prior queer holidays? Theoretical references will include Bakhtin, Foucault and others. The approach will be interdisciplinary. Empirical material will be drawn from interviews and Internet correspondence from a self-selected sample.

Deborah Bjarnason. (Brigham Young University). Get Out and Swim: An Analysis of the Themes of LDS Girls Camp Songs.

Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia, has analyzed the messages that today's society sends teenage girls. Her research reveals that many teenage girls struggle with issues of identity, ability, and self-worth; Pipher offers a variety of solutions to these problems. One of her solutions is that society needs positive rites of passage and rituals for teenage girls. Girl's camps sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serve as one such positive rite of passage. My paper analyzes these camps as rites of passage as well as analyzing some of the songs that are sung at these camps that reinforce the teaching of the camps as well as reinforcing the camps' purpose to build feelings of self-worth in teenage girls.

Thomas M Bongiorno. (Indiana University). Danger: A Key to Ritual Efficacy.

This presentation seeks to demonstrate the recurrent, but variable, expression of socially constructed danger in association with ritual and festival. I suggest that the emergence of danger in the discourse and production of these events creates dramatic tension, emotional impact, and acute awareness of danger in addition to any socially communicative or pedagogic effect. It is the hypothesis of the author that the reoccurrence of danger in the ritual genres is no accident, but an important, and perhaps necessary element for ritual efficacy. Finally, as social displays of danger, analysis may point to significant social models of reality.

Neilesh Bose. (University of Chicago). Cultural Representation in Post-Apartheid South Africa Through the 1998 Grahamstown National Arts Festival.

From Xhosa dancers to black mineworkers' shows in Johannesburg to Zulu and European poetry readings, South Africa's 1998 Grahamstown National Arts Festival was an outpouring of cultural diversity, one that was repressed in the South African apartheid years, especially in the areas of public performances and community festivals. This paper will briefly show how the Grahamstown Festival (the biggest festival of its kind in South Africa), has historically been an instrument of apartheid's cultural propaganda. Also, this essay will delineate how the 1998 is representative of a differing and more inclusive societal attitude toward its own diversity.

Wesley M Bowman. (Bowling Green State University). The Ideological Strategies of Christmas Films.

This presentation examines the ideological dynamics of popular American Christmas films. Instead of limiting this analysis to a traditional Marxist approach, the model is rethought to include social-psychological insights (i.e. cognitive dissonance theory) and supplemented with anthropological and semiotic perspectives. Using this interdisciplinary approach, I then semiotically dissect the films' semblance of coherence into a series of cultural contradictions. I conclude that two particular strategies are recurrently implemented in dissembling these contradictions: 1) the semiotic transmutation of systemic attributes into individual/personal attributes, and 2) the semiotic interweaving of disparate value-systems in an attempt at inextricability.

Therese J Boyarsky. (Western Kentucky University). Oplatki and Me: Reflexivity and Identity in Ritual Celebration.

What role does the individual play in ritual celebration in which group belonging and identity are the main focus, and what happens when that person is placed outside of his/her "folk group?" This paper examines this question incorporating both positive and negative aspects of focusing on personal experience and the reconstruction of identity in situational contexts. Understanding ourselves and how we use foodways, ritual, language, and other elements of tradition may lead us to a better understanding of others. I use the Villia/Wigilia, a traditional, Slovak/Polish-Catholic ritual the Boyarsky family participates in each Christmas Eve as a basis for this analysis.

Ben Chappell. (University of Texas). Lowriders March with Style: Political Demonstrations as Display Events.

The "lowrider" style of car customization is widely practiced by Mexican Americans and to a lesser extent, African Americans. Lowrider style combines with clothing, music, and body kinesics to produce a performance of "minority" identity. In a de-facto segregated city, this becomes a mobile sign of the barrio. This expressive style is thus constantly engaged with the politics of everyday life, turning traffic into a dialogue on identity, place, mobility, and rights of access to public space. Car shows often provide the context for lowrider performance. Sometimes lowrider style is deployed in attempts to directly affect public policy as well, thereby collapsing the display event with the political demonstration. Recently, lowriders have taken part in political marches for human rights and against neo-segregation in Austin, Texas. This paper introduces the distinctive elements of lowrider style, offers a brief theoretical orientation, and relates how lowrider style is a tool of direct political action in a Texas city.

Phyllis M Correa. (Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro). Halloween Mexican Style: A Contested Emergent Tradition.

The purpose of this paper is to explore the insertion of Halloween into Mexican popular culture as an emergent tradition related to the themes of previously existing cultural patterns of important celebrations for the Day of the Dead on November 2. This provides an excellent opportunity for the firsthand observation of an ongoing process of syncretism which should help clarify some of the issues involved in the acceptance or rejection of specific traits or elements, the adoption and reworking of traits according to specific cultural and economic contexts, including the misunderstanding of the content of these traditions by the recipient culture, as well as its promotion by businesses: stores that sell costumes and other items; restaurants and discos that hold Halloween parties; the use of Halloween motifs for ad campaigns, etc. Finally, this paper will explore the content and nature of resistance to an increasingly popular emergent tradition that was called a "cult to the Devil" by the Archbishop of Mexico in 1998 cautioning that "faithful Catholics should not have anything to do with cultural influences that have nothing to do with the veneration given to the dead in Mexico. By dressing a child in a costume of a black cat or witch, a person is giving it as a sacrifice to evil in a subtle and sophisticated manner, since it is a means to promote a cult inspired by Satan" (quoted in the newspaper Ovaciones, October 28, 1998, p. 3).

Colleen Coughlin (Bowling Green State Univeristy). Turkey and Football, Work and Play: Gender and the Holiday Kitchen.

This paper examines the gendered aspect of Thanksgiving Day kitchens. Thanksgiving is generally seen as a time for giving thanks and as a national holiday it symbolizes a day of rest. Football on the television, feet up on the recliner, sleeping off the effects of the ladened feast table. Yet this stereotypical image ignores the hours of preparation which frequently go into the meal and who works those hours. This paper considers the complexity of the relationship between kitchens and women by considering the preparations associated with a holiday meal. It takes on the perception that the kitchen is a symbol of women's oppression and confinement within the home and suggests other ways in which folklorists and other scholars can consider "traditionally women's spaces."

Alexander Flynt. (Center for the Study of Ideas and Culture). Four Faces of Public Expressive Display: Conventionalized, Cataclysmic, Propagandistic, and Evolutionary.

This presentation illustrates and explains why the form and function of art and related public display is determined by primary belief patterns (transcendent personal predispositions or cultural atmospheres) and world outlooks (religions, philosophies, and ideologies). It is the way the perceived completeness, reliability, or severity of problems and answers combine to make up primary belief patterns and world-outlooks which determines the form and function of artistic expression.

Sean Galvin. (LaGuardia Community College). The Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe in New York City: A Multi-Layered Analysis.

In this presentation, based on an ongoing (now eight-year) documentation project, I will provide a multi-layered analysis of the Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe as it is carried out in three site-specific locations in New York City. Since the signing of the NAFTA accord, there has been a visible increase in the number of Mexican immigrants to New York City, and particularly, to Brooklyn. This influx has changed the ethnic composition of several Brooklyn neighborhoods as well as the scope and nature of the celebrations in the Mexican calendar. Using two churches in Brooklyn and the "mother" Church of the Virgin of Guadalupe, in Manhattan, for comparative purposes, I will attempt to track the genesis of the Feast in each of the three neighborhoods. I will then examine the similarities and differences between the sponsors and participating groups, as well as their individual modes of performance, iconography, nationalistic symbolism and other forms of public display.

Christopher Geist (Bowling Green State University). Virginia's First Thanksgiving as State Heritage Celebration.

Many Virginians argue that the "first'real Thanksgiving" took place not among the Plymouth Pilgrims in 1621 but at Berkeley Plantation along the James River in 1619. The Berkeley event is celebrated annually in the "Virginia First Thanksgiving Festival." This celebration includes a reenactment, a "Virginia Thanksgiving feast," statewide school contests for best essay and best poster, and a formal commemorative program with keynote speakers and military bands. While there is documentary evidence available to "prove" the "historical truth" of the Virginians' claim, the real meaning of both the belief in the primacy of the Virginia Thanksgiving and the Festival which commemorates it is the celebration of "heritage," not history.

Bruno Giberti. (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo). The Vista and the Accent: Competing Constructions of Vision at the. 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.

The organizers of the Centennial were obsessed with the idea of the vista. This meant the construction of the exhibition as a one-point perspective, apprehended by a searching, penetrating gaze. In time, they realized that their audience was not the single, static, detached viewer implied by perspective, but the multiple, mobile, more engaged viewer represented by the crowd. The visuality of the crowd was represented, not by the strong look of the gaze, but by the weak look of the glance. In response, the organizers began to focus on the creation of visual accents, and the resulting exhibition was less a text to be read than a spectacle to be consumed. This illustrates a shift in visual paradigms, from the disembodied, idealized eye of the 17th and 18th centuries, to the reincarnated eye and physiological sense of vision that came to dominate in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Joe Goldblatt. (George Washington University). Modern Event Management: Teaching Ancient Traditions in a Contemporary Context.

Although ceremony and ritual arguably date back to the origin of the human species, in modern times these traditional social, political, and cultural events have become increasingly known as special events due to several factors. The factors leading to the contemporization of celebratory activities will be examined in this paper, from scholarly sources in anthropology, sociology, and psychology to contemporary findings from the Harvard Business School. Using the GW Event Management Program as a case study the investigator will describe how demand factors have led to the growth of the program which now annually enrolls 2000 students and is licensing its curriculum to additional institutions of higher education. The paper concludes with examples of interdisciplinary work within event management and how students retain the tradition of ceremonies and rituals while producing modern special events. Finally, examples of typical research projects underway within the department will provide a look at future trends for studies in the ritual field.

Susanne Greenhalgh (Roehampton Institute, London). Keynote Presentation: Our Lady of Flowers: the Ambiguous Politics of Diana's Floral Revolution.

A significant feature of the week leading up to the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, was the media and public debate about appropriate and inappropriate expressions of molrning, and the relationship of these to the conventions of royal ceremonial. The concept of a "people's princess" became the focus for a complex play of performative strategies, derived from multiple national and popular sources. In particular a form of "public art" emerged, expressed not only in the carpet of flowers outside the royal palaces and ancestral stately home, but in improvised shrines in shopping precincts and on motorway flyovers across the nation. The politics, as well as the processes, of this public canonization (often described uneasily as "un-English" in media commentaries) is the main focus of the paper. By comparing these outward expressions of collective grief with other cultural rituals (from other royal and state funerals to traumatic events such as Hillsborough and Dunblane) the nature and performative power of what has been termed a "floral revolution" can be interrogated. As a result of this analysis it is possible, I suggest, to identify at least three political trajectories in the displays of public grief in Britain. The first, which I term the "policing of mourning," reveals an investment in authoritarian modes of social discourse even as it appears to call for freedom from restraint and tradition, sometimes surfacing in explicitly nationalist or even xenophobic gestures. The second, performed by those Earl Spencer named the "constituency of the rejected," can be interpreted as a site of emergent political protest, turning the display of sympathy into a call for social and political reformation. Lastly, I point to the ways in which the memorialization processes which followed the funeral helped to recuperate potentially radical aspects of the mourning into a safe traditionalism, especially through the deployment of discourses of religion, commerce, aristocracy and heritage. This interplay between different and even contradictory elements makes the "floral revolution" itself a complex and ambiguous phenomenon--one which has perhaps still not run its course. (This paper is based on an essay forthcoming in Adrian Kear and Deborah Steinberg [1999] Mourning Diana: Nation, Culture and the Performance of Grief London: Routledge)

Stacey Hann-Ruff. (Wood County Historical Center/Museum). "All Around the Year": Season's Greetings from Wood County, Ohio.

This exhibit provides an introduction to greetings cards of the early 1900s, with an emphasis on the symbols and themes of Christmas and Valentine's Day cards. The exhibit also presents a selection of cards in celebration of New Year's, Easter, Midsummer, Halloween, Thanksgiving, friendship, love, marriage, and birthdays. The first half of the 20th century saw significant shifts in the type of sentiments written, innovations in production techniques, and changes in the colors and designs used in decorative flourishes. The display explores the basics of these changes and introduces the viewer to the beauty and delight of greeting cards.

The title of this exhibit is borrowed from the book, All Around the Year, Holidays & Celebrations in American Life by Jack Santino of the Popular Culture Department at Bowling Green State University.

Curator of exhibit: Stacey Hann-Ruff of the Wood County Historical Center/Museum in Bowling Green, Ohio. Ms. Hann-Ruff is also a graduate student in anthropology at Indiana University - Bloomington. For more information about the Wood County Historical Center/Museum, please call (419) 352-0967.

 

Gregory Hansen. (Indiana University). Celebrating Iowa Folklife Video Screening and Discussion.

This presentation is a video production that was prepared for use in Iowa's secondary schools as part of a multi-media resource kit. The video presents three local festivals that are held in Iowa: a rodeo, a bike-ride across the state, and a local celebration of Norwegian heritage. The video shows differences and similarities between the events as the producer shows high school students how to interpret the events as celebratory means of cultural display. Through on-camera interviews as well as voice-overs, the video invites the viewers to see the events through the lenses of theoretical perspectives offered by Victor Turner, Susan Stewart, and Aristotle. Following the screening, the producer will distribute a lesson plan that accompanies the video and offer perspectives for using video production to teach secondary students to document and interpret local festivals. The producer will also invite members of the audience to think about ways to use video production to examine relationships between media, genres, and cultural interpretation.

David Allen Harvey. (Princeton University). Carnivals, Cabarets, and Charivaris: The Transformation of Popular Culture in Nineteenth Century Alsace.

In early 19th century Alsace, traditional forms of popular culture, such as Carnivals, charivaris, and the popular "public sphere" of the cabaret, combined with the rich array of symbols and practices that were the legacy of the French Revolution to create a uniquely rich and complex symbolic language for the expression of popular political and economic power. Carnivalesque practices such as social inversion, mockery, and the use of symbolic attire allowed workers and artisans to free themselves from the hegemony of bourgeois industrial society and to imagine and to enact a vision of a more egalitarian world.

Jeremy Hockett. (University of New Mexico). Men of Fire, Three Burning Rituals of Renewal: Questions of Authenticity.

This presentation will expose the various claims to authenticity that three contemporary effigy-burning rituals, and the festivals they attend to, may have. I would hope that in discussing the politics of authenticity involved with El Kookooee, Zozobra, and Burningman a deeper sense of the meaning of authenticity itself, some of the many ways it might be described, approached, or defined, will be revealed. Authenticity itself is as widely defined as the sensibilities of those who define it, consciously or unconsciously. Everyone comes to a conception of authenticity with a different set of experiences, a particular orietation to the world, and a unique knowledge base. However their respective authenticities are compared, there exists a simple universal ritual attraction to fire, fire as symbolic of spirit, fire as a ceremonial renewing of the elemental spirit of life.

Maury Hutcheson. (State University of New York at Buffalo). Approaching the Bullfight as Art, Ritual, and Performance: Theorizing Death in the Afternoon.

Bullfighting is productive of many conflicting interpretations. For non-Spaniards, the bullfight is an iconic marker for an essentialized Spanish character. Within Spain, bullfighting is often called la fiesta nacional. However, Spanish affection for bullfighting is not monolithic, but cross-cut by regional and ethnic difference. Some find bullfighting an authentic ritual of a distinctly (if not primordially) Spanish identity. Others view it is a barbaric anachronism which orientalizes Spain as Europe's Other within. As public spectacle, bullfighting is a regulated, formalized play "inherently dangerous" with death its object. It fits imperfectly under such conventional categories as sport, artform, performance, and ritual, yet most people believe that it is, somehow or other, a culturally meaningful event. This paper looks critically at the interpretive frames which lead common people and scholars alike to invest the bullfight with such a diversity of meanings. Many anthropologists have explored the bullfight as a communicative ritual, carrying messages about gender, honor, and control. However, matadors are not officiants. They are not concerned with communicating symbolically, but with killing bulls. Rather than constituting a ritual per se, the bullfight partakes of processes of ritualization. The assessing role of the audience is crucial to the construction of its meaning. In Spanish culture, the bullfight is "a total esthetic fact." Audiences generate its meanings metaphorically, projecting significance onto an activity which slips uneasily along a continuum between ritual, performance, and theater, but which is grounded in tragic reality. Recalling Walter Benjamin's analysis of the movement of art objects between poles of cultic (ritual) value and exhibitionary (esthetic) value, this paper suggests that we can better understand the generativity of esthetic signifiers (like the bullfight) through the discursive poetics of centering, decentering, and recentering. "Meaning" then exists within history and memorial experience, not within the signifier, and circulates in social discourse.

Helen Hi-Sun Kim. (The Ohio State University). Han and Etiquette in Korean Drinking.

In traditional Korean culture, alcohol was not only enjoyed for social occasions, but also consumed during ancestral rites, planting and harvesting, weddings, and other ceremonial occasions. Today, these traditions are still apparent, and alcohol is still considered a vital part of making and nurturing personal, business, and political relationships. I will discuss the etiquette of Korean drinking customs, which are an essential part of the cultural performance of alcohol consumption and difficult for newcomers to master. Furthermore, I will explore the relationship between these unique drinking customs and more pervasive cultural concepts, especially the Korean notion of han.

Susan Applegate Krouse. (Michigan State University). Circling Conflict: Traditional Iroquois Socials in an Urban Indian Community.

The urban American Indian community in Rochester, New York, is proud of the socials it sponsors, which provide a place for Native people to come together and participate in traditional Iroquois activities. The socials are promoted as community events, but they are also sites of conflict and contestation. The resolution of those conflicts serves to reinforce the cultural values and to validate a social hierarchy that promotes the maintenance of a specific Iroquois identity for this urban community.

Danille Christensen Lindquist. (Indiana University). Identity, Industry, and the American Dream: Fan Participation in Ohio State Football.

Football's official discourse, regulations, and performances institutionalize American nationalistic and industrial ideals such as teamwork, perseverance, and achievement. But "spectators" are not passive pawns in an industrial game: fans participate by embracing official symbols and re-presenting them through their own rituals and behaviors. In this study, "Buckeye" traditions like those associated with the OSU Marching Band reinforce norms of national identity and success--but they also originate within the populace and act as markers of a distinct community identity. In Central Ohio, football does more than sustain the "American Dream": it is a collective expression of creativity, power and identity.

Ying Liu. (The Ohio State University). A Chinese Folk Dance Performance in the United States.

This paper is based on my fieldwork on a Chinese folk dance performance on the eve of Thanksgiving Day in 1998, in Columbus Ohio. I examine questions such as "of what nature was this performance? can this really be seen as a pure entertainment with no political interests involved, as the organizer claimed?", "what has accounted for the similar and different reactions on the part of the Eastern and Western audiences" and, "is there a negotiating space for the Eastern and Western cultures to converge?"

Lucy M Long. (Bowling Green State University). To Dance Irish Video Screening and Discussion.

The recent popularity of the commercially-produced and mass-mediated dance show, Riverdance, has introduced traditional Irish dance to non-Irish audiences throughout the world, drawing large numbers of students to Irish dance schools. This video explores a recently established school in the Midwest that is typical both of the Irish dance education system and of the multicultural realities of contemporary Irish-American ethnicity. The video presents the school as developing out of a strong family tradition and the local Irish community. In examining motivations for participation in this cultural art form, the video acknowledges the importance for the participants in developing a sense of community that transcends ethnic background. It also looks at the competition system that ultimately structures the aesthetics of the dance classes.

Lucy Long (Bowling Green State University). Family Thanksgiving Dinners: Rituals of Intensification, Idealization, and Inversion.

Started officially as a celebration of national unity, Thanksgiving dinner is presented in contemporary popular culture as a time of family unity. However, the reality is often one of conflict and discord. While such conflicts may be thought of as reflecting dysfunctional families, it is perhaps more useful to acknowledge them as reflecting the power of food to carry meaning, to communicate identity, and to affirm and construct social relationships. During holiday meals, that power is intensified and concentrated, so that through the ritualistic use of food, the vision of the family can be negotiated within specific families at specific times and places. This paper explores the ways in which Thanksgiving dinner serves as a multifaceted ritual for the manipulation of family structure and relationships as well as for the constructing of the meaningfulness attached to the various aspects of foodways.

Celeste Ray. (Sewanee University). Clansmen of the New South: Masculinity and Public Display in Scottish Heritage Celebration.

Growing interest in Americans' ancestral ties to Scotland has spawned hundreds of local and national clan societies. At a time when traditional ideals of masculinity are challenged, these hierarchical societies honor clan chiefs as unquestioned "father figures" and celebrate the "unsensitive" males of Scotland's military history. Especially in the South, militaristic themes shape public rituals at Scottish heritage events. Stereotypical images of Scots as bag-piping, kilted soldiers find masculine parallels in the gentlemen gallants and colonel characters of southern myth. Soldierly male icons prominent in southern and Scottish defeat-generated mythologics become isomorphic in southern, Scottish heritage celebration.

Grant Jewell Rich. (University of Chicago). Santa and His Merry Selfs: Impression Management at Work and Play.

This research uses qualitative methods including interviews and observations to explore how Santas construct and manage their identities on and off the job. Previous research has examined how workers have presented themselves socially while employed in stigmatized occupations such as phone sex work (Rich 1998; Rich and Guidroz in press) and fast food restaurants (Leidner 1991). The current paper shows that similar techniques are employed by Santas while engaged in the socially desirable work of fulfilling children's holiday wishes. Santas, like those in stigmatized occupations such as phone sex or dance hall music (Becker 1963; Goffman 1963), must also keep secret certain aspects of identity. Nevertheless, on occasion, Santas are exposed as real people, and must decide upon responses to intrusions upon their performances. In this social construction of reality, Santa, parents, and older children work together to keep the holiday magic alive. How Santas maintain their illusion in the face of bratty children, aching feet, bad days, and faulty white beards is the focus of this paper.

Kathleen Glenister Roberts. (Indiana University). Between Two Worlds: Function and Slippage in Powwow Ritual Exchange.

As the powwow becomes increasingly popular for some Native Americans and other groups, its function also becomes increasingly context- and production-specific. Some are always expressive, designed to call attention to "Nativeness" through sign systems such as gift exchange. This paper explores the convergence of exchange, sign, and speech in the specific ritual context of the "giveaway." Ultimately, I argue that one specific type of powwow invents a loosely-constructed liminal world that seems especially vulnerable to slippage. I examine one giveaway "master of ceremonies" as he breaks frame through violations of formality rules put forth by Judith Irvine (1979).

Eric Shepherd. (The Ohio State University). Shandong Yanxi: Cultural Functions of the Banquet in the Shandong Context.

This paper examines the "celebratory," ritualistic and pragmatic functions that Shandong yanxi, or banquets, serve in games of gaining social status in the contemporary Shandong social milieu. Yanxi are a highly ritualized form of performance in which enormous amounts of social capital, and energy are invested (Yang 1994). Shandong yanxi are conducted to celebrate such important social occasions as weddings and engagements; festivals; birthdays; sending a friend or relative off on a journey, and welcoming a traveler home from a journey (Seligman 1998). Although highly festive in nature, these performances play a more serious and pragmatic role in Shandong society as a field of play for the game of gaining social status.

Linda Marie Small. Coloring and Celebrating Display: Ritual Resistance to the Disabled Body as Cultural Text for Discrimination.

"Stories make you live right (Western Apache)," but are we listening or merely seeing through stereotypes? Disability discrimination is given its legitimacy through white cultural practices viewed as normative in academia. Cast as imperfect, the individual with disabilities becomes not scholar, but contested scholarly text. The graduate student storyteller created pictured text of personal pain: a coloring book of disability discrimination as experienced within anthropology pedagogy. Drawing one's imperfect social body in hues of celebratory display is ritual and resistance. Further study on popular culture selection of social change agents is needed.

Lakshmi Srinivas. (UCLA). Performative Viewing and Public Spectacle: Experiencing Popular Cinema.

Ethnographic study of cinematic reception in India reveals that the meaning of a film maybe elaborated and transformed by participatory and performative viewing practices of its audiences. Viewers sing along with the soundtrack, shout out to characters on-screen and dance in the theater. The experience of cinema is brought outside the viewing setting as theater exteriors are decorated to celebrate newly-released films and audiences organize processions to felicitate stars. Cinema is reconstructed as live theater, public spectacle and festival raising important questions about audiences' relation to the cultural product and revealing that the meaning and experience of cinema cannot be captured through analyses which neglect the audience while focusing on film content.

Beverly J Stoeltje. (Indiana University). Keynote Address: The Beauty Pageant: Harnessing or Liberating Female Power.

Beauty Pageants constitute modernity's female rites of initiation, a popular ritual in which the concept of beauty serves to disguise the contradictions surrounding the role of women in contemporary society. Like strip shows, fashion shows, and debutante balls; beauty pageants place women's bodies on display and define their functions in society. Because they seem to be rituals of the imagination, attention is deflected away from the flow of power through which women's identities are negotiated. Focusing on power, however, permits us to discern the processes through which popular rituals respond to changing ideologies. Examining the evolution of the form, the organization of production, the discourse which interprets the event, and the performances themselves, reveals beauty pageants as a site where modernity's deepest fissures are revealed and resolutions to contradictions proferred.

Joanne Raetz Stuttgen. (Indiana University). Candy Canes at the Martinsville Candy Kitchen.

My presentation documents the process of traditional hand manufacture of candy canes at the Martinsville, Indiana, Candy Kitchen, a Main Street landmark since its opening by Greek immigrant, James Zapapas, in 1919. The folkloric approach is framed by three historical contexts: the period of Greek immigration to Indiana (1890-1920); the history of sugar and candy; and the legend of the candy cane that makes it a religious symbol. I argue that the candy cane, like the modem Christmas, is a recent cultural phenomenon, dating to approximately 1850, and that the legend is indicative of efforts to reinvest Christmas with religious meaning--a meaning that has never really existed, according to historians of the holiday.

Chad Ryan Thomas. (Arizona State University). The Logic of Inducing Belief.

Any definition of religion must include both practices (rituals) and beliefs. Rituals themselves are distinguished by a series of more or less stereotyped behaviors, accompanied by a belief in the meaning of the behaviors. Analytically, stereotyped behaviors are relatively easy to identify, but beliefs are much more difficult. To be able to discuss ritual effectively, there must be some epistemological warrant to say that one can know what others believe. Without such warrant, using beliefs to understand ritual has no logical grounding. By using techniques of logical implication and set theory, the epistemological and ontological issues surrounding the statement, "Person 1 knows that Person 2 believes A," are explored. It is concluded that knowing beliefs in the technical sense is impossible, but inducing beliefs is logically equivalent to inducing any other idea. Thus, it is possible to use beliefs of others to understand their behavior in ritual contexts.

Jennifer Jo Kuhn Thompson. (Indiana University). America's Wilderness Rites of Passage: Ritual Efficacy in Daily Life.

This presentation will consider the wilderness rites of passage held within two multi-ethnic spiritual communities in the Midwest. These events, in which an individual experiences wilderness in solitude and emerges with a transformed identity and purpose, are closely linked to Native American traditions of vision quest and are guided by Native teachers. I will explore how these wilderness rites of passage affect participants' understandings of spirituality, humanity and nature, and how the ritual elements of the event remain effective fri their daily lives.

Cory Thorne. (Bowling Green State University). Damn Right We're Mad!" Political Debating in Newfoundland Country Music.

Newfoundland country music and the events where it is performed provide an important voice for political criticism by outport Newfoundlanders. This exploration of its musicological and cultural development, and of other artifacts of popular culture, will aid in our understanding of this island's politics and of the public obsession with the concept of Newfoundland's identity.

Stuart Towns. (University of West Florida). Rituals and Rhetoric of the Lost Cause: Remembering the Old Confederacy in the New South.

This paper examines three of the most conspicuous rituals of the Lost Cause phenomenon: Confederate Memorial Day, Confederate Monument dedications, and Confederate Veterans' reunions. Much of the analysis focuses on the speeches delivered at these various ritualistic events so popular and so important in the post-Civil War South. These rituals of a century and more ago were substantial reasons why the Old South passed away so slowly and why, even in the 1990s, remnants of that era are easily found in the most recent incarnation of the New South.

Luise van Keuren. (Green Mountain College). Growing Up Dutch in Early America: The Festival of Childhood Ritual.

In contrast to dour images of Early America, childhood in Dutch-influenced New York was rich with merriment and festival. Children in Albany were organized into "companies," as they called them, from about age five through their teens. Among the annual rituals in these social units were berry-picking and birthday excursions. Holidays included May Day, Kermis and St. Martin's Eve. Young men marked the passage to adulthood with a ritual trapping trip into the wilderness and then relinquished the lark of hog stealing and the passion for winter sledding on Main Street.

David Vaughn. (Air Force Institute of Technology). The Air Show as Ritual Festival.

Air shows are a 20th century phenomenon. Since the first air shows were held in Europe and America in 1908 and 1909, they have consistently offered spectators the latest visions of flight technology and aerial activities. But they also have fulfilled the basic criteria of all public festivals: education, entertainment, and celebration. Like the earliest cultural festivals, they are linked to annual calendar dates and display a variety of ritual characteristics. This presentation describes the basic activities of air shows and explores the ways in which these activities share the characteristics of ritual festivals.

Cliff Vaughn. (Bowling Green State University). Crossing the Pettus Bridge: Transformation, Confirmation, Commemoration.

Roger Abrahams asserts that a commemoration confirms an occasion of transformative power. Utilizing a public display approach, I will examine how civil rights activists have transformed, confirmed and commemorated themselves and their actions via various attempts to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. I will specifically address the events known as "Bloody Sunday," "Turnaround Tuesday," and the "Selma to Montgomery March." I will also discuss the annual commemoration in Selma known as the "Bridge Crossing Jubilee," which emphasizes what its name proclaims: the bridge crossing (i.e. the community's domination of the physical site).

Phyllis Watts and Miriam Fankhauser. (Tiffin University). Tecumseh, Blue Jacket, and Unto These Hills: Sociocultural Analysis of Three Outdoor Dramas.

This paper through a sociohistorical comparison and contrast methodology examines the issues of genre, historical accuracy of the story line versus editorial license taken by the authors/directors, land ownership and the defense thereof, the cultural values of honor and truth, and the use of-humor and spirituality to examine the encounters experienced between indigenous people and the westward moving white pioneers as depicted within these outdoor dramas.

Melissa Weinbrenner. (University of Montevallo). The 1621 Harvest Festival: Tracing the Story of a Thanksgiving Myth.

Examining various records show a changing interpretation of the origins of thanksgiving: first a holy day; then, a national holiday; and more recently, a harvest festival. Extant sources of the 1621 harvest festival indicate that it was a week-long event in which the Indians joined the colonists for three days of gunplay and other militaristic endeavors. The word "thanks" does not appear in any contemporary account. Today the relation is taken for granted, although it was not until 1939 that it. appears in a national proclamation. Tracing the origins of such a "myth" reveals changes in American self-identity.

Li Yu. (The Ohio State University). Chinese Evening Party as Cultural Performance: Fieldwork in the Chinese Community in Columbus, Ohio.

This paper is an analytical report on a fieldwork done on an evening party, or lianhuan wanhui that was held in Columbus, Ohio, within a Chinese community. The party was organized to celebrate the National Day and the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival. In the paper, lianhuan wanhui is first discussed as a cultural performance with the aid of the concept of "cultural performance" proposed by Singer (1959) and the performance approach developed by a group of folklorists. Then, lianhuan wanhui is seen through the lens of entertainment and the author proposes that it is a special genre of entertainment.