Art of the Interview

Journal of Folklore and Education

2019: Volume 6
Bonnie S. Sunstein, Guest Editor

About This Volume

Chief among the tools of folklorists and other ethnographers, interviewing allows us to glimpse the ways that others live, create, and believe. Careful, intentional listening rewards both the interviewer and the narrator. The connections forged, whether fleeting or long-lived, are unique to each interview. Artfulness weaves throughout the interview process, from questioning and following up to analyzing, editing, preserving, and re-presenting.

Folk arts interviews teach important details about cultural context, artistic expression as communication, and the ways stories can help us better understand our communities. The practice of interviewing integrates well with many K-16 curricular areas and education standards so that art and culture can be embedded in additional subject areas. This JFE special issue includes work that illustrates HOW to do an interview, WHY to use interviews as a part of one’s curriculum, and WHAT can be done with completed interviews.

With fond memories of Carol Spellman (1951-2017) and her love of the artful interview…

Articles

Of Art and the Interview: Woven Performance

Chief among the tools of folklorists and other ethnographers, interviewing allows us to glimpse the ways that others live, create, and believe. Careful, intentional listening rewards both the interviewer and the narrator. The connections forged, whether fleeting or long-lived, are unique to each interview. Artfulness weaves throughout the interview process, from questioning and following up to analyzing, editing, preserving, and re-presenting.

In Celebration: Remembering Carol Spellman

Carol Spellman brought three young filmmakers, Alcides Cerrud, Miguel Cholula, and Adan Merecias-Cuevas, to the 2003 AFS conference to co-present with her. Here Carol, second from left, and Paddy Bowman of Local Learning pose with the teens after their film screening.

The Artful Interview in Documentary Production

A guide reprinted in memory of Carol Spellman offers short, practical methods for teaching documentary video production to youth.

City Lore Interviewing Guide

Updated with additional classroom connections, this comprehensive guide aids educators, especially in K-12, to employ interviewing from start to finish. Sections include: Interviewing as a Tool for Folklore, Oral History, and Community-Based Research Why Use Interviews and Oral History Preparing to Interview Conducting the Interview Interviewing Etiquette After the Interview

Filming Deaf Stories: Interviews in American Sign Language

This article touches on cultural, linguistic, and technical issues that arise in video recording stories of Deaf individuals who use American Sign Language (ASL).

“It’s About the Stories that People Are Willing to Tell You”: An Interview with Guha Shankar

Go “behind the scenes” of the ethnographic interview to illuminate some of its distinctive features, as well as its value as a tool for learning about shared human knowledges, expressions, and experiences of today and the past.

Teaching Young Students to Interview: When Family and Community Knowledge Informs Culturally Responsive Teaching

Elementary school educators fully engaged in teaching interviewing provide model projects, curricular connections, and worksheets to inspire and support other educators.

Supporting English Learners to Use Ethnography: The Stars Program at Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School

Deep ethnographic inquiry underpins the FACTS School ELL program for middle schoolers.

Tell Me What the World Was Like When You Were Young: Talking About Ourselves

Interviewing is the intrinsic component of folklore-based programs that bring together Israeli and Palestinian school and college communities to help participants gain knowledge of each other’s daily lives and cultures. Through this interacting, participants overcome stereotyping and de-humanization.

Students Listen to Voices of the City with the Urban Memory Project

The successful models gleaned from a long-term endeavor can stimulate and support educators’ interests in exploring community while meaningfully connecting to curricula.

Weaving Our Histories: Latin@ Ethnography in the Heritage Language Classroom

This article builds on the foundation of the importance of students’ voices and experiences in heritage language instruction and how they are rarely asked to consider their lived experiences as rich cultural and historical knowledge outside the HLL classroom.

Using Formal Interviews to Build Understanding in Social Studies

A high school teacher shares process and products from years of teaching interviewing.

Interview as Curriculum and Collaboration: Behind the Scenes of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Field School

The authors contribute perspectives on collaborative design, support, and delivery of folklife field schools in a process that involved careful conversations among collaborators that drew upon interview skills like careful listening, asking clarifying questions, and checking back for accuracy.

Photographing Folk Artists We Interview: Reflecting on 35 Years in the Field

These rich reflections articulate the importance of photography, especially portraiture, and of representing the humanity of those we interview and document.

A Note: Bridging Cultural Gaps through Interviews

In this Note, the author advocates for teaching interviewing by sharing what he learned from preparing audio files for radio and his deep engagement with an interviewee. The note concludes with the “SCRIPT for George Hatton Community Profile.”

A Note: Informed Consent, Release Forms, Thank-You Notes, and Other Tools of the Ethical, Artful Interview

Informed Consent, Release Forms, Thank-You Notes, and Other Tools of the Ethical, Artful Interview from The Editors Volume six of the Journal of Folklore and Education has been a special one for us to work on because interviews are at the heart of our work as folklorists and as educators. Through interviews we gain access […]

Journal of Folklore and Education 2019 Reviews

Extraordinary Ordinary People: A Music-Fueled Journey through Folk and Traditional Arts in America, by Alan Govenar; Folkstreams (https://www.folkstreams.net); Yo’Mama, Mary Mack, and Boudreau and Thibodeaux: Louisiana Children’s Folklore and Play, by Jeanne Pitre Soileau; Music, Education, and Diversity: Bridging Cultures and Communities, by Patricia Shehan Campbell; Learning Things: Material Culture in Art Education, by Doug Blandy and Paul E. Bolin

Key Themes In this Issue

Narrative, Place, Community, Nature and Environment, Foodways, Identity

The Journal of Folklore and Education (ISSN 2573-2072) is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal published annually by Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education. JFE publishes work that uses ethnographic approaches to tap the knowledge and life skills of students, their families, community members, and educators in K-12, college, museum, and community education.