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Grant number like: FEL-258129-18

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Jonathan W. Stone
University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9049)

Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018

Listening to the Lomax Archive at the Library of Congress: The Rhetoric of American Folksong in the 1930s

Preparation of a digital monograph on the rhetoric of music in American folksong recordings of the 1930s from the Lomax Archive, Library of Congress.

Listening to the Lomax Archive: The Sonic Rhetorics of American Folksong in the 1930s is a digital monograph centered on fieldwork of folklorists John and Alan Lomax. In my analysis of recordings the Lomaxes collected for the Library of Congress during the 1930s, I argue for music as a powerful rhetoric that can render and circulate both traditional and progressive values, often simultaneously. The project will break new scholarly ground in the humanities as it brings the sounds of the Folklife Archive to the reader in ways not possible in print. The book will utilize digital publishing tools to bring critical listening to the scholarly processes that will help better understand the complexities of history and history making. My argument is that such processes also enhance and complicate our understanding of rhetoric, an art usually associated with powers of persuasion, but also an art of understanding and of finding ways to hear and respond to even the most dissonant of differences.