Special Letter for Alumni
Dear fellow Folklore and Ethnomusicology alumni,
At the 50th anniversary/reunion in Bloomington on June 6-8, 2003, several of us became interested in exploring the development of an alumni association for those of us who would like to keep in touch with each other and with the Folklore and Ethnomusicology Department. Even among those of us fortunate enough to be working in our chosen fields, few of us have the luxury of working with other folklorists and ethnomusicologists. Having more active contact among us could help the Department provide more services for alumni, permit the alumni to help the Department, and serve as a means for us to help each other.
We, the members of a newly created alumni steering committee, are asking you to help us generate ideas of ways in which alumni and the Department can help each other. Some of the suggestions already made are:
- Setting up a List-Serve for discussion among alumni.
- Making available to alumni the films and videos in the Department's Folklore on Video collection.
- Creating a visiting professorship at IU, enabling us to bring back to the department the expertise we have gained since leaving and enabling us to work for a while in closer contact with other folklorists (and, perhaps, bringing greater prestige to folklore at our home institutions).
- Helping the Department with fundraising, ensuring that the IU Foundation's efforts actually work for Folklore and Ethnomusicology.
- Creating a traveling lecturer's program, similar to the one run by Phi Beta Kappa, which each year sends selected scholars to campuses around the country.
- Creating some form of support services for independent scholars.
- Providing seminars/conferences for alumni who want to train in/explore some area not available to them when they were in school.
- Giving alumni electronic access to the Archives and perhaps linking the various archives we have individually established.
- Providing information on a website about resources, news of alumni (including projects of interest), lists of current theses and dissertations, and calls for papers for panels at AFS and other meetings.
Do any of these appeal to you? Would you care to elaborate on any of them? Do you have other suggestions?
To implement these ideas and develop others, it might benefit us to have some form of alumni association. Would you be interested in an alumni association, and, if so, what form should it take? To begin with, we're simply using this alumni list, but should we try to set up a List-Serve or some other electronic forum? Should we aim to hold our own meeting at AFS and SEM conferences? Would we want a newsletter (print or electronic) that goes beyond the Department's Traditions? How informal or formal would you want this to be?
We recognize that alumni of the various incarnations of the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology have widely varying attitudes to their alma mater. Whatever your own attitude to the Department, IU, or alumni associations in general, we, nonetheless, hope that you will join us in trying to establish ways in which the Department can better serve us, its former students, and in which together we can improve the study of folklore and ethnomusicology.
At this point, we need to learn what would be most useful to you and what ideas you'd like to offer. Please send us your ideas and preferences by writing to one of us (NOT the list) by e-mail or post; we will compile and share your comments.
Thank you and best wishes from your fellow alumni,
ltucker @ binghamton.edu (Libby Tucker)
harris-m-berger @ neo.tamu.edu (Harris M. Berger)
eoring @ calstatela.edu (Elliott Oring)
ehenken @ uga.edu (Elissa R. Henken)
mmagouli @ gcsu.edu (Mary Magoulick)
johnsonj @ indiana.edu (John W. Johnson)
jpleary @ facstaff.wisc.edu (Jim Leary)
306 Ingraham Hall
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706
Elissa R. Henken
Dept. of English
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
Dept. of English
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
Harris M. Berger
Dept. of Performance Studies MS4240
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-4240