The Winter issue (v. 136, no. 539) of the Journal of American Folklore: A Global Quarterly will be available online and will arrive in mailboxes soon. This issue exemplifies the editorial team’s efforts to publish diverse formats and to enhance dialog within the journal.
The issue begins with the publication of Kay Turner’s bewitching presidential address at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Folklore Society “The Witch in Flight,” a delightful feminist and queer journey through the witches of folk and fairy tales. In “The Father[s] of Canning”? Narrating Nicolas Appert/American Industry,” Danille Elise Christensen critically examines the insight legend that attributes the discovery of canning as a food preservation technique to a man, to the exclusion of the women most involved in this type of domestic work. Jason Baird Jackson offers a detailed overview of the collaboration between the American Folklore Society and its partners in China in “Collaborative Work in Museum Folklore and Heritage Studies: An Initiative of the American Folklore Society and Its Partners in China and the United States.”
As part of JAF’s effort to integrate more cross-disciplinary dialog, this issue highlights Bernice Johnson Reagon as a scholar, public folklorist, and artist. James Counts Early and Amy Horowitz authored “Bernice Johnson Reagon—In Celebration of Her Eightieth Birthday (October 4, 1942): A Preliminary Inquiry and Invitation to New Generations of Activist Scholars for Further Research.” They invited three authors to write short response pieces in dialog with their essay. Ethnomusicologist Portia K. Maultsby wrote “Bernice Johnson Reagon, Black Woman Trailblazer: Presenting and Interpreting Black Vernacular and Popular Musics in a White Cultural Institution,” Folklorist Phyllis M. May-Machunda, “Bernice Johnson Reagon: Exemplary Mentor for Folklore Studies,” and writer and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller, “Songs for the Journey and the Mission: The Life Notes of Bernice Johnson Reagon.” Together these essays are intended to spark others to recognize and build upon the many important contributions that Reagon has made to the field.
Maribel L. Alvarez offers a tribute to her close friend and colleague James S. Griffith, more popularly known as Big Jim, in the obituary column. As always, the issue includes book reviews and featured and reviewed projects essays.
We encourage our readers and potential authors to visit JAF’s website https://americanfolkloresociety.org/journal/submissions/ to learn about the types of material we publish and to consider contributing to our new and innovative formats and genres. Please contact Editor-in-Chief Lisa Gilman if you have ideas or questions at email@example.com.
Executive Director, American Folklore Society