The Missouri Folklore Society


Missouri Folklore Society

Annual Meeting 2021

Somewhere in Cyberspace


Like what you see? Join us in person next year in Hannibal (November 3-5). Go to the homepage to get the membership form and JOIN THE MISSOURI FOLKLORE SOCIETY 

 All times are Central Standard. Synchronous (live) events are marked in RED.

Other events can be joined at will; a suggested schedule simulating the usual conference experience is included.

Thursday November 4

12 noon

This is the point at which we’d have coffee and fellowship, and a general membership meeting – we’ll combine that with the Saturday noon business meeting (live!) But here's a heartfelt welcome from your 2021 co-presidents, Lyn Wolz and Susan Bryson.   (1 minute)

1 pm

Then and Now: Apprentice Journeys with Angela J. Williams and Lisa Higgins

(48:41) Angela J. Williams, shares a powerful oral narrative about her apprenticeships with Gladys Coggswell and own recent stint as master artist in 2021 with interviewer Lisa Higgins, Director of the Missouri Folk Arts Program. There’s a story at the end!

2 pm


Lyn Wolz, Heather Richmond and A.J. Medlock

What Should I Do with All This Stuff? Preserving Our Historical Materials

Have you been wondering what to do with personal and family materials you’ve kept for years but no longer have room for? Especially if you have no heirs who are interested in becoming the family historian, you’ll want to make sure your carefully saved records don’t end up in a dumpster, a horror story we’ve all heard before. Even the Wall Street Journal has headlined how most younger people don’t want to be burdened with “old stuff,” so where are all these materials to go? Working with professionals at institutions such as libraries, archives, and historical societies to establish a collection of personal, family, or community materials is a worthwhile effort that can lead to peace of mind for those of us who are historians at heart.

Lyn and AJ will tell us about their work to establish the Wolz-Brandenberg Family Collection in St. Louis, then we’ll hear from Heather about her work with the MFS Collection. Finally, Heather and AJ will address the professional archivist’s viewpoint on how all this works and answer questions from the audience.  

Heather Richmond

Richmond received a master's degree in library studies with an emphasis in archives from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007. Richmond started working at SHSMO in 2013 and in her position as Senior Archivist, has been the main contact for the Missouri Folklore Society Collection.

AJ Medlock

Senior Archivist A. J. Medlock has a master's degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master of arts in public history from Southeast Missouri State University. Prior to joining SHSMO in October 2017, he worked as an associate historian on the Soldiers Memorial Revitalization Project at the Missouri History Museum. His specialty is establishing family and community collections, especially in the St. Louis area.

Lyn Wolz

Founding MFS member Lyn Wolz received her master's degree in library science from the University of Missouri--Columbia and her master's in folklore from the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill.  Retired from the University of Kansas in 2019, she is currently working on establishing her family's collection with AJ Medlock.



3 pm

Jim Vandergriff, Kushtukas, Inyukons and Devils: Some Inuit Eskimo Folklore (18 min)



Samuel Kendrick and Ellen Law Kendrick: Crop Duster – Reframing Agricultural Aviation (19 min)

Folklorist Samuel Kendrick (MA, 2020 Western Kentucky University) and photographer and educator Ellen Law Kendrick, of Richards, Missouri, present their research, funded by a 2020 Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. They recently delivered a version of this paper at the 2021 American Folklore Society annual meeting in Harrisburg, PA.

Way of the Woodhawk: Jim Wilson

Steamboat At Night, 1861. /Nsteamboats In Moonlight On The ...

This is a look at the lives of people who supplied wood for steamboats on the big rivers in last half of the 19th century; the impact of their work and the diversity of their character.

Jimhenry Wilson has worked in conservation, with natural history and education and with the University of Missouri-St.Louis and Forest Park Forever in experiential education. Jimhenry has helped build five dugout canoes and has logged over 100 miles on the Missouri River in a hollowed-out log. (21 minutes)

4 pm

Betsy Delmonico, Professor Emerita of English (Truman State University) this year offers a reading from a book recently published by Golden Antelope, the press she runs with her husband, Neal Delmonico: Goods and Effects, by Al Schnupp.

What happens when a free-thinking widow, raised in a deeply religious environment, is forced to create a new life?

“[I decided to] read half a dozen bits of folklife-related stuff from the book […] The passages I didn't get to include the funeral itself with its mix of secular and Christian words; Hannah retooling an old truck so she can live in it when she leaves the farm;  Hannah  modifying her traditional views on abortion; learning to smoke and drink a beer;  appreciating the delicate wood carving skills of a lesbian cabinet maker; standing up for a Black musician/farmer when members of the community go all KKK on him; taking an artistically talented deaf girl with her on her peddler circuits.  There's a wonderfully funny scene in which she listens to an elderly "Grandma Martha" on a local radio show.  "The Poet Laureate of Kalb County" reads not-so-great poems (one about a Thomas Hart Benton painting) and says she gives her poems away to anybody who'll take them--but, no, she's never been good enough to be published. 

The book starts in 1961, spends about 85% of its pages in the 1960s, and ends very quickly with Hannah's sudden death and funeral in 1988.  Right before that, we get a close examination of the deaf artist's new genre of art--a complicated form of re-creating local farms via photographs cut into pieces and quilted together.  Schnupp's own art portfolio includes just about all the forms described in Hannah's world: painting, collage making, wood carving, recycling, set designing, and making multi-dimensional miniatures. (15:13)

Schnupp's website is 

5 pm

Keynote address:

A Woman Scorned: Hera in Film, Television, and Video Games (36 min)

Dr. Amy Norgard, Associate Professor of Classics, Truman State University

This talk takes a closer look at Hera, the queen of the gods in Greek mythology, and her reception into later forms of media.  A complex and frustrated figure, Hera has been depicted in antiquity as an agent of revenge against Zeus' mortal lovers and his children born out of wedlock. Zeus’ philandering continually undermines Hera’s domain and authority as a deity of marriage and marriage fertility. These outrages committed against Hera have greatly influenced her role in contemporary media, as later generations seem to reinterpret her outrage as righteous anger against a patriarchal system. Can tracing Hera’s narrative through film, television, and video games - influenced by contemporary movements like #MeToo - help us find more nuance in her story?  Join me as we sift through key ancient primary sources and analyze Hera’s reception in screen media, featuring the indie-platformer game Apotheon (Alientrap, 2015) and the American anime series Blood of Zeus (Netflix, 2020-). Video length: 36 minutes.      


7:00 pm LIVE EVENT

Jam hosted by Dave Para




Friday, November 5

9 am

Sarah Jane Nelson: a performance of the Max Hunter ballad “Fair Charlotte” accompanied by a tabletop crankie (6 min)



Choosing Your Path: Gamifying Hansel and Gretel

“I’m Mika Zans, an English major and Folklore minor at Truman State University. This semester I am working on a project meant to combine the things I find interesting about folktale variation with video games. Through a choose-your-own-adventure format my game will explore different versions of the Hansel and Gretel tale. My presentation will include an explanation of my thought process behind the project and a short demo of the beginning of the game.” (19:14)


Joe Slama, Native American Catholicism (26:36)

 This presentation will briefly describe the author’s experiences interviewing a number of Native American Catholics about their lives and experiences in the Church in the summer of 2021. Across many tribes, interviewees described lives enriched by “both ways,” the dual traditions.

10 am

Taylor N. Libbert reads the PawPaw French folktale, "Jean Valliant"

This archaic variety of the language was brought to Missouri in colonial times, and was a daily language into living memory.  

Louranse Devereaux: Classification of Question Particles in a Missouri French Corpus Using Logistic Regression

The founder of, and a postgraduate student of Statistics and Computer Science at the London School of Economics and the University of Pennsylvania, with an undergraduate degree in Corpus Linguistics from the University of Cambridge, will present a linguistic study of Missouri (PawPaw) French: “Using qualitative analysis, I find that there is significant WH-word and question particle change between the fieldwork of the 1930s and the 1970s. In particular, est-ce qu’ has entirely disappeared by the 1970s and c’est (e.g. comme c’est ça va touè?) is mandatorily appended to wh- words. In addition, certain markers of formality-vous and interrogatives using WH- + v + n word order-have disappeared entirely.” (23:22)   

11 am

Greg Olson: “White Man’s Paper Trail: Extinguishing Indigenous Land Claims in Missouri”  (53 min)

This talk is based on my article in the July 2021 issue of the Missouri Historical Review. It examines the treaties with indigenous tribes that gave the U.S. legal claim to the state of Missouri. The talk also touches on the legal foundations that led Americans to believe they had the right to infringe upon Native Sovereignty 200 years ago.

Wouldn’t it be nice to all be having lunch together right now?


1 pm

Hobert Youngblood, reading from his new memoir, Growing Up in the Ozarks  (19 minutes)

Bryan P. Broderick presents from his new book, based on family memories and records of Daniel Boone (15:35)


2 pm

Leland & Crystal Payton: Lover’s Leap Legends from Sappho of Lesbos to Wah-Wah-Tee of Waco (7 minutes) (note: the book-project presented here is available for 50% off -- $17.50 post paid).


3 pm

Brett Rogers on the Material Culture of Missouri

A historian who has studied and documented the Freedmen’s communities that sprang up after Emancipation and were largely abandoned after the Great Migration, Rogers will share and discuss Africanisms like the Congolese cosmograms discovered beneath the peeling wallpaper of Mr. Moriah church, burial practices preserved beyond the Middle Passage, the slave quarters extant in Little Dixie, and the remaining physical legacy of Jim Crow education, including Kirksville’s Lincoln School (pictured)

Part 1: (5:23) overview

Part 2: (21:38) slave quarters and freedpeople’s settlements

Part 3: (20:38) African American schools & churches

Part 4: (27:08 min) Africanisms: shotgun houses and funerary decoration


4 pm

TAAP Teams:

Lisa Higgins of the Missouri Folk Arts Program graciously shared video of the 2021 Traditional Arts Apprentice Program.

Eswary Letchumonan and Sriya Pokala, Bharatanatyam dance:

33.04 minutes


Eileen Gannon and Elizabeth Rose Kleissler, Irish harp: (14.57 minutes)  



Plenary: Professor Nate Williams on Mark Twain and Dime Novels

From a glowing review of Dr. Williams’ book: “Mark Twain's relation to technology, religion, and imperialism has been examined by a number of scholars, especially in recent years, but these topics have not been examined together, and they have certainly not been examined in light of proto-science fiction dime novels. In Gears and God, Nathaniel Williams has done just that. While only one of his study's six chapters focuses solely on Twain, his thoroughly researched book sheds light on Twain by placing him in a context that has been previously ignored. The result is a study that succeeds in opening up new vistas in Twain criticism.”   (31 min)


And now imagine yourself enjoying the Friday evening banquet with your folklore friends, old and new…

Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc. (SERCAP) - SERCAP's 2018  Water Is Life! Conference & Luncheon

accompanied by this concert

Friday evening -- this is when we'd sing and sell each other stuff. And we will again, my friends, we will.

Oh, we will miss the auction, and Judy’s laugh…


Saturday, November 6:

9 am

My Ozarks

From Lisa Higgins, Director, Missouri Folk Arts Program: “Our friends at the Ripley/Carter County-based nonprofit Ozark Vitality have created some absolutely beautiful short films, all about Ozark/s culture in one manner or another.” Watch traditional gig maker Ray Joe Hastings (episode 7, seven minutes) and the “German Ozarks” film (episode 8, five minutes):

10 am

Join Angela Williams and Cynthia McPherson for African American Storytelling (26 min)

11 am:

 Carmen Sofia Dence presented at the Together for ’21 Fest by invitation of State Historical Society of Missouri, and she curated an hour of Latino/a/x dance:


12 noon: LIVE EVENT

Combined general membership and Board Meeting, chaired by Lyn Wolz and Susan Bryson, co-presidents, Missouri Folklore Society



And we’ll see you next year, November 3-5, 2022, in real life, face to face, in Everybody’s Hometown – Hannibal!


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