Showing posts with label Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. Show all posts

Friday, March 13, 2020

Knit, Purl, Listen: exploring connections between sound + textile

FOLK6740 - PUBLIC FOLKLORE is a graduate-level folklore course at Memorial University, which addresses the various ways in which folklorists present their research back to the communities from which the material originated. As part of their course, students interviewed local knitters, compiled the stories into a booklet, and edited some of the sound clips used in an exhibit at the Craft Council of NL Gallery.

Monday, September 4, 2017

“Folklore Lives Here!” - A storytelling night in Bay Roberts

Do you remember the spot where teenagers went for their first kiss, where fairies marched, or the rock haunted by the woman in white? Have you collected water from brooks or picked berries from a marsh? What was the best place for playing hockey?

A group of Memorial University folklore students, along with the Heritage Foundation of NL and the town of Bay Roberts, wants to know!

“We are looking for people’s memories about local places, neighbourhoods, swimming holes, skating ponds, and old paths,” says the foundation’s folklorist, Dale Jarvis.

Jarvis, and a group of Memorial University folklore students, will be hosting “Folklore Lives Here” at the SUF Lodge, Bay Roberts, on Thursday, September 14th, 2017 at 7:00pm.

The event is an informal story sharing session for students to meet local residents and seniors, where people can gather, have a cup of tea, and share memories of growing up in Bay Roberts.

The folklore students are part of Memorial University Folklore Department’s Graduate Field School. Students will be living, studying, and researching in the area for three weeks, where they will receive training in folklore interviews, and will work together as a team to document the folklife of Bay Roberts.

The information gathered will be used by the students to create a booklet about the folklore and historic places and neighbourhoods of Bay Roberts.

Come for a cup of tea, share a memory or two about a special place in Bay Roberts. If you have old photos of your favourite place, bring them along!

For more information please contact Dale Jarvis with the Heritage Foundation toll free at 1-888-739-1892 ext. 2 or email

“Folklore Lives Here!” - A storytelling night in Bay Roberts
SUF Lodge, Patterson Street, Bay Roberts
Thursday, September 14th, 2017 at 7:00pm.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Department of Folklore Field School Presentation - Work in Cupids

In the second week of September Dale, Heather, and I spent several days in Cupids with the new folklore students. Each year Memorial University's Department of Folklore holds an intensive three-week field school for the incoming MA and PhD students to focus on fieldwork techniques. This year the students were in the community of Cupids, Conception Bay North and they focused on occupational or workplace folklore.
Dale describing good interview techniques.
During the students' first week in Cupids, Dale spent two days teaching them interview techniques, showing them the basics of working with recording equipment, and doing a staged interview. I also gave a short presentation with suggestions of how to use the material collected in oral history interviews for blogs, articles, audio and video clips, booklets, etc.
Gerard and Emma taking field notes during the Targa Newfoundland Races.
Heather and I also joined the students in class to learn more about fieldwork techniques and how to take better field notes with folklorist Bonnie Sunstein. Bonnie teaches nonfiction writing and ethnographic research at the University of Iowa and gave the students a presentation on how to take field notes and how to work with the field notes taken to produce a piece of data that can be used in future writing. She stressed the need to be descriptive and suggested the students do double entry notes - using one side to describe the situation and the other to describe their feelings and reactions to the situation.

After the students classes in research, writing, and field techniques they went out into the field and conducted their own interviews and research. This Thursday September 29 the students will be presenting their research results to the community. This event is open to the public and everyone is invited to come out and learn more about work in Cupids!

~Terra Barrett

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Intangible cultural heritage in England and Scotland - guest talk April 6, 12:30pm @memorialU

"The perception of intangible cultural heritage in England and Scotland: a diverging heritage narrative in the United Kingdom"

Guest Lecture by Suzy Harrison
Wednesday, 6 April 2016
ED4051 - Education Building, Memorial University

Suzy Harrison (@SuzyHarrison76) is a second year PhD researcher at Nottingham Trent University, in the United Kingdom, and is funded through the AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Programme. Her research analyses current attitudes towards intangible cultural heritage in England, and looks to reveal the challenges which it faces through closer examination of intangible heritage in the East Midlands. The research is also focusing on looking at opportunities to possibly adopt practices at a local or national level which may exist in other countries.
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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Living Heritage Podcast Ep006 Public Folklore with Jillian Gould

Jillian Gould is an assistant professor in the Department of Folklore at Memorial University. In the public sector she was a museum educator in New York City, and has worked with museums and archives in Toronto, Ottawa, and St. John's. On this episode, Dale Jarvis talks with Jillian about egg rolls and egg creams, fish and chips, public programming and festivals, and the public folklore program at Memorial University.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Stick out your thumb: hitching for stories from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia

Andrea McGuire, a folklore graduate student at Memorial University, is currently seeking interviews with past and present hitchhikers in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. She is collecting stories from people who used to hitchhike, people who hitchhike in rural communities, people who hitchhike nationally/internationally, and drivers who pick up hitchhikers. Each interview will take approximately one hour, and will be drawn on for Andrea’s master’s thesis. Do you have a hitchhiking story to share? Get in touch with Andrea by phone at 709-771-2216, or via email at She would love to hear from you!

The proposal for this research has been reviewed by the Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research and found to be in compliance with Memorial University’s ethics policy. If you have ethical concerns about the research, such as the way you have been treated or your rights as a participant, you may contact the Chairperson of the ICEHR at or by telephone at 709-864-2861.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

On the Air: Living Heritage with Christine LeGrow.

We have been working on a new project, and it is launching today!

“Living Heritage” is a production of CHMR Radio 93.5 FM at Memorial University, in collaboration with the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Living Heritage is about people who are engaged in the heritage and culture sector, from museum professionals and archivists, to tradition bearers and craftspeople - all those who keep heritage alive at the community level. We talk about their work, their passions, and the day-to-day safeguarding of culture and tradition.

Our first show airs today on CHMR at 6:00pm. You can tune in and listen to our interview with Christine LeGrow, local knitter and owner of Spindrift Handknits, as we talk knitting, craft production, and the importance of maintaining local tradition.

Living Heritage will be a regular weekly program on CHMR, broadcasting every Thursday at 6:00pm. It will also be a podcast published biweekly, and will be available through iTunes. When our first episode is ready, we will let you know here, and give you information on how you can subscribe.

In the meantime, tune in tonight! Thanks to Christine to being an easy first guest!

If you think your heritage organization or project might be a good fit for our show, email us at

- Dale Jarvis

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Leida Finlayson Memorial Scholarship 2015 winner - Sarah Hannon.

On Monday, June 29th, I was tasked with handing out the 11th Annual Leida Finlayson Memorial Scholarship as part of the NL Historic Trust's annual Southcott Awards, and saying a few words about Leida. Here is the text of that short speech.
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, award winners, it is my privilege tonight to speak on and present the 2015 Leida Finlayson Memorial Scholarship. Robyn Pike asked me if I would come and say a few words about Leida and the scholarship that bears her name. I am very happy to do this, and I think it is a very appropriate thing. We are in the business of preserving heritage, and I am delighted to be asked to act as the bearer of memory and witness to our own organizational history.
I suspect that some of you here tonight didn’t know Leida Finlayson, who was the first general manager of the Newfoundland Historic Trust.

I was wondering how I might, in the exactly three minutes that Robyn has allotted me, to give you a sense of a person’s life.

I met Leida in what was, in retrospect, a typically Leida way. We met by letter. Letters today are rare and precious things, and of all the people I know, it is fitting that Leida is the only person in my circle of acquaintances that I met by way of a carefully and delightfully worded piece of correspondence. I regret that I don’t have that letter, but I still remember it. She was witty, clever, and engaging. In one word, she was charming, even on paper. 
Indeed, I think that was one of Leida’s greatest gifts: she was absolutely charming, possessed of the ability to make pretty much anyone fall in love with her. If her time with us had been longer, she would have made a perfect diplomat.

I am delighted that the awards presentation tonight is back in the Newman Wine Vaults Provincial Historic Site, because I have great memories of Leida here in this space, long before there was anything as glamorous here as plumbing, or electricity, or even a floor. She swept in here before the restoration was even complete, and set about organizing a series of fund-raising teas, one of the first public events held here in the vaults, which were very popular, even in the darkness and dust.

Leida shone in those types of events. She had an old-fashioned glamour, and loved any excuse to dress up. She loved high heels, long gloves, and makeup. She wore fabulous hats. These were things which were something of a mystery to her parents, Duncan and Renee, who had been part of the back-to-the land hippie movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Leida was more high-fashion than homespun. Duncan swears they weren’t really hippies, but as Leida said, at that time, in the rural Newfoundland where she spent her girlhood, “a little hippie went a long way.” 
While her fashion sense was different from her parents, she shared many of their ideals.
She wrote political commentary, was intensely interested in history, heritage, politics, and social justice. She was smart, passionate, and interested in the world. 
When Leida passed away in 2003, we established a scholarship in her memory. It was determined that the scholarship would be directed to a Memorial University student of history or political studies, two of Leida’s passions, and that it would be presented annually as part of the Trust's Southcott Awards. 
I am very pleased tonight to present the Leida Finlayson Memorial Scholarship to Sarah Hannon, one of our community’s next generation of smart, passionate young women. Congratulations Sarah on your academic work, and on behalf of the Trust, I commend you and encourage you in your pursuit of excellence. And on behalf of Leida, I would also encourage you to take every opportunity you have to wear a fabulous hat.

Sarah, if you would come forward, I would love to present you with the Leida Finlayson Memorial Scholarship.

- Dale Jarvis

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Participants needed for paid study with Memorial University Department of Linguistics

If your first language is English, and you have a spare hour, a group of linguists at Memorial University wants your time -- and they are willing to pay for it!

Participants are needed for a study on speech perception and production. Participants will listen to speech samples and answer questions about them. Participants will also be asked to read some words and phrases aloud. These readings will be recorded and analyzed.

Participants will be paid $10 for their time. Participation should take about an hour. To participate, you must speak English as your first language.

If you are interested in participating please book a time here:

or simply contact

Paul De Decker

Sara Mackenzie

Monday, February 23, 2015

Brown Bag Lunch - Public Sector Folklore Panel Wed, Feb 25th.

Interested in what Memorial University graduates are doing with their folklore degrees? 

This brown bag lunch will be a panel with three public sector folklore graduates - Nicole Penney, Alanna Wicks and Crystal Braye Dinn, who were all part of the first cohort of MA students who graduated from the Department of Folklore's cooperative education stream in public folklore.

This panel is being organized by Dr. Jillian Gould of the Department of Folklore, and Dale Jarvis of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The three Memorial alumni will discuss their experiences with the program, and how they have found employment since graduation.

The panel will take place Wednesday February 25th, 12:30-1:30 in Education 4051.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Co-op intern possibilities for Newfoundland and Labrador non-profit organizations

Memorial University Master of Arts, Folklore co-op students are seeking full-time, paid work terms of at least 12 weeks duration from May to August. Co-op folklore students work in a wide range of areas including archiving, curating, cultural documentation, tourism, culture and economic development and festivals/public events.

Do you have a project or program that a public folklorist could contribute to over the summer?

Organizations that hire co-op students are eligible to apply for a wage subsidy to cover up to $6/hr of the student’s wage. More information is available at Applications are now being accepted from small business and non-profit organizations.

Contact Rebecca Newhook on (709) 864-4098 or for more information.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fine Day for a Cemetery Clean-up!

The Make Midterm Matter cemetery crew.

On Tuesday, June 24th the HFNL teamed up with students from Memorial University’s Anthropology 1031 to help clean up the RC cemetery in Portugal Cove. This event was a partnership between the Heritage Foundation, Memorial University, the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Phillips and the Roman Catholic Church--it was the first collaboration of its kind. 

Jeremy, a heritage/folklore regular, clears brush on his last day of class.

The University’s “Make Midterm Matter” program inspired the collaboration, and the day-long session became part of the students’ curriculum. It was an interesting example of learning outside of the classroom.
The students worked hard to clear sections of brush and small trees to uncover overgrown graves. While taking breaks from this labour, they also had interesting discussions about the different things a cemetery can reveal about a community. Reading the symbols or “motifs” on the graves themselves can show a shift from religious, community symbols such as the hand of God to more personalized inscriptions such as a fishing pole or a truck. Another discussion lead by their professor Sebastien Despres touched on the issues surrounding the maintenance of graveyards and the shift of responsibility from the family when there are issues such as resettlement and population declines. What I found it particularly interesting, as an observer, was how Dr. Despres was able to connect classroom material in such a meaningful way to the students and to a tangible place in their community.

Both Dale and Lisa from the Heritage Foundation then offered their own knowledge and work experiences connected to Newfoundland cemeteries. Lisa discussed a restoration project she facilitated in Port Royal--a resettled community in Placentia Bay--and the challenges and rewards which went along with the project. Dale shared some ghost and fairy stories about graves, graveyards, and coffins and discussed how these tales relate to notions of respecting the dead. He also provided information about his research on Moravian dead houses and burial practices. 

Students hard at work in the RC cemetery.
More hard work, uncovering a hidden grave.
Visiting West Point burial site, which the town has protected from development.
It was a great day of experiential learning under a bright blue sky....and the cemetery is now in great shape, ready to accept summer visitors. Thank you to the Jeff Lawlor from the Town of PC-SP, Richard from the Parish Hall, the RC Church, Sebastien Despres, the “Make Midterm Matter” group, and all the students for helping make this project happen.

-Terra and Lisa

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday Folklore Photo: Eleanor Roosevelt visits Newfoundland

A funny thing happens, from time to time, when I'm trying to find a good folklore photo. I'll start out looking for a nice archival photograph of flowers, to brighten your RDF filled afternoon, and then I end up writing about Elanor Roosevelt, isn't it just the way?

It all started with this photo:

"Mr. Roosevelt being presented with flowers"
[October 08, 1961]
Original photograph in Memorial University
 of Newfoundland Libraries,
 Archives and Special Collections Division.
 S. J. Carew Photograph Collection

And then I just couldn't stop....

Eleanor Roosevelt chats with J.R. and Clara Smallwood
[October 08, 1961]
Original photograph in Memorial University
 of Newfoundland Libraries,
 Archives and Special Collections Division.
 S. J. Carew Photograph Collection

"Premier Smallwood, Lieutenant Governor MacPherson and Eleanor Roosevelt"
[October 08, 1961]
Original photograph in Memorial University
 of Newfoundland Libraries,
 Archives and Special Collections Division.
 S. J. Carew Photograph Collection 

On October 9th, 1961, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, the widow of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and an accomplished individual in her own right, attended the opening of the new campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Lord Thomson thanks Eleanor Roosevelt after her address[October 09, 1961]
Original photograph in Memorial University
 of Newfoundland Libraries,
 Archives and Special Collections Division.
 S. J. Carew Photograph Collection 
For more information about Eleanor Roosevelt's visit to Newfoundland, visit the collection on the Memorial University of Newfoundland Digital Archives Initiative.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Folklore Photo: A Short Film about MUN's Folklore and Language Archive

Host Rob Pitt interviews archivist Peter Narvaez and assistant archivist Philip Hiscock of the Folklore Archive of Memorial University of Newfoundland about the archive and its collections. Created in 1983, this short film was created Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador's Education Television Centre.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dance to Your Heart’s Content - Dance Workshop March 22nd

A Workshop with the Mizzen Heritage Dancers

Memorial University’s Folklore Department is thrilled to present a public dance workshop with The Mizzen Heritage Dancers from Heart’s Content on March 22 from 1-3:30pm at the MMaP gallery in the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre. This workshop is open to dancers of all ages and all skill levels. A panel discussion with the dancers will take place immediately following the workshop.

The Mizzen Heritage Dancers are a group of 12-14 residents of Heart’s Content who have enjoyed performing their regional square dancing tradition for the past 15 years. This group has offered dance workshops at schools and community centres across the Avalon in hopes of recruiting dancers who may like to share in their tradition. The Mizzen Heritage Dancers are proud to announce such a workshop will be held on March 22 for the people of St. John’s. Put on your dancing shoes and join them at the Arts & Culture Centre’s MMaP Gallery for an exciting foray into the tradition of Newfoundland square dancing.

Admission is $10 or $8 for students & seniors. Refreshments will be served courtesy of Starbucks and Sobeys. Free parking will be available.

Dr. Jillian Gould, provincial folklorist Dale Jarvis, and folklore/ethnomusicology graduate students of Memorial University have organized this workshop as part of a practical exercise in public programming and cultural presentation.

Space is limited! To register, please contact

or call 1-888-739-1892.

For all publicity inquiries:
Michelle Robertson – Memorial University, M.A.