The green fields of the mind: Robert Johnson, folk revivalism, and disremembering the American past Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Waide, Blaine Quincy
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of American Studies, Folklore Program
  • This thesis seeks to understand the phenomenon of folk revivalism as it occurred in America during several moments in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. More specifically, I examine how and why often marginalized southern vernacular musicians, especially Mississippi blues singer Robert Johnson, were celebrated during the folk revivals of the 1930s and 1960s as possessing something inherently American, and differentiate these periods of intense interest in the traditional music of the American South from the most recent example of revivalism early in the new millennium. In the process, I suggest the term disremembering to elucidate the ways in which the intent of some vernacular traditions, such as blues music, has often been redirected towards a different social or political purpose when communities with divergent needs in a stratified society have convened around a common interest in cultural practice.
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  • In Copyright
  • Ferris, William
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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