Listening for a life: a dialogic ethnography of Bessie Eldreth through her songs and stories
In one sense a folklorist's portrayal of a notable folk artist's life and art, Listening for a Life is equally a rethinking of the processes involved in such work, not only in how the folklorist conveys her subject but in how her subject constitutes and performs herself into being through dialogue with others: those present, those once present, those imagined and anticipated. Drawing on Bahktinian and feminist theory, Sawin pushes forward our understanding of the interactive roles of ethnographer and subject and in the process gives us a deeper understanding of folk singer and storyteller Bessie Eldreth and her greatest art, herself.
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That was before 1 ever left home
If you had to work as hard as 1 did it would kill you
He never did say anything about my dreams that would
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accounts African American Appalachian Appalachian State University argue Ashe County audience Aunt baby Bakhtin ballads Bauman Bessie Eldreth biscuits blackface Blue Sky Boys Bob Barr Carter Family childhood church Clyde context conversation country music culture depicts dialogic discourses Elderhostel Eldreth's practice Eldreth's repertoire Eldreth's stories ethnographer experience feel feminist Festival Folklife folklorists gender ghost stories girls Grandma hard haunted husband hymns interaction Jimmie Rodgers kind Knoxville Girl labor laughs learned listeners lived lonesome tonight marriage married means Milam Momma moral mother mountain narrative neighbors never oral performance person practical jokes premonition recorded Reid response role sang Sawin scared sense singer singing sister social someone's last day songbooks songs speaker speaking specific speech stories Eldreth sung supernatural talk tape tell tion told traditional Vernon Dalhart voice woman women words Yeah young'un