Lecture by Dr. Jerrold Hirsch

Wed, April 11, 20183:30 PM - 4:45 PM

“Losing My Harvard Accent”:  How Oklahoma Helped B. A. Botkin Become America’s Folklorist

Dr. Jerrold Hirsch
Professor Emeritus
Truman State University

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
3:30 - 4:45 p.m.
Bizzell Library, Room 338

Poet, folklorist, regionalist, and social historian B. A. Botkin played a leading role in the New Deal’s Federal Writers Project (1938-39), served as Director of the Archive of American Folksong at the Library of Congress (1943-44), and, with his various anthologies of American folklore, became “America’s folklorist” for millions. Botkin was one of the few interwar regionalists familiar with both the urban world of recent immigrant minorities and with the older world of rural America. The former knowledge was part of his inheritance as the child of poor, Lithuanian Jewish immigrants who had settled in Boston, where Botkin was born in 1901 and attended Harvard University from 1916 to 1920. The latter knowledge he acquired during his years as an English professor at the University of Oklahoma from 1921 to 1939. Dr. Jerrold Hirsch (Professor Emeritus of Truman State University) will explore what Botkin made of his Oklahoma experience and how it shaped his life and outlook.

Co-sponsored by the University of Oklahoma Honors College, Western History Collections, the Merrick Chair in Western American History, History of Science Department, History Department, Anthropology Department, English Department, Schusterman Center for Judaic and Israel Studies, OU Humanities Forum and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. For more information or accommodations on the basis of disability, contact Professor Amanda Minks at amandaminks@ou.edu. The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. www.ou.edu/eoo.