Rachel Hopkin

Folklorist and Radio Producer

Rachel’s News   RSS Feed

This is the page where I note my thoughts about matters concerning radio production, folklore, cultural sustainability, and what I’m currently working on, as well as general musings regarding life as a folklorist/radio producer.

Casita Rincón Criollo

24 December, 2013

In my last news post, I wrote a little about the objectives of a recently formed American Folklore Society Task Force on Historic Preservation, and as I explained, my involvement with the Task Force relates to a pilot project in which we are trying to expand the use of the “Traditional Cultural Property” designation within the National Register of Historic Places nomination process. Read more

Traditional Cultural Properties and the National Register of Historic Places

Earlier this year I was asked to become part of an American Folklore Society (AFS) Task Force on Historic Preservation. One of the aims of this Task Force is to look into ways to expand the use of the special “Traditional Cultural Property” designation within the National Register of Historic Places nomination process. Read more

Musical Migrants – Possible New Series

Earlier this week I heard that BBC Radio is interested in commissioning a fourth series of Musical Migrants from me. I’ve made 15 of these programs so far and, if you’re interested, you can read a little about them on my Radio page. Series 4 is not yet confirmed but the prospect that it might be means that I am once again looking for people to take part. Read more

Return from the Folklorists in the South retreat

I got back from the Folklorists in the South retreat in Memphis a few days ago, but haven’t had a chance to report on it because of the end-of-semester frenzy (graduation day is less than two weeks away). I had a terrific time though; it was SO good to be among colleagues, many of whom I was meeting for the first time. Read more

Radio Recommendation: “Titanic – In Her Own Words”

I co-teach a graduate class on “Radio Production and Folklore” at Western Kentucky University. For most of the semester, I’ve been encouraging students to listen out for telling sound and to use it wherever appropriate in their own pieces in order to create rich aural texture. Read more

Folklorists in the South retreat – April 2012

In a couple of weeks’ time, I’m going to be spending a few days at the 2012 Folklorists in the South retreat, along with folklorists and folklore-friendly folk from nineteen US states. Read more

Comps Exams and Rites of Passage

Earlier this week I picked up my graduation cap and gown, and a sillier outfit it would be hard to find! Even so, it’s a tangible reminder that this Masters in Folk Studies program – to which I will have devoted two happy, if hard working, years – is shortly to end My peers and I are due to graduate on the 11th May. That’s seven weeks away, but between now and then, I have three classes to complete. And I have to take the comprehensive exams. Read more

From Fieldwork to First Drafts

In my last post, I was all exuberance, having just returned from a lovely fieldwork trip to east Kentucky where I spent some time with the old-time banjo master, George Gibson. Read more

George Gibson – First Meeting

I just got back from a delightful field trip to visit George Gibson. George is a wonderful banjo player from the mountains of east Kentucky. I first heard about him from the Kentucky fiddler, John Harrod, who told me he credited George with bringing about a revival of otherwise forgotten banjo playing styles among some of fine younger old-time musicians on the scene; people like John Haywood, Brett Ratliff and Jesse Wells. This intrigued me, so I’m now doing some research into the music George plays and his influence. It was my first chance to meet him in person, though we’d already had quite a few phone conversations and a great deal of email correspondence. Read more

Folk and Radio Production

10 December, 2013

During my final semester in the Folk Studies MA program at Western Kentucky University, I’m co-teaching a graduate class on folklore and radio production – two subjects dear to my heart. The aim of the class is to give an overview of the history of US radio production (with some nods to other countries), show how radio has long been a great medium for folkloric subjects, and to get students to the stage where they can make short audio packages themselves. Read more