Rachel Hopkin

Folklorist and Radio Producer

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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.

Flying Frog Farm – a radio doc about a 1970s Kentucky commune

24 December, 2013

For the two years that I was studying for a Masters in Folk Studies at Western Kentucky University, I was also making a series of Folkloristic Radio programs about Kentucky’s traditional culture on the side for WKYU. The last of these has just been broadcast. Read more

Nashville’s Musical Buildings

Over the summer, I’m working on a project for the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) and the Society of Architectural Historians and my task is to conduct research into the development of the music industry in Nashville, Tennessee as illustrated by a small selection of the city’s buildings. The resulting write-ups will be going into the HABS collection at the Library of Congress. The local partner organizations in the project are the Nashville Metro Historical Commission and Historic Nashville Inc. Read more

Casita Rincón Criollo

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