Symposium Co-Sponsored by the American Folklife Center and the
Institute for Museum and Library Services
December 6-7, 2010
Thomas Jefferson Building, Room 119
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540
The American Folklife Center is pleased to announce a two-day free public symposium, Work and Transformation: Documenting Working Americans. The symposium will be held at the Library of Congress on December 6 and 7, 2010. It will feature presentations by the 2010 recipients of the AFC Archie Green Fellowships, who are researching and documenting the culture and traditions of American workers in New York, Idaho, and Louisiana. Panels will also include representatives of community-based documentation projects supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS); they will discuss the role of America's libraries and museums as vibrant centers for the documentation of oral history and the development of 21st century skills. Speakers will also include social and economic policymakers, who will explore the value of using personal narratives about work to address broader social issues.
This symposium is being developed in response to an historic moment: the United States is experiencing critical changes in work and workplace culture, as far-ranging as those of the Industrial Revolution. Throughout America, people are being challenged to reshape their relationship to work, their workplace skills and identity, and their place in occupational communities and civil society. AFC and the IMLS have joined forces to plan for an oral history initiative that will capture a portrait of America's workforce in transition, and document the value of work and of workers. Work and Transformation: Documenting Working Americans will be an integral part of this effort.