Expanding the Frames Introduction

colorful image with 2022 exhibit title

Introduction to the 2022 Exhibit

Expanding the Frames recognizes the scholarly contributions of approximately 135 African American, Indigenous, Latino and Hispano, Asian American and Native Hawaiian ancestors scholars whose work in what is now the United States and its territories spans the 19th century through 2021. In contrast to Remembering our Ancestral Legacies (2019), this exhibition, Expanding the Frames, centers BIPOC ancestors—who often have worked within their own communities—as significant producers of scholarly knowledge about the communities and traditions they studied. Although some of these ancestor scholars applied mainstream academic approaches and perspectives in their folklore research, regarding the “folk” as remnants of the past, others alternatively anchored their research in the cultural knowledge frameworks and traditions of their own communities and worked intentionally for the benefit and futures of their living communities.  Some of these ancestors’ theories and approaches are resonant with contemporary praxis, while several others are representative of the historical periods and circumstances within which they were conceived.  

We think that the ideas and perspectives of these scholars can bring new insights and questions to folklore studies. However, for a range of reasons, including racial discrimination, the scholarship and practices of these ancestors have been mostly ignored by, overlooked by, tokenized by, appropriated by, and even excluded from the curricula of folklore studies. This exhibition seeks to intervene in the citational and curricular practices of our field in order to awaken, reassess, and expand consideration of diverse legacies, sources, and praxes.

We thank all the scholars who collaborated with us to create these exhibitions.

Curators: Phyllis M. May-Machunda, PhD,  Olivia Cadaval, PhD, & Sojin Kim, PhD

Panel Authors: Wanda Addison, PhD, Ebony L. Bailey, PhD, Michelle Banks, Camila Bryce-Laporte, Olivia Cadaval, PhD, Norma Cantú, PhD, Gloria M. Colom Braña, Wilson Chen, PhD, Hali Dardar, Benji de la Piedra, Cristina Diaz-Carrera, Juan Dies, James Counts Early, Evelyn Figueroa, Peter Garcia PhD, Susana Grajales Geliga, PhD, Wendy Makoons Geniusz, PhD, Martha Gonzalez, PhD, Rachel Valentina González-Martin, PhDJoyce Marie Jackson, PhD, Healoha Johnston, Sojin Kim, PhD, Fariha Khan, PhDGrace Dahye Kwon, Enrique R. Lamadrid, PhD, Michelle Lanier, Robert L. Lucero, Jr.Margaret Magat, PhD, Allie Martin, PhD, Ashley Martinez, Phyllis M. May-Machunda, PhD, Shirley Moody-Turner, PhD, Eric César Morales, PhDPhil Tajitsu Nash, Diana Baird N’Diaye, PhD, Anna M. Nogar, PhD, Aaron Ngozi Oforlea, PhD, Lamont Jack PearlySolimar Otero, PhD, Alexandra Sanchez, Cheryl T. Schiele, Noenoe K. Silva, PhD, Guha Shankar, PhD, Josephine S. Talamantez, Patricia Miye Wakida, Langston Collin Wilkins, PhD, Deborah Wong, PhD, Nancy Yan, PhD, Juwen Zhang, PhD 

Bibliographers: Gloria M. Colom Braña, Holly Mathews, Maria T. Lewis, Phyllis M. May-Machunda, PhD

Photographic Researchers: Meredith A.E. McGriff, PhD, Maria T. Lewis, Phyllis M. May-Machunda, PhD

Financial Support: AFS Cultural Diversity Committee and the Fellows of the American Folklore Society

Designer:  Meredith A.E. McGriff, PhD