Listening for a Life
Listening for a Life
Listening for a Life
Patricia Sawin

288 pages
Published: 2004

ISBN 978-0-87421-582-3
paper $20.95

ISBN 978-0-87421-500-7
e-book $16.95

Add to cart

2004 Elli Kıngıs-Maranda Prize

Listening for a Life

A Dialogic Ethnography of Bessie Eldreth through Her Songs and Stories

2004 Elli Kongas-Maranda Prize, American Folklore Society

Patricia Sawin

In one sense a folklorist's portrayal of a notable folk artist's life and art, Listening for a Life is equally a rethinking of the processes involved in such work, not only in how the folklorist conveys her subject but in how her subject constitutes and performs herself into being through dialogue with others: those present, those once present, those imagined and anticipated.

Drawing on Bahktinian and feminist theory, Sawin pushes forward our understanding of the interactive roles of ethnographer and subject and in the process gives us a deeper understanding of folk singer and storyteller Bessie Eldreth and her greatest art, herself.