Highlights from the Summer 2018 Issue of Mississippi Folklife

By Maria Zeringue, MAC Folk and Traditional Arts Director

One of my favorite parts of my job as the Folk and Traditional Arts Director is managing the online journal Mississippi Folklife. The journal features original writing and documentary work focused on present-day folklife and cultural heritage throughout the state. Mississippi Folklife publishes new articles, interviews, photo essays, and films anchored by three core areas: Music, Custom, and Visual Arts.

After a lot hard work from our contributors and the editorial team, which includes Addie Citchens, Amy Evans, and Amanda Malloy, I am pleased to announce the online publication of Mississippi Folklife’s Summer 2018 issue. The current issue features four articles by Mississippi authors and artists. and may be found online at www.mississippifolklife.org.

Summer 2018 Articles:

All in Good Measure: Sizing Things Up with Miss Yolande” by Martha H. Foose shares the story of the teachers and students in the youth sewing programs at ArtPlace Mississippi in Greenwood.

Detail of The Power of Children quilt made by Yolande van Heerden and students in the Greewood community.

In “Cast Down Thy Bucket” photographer Ashleigh Coleman exhibits her photographs of Jackson and its many change agents who are reshaping the city in big and small ways.

Photo of the Woodrow Wilson Street farmer’s market taken by Ashleigh Coleman

Aerial Delta” by Rory Doyle is a photo essay depicting the Delta landscape from above, challenging how the region is often portrayed in images.

A photo of the Delta region by Rory Doyle

In “Mississippi’s Finest: Denise LaSalle and the Legacy of the Blues Woman,” Constance Bailey explores the legacy of blues musician Denise LaSalle and how the blues woman trope is a response and corrective to the Jody character in the music genre.

The Summer 2018 Issue is the second of a series of three issues to be published this year. Issues are published three times a year in February/March (Spring Issue), June/July (Summer Issue) and October/November (Fall Issue). In between issues, we will publish supplementary features monthly such as pop up exhibits, materials from the MAC Folklife Archives, and special projects.

Mississippi Folklife History:

Mississippi Folklife has a long history dating back to 1927. The journal was first started as a print publication by the Mississippi Folklore Society under the leadership of Arthur P. Hudson at the University of Mississippi. Since then it has had many iterations in print and online. After a decades-long tenure at the University of Southern Mississippi, former state folklorist Tom Rankin reestablished the journal at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi where it was published until 1999. You can find digital copies of the early print editions of Misssissippi Folklife by clicking here.

In 2012, former Folk and Traditional Arts director Mary Margaret Miller-White brought Mississippi Folklife back to life online as a special project of the Arts Commission. In 2015, Jennifer Joy Jameson reshaped the aesthetics and focus of the online journal, and the editorial team has been steadily producing cultural features and documentary work ever since. You can check out those archived features here and here.

In 2017, I was hired as the Folk and Traditional Arts Director and have committed myself to honoring the impressive legacy of Mississippi Folklife by stewarding the journal into the future.

Stay tuned for the Fall Issue of Mississippi Folklife coming in November 2018!

Those interested in contributing a feature please contact me (Maria Zeringue) at 601-359-6034 or via email: mzeringue@arts.ms.gov.

This publication is sponsored by the Mississippi Arts Commission and funded through the support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Thanks for reading.