Folklore graduate student, Claire Denny, assisted with the production of the American Folklife Center’s newest podcast, America Works, as an intern at the Library of Congress. America Works features interviews from the AFC’s Occupational Folklife Project. The series celebrates the diversity and persistence of the American workforce. Each ten-minute episode introduces listeners to a first-hand account of the job and experiences of individual American workers.
Denny worked under the guidance of Nancy Groce, senior Folklife specialist at the AFC, to listen to interviews from the AFC’s collections to find engaging narratives that could translate easily into shorter podcast episodes. Through organizing audio sequences and editing, Denny listened to countless interviews: “They each provided [me] with at least one new nugget of information about jobs I was unfamiliar with: wig makers, net makers, horse tattooists, and a host of others.”
Denny enjoyed applying what she learned in her Mason coursework to her internship responsibilities. Denny hopes that the podcast spurs listeners to seek out other AFC online collections, so that “individuals are able to learn about the multitude of contemporary occupations present throughout our nation.”
The AFC released the first episode of America Works on Labor Day. A new episode will be released weekly. You can find America Works here:
September 22, 2020