October 04, 2008

Video Documentary: the Culture of the National Storytelling Festival

First weekend in October, it must be storytelling time in East Tennessee.

The National Storytelling Festival, in Jonesborough, Tennessee, now in its 36th year, has, since its inception cultivated a mystique and body of lore around itself.

Joseph Sobol has an excellent folklorist's perspective in The Storyteller's Journey, University of Illinois Press, 1999. (Just noticed a preview of the book is available at Google: link)

Back in 2001, Arizona storyteller Layne Gneiting created a video documentary about the Festival's culture, as part of his ethnographic research for his doctoral dissertation. entitled "Brigadoon Returns: Culture Formed and Reformed at the National Storytelling Festival." You can read about the dissertation over on his blog at Professional Storyteller. Layne has made the video available on YouTube... FYI, this isn't about storytelling, it's about the culture that surrounds this annual storytelling event:

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

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