Panel commemorates 50th anniversary of Foxfire

In honor of its 50th anniversary, a panel will discuss “Foxfire at Fifty: Stories of Culture” on Oct. 26, at 11:15 a.m. at the University of Georgia’s Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.

The panel is sponsored by the Office of Outreach, Engagement, and Service in the College of Education; Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication; and the Special Collections Libraries.

“The Foxfire Magazine” is a bi-annual publication written by students at Rabun Gap High School in Tiger, Georgia, about the community, culture and citizens in southern Appalachia. The magazine was created 50 years ago to engage English students in writing about subjects of interest to them. Over the years, Foxfire has expanded to include a book collection of anthologies and a museum, as well.

“At the Grady College, we talk a lot about the power of story and about the importance of community,” said Janice Hume, the Carolyn McKenzie and Don E. Carter Chair for Excellence in Journalism and the moderator of the Foxfire panel. “Foxfire is a perfect example of both, and also shows how oral history can preserve our cultural history.”

Panelists will discuss the importance of the program and its innovative techniques grounded in learning from community resources and its impact on audiences that extends outside the Rabun County region. They will also cover how Foxfire has evolved and grown in the past decades.

Panelists include:

Carl Glickman is professor emeritus of education at UGA. He is the founder the Georgia League of Professional Schools, a nationally validated network of kindergarten to 12th-grade schools devoted to democratic learning of all students. Glickman serves on the Foxfire Board and co-chairs the Education Committee. He has authored thirteen books and more than one hundred articles, including the recent essay in “Phi Delta Kappan,” entitled “Whatever happened to Foxfire?”

Christian Lopez is the lead Oral History and Media Archivist at the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the Special Collections Libraries. Lopez is an active member of the Oral History Association and also serves on the editorial board of Oral History in the Digital Age, a clearinghouse of practice, theory, and evolving methodologies contributed to by practitioners across the country.

Katie Lunsford is a senior at UGA majoring in athletic training. A Rabun County native, Katie wrote for the “Foxfire” magazine throughout her high school career and continues to work with “Foxfire,” contributing to the 45th Anniversary Book and writing for the 50th Anniversary Book. Katie plans to further her education in the medical field to become a physician and return to Rabun County to serve her home community.

“We are delighted to help celebrate the anniversary of this unique and influential program,” said Hume.

Parking for off campus visitors will be available in the Hull Street Deck across from the Special Collections Library. For more information on the panel, contact Janice Hume at jhume@uga.edu or 706-542-5980.

The Walter J. Brown Media Archive & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia Libraries is also home of the Foxfire collection of videotapes. There are about 1,100 tapes in this collection, which includes interviews and photographs. The Special Collections Libraries are also hosting “Foxfire: 50 years of Cultural Journalism Documenting folk Life in the North Georgia Mountains,” through December 16, 2016. This exhibit uses photos and artifacts, including textiles, homemade toys and tools and a moonshine still, to illustrate how Foxfire has documented folk life and customs.

Visit www.foxfirefund.org to learn more about Foxfire.

Date: October 19, 2016
Author:  Gabrielle Cowand,  gcowand13@uga.edu
Contact:  Janice Hume,  jhume@uga.edu