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Florida Folklife Program & Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Internship

FFPmasterlogo.jpgThe Florida Folklife Program and Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Internship is a joint internship opportunity offered by the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Folklife Program (FFP) in partnership with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP). It is an opportunity for University of Florida graduate students interested in documenting intangible cultural heritage to do independent research, conduct ethnographic fieldwork, and implement interpretive presentations based on this fieldwork for a public-sector folklife program and historic preservation agency.Each year two students will be selected.

SPOHP.jpgDuring the fall semester, graduate interns are invited to develop a background in oral history collection and processing at SPOHP, but it is not required. In the spring semester, they will assist with FFP's annualfieldwork survey, which will focus on a theme identified by FFP. Interns will work with the State Folklorist to select a community of interest within the annual survey theme, and will be expected to conduct six interviews over two fieldwork trips to document folk artists perpetuating traditions within that community. In January, prior to the beginning fieldwork, interns will meet with the State Folklorist for an overview presentation and complete background readings on ethnographic methods and the survey theme. Additionally, the intern will meet with SPOHP to develop an interview guide(s) and discuss oral history interview best practices. Interns will conduct one fieldwork trip in February and one in March, initially using contacts provided by the State Folklorist. After both trips, interns will prepare a list of key terms discussed during each interview, and write a short summary, including field notes. During April and May, interns will prepare audio logs for their interviews, as needed for the festival, and assist FFP with festival presentation development as it relates to the community they documented. Interns will participate in the Folklife Area at the annual Florida Folk Festival over Memorial Day weekend, presenting and interpreting folklife and folk art demonstrations related to their community of emphasis. Interns will also assist with general management and coordination of the Folklife Area. After the festival, interns will write a 12-page paper. The paper will include responses to course readings with regards to their applicability to experiences in the field (an abbreviated literature review that analyzes the readings with respect to fieldwork); a survey report summarizing the findings of their fieldwork, which will draw heavily on field notes; and an evaluation of their participation at the Folklife Area, with regards to the success of festival presentations as programs that present ethnographic fieldwork to a public audience.

Bob Stone Photo.jpgThe internship will provide first-hand experience conducting fieldwork and oral histories, and developing public programs that present the results of this fieldwork. It will teach the participant: how to apply ethnographic and oral history interview methods in a fieldwork setting outside the academy; how to work collaboratively with communities to document and present cultural traditions; and how to represent traditional arts so that they positively impact a public audience. Interns will develop skills documenting cultural traditions, conducting and processing interviews and field notes, planning and implementing independent research trips, and designing public programs and community outreach activities based on ethnographic fieldwork. Additionally, interns will learn about the opportunities available in the public-sector to document and present living traditional heritage, and to advocate for communities through public programs that encourage appreciation and awareness of the living traditional heritage of diverse communities.

Blaine Waide Photo.jpgBlaine Waide Photo.jpgThe FFP/SPOHP Internship is offered for three credit hours in the spring semester; interns will work through June 1. Interested students must be willing to travel, including weekends. In addition, potential interns should have good communication skills, as well as experience doing independent research and conducting oral histories and/or fieldwork interviews. Preference will be given to students who speak Spanish fluently, and are able to translate from Spanish to English in an interview setting. FFP and SPOHP would be willing to work with students who are interested in expanding the internship into a more extensive project, such as an M.A. thesis. FFP will provide each intern with a $1,250 stipend to cover travel expenses. The stipend will be paid over three payments, one after each fieldwork trip and one after the Folk Festival, respectively.

If you have any questions concerning this internship, or are interested in applying, please contact State Folklorist Amanda Hardeman by electronic mail:, or by phone at 850.245.6427 or 800.847.7278.