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Listening for a life: a dialogic ethnography of Bessie Eldreth through her songs and stories

Listening for a life: a dialogic ethnography of Bessie Eldreth through her songs and stories

Sawin, Patricia

"In one sense a folklorist's portrayal of a folk artist's life and art, Listening for a Life is equally a rethinking of the processes involved in such work, not only in how the folklorist conveys her subject but in how her subject constitutes and performs herself into being through dialogue with others: those present, those once present, those imagined and anticipated. Drawing on Bahktinian and feminist theory, Sawin pushes forward our understanding of the interactive roles of ethnographer and subject and in the process gives us a deeper understanding of folk singer and storyteller Bessie Eldreth and her greatest art, herself."--Jacket

eBook, Paperback, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books. Biography. Interviews.
Published Logan : Utah State University Press 2004

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


Statement of responsibility: Patricia Sawin
ISBN: 0874215005, 9780874215007
Note: Print version record.
Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 229-240) and index.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (xiv, 254 pages) : illustrations (some color)
System: Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
Subject: Women folklorists Appalachian Region Biography.; Folklore Appalachian Region.; Eldreth, Bessie Mae, 1913- Interviews.; Appalachian Region.; Women folklorists.; Eldreth, Bessie Mae, 1913-; Manners and customs.; Conteuses Appalaches Biographies.; Eldreth, Bessie Mae.; Appalachian Region Social life and customs.; Women storytellers.; Femmes folkloristes Appalaches Biographies.; Musique folklorique Appalaches.; BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY Women.; Folklore Appalaches.; Folk music.; Folk music Appalachian Region.; Women storytellers Appalachian Region Biography.; Folk singers.; Folklore.; Folk singers Appalachian Region Biography.; Eldreth, Bessie Mae, 1913- Entretiens.; Chanteuses de folklore Appalaches Biographies.
Restrictions: Use copy Restrictions unspecified
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. [S.l.]: HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010.
Local note: JSTOR Books at JSTOR Open Access


  1. Introduction : dialogism and subjectivity
  2. "That was before I ever left home" : complex accounts of a simple childhood
  3. "If you had to work as hard as I did, it would kill you" : work, narrative, and self-definition
  4. "I said, 'don't you do it'" : tracing development as an empowered speaker through reported speech in narrative
  5. "He never did say anything about my dreams that would worry me after that" : negotiating gender and power in ghost stories
  6. "I'm a bad one to go pulling jokes on people" : practical joking as a problematic vehicle for oppositional self-definition
  7. "My singing is my life" : repertoire and performance
  8. Epilogue.