Mic Check! (Mic Check): Tracking the Circulation and Recirculation of Protest Folklore on the U.C. Berkeley Campus (Tracking the Circulation and Recirculation of…)

Kristine Lawson : Anthropology

Mentor: Professor Charles Briggs

Drawing on over five decades of folklore from U.C. Berkeley’s Folklore Archives, as well as interviews and ethnographic participant observation to be conducted at Occupy events this summer, Kristine’s project draws comparisons between the folklore of the Free Speech Movement of 1964 and of the Occupy Movement of 2011-2012. With an understanding of folklore as promoting group identity and perpetuating notions of group boundaries, Kristine will trace pieces of folklore through each movement to demonstrate these tendencies. She will also examine the significance of the UC Berkeley campus as a venue for protest. Preliminary analysis of folklore in both movements suggests a strong resemblance in the folk speech, art, gestures, and customs while also suggesting some amount of transformation between the 1960s lore and that heard today.