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Academy Award-winning folklorist to screen documentary at ASU Feb. 21

Feb. 12, 2008 -
- Dr. Marjorie Hunt, folklorist and curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, will screeStone carver Vincent Palumbo puts finishing touches on a statue depicting Saint Peter, destined for the west fašade of the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, more commonly known as the Washington National Cathedral. Photo by Marjorie Hunt.n and discuss her Academy Award-winning documentary, "The Stone Carvers," during a special presentation at Arkansas State University. The screening will be held on Thursday, Feb. 21, 4 p.m., at the ASU Museum, Room 182. The screening and Dr. Hunt’s presentation are free and open to the public.

Dr. Hunt's film won the Academy Award for best short subject documentary in 1985, and it was also honored with an Emmy Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1986. The film portrays the artistry and experiences of the master stone carvers who completed work on the Washington National Cathedral. Hunt co-produced the film with documentary filmmaker Paul Wagner while she was researching living building traditions for the Smithsonian Institution.

Hunt used her research for the film to complete her book, "The Stone Carvers:  Master Craftsmen of Washington National Cathedral."  This publication presents the lives and careers of two Italian-American master stone carvers, Roger Morigi and Vincent Palumbo, who are also featured in the film. This book has also won wide accolades, and reviews from the Washington Times herald it as "a pleasure to read, as much a meditation of living life as it is on cutting stone."  Dr. Hunt will follow her screening of the film with a signing of her book.

Currently working as a folklorist and curator at the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Dr. Hunt has worked extensively in the areas of occupational culture and traditional art. She has coordinated numerous programs for the Smithsonian, including presentations of the occupational culture of workers at the White House, the history and culture of Italian-Americans in the West, and the legacy of memory held by America's elderly.

Dr. Hunt is widely published in journals and magazines, including National Geographic; her article “Masters of Traditional Arts” appeared in the magazine’s January, 1991 issue. Her publications also include anther book, “The Grand Generation: Memory, Mastery, Legacy.”

Dr. Hunt holds her Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. She has also taught classes offered educational programming in folklore and folk arts within a variety of settings. Her visit to ASU is sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences doctoral program in Heritage Studies, and she will use her visit to meet with students and faculty at the university as well as share her work as a documentarian with the wider Jonesboro community.

For more information, contact Dr. Gregory Hansen, assistant professor of English and Folklore, at (870) 972-3043.


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