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Monday, January 24, 2011

Stewart Discusses Shore Folklore in Next Adventures in Ideas Seminar Saturday, February 5

SALISBURY, MD---For generations, the speech, customs, material culture and habits of mind associated with being an Eastern Shoreman have been a source of pride that crosses boundaries of class, socioeconomic status, occupation and race.

But are those traditions changing?

Dr. Polly Stewart, Salisbury University English professor emeritus, asks that question during her presentation “An Island of the Mind: Eastern Shore Folklore in Continuity and Transition,” the next installment of SU’s Adventures in Ideas humanities series. Her discussion is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, February 5, at SU’s Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. Due to popular response, registrations are no longer being accepted.

“It may be said that the Eastern Shore identity is unlike any other. Yet, within the strong, unchanging boundary of Shore identity, there is a constant and subtle pull toward change, and in this way, the Shore and its people are like every other region or group,” Stewart said.

Joining her to provide first-hand details about this traditional—yet changing—way of life are residents skilled in the folk traditions of the Eastern Shore, including working the water, crab picking and muskrat skinning.

In 2003, Stewart helped present these traditions to the nation as the coordinator of that year’s Library of Congress American Folklife Center Field School in Crisfield, MD. Videos, photographs and reports from those participating were presented at the 2004 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.

The event is sponsored by the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts and the Whaley Family Foundation.

To RSVP and for more information call the SU Alumni Relations Office at 410-543-6042 or visit

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