David Buchan Lecture

David Buchan Lecture


Remembering and Reclaiming Folk

Danielle Brown

Thursday, 17 November 2022

7.00pm, Sir Duncan Rice Library, 7th Floor, Meeting Room 1

Remembering and reclaiming folk traditions can be a powerful tool of empowerment for everyday people, especially those who are marginalized. Drawing examples from storytelling traditions of the African diaspora, and particularly the Caribbean, the lecture will demonstrate the value of folk traditions for navigating everyday life, positing that now more than ever people across the globe need tools to traverse our hypermodern and increasingly disconnected world. 

Danielle Brown, Ph.D. is an artist, scholar, entrepreneur, and founder of My People Tell Stories, an organization that offers an array of services—including music workshops and performances, travel tours, and writing services—for educators, creatives, and culture enthusiasts. Brown earned a doctorate in Music from New York University with a concentration in ethnomusicology and specialization in the music of Latin America and the Caribbean. Brown is the founder and CEO of of and a former Assistant Professor of Music History and Cultures at Syracuse University, and has lectured at various colleges and universities. She has worked with elementary, middle, and high school students, and is certified in the Kodály method. In addition, Brown is an active vocalist, cuatro player, and composer. She is the author of the music-centered ethnographic memoir, East of Flatbush, North of Love: An Ethnography of Home, and the East of Flatbush, North of Love: Teacher Guidebook.


The David Buchan Lecture was launched in 2015 to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the Elphinstone Institute. The lecture is in memory of the influential ballad and contemporary legend scholar who was also the Institute's first appointed director. This annual event places Ethnology and Folklore firmly in the university calendar and appeals to a wide audience across the university as well as to the general public.