Graduate Student Workshop: Sonic Archives and Vernacular

When and Where

Thursday, March 23, 2023 10:00 am to 11:30 am
1 Devonshire Pl, Room 108, North House
1 Devonshire Pl, Toronto, ON M5S 3K7


Florence Dore (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Eric Lott (City University of New York)


Sonic Archives and Vernacular Historiography with Florence Dore and Eric Lott
March 23, 2023 | 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Join acclaimed scholars and cultural critics Professor Florence Dore (English Department, University of North Carolina) and Professor Eric Lott (American Studies, City University of New York) for a discussion of music, text and method. What constitutes a vernacular archive and how does one approach it as a historian, as a critic, and as a researcher? What is the relationship between theory, method and object and how does each inform the other in the practices of critical engagement? Please bring your projects, your questions, and your provocations to this graduate workshops. We look forward to the conversation!
You can find samples of recent work by professors Lott and Dore here:
• Read Dore's article titled "Good for Nothing: Lorrie Moore’s Maternal Aesthetic and the Return to Form" here:
• Read Lott's article titled "Back Door Man: Howlin’ Wolf and the Sound of Jim Crow" here:
    *This workshop is open to University of Toronto graduate students.

Eric Lott teaches American Studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center.  Lott has published widely and lectured at dozens of universities and other institutions on the politics of U.S. cultural and performance history, and his work has appeared in a range of periodicals including The Village Voice, The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, PMLA, Representations, Transition, Social Text, American Literary History, and American Quarterly.  He is the author of Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class (Oxford UP, 1993; 20th Anniversary ed., 2013), from which Bob Dylan took the title for his 2001 album “Love and Theft”; The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual (Basic Books, 2006), which was widely reviled by the boomer liberals it critiqued; and Black Mirror: The Cultural Contradictions of American Racism (Harvard UP, 2017), a study of race, culture, and fantasy across the long twentieth century.  Lott has appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, CBS Sunday Morning, Turner Classic Movies, C-Span Book TV, Al Jazeera TV, and various radio shows and podcasts.
 Florence Dore teaches in both the Creative Writing and Literature Programs at Carolina. She earned her doctorate at UC Berkeley in 1999 and, after stints at New York University’s Draper Program and Kent State University, finally found her permanent home as a member the faculty at UNC Chapel Hill in 2010. Several books and articles—both academic and public-facing—appear on Dore’s c.v., but she has also released three records, one of which, Highways and Rocketships, won Best Americana Album of 2022 at Lonesome Highway Magazine. She has held fellowships at New York University, the National Humanities Center, and UNC’s Institute for Arts and Humanities and has won several grants, including one from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Dore is known for her work on the Steering Committee of the national scholarly group Post45, for whom she was founding co-editor of the Pos45 Book Series at Stanford University Press. In her work as a singer and songwriter, which she is increasingly connecting with her academic pursuits, Dore has become passionate about the Public Humanities. During the pandemic, she created and acted as co- executive producer for the community fundraiser Cover Charge: NC Musicians Go Under Cover to Benefit Cat’s Cradle, a benefit compilation record that came in #1 on the Billboard charts and raised funds for the iconic local rock venue, Cat’s Cradle. She has organized two public conferences on rock and literature, in 2017 at the National Humanities Center with the Carolina Performing Arts and in 2010 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Form these endeavors emerges Dore’s new book, The Ink in the Grooves: Conversations on Literature and Rock ‘n Roll (Cornell Univ. Press), which features essays and interviews with Richard Thompson, Dom Flemons, Lucinda Williams, and members of John Prine’s ban, among others. She sits on the advisory board for the Institute for Bob Dylan Studies at the University of Tulsa’s Bob Dylan Archive, and, most recently, has launched Ink in the Grooves Live, a Traveling Public Humanities.

Contact Information


Centre for the Study of the United States, Department of English, Department of History, Faculty of Music


1 Devonshire Pl, Toronto, ON M5S 3K7