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Episode 20 – Maribel Álvarez: Public Folklorist, Scholar, and Advocate for Regional Traditions and Arts

October 2021


Dr. Maribel Álvarez is the Jim Griffith Chair in Public Folklore in the University of Arizona Southwest Center, Associate Dean of Community Engagement in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and an Associate Research Professor in the School of Anthropology. She founded the Southwest Folklife Alliance, a non-profit organization that supports folklife throughout the U.S. Southwest and Northern Mexico and directs one of the largest folklife festivals in the United States, Tucson Meet Yourself. As a public folklorist and a professor, Dr. Álvarez straddles a line between the life of a scholar and that of a community leader and advocate for regional folk traditions. In 2018, she was honored by the American Folklore Society with the highly prestigious Américo Paredes Prize.

Music: Lágrimas Negras. Bebo Valdés y Chucho Valdés. “Juntos para Siempre”, Universal Music Spain, 2008.
Hosted by Jeff Banister; post-production and edition by Carlos Quintero.

Notes and Resources

• Some influential essays by Maribel Álvarez:
   Álvarez, Maribel, 2008. La Pared que Habla. A Photo Essay about Art and Graffiti at the Border Fence in Nogales, Sonora. Journal of the Southwest 50, 3: 279-304.
   Álvarez, Maribel, 2006. Food, Poetry, and Borderlands Materiality. Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies 10: 205-230.
• Maribel Álvarez projects:
   – Voz Frontera
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