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Family Reunion Forum

African American Reunion Study

I am a professor of English and Folklore at the University of South Carolina Lancaster (I was formerly with Benedict College in Colunbia, SC) and have been conducting an on-going documentation project on African American family reunion traditions for several years. I am currently seeking additional partipants for my project. Most particpants fill out a general questionnaire, some are interviewed by phone, and in certain cases reunions are documented by myself or by one of my assistants. I am examining how reunions and related traditions function to preserve and maintain family and ethnic identity. If you might be interested in participating in this study, please email me at I am particularly interested in families of mixed African American and Native American ancestry.
Also, I will be traveling through the Southeast in mid- to late February and I am looking for family reunion organizers or participants in the Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana areas to interview in person. These interviews would be conducted in a public location (a bookstore or coffee house, for example) and would last no more than an hour. Again, if you are interested, please let me know, The link below will direct you to a brief notice of my project in reunions magazine. My work is also noted in a recent Washington Post article:
And on this MSN site:
Thank you for considering this request.
Stephen Criswell, Ph.D.
USC Lancaster

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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