Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies. He is the first high school teacher and first U.S. citizen to earn the distinction. Caffery will move to D.C. in September with his family for the one-year appointment.
Caffery will further his scholarship via the expansive 20th century musicological work of the father/son team of Alan and John Lomax, whose studies of American folk music comprise the largest-ever collected body of field recordings, including exhaustive studies of Louisiana’s indigenous music in the 1930s.
Caffery holds a Ph.D. from UL Lafayette and is also an accomplished musician, having played in such notable groups as the Red Stick Ramblers and the Grammy-nominated Feufollet. He’s also, just in general, a stand-up guy and son of renowned photographer Debbie Fleming Caffery.
“Alan Lomax believed that certain areas of the country had unique cultural resources that should be conserved for future generations,” explains Caffery in a press release touting the fellowship. “I plan to help continue that vision.” His soon-to-be-released book, Traditional Music in Coastal Louisiana: The 1934 Lomax Recordings, is published by LSU Press.
“We couldn’t be happier for Josh as he begins this new adventure,” says Dr. Paul Baker, head of the Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Cade campus. “ESA will miss the amazing breadth of experience that Josh brought to his students.
Adds Caffery: ““For me, having the chance to study the recordings at the Library of Congress is like a Biblical scholar having access to the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
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