Faculty member part of symposium at Library of Congress

September 28, 2009

A faculty member from the College of Communications at Penn State who has a doctoral degree in folklore will participate in a symposium at the Library of Congress in early October.

Russell Frank, an associate professor in the Department of Journalism, will serve as a panelist during “Baseball Americana,” a symposium scheduled Friday, Oct. 2, and Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

The symposium will examine baseball from a number of perspectives, particularly the viewpoints of people who experience the game at home, in the stands and on the field. Participants include former players, such as Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, and others who make their living through the game (including a stadium organist and a head groundskeeper) as well as experts on baseball cuisine, the language of baseball and baseball memorabilia.

Frank will participate in a panel titled "At Home," moderated by David Taylor of the American Folklife Center. Other panelists are Harry Katz, former head curator of Library of Congress photographs and prints, and Claire Smith, a longtime baseball writer who works as an editor for ESPN.

Frank worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers in California and Pennsylvania for 13 years before joining the journalism faculty at Penn State, where he has been teaching news writing, feature writing, narrative journalism and journalism ethics since 1998. In addition to his scholarly writing on journalism ethics and narrative journalism, he writes a weekly column for statecollege.com online.

His latest project marries his folklore and journalism interests -- a book about topical folklore on the Internet, to be titled "Newslore."

The symposium, which coincides with the release of the book "Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress," is sponsored by the American Folklife Center and coordinated with the Library of Congress Publishing Office. The baseball collections in the Library of Congress are the largest in the world.

  • Russell Frank.

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated January 09, 2015