As part of Athens State University’s Bicentennial “Athens Forever Series,” the University will be hosting Crossing Bows for the Championship: A History of Fiddling in America & Limestone County, Alabama featuring Joyce Cauthen. The free Lunch & Learn event will be held on Thursday, September 2 at 12:00 pm and lunch will be provided.
Joyce Cauthen is the author of With Fiddle and Well-Rosined Bow: The History of Old-Time Fiddling in Alabama, and producer of the CD, “Possum Up a Gum Stump: Home, Field, and Commercial Recordings of Alabama Fiddlers.” For a decade, she served as Executive Director of the Alabama Folklife Association, producing CDs and books on Primitive Baptist hymn singing, Sacred Harp singing, children’s folksongs, Alabama quilts, programs on Alabama’s foodways, and more.
A scholar of traditional music in Alabama, Cauthen will speak on a subject with a rich history in Limestone County. Beginning with the introduction of the violin to the American colonies in the early 1600s, she will tell how fiddle styles were influenced by the country of origin of those who played that instrument, calling attention to fiddlers of African ancestry in the development of a southern style of fiddling.
The Athens Forever Lunch & Learn series aims to highlight the achievements of women, therefore, Cauthen will also talk about female fiddlers who participated in local fiddlers’ conventions and excelled in a form of music historically dominated by men.
Fiddler Jim Cauthen, Joyce’s husband, will join her to musically illustrate this talk, which is made possible with funding from the Alabama Humanities Alliance, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.