Research & Outreach

We focus on making research accessible to the public through publications, performances, exhibitions, and educational workshops.

Open to new collaborations! Please be in touch!

Below represents founder Dr. Evelyn Osborne’s research interests and ongoing projects, but we hope to collaborate with new researchers and community groups as Fiddlehead Folklore Institute in the future.

Current and Recent Research Projects/ Collaborations

Foodways: Hong Kong Quarantine Food Research Project

Launched August 2022

Food is a critical aspect of our daily lives and is both personal and cultural. Hong Kong has used quarantine and isolation to attempt to contain the Covid-19 virus since 2020. This project seeks to examine the experience of quarantine through food.

Hong Kong Folklore

I am interested in working with community groups and tradition bearers to learn more about traditions in Hong Kong. I have previously collaborated with the Lantau Society.

Hong Kong Morris 50th Anniversary Dance Manual

Working in collaboration with the members of the Hong Kong Morris side, I are working on a dance manual for their 50th anniversary in 2024. It will include music, dance instruction, and history of the Side.

Irish-American Vaudeville

The “famous” McNulty Family of New York graced the vaudeville stages with their “Irish Showboat” for decades. I am working on a book about their career and influence, along with transcriptions of their music

Research Areas

Newfoundland Fiddle Music and Dance

The fiddle and dance music of Newfoundland and Labrador has its roots in the British Isles, Ireland, France as well as Canada and the Eastern Seaboard of the USA. My work in this area has extended from examining the tunes themselves to the the interconnections and musical sense of place produced by perceptions of origin, media, and personal connections.

Irish-American Vaudeville

The “famous” McNulty Family of New York graced the vaudeville stages with their “Irish Showboat” for decades. “Ma” McNulty was one of the most recorded Irish women of her time with over 150 sides on Decca, Copley and others. Through radio and recordings their influence stretched further afield, including Newfoundland.

Hong Kong Folklore

I have worked with the Lantau Society community group as a research consultant to aid them in interview techniques for their oral history project in rural area of Mui Wo, Lantau Island. I provided guidance on how to present their findings, resulting in several hands-on public events and three booklets featuring women in the cottage industry of tofu skin making during the mid-20th century. I was the English editor for these booklets.

I also am a member of the Hong Kong Morris and have presented a conference paper about the group at the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention in 2018. I am currently working on a dance and tune manual with them for their 50th anniversary in 2024.

Newfoundland Folk Song

I have worked extensively with the archival folk song tradition collections of Newfoundland and Labrador at the National Museum of Civilization/History and Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA). This has resulted in Archival CDs, websites, and transcriptions for a book.

Music Education

How we learn and transmit our musical traditions to the next generation is crucial to shaping the future of our cultural expressions. I have listened and collected the musical life stories of over 100 musicians. As a music educator I see that many traditions have similar approaches. This will form the backbone of my Musical Village Theory, first presented at the European String Teachers’ Association Conference in 2021. I have published in industry forums on this topic.

Knowledge Mobilization/Community Outreach

I am passionate about making research publicly accessible and have worked on various projects to mobilize archival and field work research for this purpose. These projects have been in collaboration with the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place (MMaP) and Department of Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland; the Canadian National Museum of Civilization/History; Carleton University and Canadian Heritage; and the Lantau Society (Hong Kong).

My folklore centre, Fiddlehead Folklore Institute, based in Hong Kong, will provide a further venue for continuing this community based research.

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