A Folklorist’s Progress

A Folklorist’s Progress

Reflections of a Scholar’s Life
Stith Thompson, edited by Edited by John H. McDowell, Inta Gale Carpenter, Donald Braid, Erika Peterson-Veatch. Stith Thompson
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/22/1996
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-1-879-40709-1
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Stith Thompson (1885–1976), often called the father of U.S. folklore, completed A Folklorist’s Progress in 1956. This reflection on his life leads the reader on a journey from his birthplace in Kentucky to the universities of Wisconsin, Harvard, California, Texas, and finally Indiana University. Throughout his career he interacted with scholars throughout the world. His life story reveals his influence on the direction of American folklore scholarship in this century. His influence moved the study of folklore from a romantic approach to a "scientific" approach. He helped establish folklore on firm academic footing. One of the most important results of his research efforts is the now classic Motif-Index of Folklore-Literature.

This published edition of A Folklorist’s Progress is enhanced with photographs and facsimiles, excerpts from his wife Louise Thompson’s travel diaries, and glosses identifying the main accomplishments of some fifty folklorists and kindred scholars mentioned in the text.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
A Tribute—Herman B. Wells
Editors’ Preface
A Daughter’s Perspective—Marguerite Thompson Hays with Dorothy Thompson Letsinger
Introduction—Warren E. Roberts
Seventieth Birthday Ballad Tribute

I A Bell Rings
II From a Colonial Melting Pot
III The First World I Knew
IV From Boy to Man: Indianapolis, 1897-1905
V Kentucky Interlude: 1905-1907
VI Scholar’s Initiation: Wisconsin, 1907-1909
VII Learning to Teach: Portland, 1909-1911
VIII The Golden Gate: 1911-1912
IX Harvard: 1912-1914
X Apprenticeship: Texas, 1914-1918
XI Honeymoon Transition: 1918
XII Under Pike’s Peak: 1918-1920
XIII A New England Winter: 1920-1921
XIV Entrenching at Indiana: 1921-1926
XV A Year in Europe: 1926-1927
XVI Making a Motif Index: 1927-1931
XVII Harvard and Europe Revisited: 1931
XVIII Depression: 1931-1935
XIX Recognition Abroad: 1935
XX West Coast Revisited: 1936
XXI Recognition at Home: 1936-1937
XXII Ireland and Points East: Summer, 1937
XXIII New Administration at Indiana
XXIV The East A-Callin’: 1939
XXV The War in Europe: 1939-1941
XXVI First Sabbatical:1941
XXVII Mobilization: 1942
XXVIII Doing Our Bit: 1943-1945
XXIX Post War: 1945-1946
XXX South American Journey: 1947
XXXI Asesor Tecnico: 1947
XXXII Dean: 1947-1950
XXXIII Midcentury: 1950-1951
XXXIV Norway: 1951-1952
XXXV Ex-Dean: 1952-1953
XXXVI Distinguished Service: 1953-1955
XXXVII Emeritus: 1955
XXXVIII Unfinished Business
Biographical Glosses
Selected Bibliography of Stith Thompson’s Work
Index of Names and Places