Folklore in the United States and Canada

Folklore in the United States and Canada

An Institutional History
Edited by Patricia Sawin and Rosemary Levy Zumwalt
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/01/2020
Format: Paperback 48 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-05289-6
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To ensure the continuity of and traditions within the discipline of folklore, we must know what came before. Folklore in the United States and Canada is an essential guide to the history and development of academic folklore programs throughout the United States and Canada. As the first history of folklore studies since the mid-1980s, this book offers a long overdue look into the innovations of the newer programs, as well as the development of the earliest programs. The volume is encyclopedic in its coverage and is organized in a rough chronology based on the approximate founding date of each program. An excellent panel of contributors explores the key individuals and central events at various North American folklore initiatives within broader cultural and historical contexts, demonstrating how these programs have been shaped over time. Revealing the connections between programs, such as their origins, successes, and challenges, Folklore in the United States and Canada is an essential read for all folklorists and those who are studying to become folklorists.

Author Bio

Patricia Sawin is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Folklore Program in the Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is author of Listening for a Life: A Dialogic Ethnography of Bessie Eldreth through Her Songs and Stories. Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt is Vice President Emerita and Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Agnes Scott College. She is author of American Folklore Scholarship: A Dialogue of Dissent and (with Isaac Jack Lévy) Ritual Medical Lore of Sephardic Women: Sweetening the Spirits and Healing the Sick.


"The field of folklore studies has for some time needed a book such as this. To be most fully productive in their careers, student and early-career folklorists need to understand the institutional history and ecology of the field as much as they do its intellectual history and ecology. It also demonstrates the critical importance of 'team playing' beyond one's own research program, and the effective practice of everyday and strategic academic politics, to the sustenance of the field and the academic programs that constitute it."

 (Timothy Lloyd, Former Executive Director of the American Folklore Society)

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Table of Contents

Introduction / Patricia Sawin and Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt

Part I: Early Programs
1. The Quintessence of the Humanities: Folklore and Mythology at Harvard / Rachel C. Kirby and Anthony Bak Buccitelli
2. Bringing Ethnographic Research to the Public Conversation: Folklore at the University of North Carolina / Patricia Sawin
3. Teaching and Research at Laval University (Québec, Canada): From Folklore to Ethnology / Laurier Turgeon
4. The Folklife Connection: Ethnological Organization at Franklin and Marshall, Cooperstown, and Penn State Harrisburg / Simon J. Bronner

Part II : 1960s-70s Efflorescence
5. "The Great Team" of American Folklorists: Characters Large in Life and Grand in Plans / Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt
6. The Jewel in the Crown: Hallmarks of Success in Indiana University's Folklore Program / Jeanne Harrah-Johnson
7. Folklore and Mythology Studies at UCLA / Michael Owen Jones
8. Of Politics, Disciplines, and Scholars: MacEdward Leach and the Founding of the Folklore Program at the University of Pennsylvania / Rosina S. Miller
9. Groundtruthing the Humanities: Penn Folklore and Folklife, 1973-2013 / Mary Hufford
10. Toward a Multi-Genealogical Folkloristics: The Berkeley Experiment / Charles L. Briggs
11. The Texas School / Richard Bauman
12. Memorial University's Folklore Program: Outsiders and Insiders / Lynne S. McNeill
13. A Century of Folklore Research and Teaching at Western Kentucky / Michael Ann Williams
14. Folklore at the University of Oregon: A History of Tradition, Innovation, and Pushing the Rock Up the Hill / Sharon R. Sherman
15. From Ukrainian Studies to the Folklore of the Prairies: The Kule Center for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore, University of Alberta / Natalie Kononenko
16. Engagement with Community in Distinctive Folklore Concentrations: University of Louisiana at Lafayette / Marcia Gaudet and Barry Jean Ancelet
17. The Fife Legacy: Fifty Years of Folklore at Utah State University / Randy Williams

Part III: Newer Programs and Innovations
18. Folklore in the Nation's Capital: The George Washington University Experience / James I. Deutsch
19. The University of Wisconsin—Madison's Folklore Program and the Wisconsin Idea / Christine J. Widmayer and B. Marcus Cederström
20. Folklore @ Brigham Young's Universities: Four Generations of Inter(con)textual Studies of Region, Religion, and Beyond / Jill Terry Rudy
21. The Mason IDEA / Debra Lattanzi Shutika
22. Folklore and Interdisciplinarity at OSU / Patrick B. Mullen and Amy Shuman
23. Show Me Folklore: The Folklore, Oral Tradition, and Culture Studies Program at the University of Missouri / Claire Schmidt
24. This is the Right Place for It: The Development of the Folklore Program at Cape Breton University / Jodi McDavid
25. Practical Cultural Work: The MA in Cultural Sustainability at Goucher College / Amy E. Skillman and Rory Turner
26. The Future out of the Past: The View from the Conference on the Future of American Folkloristics / Jesse A. Fivecoate, Kristina Downs, and Meredith A. E. McGriff

Conclusion / Patricia Sawin and Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt