[AFS]About Folklore

[AFS]About Folklore

What is Folklore?
Folklore is the traditional art, literature, knowledge, and practice that is disseminated largely through oral communication and behavioral example. Every group with a sense of its own identity shares, as a central part of that identity, folk traditions–the things that people traditionally believe (planting practices, family traditions, and other elements of worldview), do (dance, make music, sew clothing), know (how to build an irrigation dam, how to nurse an ailment, how to prepare barbecue), make (architecture, art, craft), and say (personal experience stories, riddles, song lyrics). As these examples indicate, in most instances there is no hard-and-fast separation of these categories, whether in everyday life or in folklorists’ work.

The word "folklore" names an enormous and deeply significant dimension of culture. Considering how large and complex this subject is, it is no wonder that folklorists define and describe folklore in so many different ways. Try asking dance historians for a definition of "dance," for instance, or anthropologists for a definition of "culture." No one definition will suffice–nor should it.

In part, this is also because particular folklorists emphasize particular parts or characteristics of the world of folklore as a result of their own work, their own interests, or the particular audience they’re trying to reach. And for folklorists, as for the members of any group who share a strong interest, disagreeing with one another is part of the work–and the enjoyment–of the field, and is one of the best ways to learn.

But to begin, below we have cited several folklorists’ definitions and descriptions of folklore, given in the order in which they were written and published. (One of them uses the word "folklife" instead, which American folklorists, following their European colleagues, have used more frequently of late.) None of these definitions answers every question by itself, and certainly none of them is the American Folklore Society’s official definition (we don’t have one), but each offers a good place to start. From time to time we’ll add the views of other folklorists to this page.

One thing you’ll note about these definitions and descriptions is that they challenge the notion of folklore as something that is simply "old," "old-fashioned," "exotic," "rural," "peasant," "uneducated," "untrue," or "dying out." Though folklore connects people to their past, it is a central part of life in the present, and is at the heart of all cultures–including our own–throughout the world.

For more information about folklore and about what folklorists do, please see the other sections of this "About Folklore" chapter, as well as the other chapters of this AFSNet web site.

And if you have further questions about folklore or folklorists’ work, we invite you to contact the university folklore program or public folklore organization closest to you, or the American Folklore Society’s office.

Benjamin A. Botkin, 1938.
Folklore is a body of traditional belief, custom, and expression, handed down largely by word of mouth and circulating chiefly outside of commercial and academic means of communication and instruction. Every group bound together by common interests and purposes, whether educated or uneducated, rural or urban, possesses a body of traditions which may be called its folklore. Into these traditions enter many elements, individual, popular, and even "literary," but all are absorbed and assimilated through repetition and variation into a pattern which has value and continuity for the group as a whole.
Dan Ben-Amos. Toward a Definition of Folklore in Context, in Américo Paredes and Richard Bauman, eds. Toward New Perspectives in Folklore. Austin: University of Texas Press for the American Folklore Society, 1972.
…folklore is artistic communication in small groups.
Jan Brunvand. The Study of American Folklore: An Introduction, 2nd edition. New York: W.W. Norton, 1978.
Folklore comprises the unrecorded traditions of a people; it includes both the form and content of these traditions and their style or technique of communication from person to person.
Folklore is the traditional, unofficial, non-institutional part of culture. It encompasses all knowledge, understandings, values, attitudes, assumptions, feelings, and beliefs transmitted in traditional forms by word of mouth or by customary examples.
Edward D. Ives. Joe Scott, the Woodsman-Songmaker. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1978.
No song, no performance, no act of creation can be properly understood apart from the culture or subculture in which it is found and of which it is a part; nor should any "work of art" be looked on as a thing in itself apart from the continuum of creation-consumption.
Barre Toelken. The Dynamics of Folklore. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1979.
Tradition [means] not some static, immutable force from the past, but those pre-existing culture-specific materials and options that bear upon the performer more heavily than do his or her own personal tastes and talents. We recognize in the use of tradition that such matters as content and style have been for the most part passed on but not invented by the performer.
Dynamic recognizes, on the other hand, that in the processing of these contents and styles in performance, the artist’s own unique talents of inventiveness within the tradition are highly valued and are expected to operate strongly. Time and space dimensions remind us that the resulting variations may spread geographically with great rapidity (as jokes do) as well as down through time (good luck beliefs). Folklore is made up of informal expressions passed around long enough to have become recurrent in form and context, but changeable in performance.
…modern American folklorists do not limit their attention to the rural, quaint, or "backward" elements of the culture. Rather, they will study and discuss any expressive phenomena–urban or rural–that seem to act like other previously recognized folk traditions. This has led to the development of a field of inquiry with few formal boundaries, one with lots of feel but little definition, one both engaging and frustrating.
William A. Wilson. The Deeper Necessity: Folklore and the Humanities. Journal of American Folklore 101:400, 1988.
Surely no other discipline is more concerned with linking us to the cultural heritage from the past than is folklore; no other discipline is more concerned with revealing the interrelationships of different cultural expressions than is folklore; and no other discipline is so concerned …with discovering what it is to be human. It is this attempt to discover the basis of our common humanity, the imperatives of our human existence, that puts folklore study at the very center of humanistic study.
Henry Glassie. The Spirit of Folk Art. New York: Abrams, 1989.
"Folklore," though coined as recently as 1846, is the old word, the parental concept to the adjective "folk." Customarily folklorists refer to the host of published definitions, add their own, and then get on with their work, leaving the impression that definitions of folklore are as numberless as insects. But all the definitions bring into dynamic association the ideas of individual creativity and collective order.
Folklore is traditional. Its center holds. Changes are slow and steady. Folklore is variable. The tradition remains wholly within the control of its practitioners. It is theirs to remember, change, or forget. Answering the needs of the collective for continuity and of the individual for active participation, folklore…is that which is at once traditional and variable.
Mary Hufford. American Folklife: A Commonwealth of Cultures. Washington: American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 1991.
What is folklife? Like Edgar Allan Poe’s purloined letter, folklife is often hidden in full view, lodged in the various ways we have of discovering and expressing who we are and how we fit into the world. Folklife is reflected in the names we bear from birth, invoking affinities with saints, ancestors, or cultural heroes. Folklife is the secret languages of children, the codenames of CB operators, and the working slang of watermen and doctors. It is the shaping of everyday experiences in stories swapped around kitchen tables or parables told from pulpits. It is the African American rhythms embedded in gospel hymns, bluegrass music, and hip hop, and the Lakota flutist rendering anew his people’s ancient courtship songs.

Folklife is the sung parodies of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and the variety of ways there are to skin a muskrat, preserve string beans, or join two pieces of wood. Folklife is the society welcoming new members at bris and christening, and keeping the dead incorporated on All Saints Day. It is the marking of the Jewish New Year at Rosh Hashanah and the Persian New Year at Noruz. It is the evolution of vaqueros into buckaroos, and the riderless horse, its stirrups backward, in the funeral processions of high military commanders.

Folklife is the thundering of foxhunters across the rolling Rappahannock countryside and the listening of hilltoppers to hounds crying fox in the Tennessee mountains. It is the twirling of lariats at western rodeos, and the spinning of double-dutch jumpropes in West Philadelphia. It is scattered across the landscape in Finnish saunas and Italian vineyards; engraved in the split-rail boundaries of Appalachian "hollers" and the stone fences around Catskill "cloves"; scrawled on urban streetscapes by graffiti artists; and projected onto skylines by the tapering steeples of churches, mosques, and temples.

Folklife is community life and values, artfully expressed in myriad forms and interactions. Universal, diverse, and enduring, it enriches the nation and makes us a commonwealth of cultures.



What Do Folklorists Do?
Folklorists—members of the American Folklore Society—live and work throughout the world. They include students, teachers, scholars, consultants, community organizers, educators, and public agency professionals. Folklorists’ interests range from local family traditions to transnational issues of ethnic conflict, from publications to public programming, from the performing to the visual arts, from everyday life to communities’ most special occasions, and from research to public policy.

Society members publish scholarly articles, in-depth books, and engaging exhibition catalogues. They produce award-winning documentary films and recordings, as well as nationally recognized radio programs. Our members also develop interpretive programs for all ages: exhibitions, festivals, lectures, and concerts. They organize communities to identify and conserve their folklore and cultural heritage, and they work to establish public policy that honors and respects cultural diversity.

Whatever their particular interests or work, Society members recognize the value of experience-based knowledge and the importance of understanding the intersections of artfulness and everyday life. The artistic, cultural, educational, historical, and political questions our members raise place the field of folklore at the leading edge of contemporary cultural issues, and establish folklore as a primary field of the humanities.
In 1987 the American Folklore Society commissioned folklorist Charles Camp to create a publication on the current and possible future state of the field of folklore. That publication, Time and Temperature (1989), included "The Folklorist As…", a series of short essays by folklorists about the challenges and opportunities of their work. We have reprinted those essays here as a way of answering the question "What do folklorists do?".

The Essays:

What Do Folklorists Do? (PDF) 124K download



The History of Folklore Study

100 Years of American Folklore Study, edited by William M. Clements and available from the American Folklore Society, provides a clear and concise history of the field of folklore in this country from the mid-1800s to the late 20th century.

Published for the American Folklore Society’s Centennial in 1988, this 82-page book contains 19 brief essays, most focusing on changing concepts of "folklore," the "folk," and "folklorists."
Copies are available for $10 postpaid from AFS (Mershon Center, Ohio State University, 1501 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201-2602 USA). Make your check payable to the American Folklore Society.
The essays in the book are:

Part 1: Nineteenth Century BackgroundsW.K. McNeil, Pre-Society American Folklorists
Simon J. Bronner, The Intellectual Climate of Nineteenth-Century American Folklore Studies
Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt, On the Founding of the American Folklore Society and the Journal of American Folklore

Part 2: The Concept of "Folklore"Hugo A. Freund, Cultural Evolution, Survivals and Immersion: The Implications for Nineteenth-Century Folklore Studies
Mac E. Barrick, Folklore and the Verbal Text
John Michael Vlach, Folklife and the Tangible Text
Jack Santino, Folklore as Performance and Communication

Part 3: The Concept of "Folk"Sylvia Grider, Salvaging the Folklore of "Old English" Folk
William H. Wiggins, Jr., Afro-Americans as Folk: From Savage to Civilized
Keith Cunningham, Native Americans as Folk: Collecting and Compiling Indian Traditions
Eric L. Montenyohl, The Folk Abroad: American Folklorists Outside the United States
Robert McCarl, The Folk as Occupational Group: From the Cow Camp to the Shop Floor
Susan Kalcik, Womenfolk

Part 4: The Concept of "Folklorist"Carl Lindahl, The Folklorist and Literature: Child and Others
W.K. McNeil, The Folklorist and Anthropology: The Boasian Influence
Claire R. Farrer, The Folklorist and Linguistics: From Boas to Hymes
Lynwood Montell and Barbara Allen, The Folklorist and History: Three Approaches
Ronald L. Baker, The Folklorist in the Academy
Burt Feintuch, The Folklorist and the Public



Where to Study Folklore

American Folklore Society members teach, carry out research, and provide community service at many universities in the US, Canada, and abroad. They teach undergraduate and graduate courses of all kinds on folklore, from introductory classes to specialized seminars; carry out library and field research in all areas of folklore throughout the world; organize and archive their own and others' documentary materials; deliver lectures and talks both on and off campus; publish papers, articles, and books to communicate what they have learned about folklore; and work (again, both on and off campus) to support their field.

A number of US and Canadian universities have folklore departments, programs, or centers that offer graduate coursework in folklore leading to masters or doctoral degrees. Since many faculty and students at these programs do fieldwork in the regions where their university is located, these programs can also be good sources for information about local folk traditions.

To begin to learn about these folklore departments, programs, and centers, please click on the links below to connect to their web sites. Remember, though, that in planning your education a web search is not enough; you should follow up by making personal contact with faculty members and department administrators to learn the specific circumstances, strengths, and opportunities of the departments that interest you.
If you want to study folklore as part of a K-12 education, please visit the Folklore in K-12 Education page of this site.

(Folklore departments, programs, and centers: To add or modify an entry, please send your name, e-mail address, and URL of the department homepage to the AFS executive director.)

PhD Programs in Folklore
Indiana University
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Ohio State University
Université Laval
University of California at Los Angeles
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
University of Missouri
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Texas at Austin
University of Wisconsin

MA Programs in Folklore
George Mason University
Georgia State University
Indiana University
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Ohio State University
Université Laval
University of California at Berkeley
University of California at Los Angeles
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
University of Missouri
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Texas at Austin
Utah State University
Western Kentucky University

BA Majors, Minors, and Concentrations in Folklore
Arkansas State University
George Mason University
Georgia State University
Harvard University
Idaho State University
Indiana University
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Ohio State University
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Oregon
University of Wisconsin



Folklore in K-12 Education
Folklorists are deeply involved in efforts to incorporate folklore into K-12 classrooms throughout the country. These efforts have taken many forms, from artists-in-education residencies to teacher training workshops to major initiatives to make folklore and cultural heritage an official part of state education standards and curricula.

Connect to the home page of CARTS (Cultural Arts Resources for Teachers and Students), a collaboration of the New York City-based public folklore organization City Lore and the National Network for Folk Arts in Education that is the major online resource for information on folklore in education activities and materials.

Connect to the American Folklife Center's A Teacher's Guide to Folklife Resources.



Public Folklore
Over the past 25 years or so, the part of the field of folklore we call "public folklore" has grown and developed very rapidly. By "public folklorist" we usually mean a folklorist who works primarily in arts, cultural, or educational organizations that are not colleges or universities, such as arts councils, historical societies, libraries, museums, or non-profit folk arts or folklore organizations.

Public folklorists are engaged in a variety of activities, including (but not limited to) field research and documentary work, and the production of public programs or educational materials, such as performances, artists’ residencies, exhibitions, festivals, sound recordings, radio and television programs, films, videos, and books.

At the time of this writing about half of the American Folklore Society’s members identify themselves as public folklorists. However, it’s important to remember that many folklorists work (or have worked) both in universities and in public folklore, and the two parts of the field are intimately connected. Universities, for example, are where most folklorists are trained in the ways of our field, and the public side of folklore work connects to general audiences in ways that increase appreciation for the field as a whole.

This mix of occupational home base and audiences has characterized the Society’s membership from the start. In 1888, the Society’s founding group included writers (Mark Twain was one of our founders), private men and women of learning, and museum professionals, as well as university-based scholars.

Click here to visit the AFS page for the Traditional Arts Programs Net (TAPNET), the best source for information about the activities of public folklore programs around the United States.




Notable Folklore Books and Journals

One of the best ways to learn about what folklore is and how folklorists do their work is to read the books folklorists have published. Though no one list can include all the many good books that have been and are still being published about folklore, or all the folk traditions that folklorists study, this list is a start. These books should be available through a good public or university library; most of them also can be purchased from the university press that published them, at a good bookstore, or online.
To learn about current work in the field of folklore, you should also become familiar with the world's leading folklore journals, which contain articles, opinions, research reports, and reviews of folklorists' work of all kinds.

1. Folklore TextbooksThis is a list of some of the general college-level folklore textbooks published in recent years. The edited volumes on this list contain essays by many folklorists.
Bauman, Richard, ed. Folklore, Cultural Performances, and Popular Entertainments: A Communications-Centered Handbook. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Brunvand, Jan Harold. The Study of American Folklore. 4th edition. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.
, ed. Readings in American Folklore. New York: W.W. Norton, 1979.
Dorson, Richard, ed. Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.
. Handbook of American Folklore. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986.
Dundes, Alan. Interpreting Folklore. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980. , ed. The Study of Folklore. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1965.
, ed. International Folkloristics: Classic Contributions by the Founders of Folklore. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 1999.
Fine, Elizabeth. The Folklore Text: From Performance to Print. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1984, 1994.
Georges, Robert, and Michael Owen Jones. Folkloristics: An Introduction. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.
Oring, Elliott, ed. Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction. Logan: Utah State University Press, 1986.
, ed. Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: A Reader. Logan: Utah State University Press, 1989.
Sims, Martha, and Martine Stephens. Living Folklore: An Introduction to the Study of People and Their Traditions. Logan: Utah State University Press, 2005.
Toelken, Barre. The Dynamics of Folklore. 2nd Edition. Logan: Utah State University Press, 1996.
Yoder, Don, ed. American Folklife. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1976.

2. Folklore Dictionaries and EncyclopediasAxelrod, Alan, and Harry Oster, The Penguin Dictionary of American Folklore. New York: Penguin, 2000.
Bronner, Simon J., ed. Encyclopedia of American Folklife. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2006.
Brunvand, Jan Harold, ed. American Folklore: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1996
Green, Thomas A., ed. Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Beliefs, Customs, Tales, Music, and Art. 2 vols. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1997.

3. Books about Fieldwork"Fieldwork" is the name folklorists give to their activity of working with other people to learn about those people’s folk traditions and cultural heritage. As part of fieldwork, folklorists interview people and document (through writing, photography, audio recording, video, and film) many of their activities (for example, their storytelling, celebrations, foodways, work, music, dance, or art). Through fieldwork, folklorists also build personal relationships with those they study, who in many ways are folklorists’ partners is understanding culture. These books by folklorists introduce many of the best practices, both practical and interpersonal, of doing good fieldwork.
Briggs, Charles L. Learning How to Ask. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Georges, Robert A., and Michael Owen Jones. People Studying People: The Human Element in Fieldwork. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.
Goldstein, Kenneth S. A Guide for Field Workers in Folklore. Hatboro, Pennsylvania: Folklore Associates, Inc., 1974.
Jackson, Bruce. Fieldwork. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987.
Ives, Edward D. The Tape-Recorded Interview: A Manual for Fieldworkers in Folklore and Oral History. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1974.

4. Chicago Folklore Prize RecipientsFirst awarded in 1928, the Chicago Folklore Prize, awarded to the author(s) of the best book-length work of folklore scholarship for the year, is the oldest international award recognizing excellence in folklore scholarship. Occasionally, a joint recipient or a second-place recipient are also selected. The prize is offered jointly by the American Folklore Society and the University of Chicago.
From its inception, the administrators and judges for the prize have interpreted “folklore” in a broad and inclusive sense, and winners have traditionally come from the fields of folklore study, cultural studies, ethnomusicology, literary study, anthropology, sociology, cultural geography, and dance ethnology. The recent recipients of the prize provide a sense of the disciplinary range represented in the competition.
1998: Jane Sugarman. Engendering Song: Singing and the Social Order at Prespa Albanian Weddings (University of Chicago Press) Second place: Regina Bendix. In Search of Authenticity: The Formation of Folklore Studies (University of Wisconsin Press) 1999: Susan Slyomovics. The Object of Memory: Arab and Jew Narrate the Palestinian Village (University of Pennsylvania Press) Second place: Harold Scheub. Story (University of Wisconsin Press) 2000: Glenn Hinson. Fire in My Bones: Transcendence and the Holy Spirit in African American Gospel (University of Pennsylvania Press) Second place: John D. Niles. Homo Narrans: The Poetics and Anthropology of Oral Tradition (University of Pennsylvania Press) 2001: Daniel W. Patterson. A Tree Accurst: Bobby McMillon and Stories of Frankie Silver (University of North Carolina Press) 2002: Linda Dégh. Legend and Belief: Dialectics of a Folklore Genre (Indiana University Press) 2003: Bill C. Malone. Don't Get Above Your Raisin': Country Music and the Southern Working Class (University of Illinois Press) 2004: Enrique R. Lamadrid. Hermanitos Comanchitos: Indo-Hispano Rituals of Captivity and Redemption (University of New Mexico Press); and Barre Toelken. The Anguish of Snails: Native American Folklore in the West (Utah State University Press)
2005: Marcia Gaudet. Carville: Remembering Leprosy in America (University Press of Mississippi)
2006: Jo Farb Hernández. Forms of Tradition in Contemporary Spain (University Press of Mississippi)
2007: Cristina Bacchilega. Legendary Hawai’i and the Politics of Place: Tradition, Translation, and Tourism (University of Pennsylvania Press); and James P. Leary. Polkabilly: How the Goose Island Ramblers Redefined American Folk Music (Oxford University Press)

5. Publications of the American Folklore Society, New SeriesIn the 1980s and 1990s the American Folklore Society assisted university presses in the publication of excellent books about folklore, folk art, folk culture, and folklore studies. Readers from the Society helped these presses select the most worthy folklore work submitted to them for publication.
Allen, Barbara, and Thomas J. Schlereth, eds. Sense of Place: American Regional Cultures. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1990.
Allen, Ray. Singing in the Spirit: African-American Sacred Quartets in New York City. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991.
Appadurai, Arjun, Frank Korom, and Margaret Mills, eds. Gender, Genre, and Power in South Asian Expressive Traditions. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991.
Bacon-Smith, Camille. Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991.
Barden, Thomas. Virginia Folk Legends. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1991.
Baron, Robert, and Nicholas R. Spitzer. Public Folklore. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992.
Brandes, Stanley. Metaphors of Masculinity: Sex and Status in Andalusian Folklore. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1980.
Briggs, Charles L., and Julian Josue Vigil, eds. The Lost Gold Mine of Juan Mondragon: A Legend from New Mexico Performed by Melaquias Romero. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1990.
Bronner, Simon J. American Folklore Studies: An Intellectual History. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1986.
Bronner, Simon J. Folklife Studies from the Gilded Age: Object, Rite, and Custom in Victorian America. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1987.
Bronner, Simon, ed. Tradition and Creativity: Essays in Honor of Wilhelm Nicolaisen. Logan: Utah State University Press, 1992.
Butler, Gary. Saying Isn't Believing: Conversation, Narrative, and the Discourse of Belief in a French Newfoundland Community. St. John's, Newfoundland: Institute of Social and Economic Research, 1991.
Camp, Charles, ed. Time and Temperature. Washington: American Folklore Society, 1989.
Clements, William M, ed. 100 Years of American Folklore Studies: A Conceptual History. Washington: American Folklore Society, 1988.
Conway, Cecilia. African Banjo Echoes in Appalachia: A Study of Folk Traditions. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1995.
Del Giudice, Luisa. Studies in Italian American Folklore. Logan: Utah State University, 1993.
Dubois, Thomas. Finnish Folk Poetry and the Kalevala. New York: Garland Press, 1995.
Feintuch, Burt, ed. The Conservation of Culture: Folklorists and the Public Sector. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1987.
Feld, Steven. Sound and Sentiment: Birds, Weeping, Poetics and Song in Kaluli Expression. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982 (revised 1990).
Fine, Gary Alan. Manufacturing Tales: Sex and Money in Contemporary Legends. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1992.
Giray, Eren. Nsiirin! Nsiirin! Jula Folktales from West Africa. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1996.
Glassie, Henry. Passing the Time in Ballymenone: Culture and History of an Ulster Community. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.
Green, Archie. Wobblies, Pile Butts, and Other Heroes: Labor Explorations. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.
Halpert, Herbert, and J.D.A. Widdowson. Folktales of Newfoundland. New York: Garland Press, 1996.
Haring, Lee. Dialogues in Madagascar. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991.
Holtzberg-Call, Maggie. The Lost World of the Craft Printer. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992.
Hufford, David J. The Terror That Comes in the Night: An Experience-Centered Study of Supernatural Assault Traditions. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.
Hufford, Mary. Chaseworld: Foxhunting and Storytelling in New Jersey's Pine Barrens. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992.
Hufford, Mary, ed. Conserving Culture: A New Discourse on Heritage. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.
Ives, Edward D. George Magoon and the Down East Game War: History, Folklore, and the Law. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988.
Jackson, Bruce, ed. Teaching Folklore. Buffalo: Documentary Research, Inc., 1984 (revised 1989).
Jackson, Bruce, Michael Taft, and Harvey Axlerod, eds. The Centennial Index: 100 Years of the Journal of American Folklore. Washington: American Folklore Society, 1988.
Jones, Michael Owen. Craftsman of the Cumberlands: Tradition and Creativity. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1990.
Jones, Michael Owen. Putting Folklore to Use: Essays on Applied Folkloristics. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1994.
Jordan, Rosan A., and Susan J. Kalcik, eds. Women's Folklore, Women's Culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985.
Kapchan, Deborah. Gender on the Market: The Hybridization of Cultural Forms in Morocco. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996.
Kodish, Debora. Good Friends and Bad Enemies: Robert Winslow Gordon and the Study of American Folksong. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986.
Lawless, Elaine. Handmaidens of the Lord: Women Pentecostal Preachers and Traditional Religion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988.
Lawless, Elaine. Holy Women, Wholly Women: Sharing Ministries of Wholeness Through Life Stories and Reciprocal Ethnography. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993.
McCarthy, William B. Jack in Two Worlds: Contemporary North American Tales and Their Tellers. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
Mills, Margaret A. Rhetorics and Politics in Afghan Traditional Storytelling. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991.
Narayan, Kirin. Storytellers, Saints, and Scoundrels: Folk Narrative in Hindu Religious Teaching. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989.
Neustadt, Kathy. Clambake: A History and Celebration of an American Tradition. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1992.
O'Connor, Bonnie. Healing Traditions: Alternative Medicine and the Health Professions. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995.
Pearson, Barry Lee. Virginia Piedmont Blues: The Lives and Art of Two Virginia Bluesmen. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990.
Pershing, Linda. The Ribbon Around the Pentagon: Peace by Piecemakers. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1996.
Porter, James, and Herschel Gower. Jeannie Robertson: Emergent Singer, Transformative Voice. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1995.
Prahlad, Sw. Anand. African-American Proverbs in Context. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 1996.
Radner, Joan N. Feminist Messages: Coding in Women's Folk Culture. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.
Renwick, Roger DeV. English Folk Poetry: Structure and Meaning. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1980.
Rodriguez, Sylvia. The Matachines Dance: Ritual Symbolism and Interethnic Relations in the Upper Rio Grande Valley. Santa Fe: University of New Mexico Press, 1996.
Rosenberg, Neil V., ed. Transforming Tradition: Folk Music Revivals Examined. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.
Santino, Jack. Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle: Stories of Black Pullman Porters. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989.
Sered, Susan Starr. Women As Ritual Experts. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Seriff, Suzanne Katherine. Snakes, Sirens, Virgins, and Whores: The Politics of Representation of a Mexican-American Folk Artist. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.
Slobin, Mark, ed. and tr. Old Jewish Folk Music: The Collections and Writing of Moshe Beregovski. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.
Sutton-Smith, Brian. The Folkstories of Children. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1980.
Taylor, Lawrence. Occasions of Faith: An Anthropology of Irish Catholics. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995.
Toelken, Barre. Morning Dew and Roses: Nuance, Metaphor, and Meaning in Folksongs. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995.
Vlach, John Michael. Plain Painters: Making Sense of American Folk Art. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1988.
Webber, Sabra J. Romancing the Real: Folklore and Ethnographic Representation in North Africa. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991.
Weigle, Marta. Creation and Procreation: Feminist Reflections of Mythologies of Cosmogony and Parturition. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989.
Weigle, Marta, and Peter White, eds. The Lore of New Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1988.
Young, Katharine, ed. Bodylore. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1993.
Young, M. Jane. Signs from the Ancestors: Zuni Cultural Symbolism and Perceptions of Rock Art. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1988.
Zumwalt, Rosemary Lévy. American Folklore Scholarship: A Dialogue of Dissent. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988.
. Wealth and Rebellion: Elsie Clews Parsons, Anthropologist and Folklorist. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992.



Folklore Journals

Print Journals or Electronic Journals

Print Journals
Contemporary Legend
Contemporary Legend, the annual journal of the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research, aims to promote and encourage research, and to provide a forum for those working in this vibrant area of traditional narrative scholarship.

Cosmos: The Journal of the Traditional Cosmology Society is a refereed scholarly journal concerned with exploring myth, religion and cosmology across cultural and disciplinary boundaries and with increasing understanding of world views in the past and present.

Culture and Tradition
Publishing for nearly twenty years in both French and English, Culture & Tradition is currently run by graduate students in Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Topics generally covered by the journal include the traditional arts, music, cuisine, architecture, beliefs, cultural psychology, and sociological structure of regional ethnic, religious and industrial groups in Canada.

Digest: An Interdisciplinary Study of Food and Foodways
Digest is a publication of the AFS Foodways Section and represents scholarship from a variety of disciplines—culinary history, nutritional sciences, cultural and nutritional anthropology, sociology, folklore.

Fabula is a medium of discussion for issues of all kinds which are of interest to international folk narrative research. Principal themes of the article section are the study of popular narrative traditions in their various forms (fairy tales, legends, jokes and anecdotes, exempla, fables, ballads, etc.), the interrelationship between oral and literary traditions as well as the contemporary genres.

Folklore publishes ethnographical and analytical essays on vernacular culture worldwide, specialising in traditional language, narrative, music, song, dance, drama, foodways, medicine, arts and crafts, and popular religion and belief.

Folklore by the Institute of the Estonian Language
Folklore is pre-reviewed a journal published quarterly by the Folklore Department of the Institute of the Estonian Language. Full texts of articles are published both in printed version and electronically. Electronic versions of the journal are free of charge.

Folklore Fellows Communications
FF COMMUNICATIONS is a refereed monograph series in the following fields of research: folkloristics, comparative religion, cultural anthropology and ethnology. It focuses on the non-material aspects of traditional culture, especially oral literature, belief systems, myth and ritual, methodology and the history of research.

Folklore Forum
Established in 1968 by folklore graduate students, Folklore Forum is now an electronic journal run by graduate students in Folklore & Ethnomusicology at Indiana University.

Journal of American Folklore
Journal of American Folklore, the quarterly journal of the American Folklore Society since the Society’s founding in 1888, publishes scholarly articles, essays, notes, and commentaries directed to a wide audience, as well as separate sections devoted to reviews of books, exhibitions and events, sound recordings, film and videotapes, and to obituaries.

Journal of Folklore Research
The Journal of Folklore Research is dedicated to promoting international dialogue among scholars of folklore and related fields. In addition to topical, incisive articles, authors contribute timely reports on new books, assess the current state of folkloristics, and address the fieldwork experience.

Journal of Slavic and East European Folklore Association (SEEFA)
SEEFA is a non-profit organization devoted to an exchange of knowledge among scholars interested in Slavic and East European folklore.

Lore and Language
This interdisciplinary publication includes articles on all aspects of cultural tradition and welcomes contributions from the fields of folklore, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, history (especially oral history) and literary studies, among others. Modern approaches to the study of folklore, whether theoretical or applied, are emphasized, and the recognition of the importance of urban folklore is central to the aims of the Centre and the journal.

Marvels & Tales
Marvels & Tales encourages scholarship that introduces new areas of fairy-tale scholarship, as well as research that considers the traditional fairy-tale canon from new perspectives.

Southern Folklore
Unfortunately, Southern Folklore will no longer be in print.

Western Folklore
Western Folkore is published 4 times a year. Subscriptions per volume are $40 for individuals and $30 for students, and may be sent to the California Folklore Society, P.O. Box 3599, Long Beach CA 90803. Include your mailing address and email.

Electronic Journals
Cultural Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Forum on Folklore and Popular Culture
Cultural Analysis is a new, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to investigating expressive and everyday culture.

New Directions in Folklore Journal
New Directions in Folklore Journal is published quarterly and provides a forum for those folklorists interested in and intent on applying folklore theories and methodologies to the study of contemporary culture.

Northern Journey Online
Northern Journey Online is a non-refereed electronic journal (e-journal) devoted to Canadian folk music and folklore. NJOJ is a section of Northern Journey Online: Canadian Folk Music.



Educational Resources
This new section of the AFS web site will be the home for a number of educational materials about folklore, folklore study, and teaching folklore.

The first of these is the Resource Manual of information for graduate students and new professionals, compiled by Laura Marcus of the Fund for Folk Culture to accompany the professional development sessions produced by the AFS and the Fund for the AFS 2003 annual meeting. These sessions and manual were made possible by support from the Folk and Traditional Arts program of the National Endowment for the Arts.