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Yes, it's a real discipline!

Folklore: It's not just for peasants anymore.

April 6th, 2012

Parsley @ 03:58 pm

My neighbour, who has lived all her life in the corner between Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire, did something very traditional today: she planted parsley seeds. This is the day to do it, she says, because the seeds have to go down to Hell and back before they germinate, and this is the only safe time of year for it.

It's probably associated with the fact that it's very hard to get parsley to germinate, but does anybody have any information on the origin of the belief? Unlike a lot of things around here I can't see any tie-in with pagan Celtic, Saxon or Danish ideas.

November 18th, 2009

Calls for Papers: Trauma, Native American Narrative, Asian American Folklore, Fiddles @ 11:08 am


Cultural Manifestations of Violence and Socio-Cultural Trauma

Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories

"Asian Pacific American Folklore: Pluralisms, Passages, and Practices"

North Atlantic Fiddle Convention 2010
Read more...Collapse )

February 26th, 2009

What are you working on right now? @ 11:57 am

Current Location: Helsinki, Finland

At times I feel quite cut off from other students of this field and I'd love to hear what kind of topics you are working on right now or what's hot in your universities' folkloristics departments.

(I'm writing a paper about diaries.)

February 20th, 2009

(no subject) @ 01:41 pm

I posted this to my journal inresponse to the daily writing challenge but felt that the topic desered broader attention.  At the end of my little essay I pose a question that I feel if well suited to discussion in a community catering to folklore. Any ideas, thoughts of input would be most welcome.

There are so many variables that might effect this question.  Many cultures around the world hold that adulthood begins at age 12 but that the path of adulthood itself has many phases so when one becomes an adult they are not in all ways an adult. Others hold that aduthood begins at the age when puberty hits, commonly age 13. This is a period when we are bilogically entering adulthood but emotinoally we are far from it, which brings the question... Is adulthood a biological or emotional thing?

The Victorian were the first to become obsessed with ths question and their answer I think caused irreprable harm to both children and adults.  Namley in the way they created a magical mystique surrounding childhood, or what they called the nursury phase. This transformed children into something theynever were and trapped them in a state where they could never grow up while at the same time the victorian practicality dictated the child must grow up and when the time came, usually at age 15 for the upper classes and age 12 for the lower classes the child found himself forced out of the comforts of what was to be an eternal childhood and forced into a world of adult rules that he was woefully equipped to deal with. We are still working through this as a culture today everytime we commend a child for his imagination one day and demand a child to grow up the next.

If the Victorians looked awkardly at childhood then we today, especially in America look as awkwardly at adulthood.  We treat  children like small versions of grown ups then at age 18 we are called adult's no matter how we act and can even serve in the military where we are called on to kill and be killed. Yet at this same age when we can vote for political office we can not legally drink alcholol. In truth many of college age show themselves to be far less "adult" than many children.

So the question really isnt, or at least shouldnt be at what age do we become adults but how should we view children and adult as seperate beings and at how should we transition the child from his unique world into that of the adult in a manner that does not harm the very creative and highly imaginitive mind of the child but that also does not hinder the practical mind of the adult?

To this end I think we are lacking  a rite of passage that transitions us from childhood to adulthood, something that locks in our souls the nature of the child mind with its desire to rework the world, while unlocking the potential of the adult mind to take practical steps in actually reworking the world.

January 9th, 2009

World Folk Heritage:Past, Present and Perspective Directions of Research (Belarus, July 13-18, 2008) @ 10:40 pm

The next International Ballad Conference will take place in Minsk,
Belarus, July 13-18, 2009. The organizer of the conference, Alexander
Morozov, would like to expand this conference to include more general
folklore topics and has asked me to make this call.

The conference will be titled:

World Folk Heritage: Past, Present, and Perspective Directions of

Suggested paper topics include, but are not limited to:

1) The history of intercultural interaction in folk and ballad art
2) National varieties of cultural values, values rooted in tradition
and currently undergoing transformation
3) Universal values of traditional folk cultures as a basis for
communication and cooperation
4) The art of the ballad in world folk heritage: plots, types, poetic

Abstracts of up to 300 words together with requests for equipment
should be submitted by February 28, 2009 to Prof. Morozov at
_morozoff_@tut.by. Please also provide author's address, affiliation,
contact details and a brief CV

Conference will take place in the Humanities Building of the National
Academy of Sciences in Minsk and accommodations will be at the
Akademicheskaia hotel (prices 30-50 euros per night). Conference
registration of 50 euros is payable on site. It is anticipated the
conference registration will take place in the afternoon of July 13
and that the program will begin at 10AM on the 14th. An excursion is
planned for the 15th and a visit to the National Library is planned
for the 17th. A conference banquet will be held on the evening of the

Minsk is easily accessibly by air and by ground transportation.

Prof. Morozov is the contact person for more information although I
can probably answer some of your questions.

November 6th, 2008

Folklore book reviews @ 05:23 pm

With all these postings for folklore resources today, I thought I'd post one more:

Journal of Folklore Research, Reviews:

It's a free online book review service for books about or related to the discipline. The list of books available for review is sent out every couple of months and available to qualified reviewers. The online archives go back several years and has search functionality. Book reviews come out once a week, usually anywhere between 2-4 reviews. The archives and instructions for joining can be found at the above link.

Calls for papers @ 10:50 am

Folklore Forum available online @ 10:32 am

For the edification of all, the journal Folklore Forum is now available for free and online!


What's better is that there is an LJ rss feed for it


In its new online format, issues are now being published serially. New book reviews are up now, new articles will be coming starting this weekend. Check it out!

August 16th, 2008

The Walled up Wife @ 03:27 pm

A few years ago I dreamt some renovations were being done to a house and the preserved body of a woman in a purple silk dress was found encased upright in a wall,my memory of the dream is a bit hazy now.

Anyway,curious about it I searched and found a few legends referencing the 'walled up wife'

Does anyone know of any english folklore references to women walled up? the dream itself felt very english.Has anyone else had folkloric themes appear in dreams? especially folklore you have no knowledge of.

April 6th, 2008

Singing Revolution @ 07:22 pm

I saw the film: Singing Revolution this weekend in Madison. It was introduced by Professor Guntis Šmidchens of the University of Washington. I highly recommend the film. It looks at the ways Estonians nonviolently resisted Soviet occupation through singing. The movie does not examine the songs as texts, rather the film makers (James and Maureen Tusty) mainly focuses on the performance and political dimensions of songs.

The website for the movie: http://www.singingrevolution.com/cgi-local/content.cgi

Yes, it's a real discipline!

Folklore: It's not just for peasants anymore.