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Ryan JS. Folklore today and folklore tomorrow? Folk's problems in the shrinking world. 2010.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/7115
Folklore today and folklore tomorrow? Folk's problems in the shrinking world
In August 2009, when the draft program for the Annual Meeting of the American Folklore Society had recently come to hand, the present writer felt that it might be helpful to gain from it an impression of the apparent shape of the current research in conceptualizing the discipline. Accordingly, he then decided analyzing carefully the sheets of the spaced out – and perhaps somewhat provocative – ordering of this meeting's many listed offerings. ... And so an initial attempt was made to try to discern possible themes and patterns in the listings, concentrating on the titles of the proffered papers rather than on the workshops, half-day tours, other program clusters or subtitles. ... It is hoped that this analysis may not be deemed unduly subjective or even impertinent. And yet it may well be justified, for it is also the case that no delegate can attend more than a very limited selection of the sessions, these audited always being dictated as much by time available, as personal interest might suggest. Her/his experience is all too likely to be fragmented, and so thereby to miss the implications of the whole. Perhaps the lessons to be learned by much musing over the 47 sheets – and the above-presented series of extrapolations from the labels and clusters to be found therein – is the fact that lore, belief, speculation, rumor and the like are remarkably robust in the present period and so very much more in the mainstream of the lives of us global folk in our 'village', than would have been conceded in earlier times. In other words, the subject – and its urgency – have alike become that much more immediate, ubiquitous and socially and personally significant.