William John Thomas coins the word "folklore"


Bureau of American Enthnology founded


Founding- American Folklore Society


Franz Boaz, William Wells Newel, Francis James Child.

1893 World's Fair


Skansen Open Air Folk Museum


Hindman Settlement School


Olive Dame Campbell travels to Appalachia

1908 - 1950

Archive of American Folksong founded


White Top Folk Festival

1931 - 1939

Works Progress Administration Folklife Programs


Development of the NEA and NEH

1964 - 1965

National Historic Preservation Act


Smithsonian Folklife Festival Begins


Folk Arts at the NEA Established


Founding of the American Folklife Center


Amendments to the 1966 NHPA to create Cultural Conservation


The Invention of Traditions


Hobspawn and Ranger

Important Book publications

School's of Thought

Pre- Romantics

1700 - 1770

Made up of a middle class, they critiqued Descartes and his logic theories?
G. Vico, was an important figure, he wrote Scienza Nuova, and advocated for the impoartnace of local history. This was the beginnings of Cultural Relativism.

Romantic era

1780 - 1870

This era solidified the term Folk. it was fueled by the nations connected to nature and nation. Divided the Urban and the Rural. Subscribes to the idea that the oldest is the best. The era is haunted by the idea that authientic folklore is disspearing. "The Anxiety of Loss."

Kinder-und Haus Marchen


Historic Geographic Method

1850 - 1960

This has its roots in the Romantic notion of certain stories and languages building towards a strong nation state. The Goal of the Method is to find the origin (ur , or Archetype) of a Folk tale. The Method is diachronic, looking at a stories over long periods of time. Also known as the Finnish Method. Lonnrat- Kalavala (1835) -> eventually Aarne creates the Tale Type Index. Archer Taylor travels to Finnland and brings the method to IU where Stith Thompson runs with it
Critiques- polygenesis. assumes automigration. incomplete data. doesn't focus on people. takes the stories from the lore (Sydow)


1910 - 1990

Studied with psychoanalysis. Neither were born in Folklore Ruth Bendict and _____ Jacobs are the ones who brought it to folklore. Malinowski- Psychoanalytic. Brown- Structural. Bascom- 4 functions of folklore, Validation, Escape, Education, Maintenance of Society.
Critques- not everything is functional. assumes stable society. is ahistorical and does't allow for change.

Types of the Folk Tale - Antti Aarne


Psychoanalytic Theory

1910 - 1990

Sometimes studied with functionalism. Main scholar -Sigmund Freud. Freud uses folklore idea like survivals, but from childhood. Jung- collective unconscious explains poly genesis. Dundes argued for the use of psychoanalysis because it was the way to arrive at a definitive interpretation. Hufford - not all psychological is psychoanalytic.
Critiques- Folklore scholars are not experts on the individidals themselves. Cultural Relativism is a thing. It can't be proved or disproved.

Types of the Folk Tale Thompson 1


Oral-Formulaic Theory

1930 - 1980

Developed by Milman Parry and Albert Lord. Used during performance, it argues that creation has a grammar and formula. Learned through absorption and practice. it is a forerunner of performance theory. Defines tradition as------------


1950 - 1980

Born from multiple theories. It reduces something yo its most basic parts. It is pulling pieces out, not applying other things to it. There are two kinds. Syntagmatic: Chronological order of a linear structure (Propp). Paradigmatic: understood in sets and pairs, things in opposition (Levi- Strauss, Binary opposition)
critiques- assumptions of gender, and direct opposition.

New Folkloristics

1960 - 1980

A time when the "Young Turks" were questioning definitions of keywords like tradition, genre, and folklore. They redefined the folk and groups. Complicated binaries and saw folklore as vervbal art, and aestheic behavior. This influenced the Performance Turn. thrwads camr feom Cecil Sharp collecting not just Balld lyrics. Oral Formulaic Theory- tale is in the telling. Ethnography of Speaking.

Folklife Movement

1960 - 2018

A move towards a more holistic study of folklore. Defined by Don Yoder, as the total way of life. it began only applied to rural communities and some still see it that way. Folklife includes folklore which was thought of as verbal. Brought to IU by Warren Roberts.

Ethnography of Speaking, Performance, Ethnopoetics

1960 - 1970

Ethnography of Communication- How does language function in culture? Analyzing language in context, in 3 parts; Speech Events, Speech Situations, Speech Acts. * performance emphasis*
Ethnopoetics- The way we translate and transcribe speech. Without ethnopoetcs we lose TEXTURE. Text is more than words. ex. pauses convey meaning. People- Elizabeth Fine and Dennis Tedlock. Fine- Folklorists create text. We see a connection between folklore and culture, a thread began by the Grimms. * regional dialect part of FOLKLIFE

Types of the Folk Tale Thompson 2



1970 - 2018

First started in the aftermath of WWII, pulls away from the rationality of modernism. Everything is viewed as constructed, and challenges a grand narrative. Nothing is objective and multivocality is a thing.

Towards New Perspectives in Folklore


…folklore is artistic communication in small groups.

Cultural Conservation: The Protection of Cultural Heritage in the U.S.


Commissioned by the 96th Congress, it encouraged multiple branches of government to work together for a cohesive approach to cultural/environmental/historic conservation. It reviews what laws have already been put into place and calls for the ongoing documentation of folklife in the country.

Politics of Culture

1980 - 1990

post modern concerns about how we as folkloristics are representing the folk. the need to speak for or in general is a Western concept. We need to abandon representation as a master narrative

The Terror That Comes in the Night


David Hufford explore "hagging." He uses a phenomenological approach to eplore the fact that pople across cultures and time have similar experiences. He argues that ones culture effects how a person talks about that experience. He showed folklorists that you can use psychological theory without psychoanalysis. He advocated for applied folklore in medical related fields. Critiques include his use of structured interviews and his lack of the history of witchcraft.

All that is Native and Fine


The history of outside intervention in Appalachia. By analzying three events. The White Top Festival. The Hindman Settlement School and the work of Olive Dame Campbell. He shows the effect of the "politics of culture." this is an look back at the field and what our predecessors have done and that effect on us and the people we have studied. One critique is that Whisnant generalizes why for example women traveled to from the cities to Appalachia.

American Folklore Scholarship: A Dialogue of Dissent


by Rosemary Levy Zumwalt - post modern

Feminist Theory and the Study of Folklore


A collection of essays which poses questions about feminism and folklore. it argues that we need to employ feminist theory not just when we study women, but in everything we study. This is process centered approach. Example Joyce Ice's chapter on women's quilting.

Theorizing Folklore: Towards New Perspectives in the Politics of Culture


Feminist Messages: Coding in Women's Folk Culture


Focuses on women and their place in the world and how they understand it. Coding is an essential tool in understanding oppressed groups. As a field we have been homogenizing groups. Coding is not always intentional, but that doesn't mean we can't study or interpret codes. Not all the women studied agree that they are coding their frustration with the patriarchy. An example are the quilters who quilt Sunbonnet Sue.

Conserving Culture


Collection of Studies which show cultural conservation being applied. it argues to change the top down approach to federal conservation policy. This is a middle ground between the celebration of folklore (60's SFF) and the critical writing on public folklore and representation in the 90's

In Search of Authenticity


Authenticity as a concept is not useful and should not be int he folklorists vocabulary. By Studying our history and how we have viewed authenticity through the years we can see it as constructed. This was influenced by post modern thinking and during a time of reflexivity for folklorists.

Destination Culture


By BKG. ahe discusses the process of detachment in the display ogethnogrphic objects which creates meaning. Humans are also detachable from their orginal context. The Ethnographic gaze objectifies. Live display creates the illusion of action (authenticity) not representation. Festivals separate doers and watchers, and festival doers are in danger of being seen as only traditional. In the study of tourism we can learn how cultures view themselves in relation to the world. Heritage is created through display and heritage activities like landmarking add value.

The Trial Lawyers Art


Fieldwork done in the 80's. Schrager applies old style, oral formulaic and performance theory to occupational lore that is not rural. he advocates for applied folklore activism. non academic writing and how folklore can help show how race and the legal system work. He also brings lawyers to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Grand/Humble Theory

2000 - 2018

Grand Theory- Generalizing and abstraction. Folklore doesn't have it. According to Dundes, we need it to keep the discipline together. Humble Theory- folklore words close to the "ground" in research not in generliazed theory. Folklore explores. not explains human behavior. Ethnography is key to our work and works with public practice and theory. (Noyes)

Signs of War and Peace


By Jack Santino. the book is an exploration of the historical and contemporary violence in Northern Ireland and how it is displayed publicly in the form of parades, murals etc. Santino uses performance theory, folkloristics. he explores the ideas of process vs. product, and performative vs. commemoration

Cajun Women and Mardi Gras


Centers on the role of women in rural Cajun Mardi Gras, a break from the contunous focus on the male/urban Mardi Gras. It complicates functional theory and the idea that festival is purely inversion and only a safety valve. In this case it helps to create social change (women mayor). Its influenced by post modernism. Ware uses participant ethnography and a feminist approach.

The Folklore Muse: Poetry, Fiction and Other Reflections by Folklorists


Edited by Frank DeCaro. A collection of non academic writing by folklorists which explore how folklorists use folklore in fiction writing. It also questions how folklorists perform their folklore identity. It is a post-modern and reflexive work which covers topics like fieldwork, performance, power of narrative etc.

Constructing Folklife


Heather Diamond and Ricardo D. Trimillos editors of JAF Special Issue. it gives an interdisciplinary approach to the SFF. They intend to start more conversations about the SFF because they feel there has not been enough discussion in recent years. The complicate the festival arguing it is symbolic of international relation. it highlights the role that tourism and foreign governments play in the SFF. examples Tourism and Scotland and colored pictures in the program books. How cultural workers from Hawaii wanted the state represented and how SFF wanted to

Folklore Research Today

2010 - Present

UNESCO on the Ground


Michael Dylan Foster and Lisa Gilman. Case studies on the effect of UNESCO. There is no one size fits all method. Meant to tap into local discourses. Problemitized ICH and large scale institutions