Handbook of American Folklore

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Richard Mercer Dorson
Indiana University Press, 1986 - Social Science - 584 pages
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Featuring the work of sixty scholars and practitioners, this book represents a multitude of approaches to the discipline of American Folklore. About half of the contributions deal with local American materials, exploring topics, such as family folklore, American cultural myths, Mormon lore, folk healers, and folk performers.
  

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Contents

TOPICS OF RESEARCH
1
American Cultural Myths
57
Rags to RichesRobert H Walker
67
Fables of InnocenceDavid M Marcell
73
The Myth of the American AdamGiles Gunn
79
American Settings
86
A Familys RepertoireLeonard Roberts
100
Folklore of the CanadianAmerican Border
227
Folktale PerformersRichard M Dorson
287
Folk CraftsmenJohn Michael Vlach
301
Childrens FolkloreJohn H McDowell
314
INTERPRETATION OF RESEARCH
323
METHODS OF RESEARCH
359
Using a Folklore ArchiveJanet Langlois
391
Studying Folklore and American Literature
422
PRESENTATION OF RESEARCH
459

American Entertainments
237
Folklore on the American StageRobert C Toll
247
American Sports and FolkloreElizabeth Peterson
257
American Forms and Performers
265
Conversational GenresSally Yerkovich
277
Ethics and the FolkloristWm Hugh Jansen
533
Bibliography
541
Contributors 55
565
Index
574
Copyright

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About the author (1986)

In 1957, Richard M. Dorson replaced Stith Thompson as the head of folklore studies at Indiana University, establishing himself as a major scholar and perhaps the foremost influence in the field. Dorson is often called the father of American folklore. In addition, he is given credit for bringing about an international or cross-cultural approach to the subject. Dorson was editor of the Journal of American Folklore (1959-63), president of the American Folklore Society (1967-68), and author of numerous studies on the subject. His textbook, American Folklore (1959), which employs a historical approach, was the first comprehensive study of the subject. In it he attempted to bring about what he calls a hemispheric theory, wherein the disciplines of both folklore and history are combined, stressing the intimate bonds between the culture of the folk and the history of the American experience. It is still recognized as a classic work.

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