Tradition in the Twenty-First Century
Locating the Role of the Past in the Present
Publication Year: 2013
Emphasizing how tradition adapts, survives, thrives, and either mutates or remains stable in today’s modern world, the contributors pay specific attention to how traditions now resist or expedite dissemination and adoption by individuals and communities. This complex and intimate portrayal of tradition in the twenty-first century offers a comprehensive overview of the folkloristic and popular conceptualizations of tradition from the past to present and presents a thoughtful assessment and projection of how “tradition” will fare in years to come. The book will be useful to advanced undergraduate or graduate courses in folklore and will contribute significantly to the scholarly literature on tradition within the folklore discipline.
Published by: Utah State University Press
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What first began as a stimulating conversation about tradition in contemporary folkloristics morphed into an exciting conference panel on the subject; ultimately, our extended conversation developed into this book, and its publication has been over four years in the making. As editors, we are indebted to many people for their help in making this volume a reality....
Introduction: Living Traditions in a Modern World - Robert Glenn Howard and Trevor J. Blank
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In his 2007 presidential address to the American Folklore Society (AFS), later published in the Journal of American Folklore, Bill Ivey boldly asserted that “antimodernism is a central motivating engine that runs through all of folklore” (Ivey 2011, 11). Painting a vivid picture of the archetypi-cal homes where folklore researchers live, he described how they keep their ...
1. Thinking through Tradition - Elliott Oring
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The word tradition is itself traditional in folklore studies. John Aubrey used it in his Miscellanies in 1696. In 1777 John Brand identified tradition—indeed, oral tradition—as central in the preservation of the rites and opinions of the common people (Dorson 1968a, 1:8). W. J. Thoms referred to “local traditions” in his 1846 letter to the Athenaeum where he ...
2. Critical Folklore Studies and the Revaluation of Tradition - Stephen Olbrys Gencarella
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What characterizes the free spirit is not that his opinions are more correct but that If we accept the proposition, as Henry Glassie asked us to do nearly a generation ago, that tradition is “the creation of the future out of the past” (Glassie 1995, 395), we benefit in turn by questioning how strongly a com-mitment to that-which-came-before motivates contemporary folklore stud-...
3. Vernacular Authority: Critically Engaging “Tradition” - Robert Glenn Howard
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At a wedding reception I once attended, a banquet-style midday din-ner of steaks, potatoes, and more traditional Filipino dishes gave way to wine, mahjong, and conversation. “Joan,” recounted stories of her child-hood in the rural Philippines.1 She described her “Auntie Loling” who had a “spirit friend.” Joan’s animated storytelling had commanded the atten-...
4 Asserting Tradition: Rhetoric of Tradition and the Defense of Chief Illiniwek - Casey R. Schmitt
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...tradition is a powerful word. It calls authority and emotion and personal investment into being; it creates socially recognized realities, draw-ing ostensibly on the past, but is not necessarily grounded in anything but the community and discourse of the present. I first recognized this power at only ten or eleven years old, sitting at the kitchen table with my younger ...
5. Curation and Tradition on Web 2.0 - Merrill Kaplan
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The European roots of folklore studies lie within the nineteenth-century explosion of the collection and publication of traditional expres-sions. Those expressions were documented, “artifactualized,” and made con-sumable by the curious among the emerging educated middle class and ana-lyzed and discussed by the members of a scholarly community. Something ...
6. Trajectories of Tradition: Following Tradition into a New Epoch of Human Culture - Tok Thompson
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...“To defy the laws of tradition is a crusade only of the brave!”Tradition is a nexus of the past, the present, and the prospective future, a place where human agency engages with some of the more sub-stantive constructs of the past. As Henry Glassie once wrote, “(h)istory, culture, and the human actor meet in tradition” (Glassie 1995, 409). ...
7. And the Greatest of These Is Tradition: The Folklorist’s Toolbox in the Twenty-First Century - Lynne S. McNeill
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...graduate seminar, a classmate of mine gave in to her mounting frustration, slammed her book shut, and demanded to know how she wasn’t an anthro-pologist. As a class, we were reading the works of several anthropologists, learning the techniques of ethnographic writing and research, and seeking to understand and explain the cultures of diverse groups of humans; what ...
8. The “Handiness” of Tradition - Simon J. Bronner
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I argue in this essay that grasping the “handiness” of tradition is the key to the analytical strategy of folklore studies; the way people perceive the hand (active, immediate, instrumental, gestural, and visible), particularly in relation to the mind (passive, remote, nonproductive, individualized, and unseen), dictates the way scholars conceive folklore as pervasive, relevant, ...
About the Contributors
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Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2013