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Celebrating 100 Years of the Texas Folklore Society, 1909-2009

Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor

The Texas Folklore Society is one of the oldest and most prestigious organizations in the state. Its secret for longevity lies in those things that make it unique, such as its annual meeting that seems more like a social event or family reunion than a formal academic gathering. This book examines the Society’s members and their substantial contributions to the field of folklore over the last century. Some articles focus on the research that was done in the past, while others offer studies that continue today. For example, L. Patrick Hughes explores historical folk music, while Meredith Abarca focuses on Mexican American folk healers and the potential direction of research on them today. Other articles are more personal reflections about why our members have been drawn to the TFS for fellowship and fun. This book does more than present a history of the Texas Folklore Society: it explains why the TFS has lasted so long, and why it will continue.

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Cemeteries Gravemarkers

Richard Meyer

Cemeteries house the dead, but gravemarkers are fashioned by the living, who record on them not only their pleasures, sorrows, and hopes for an afterlife, but also more than they realize of their history, ethnicity, and culture. Richard Meyer has gathered twelve original essays examining burial grounds through the centuries and across the land to give a broad understanding of the history and cultural values of communities, regions, and American society at large.

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Centre and Periphery, Roots and Exile

Interpreting the Music of István Anhalt, György Kurtág, and Sándor Veress

This book examines the impact place and displacement can have on the composition and interpretation of Western art music, using as its primary objects of study the work of István Anhalt (1919–2012) György Kurtág (1926–) and Sándor Veress (1907–92). Although all three composers are of Hungarian origin, their careers followed radically different paths. Whereas, Kurtág remained in Budapest for most of his career, Anhalt and Veress left: the former in 1946 and immigrated to Canada and the latter in 1948 and settled in Switzerland. All three composers have had an extraordinary impact in the cultural environments within which their work took place.

In the first section, “Place and Displacement,” contributors examine what happens when composers and their music migrate in the culturally complex world of the late twentieth century. The past one hundred years produced record numbers of refugees, and this fact is now beginning to resonate in the study of music. As Anhalt himself forcefully asserts, however, not all composers who emigrate should be understood as exiles. The first chapters of this book explore some of the problems and questions surrounding this issue.

Essays in the second section, “Perspectives on Reception, Analysis, and Interpretation,” look at how performing acts of interpretation on music implies bringing the time, place, and identity of the musician, the analyst, and the teacher to bear on the object of study. Like Kodály, Kurtág considers his work to be “naturally” embedded in Hungarian culture, but he is also a quintessentially European artist. Much of his production—he is one of the twentieth century’s most prolific composers of vocal music—involves the setting of Hungarian texts, but in the late 1970s his cultural horizons expanded to include texts in Russian, German, French, English, and ancient Greek. The book explores how musicologists’ divergent cultural perspectives impinge on the interpretation of this work.

The final section, “The Presence of the Past and Memory in Contemporary Music,” examines the impact time and memory can have on notions of place and identity in music. All living art taps into the personal and collective past in one way or another. The final four chapters look at various aspects of this relationship.

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The Changing Faces of Aawambo Musical Arts

Minette Mans

How does a peoples’ music reflect their history, their occupations, cultural beliefs and values? These are the core questions that this book addresses in relation to the Aawambo people of Namibia. The author, herself born and bred in Namibia, brings to the fore the nuanced views of different people, describing their personal musical experiences — past as well as present. This is the first time that the music and stories of contemporary Namibian musicians is shared alongside those of the elderly. Similarly, it is the first time that some of the traditional Aawambo dances are analysed and described, abundantly illustrated with colourful photographs and several songs. Based on years of personal research, this book will appeal to research scholars, students and other interested readers alike, since its style is accessible but detailed, personal yet objective. Recommended for all those interested in culture, anthropology, the arts, and Namibian studies.

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Channeling Wonder

Fairy Tales on Television

Edited by Pauline Greenhill and Jill Terry Rudy

Television has long been a familiar vehicle for fairy tales and is, in some ways, an ideal medium for the genre. Both more mundane and more wondrous than cinema, TV magically captures sounds and images that float through the air to bring them into homes, schools, and workplaces. Even apparently realistic forms like the nightly news routinely employ discourses of “once upon a time,” “happily ever after,” and “a Cinderella story.” In Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales on Television, Pauline Greenhill and Jill Terry Rudy offer contributions that invite readers to consider what happens when fairy tale, a narrative genre that revels in variation, joins the flow of television experience. Looking in detail at programs from Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, this volume’s twenty-three international contributors demonstrate the wide range of fairy tales that make their way into televisual forms. The writers look at fairy-tale adaptations in musicals like Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, anthologies like Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, made-for-TV movies like Snow White: A Tale of Terror, Bluebeard, and the Red Riding Trilogy, and drama serials like Grimm and Once Upon a Time. Contributors also explore more unexpected representations in the Carosello commercial series, the children’s show Super Why!, the anime series Revolutionary Girl Utena, and the live-action dramas Train Man, and Rich Man Poor Woman. In addition, they consider how elements from familiar tales, including “Hansel and Gretel,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Snow White,” and “Cinderella” appear in the long arc serials Merlin, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Dollhouse, and in a range of television formats including variety shows, situation comedies, and reality TV. Channeling Wonder demonstrates that fairy tales remain ubiquitous on TV, allowing for variations but still resonating with the wonder tale’s familiarity. Scholars of cultural studies, fairy-tale studies, folklore, and television studies will enjoy this first-of-its-kind volume.

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Chasing Dichos through Chimayó

Don J. Usner

The poetic proverbs known to nuevomexicanos as dichos are particular to their places of origin. In these reflections on the dichos of the Chimayó Valley in northern New Mexico native son Don J. Usner has written a memoir that is also a valuable source of information on the rich language and culture of the region. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs that Usner, who is also known for his photographic work, took of the people and places that he writes about, this book is a one-of-a-kind introduction to the real New Mexico.

Usner has known Chimayó since he was a boy visiting his grandmother and the other village elders, who taught him genealogies going back to family origins in Spain. The Spanish he learned there was embedded in dichos and cuentos. This book is the result of Usner’s research into these memorable sayings, and it preserves a language and a culture on the verge on dissolution. It is a gateway into a uniquely New Mexican way of life.

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Children of the Levee

Lafcadio Hearn and O. W. Frost. introduction by John Ball

Cincinnati in the 1870's was the largest inland city in the nation. Much of its prosperity and growth it owed to the commerce which floated along its Ohio River boundary on the way between Pittsburgh and New Orleans. This traffic also sustained a unique African American culture -- saloonkeepers, boardinghouse operators, entertainers, and women who served the steamboat hands between trips.

Into this great western metropolis came young Lafcadio Hearn, who after several tentative starts became a newspaper reporter first for the Enquirer and then for the Commercial. Drawn to the Ohio River by his interest in the unusual, Hearn found beneath the rough surface of levee life a kind of cosmopolitan tolerance which emphasized the essential humanity of the community.

Hearn's twelve sketches -- here reprinted as a unit for the first time -- are perceptive and sympathetic, yet not highly subjective and romanticized. Collectively they form an important comprehensive picture of African American life in a border city just after the Civil War. Among the earliest of his writings, they also foreshadow the course Hearn's life was to take in New Orleans, the West Indies, and finally Japan.

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Children's Folklore

A Source Book

Brian Sutton-Smith, Jay Mechling, Thomas W. Johnson, and Felicia R. McMahon

A collection of orginal essays by scholars from a variety of fields-- includng American studies, folklore, anthropology, pyschology, sociology, and education---Children's Folklore: A Source Book moves beyond traditional social-science views of child development. It reveals the complexity and artistry of interactions among children, challenging stereotypes of simple childhood innocence and conventional explanations of development that privilege sober and sensible adult outcomes. Instead, the play and lore of children is shown to be often disruptive, wayward, and irrational.
 

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China and the West

Music, Representation, and Reception

Hon-Lun Yang and Michael Saffle, editors

Western music reached China nearly four centuries ago, with the arrival of Christian missionaries, yet only within the last century has Chinese music absorbed its influence. As China and the West demonstrates, the emergence of “Westernized” music from China—concurrent with the technological advances that have made global culture widely accessible—has not established a prominent presence in the West.

China and the West brings together essays on centuries of Sino-Western musical exchange by musicologists, ethnomusicologists, and music theorists from around the world. It opens with a look at theoretical approaches of prior studies of musical encounters and a comprehensive survey of the intercultural and cross-cultural theoretical frameworks—exoticism, orientalism, globalization, transculturation, and hybridization—that inform these essays. Part I focuses on the actual encounters between Chinese and European musicians, their instruments and institutions, and the compositions inspired by these encounters, while Part II examines theatricalized and mediated East-West cultural exchanges, which often drew on stereotypical tropes, resulting in performances more inventive than accurate. Part III looks at the musical language, sonority, and subject matters of “intercultural” compositions by Eastern and Western composers. Essays in Part IV address reception studies and consider the ways in which differences are articulated in musical discourse by actors serving different purposes, whether self-promotion, commercial marketing, or modes of nationalistic—even propagandistic—expression. The volume’s extensive bibliography of secondary sources will be invaluable to scholars of music, contemporary Chinese culture, and the globalization of culture.

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Christmas in Germany

A Cultural History

Joe Perry

For poets, priests, and politicians--and especially ordinary Germans--in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the image of the loving nuclear family gathered around the Christmas tree symbolized the unity of the nation at large. German Christmas was supposedly organic, a product of the winter solstice rituals of pagan Teutonic tribes, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and the age-old customs that defined German character. Yet, as Joe Perry argues, Germans also used these annual celebrations to contest the deepest values that held the German community together: faith, family, and love, certainly, but also civic responsibility, material prosperity, and national belonging.

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