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Social Sciences > Folklore

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Exploring Folk Art Cover

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Exploring Folk Art

Michael Owen Jones

Jones explores the human impulse to create, the necessity for having aesthetically satisfying experiences, and the craving for tradition. He also considers topics such as making chairs, remodeling houses, using and preserving soda-fountain slang, preparing and eating food, and sculpting lifelike figures out of cement.

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Fairy Godfather

Straparola, Venice, and the Fairy Tale Tradition

By Ruth B. Bottigheimer

In the classic rags-to-riches fairy tale a penniless heroine (or hero), with some magic help, marries a royal prince (or princess) and rises to wealth. Received opinion has long been that stories like these originated among peasants, who passed them along by word of mouth from one place to another over the course of centuries. In a bold departure from conventional fairy tale scholarship, Ruth B. Bottigheimer asserts that city life and a single individual played a central role in the creation and transmission of many of these familiar tales. According to her, a provincial boy, Zoan Francesco Straparola, went to Venice to seek his fortune and found it by inventing the modern fairy tale, including the long beloved Puss in Boots, and by selling its many versions to the hopeful inhabitants of that colorful and commercially bustling city.

With innovative literary sleuthing, Bottigheimer has reconstructed the actual composition of Straparola's collection of tales. Grounding her work in social history of the Renaissance Venice, Bottigheimer has created a possible biography for Straparola, a man about whom hardly anything is known. This is the first book-length study of Straparola in any language.

Fairy Tale as Myth/Myth as Fairy Tale Cover

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Fairy Tale as Myth/Myth as Fairy Tale

Jack Zipes

" Explores the historical rise of the literary fairy tale as genre in the late seventeenth century. In his examinations of key classical fairy tales, Zipes traces their unique metamorphoses in history with stunning discoveries that reveal their ideological relationship to domination and oppression. Tales such as Beauty and the Beast, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and Rumplestiltskin have become part of our everyday culture and shapers of our identities. In this lively work, Jack Zipes explores the historical rise of the literary fairy tale as genre in the late seventeenth century and examines the ideological relationship of classic fairy tales to domination and oppression in Western society. The fairy tale received its most "mythic" articulation in America. Consequently, Zipes sees Walt Disney's Snow White as an expression of American male individualism, film and literary interpretations of L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz as critiques of American myths, and Robert Bly's Iron John as a misunderstanding of folklore and traditional fairy tales. This book will change forever the way we look at the fairy tales of our youth.

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Fairy Tale Films

Visions of Ambiguity

Pauline Greenhill

In this, the first collection of essays to address the development of fairy tale film as a genre, Pauline Greenhill and Sidney Eve Matrix stress, "the mirror of fairy-tale film reflects not so much what its audience members actually are but how they see themselves and their potential to develop (or, likewise, to regress)." As Jack Zipes says further in the foreword, “Folk and fairy tales pervade our lives constantly through television soap operas and commercials, in comic books and cartoons, in school plays and storytelling performances, in our superstitions and prayers for miracles, and in our dreams and daydreams. The artistic re-creations of fairy-tale plots and characters in film—the parodies, the aesthetic experimentation, and the mixing of genres to engender new insights into art and life— mirror possibilities of estranging ourselves from designated roles, along with the conventional patterns of the classical tales.”

Here, scholars from film, folklore, and cultural studies move discussion beyond the well-known Disney movies to the many other filmic adaptations of fairy tales and to the widespread use of fairy tale tropes, themes, and motifs in cinema.

Fairy Tales from Before Fairy Tales Cover

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Fairy Tales from Before Fairy Tales

The Medieval Latin Past of Wonderful Lies

Jan M. Ziolkowski

When did fairy tales begin? What qualifies as a fairy tale? Is a true fairy tale oral or literary? Or is a fairy tale determined not by style but by content? To answer these and other questions, Jan M. Ziolkowski not only provides a comprehensive overview of the theoretical debates about fairy tale origins but includes an extensive discussion of the relationship of the fairy tale to both the written and oral sources. Ziolkowski offers interpretations of a sampling of the tales in order to sketch the complex connections that existed in the Middle Ages between oral folktales and their written equivalents, the variety of uses to which the writers applied the stories, and the diverse relationships between the medieval texts and the expressions of the same tales in the "classic" fairy tale collections of the nineteenth century. In so doing, Ziolkowski explores stories that survive in both versions associated with, on the one hand, such standards of the nineteenth-century fairy tale as the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Carlo Collodi and, on the other, medieval Latin, demonstrating that the literary fairy tale owes a great debt to the Latin literature of the medieval period. Jan M. Ziolkowski is the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin at Harvard University.

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Fairy Tales Transformed?

Twenty-First-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder

Cristina Bacchilega

Fairy-tale adaptations are ubiquitous in modern popular culture, but readers and scholars alike may take for granted the many voices and traditions folded into today's tales. In Fairy Tales Transformed?: Twenty-First-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder, accomplished fairy-tale scholar Cristina Bacchilega traces what she terms a "fairy-tale web" of multivocal influences in modern adaptations, asking how tales have been changed by and for the early twenty-first century. Dealing mainly with literary and cinematic adaptations for adults and young adults, Bacchilega investigates the linked and yet divergent social projects these fairy tales imagine, their participation and competition in multiple genre and media systems, and their relation to a politics of wonder that contests a naturalized hierarchy of Euro-American literary fairy tale over folktale and other wonder genres. Bacchilega begins by assessing changes in contemporary understandings and adaptations of the Euro-American fairy tale since the 1970s, and introduces the fairy-tale web as a network of reading and writing practices with a long history shaped by forces of gender politics, capitalism, and colonialism. In the chapters that follow, Bacchilega considers a range of texts, from high profile films like Disney's Enchanted, Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, and Catherine Breillat's Bluebeard to literary adaptations like Nalo Hopkinson's Skin Folk, Emma Donoghue's Kissing the Witch, and Bill Willingham's popular comics series, Fables. She looks at the fairy-tale web from a number of approaches, including adaptation as "activist response" in Chapter 1, as remediation within convergence culture in Chapter 2, and a space of genre mixing in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 connects adaptation with issues of translation and stereotyping to discuss mainstream North American adaptations of The Arabian Nights as "media text" in post-9/11 globalized culture. Bacchilega's epilogue invites scholars to intensify their attention to multimedia fairy-tale traditions and the relationship of folk and fairy tales with other cultures' wonder genres. Scholars of fairy-tale studies will enjoy Bacchilega's significant new study of contemporary adaptations.

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Familiar Medicine

Everyday Health Knowledge and Practice in Today's Vietnam

David Craig

One of the first medical ethnographies to be written on contemporary Vietnam, Familiar Medicine examines the practical ways in which people of the Red River Delta make sense of their bodies, illness, and medicine. Traditional knowledge and practices have persisted but are now expressed through and alongside global medical knowledge and commodities. Western medicine has been eagerly adopted and incorporated into everyday life in Vietnam, but not entirely on its own terms. Familiar Medicine takes a conjectural, interdisciplinary approach to its subject, weaving together history, ethnography, cultural geography, and survey materials to provide a rich and readable account of local practices in the context of an increasingly globalized world and growing microbial resistance to antibiotics. Theoretically, it draws on current critical and cultural theory (in particular applying Pierre Bourdieu's work on habitus and practical logics) in innovative but approachable ways. David Craig addresses a range of contemporary fascinations in medical anthropology and the sociology of health and illness: from the trafficking of medical commodities and ideas under globalization to the hybridization of local cultural formations, knowledge, and practices. His book will be required reading for international workers in health and development in Vietnam and a rich resource for courses in cultural geography, anthropology, medical sociology, regional studies, and public and international health.

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Family Ranch

Land, Children, and Tradition in the American West

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Fashioning Africa

Power and the Politics of Dress

Edited by Jean Allman

Everywhere in the world there is a close connection between the clothes we wear and our political expression. To date, few scholars have explored what clothing means in 20th-century Africa and the diaspora. In Fashioning Africa, an international group of anthropologists, historians, and art historians bring rich and diverse perspectives to this fascinating topic. From clothing as an expression of freedom in early colonial Zanzibar to Somali women's headcovering in inner-city Minneapolis, these essays explore the power of dress in African and pan-African settings. Nationalist and diasporic identities, as well as their histories and politics, are examined at the level of what is put on the body every day. Readers interested in fashion history, material and expressive cultures, understandings of nation-state styles, and expressions of a distinctive African modernity will be engaged by this interdisciplinary and broadly appealing volume.

Contributors are Heather Marie Akou, Jean Allman, A. Boatema Boateng, Judith Byfield, Laura Fair, Karen Tranberg Hansen, Margaret Jean Hay, Andrew M. Ivaska, Phyllis M. Martin, Marissa Moorman, Elisha P. Renne, and Victoria L. Rovine.

A Feeling of Belonging Cover

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A Feeling of Belonging

Asian American Women's Public Culture, 1930-1960

Shirley Lim

When we imagine the activities of Asian American women in the mid-twentieth century, our first thoughts are not of skiing, beauty pageants, magazine reading, and sororities. Yet, Shirley Jennifer Lim argues, these are precisely the sorts of leisure practices many second generation Chinese, Filipina, and Japanese American women engaged in during this time.

In A Feeling of Belonging, Lim highlights the cultural activities of young, predominantly unmarried Asian American women from 1930 to 1960. This period marks a crucial generation—the first in which American-born Asians formed a critical mass and began to make their presence felt in the United States. Though they were distinguished from previous generations by their American citizenship, it was only through these seemingly mundane “American”activities that they were able to overcome two-dimensional stereotypes of themselves as kimono-clad “Orientals.”

Lim traces the diverse ways in which these young women sought claim to cultural citizenship, exploring such topics as the nation's first Asian American sorority, Chi Alpha Delta; the cultural work of Chinese American actress Anna May Wong; Asian American youth culture and beauty pageants; and the achievement of fame of three foreign-born Asian women in the late 1950s. By wearing poodle skirts, going to the beach, and producing magazines, she argues, they asserted not just their American-ness, but their humanity: a feeling of belonging.

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