International Folkloristics

ISBN 13: 9780847695140

International Folkloristics

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9780847695140: International Folkloristics

International folkloristics is a worldwide discipline in which scholars study various forms of folklore ranging from myth, folktale, and legend to custom and belief. Twenty classic essays, beginning with a piece by Jacob Grimm, reveal the evolving theoretical underpinnings of folkloristics from its nineteenth century origins to its academic coming-of-age in the twentieth century. Each piece is prefaced by extensive editorial introductions placing them in a historical and intellectual context. The twenty essays presented here, including several never published previously in English, will be required reading for any serious student of folklore.

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About the Author:

Alan Dundes is known as one of the world's leading authorities on folklore. In more than 30 books he has unveiled the meanings in the oral traditions of many cultures. His most recent book is Holy Writ as Oral Lit: The Bible as Folklore (Rowman & Littlefield,1999). He lives in Berkeley, where he is professor of anthropology and folklore at the University of California.

Review:

Alan Dundes, one of the world's leading folklorists, extracts the ground-breaking work of scholars from folklore's earliest days. This collection is recommended. (Nothern Earth)

Alan Dundes’ superb source book provides material evidence for the long standing and deeply committed scholarly interest in the vernacular expressions commonly referred to as folklore. The often unusual selections range from letters to seminal early articles by scholars in philology, literature, music and psychology—all of whom shared a commitment to folk expressions. The work is of immediate relevance to students of folklore and will serve as a wonderful teaching tool. Anthropologists, historians of science, and scholars within the cultural studies field in general will be equally interested in this work as it offers an instructive view of disciplinary emergence. Dundes’ headnotes to each selection are a tour de force coupling individual biographies and disciplinary history. (Regina Bendix)

In this brilliant volume Alan Dundes . . . has taken stock of folkloristic scholarship . . . . Most choices are undisputed, some may be surprising, others are true discoveries and revelations; but in each case Dundes offers deep insights into the workings of folklore and folkloristics and at the same time contributes to 19th and 20th century European and North American intellectual history in the best sense. The volume convincingly portrays and extends folkloristics and will certainly become one of its standard books. (Klaus Roth)

When the discipline of folklore was achieving its first maturity in the United States, Alan Dundes edited an anthology that gave the profession momentum and purposes. Now in its moment of midlife crisis, Alan Dundes again provides order and direction for the folklorists’ craft. His new anthology, a collection of key texts, brilliantly introduced, will become the basic historical textbook for the folklorist. It is a generous gift, a welcome and necessary foundation for thought and action. (Henry Glassie, College Professor of Folklore)

Dundes provides an outstanding source book that highlights major thoeries, methods and concepts in the history of folklore, founded upon as he writes 'filedwork in the library'. The twenty chapters highlight work and personae of the most important folklorists. (Herman Tak Focaal No.35, 2000)

Alan Dundes highlights major theories, methods, and concepts in the history of folklore. These essays, some recovered treasures making their first appearance in English, others already established classics, are intellectual milestones in a disciplinary attempt to put some of the central ideas that shaped our history in the past two hundred years to a scientific and systematic test. Dundes' biographical, bibliographical, and theoretical introductory comments make this anthology an essential text in any introductory course in folklore and more specifically in a course on the history of folklore studies. (Dan Ben-Amos)

Alan Dundes has edited an important book, which will solidly confirm the significance of international folkloristics as an independent, worldwide, scholarly academic discipline. Alan Dundes's collection is a delight in its variety and yet is well held together by the erudition and skilled commentaries of the editor. It is an excellent introduction to folklore and folkloristics and their history. It is truly a work of international folkloristics. (The Folklore Society)

International Folkloristics belongs on every folklorist's shelf and every M.A. reading list. (Missouri Folklore Society Journal)

Dundes's anthology is a great reference source, especially for folklorists in countries such as Vietnam. This anthology is also a good source for people who intend to write books on international folklore in their own languages. Anyone planning such a project will find suggestions for further reading in the history of folkloristics at the end of Dundes's book. A book that can be used as a practical reference for the teaching and studying of theories, fields, and genres of folklore. (Asian Folklore Studies)

A number of the pieces in this volume are by authors better known for the books---or volumes of books---they published, such as James Frazer. In addition, the international scope of folklore studies is highlighted with selections by such European heavy-weights as Guiseppe Pitre, one of the most prolific scholars in the field. This makes the volume a one-stop destination for an easily digestible overview of a number of the big figures and big ideas in folklore studies into the 1960s--and, conveniently enough, the work is all in English. Prefacing each piece in the volume is an intensive introduction with accompanying suggested further readings. The editor's introductions provide ample contextualization for each piece, while the suggested readings offer a springboard for more in-depth consideration. The introductions accomplish three things: they provide a brief biography and historical background of the scholar; present the historical and current significance of the scholar's ideas; and provide related bibliographical references, past and present. The introductions in conjunction with the selections provide a richly condensed overview of the forces that led to the formation and solidification of the field of folklore studies: a complex amalgamation of intellectual insights,dedicated fieldwork, personality traits, and historical circumstances. (Journal Of Folklore Research)

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