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African American Folklore, Folklife, and Race  

Anand Prahlad

Online publication date:
Jun 2018
The study of African American folklore has been grounded from its beginnings in the colonial period in discourses and power dynamics of race. This chapter posits that these beginnings have ... More

All That Is Native and Fine: Teaching Native American Literature  

Frances Washburn

Print publication date:
Sep 2014
Online publication date:
May 2014
Teaching Native American literature to the uninformed student is not an easy task, especially when compared to teaching mainstream literature, African-American literature, Chicano ... More

Always in Translation: Ways of Writing in Spanish and English  

Regina Galasso

For outsiders, the languages of Latino literature are English, Spanish, and code-switching between the two languages. What is more, code-switching is considered a symptom of not knowing ... More

Ambivalence and Contradiction in Contemporary Maya Literature from Yucatan: Muk’ult’an in Nool ()  

Emilio del Valle Escalante

Print publication date:
Sep 2014
Online publication date:
Feb 2014
Since the 1980s, Mayas in the Yucatan Peninsula have produced a literary canon that seeks to distance itself from Indigenismo, or literature about the indigenous world by non-Indians. This ... More

American Bodylore and Folk Dress  

Amy K. Milligan

Online publication date:
May 2018
Bodylore includes the ways in which the body is used as a canvas for inherited and chosen identity. Bodylore considers the symbolic inventory of dress and hair, addressing a range of ... More

American Constitutional Elegy  

Max Cavitch

Print publication date:
Apr 2010
Online publication date:
Sep 2012
This article discusses the American constitutional elegy. It argues that American national difference in literature can be tracked in the terms of its engagement with specifically American ... More

American Custom, Ritual, and Holidays  

Jack Santino

Online publication date:
Sep 2018
Since the nineteenth century, attention in folklore and folklife studies has shifted from viewing certain customary symbolic actions such as “calendar customs” and rituals of the life ... More

American Folk Art and Crafts  

C. Kurt Dewhurst and Marsha MacDowell

Online publication date:
Feb 2019
This chapter addresses the wide range of folk art and crafts related to the study of those who make, use, and find meaning in the handmade object in America. The definitions of folk, ... More

American Folk Buildings, Constructions, and Landscapes  

Simon J. Bronner

Online publication date:
Nov 2018
The study of traditional buildings, constructions, and cultural landscapes is part of what folklorists refer to as “material culture.” In addition to recording the folklore of various ... More

American Folk Dance and Movement  

Eric César Morales

Online publication date:
Sep 2018
This chapter examines the moving body as a performance site for cultural values and histories in America. It encourages cross-cultural analysis of structured movement systems that include ... More

American Folk Drama and Festival  

Lisa Gabbert

Online publication date:
Jun 2018
Folk dramas and festivals are encapsulated units of culture that distill, concretize, and make manifest through enactment important cultural values and ideas. Bounded in time and space, ... More

American Folk Ideas, Themes, and Worldview  

Jay Mechling

Online publication date:
Apr 2018
Alan Dundes (1971) proposed the phrase “folk idea” as a concept folklorists could and should use to link the folk items and practices they usually study to larger patterns in American ... More

American Folk Medicine and Health Practices  

Andrea Kitta

Online publication date:
Apr 2018
Folk medicine and health practices have long been thought to be primarily old-fashioned and antithetical to modern medicine, whereas in actuality they are often used alongside and as a ... More

American Folk Music, Folk Songs, and Ballads  

Stephen D. Winick

Online publication date:
Dec 2018
Folk music, folk songs, and ballads are nested categories of traditional expression: folk songs are folk music that has words, and ballads are folk songs that tell stories. These genres ... More

American Folk Poetry  

Elizabeth Tucker

Online publication date:
Apr 2018
Associated with all stages of life, from the cradle to the grave, American folk poetry can be serious or light-hearted, irreverent, and subversive. The genre includes rhymes, recitations, ... More

American Folk Speech, Names, and Gestures  

Charles Clay Doyle

Online publication date:
Apr 2018
Comprising the briefest kinds of folklore, the category folk speech (including traditional nonoral “speech” like some gestures and conventions of electronic communication) is often ... More

American Food, Foodways, and Eating  

Lucy M. Long

Online publication date:
Sep 2018
As a central aspect of human lives, food, foodways, and eating have been included in American folklore research since the mid- 20th century and have been used to explore the dynamics of ... More

American Gravemarkers and Memorial Assemblages  

Holly Everett

Online publication date:
Jan 2019
As representations of mourning and beliefs about death, gravemarkers and memorial assemblages (also referred to as spontaneous shrines and makeshift memorials) are often cast in binary ... More

American Jokes, Pranks, and Humor  

Moira Marsh

Online publication date:
Oct 2018
Humor is omnipresent in modern American life. Since the late nineteenth century, a sense of humor has come to be seen as essential for a healthy personality. Along with the rise of humor ... More

American Legends, Anecdotes, and Personal Narratives  

Elizabeth Tucker

Online publication date:
Jun 2018
Legends, anecdotes, and personal narratives express important dimensions of human experience and values. At times of difficulty, uncertainty, and threat, these narratives help people ... More

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