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date: 24 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article, which focuses on the traditional cultural expressions of the Latinx community in the United States, first traces the history and development of Chicanx and Latinx folklore studies. Second, it presents the ways that the study and engagement with these expressions serve as tools for addressing social justice issues faced by Latinxs in the United States in the twenty-first century. To guide future work in the field, it concludes with an assessment of Latinx folklore studies and its role in reconfiguring and reimagining folklore and folklife studies in general. Within this discussion, the essay presents two key aspects of Latinx folklore and folklife that have defined the field—the academic study of folklore and the public-sector engagement by community scholars. Both have affected the ways that Latinx folkloristics have changed the field during the last hundred years and are shaping it as we leave behind outmoded and limited ways of seeing the cultural production of the second-largest ethnic minority in the United States.

Keywords: Chicanx, embodiment, folklife, folklore, Latina/o, Latinx, popular culture, public folklore, social change

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