Books

2021. Fivecoate, Jesse, Kristina Downs, and Meredith A.E. McGriff, eds. Advancing Folkloristics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Reviews for Advancing Folkloristics:

“A powerful call for action.”

~Robert Glenn Howard

Advancing Folkloristics is an admirable guide to the futures of our field. It honors predecessors’ approaches and maps new ones, recognizes gaps and blind spots and illustrates present-day work to remedy them, advances expansive conceptions of the roles of tradition, and evidences the value of folklore studies’ key concepts to the understanding of everyday life.”

~Timothy Lloyd, editor of What Folklorists Do: Professional Possibilities in Folklore Studies, Senior Advisor for Partnerships and former Executive Director of the American Folklore Society

“Contributors to this volume make a persuasive case for the current and future value of folklorists’ expertise in vernacular creativity and of our immersive, vulnerable research methodologies. The marginalization and trivialization of our discipline and its subject matter, they insist, actually position folklorists both to deconstruct increasingly influential vernacular practices and to enhance the relevance of humanities scholarship to naming and correcting contemporary social problems. Essential reading for students, scholars, and allies of folklore.”

~Patricia Sawin, coeditor of Folklore Studies in the United States and Canada: An Institutional History, Associate Professor, UNC Chapel Hill

“This book should be required reading for all students seeking graduate degrees in Folklore Studies.  Before writing a thesis or dissertation, and most certainly before applying for or accepting positions as folklorists, students should digest the chapters in this collection of essays and discuss them thoroughly with their peers and their teachers. To ignore the wisdom and cautions included in Advancing Folkloristics would be to invite career struggles that could hinder, frustrate, and destroy their dreams of becoming successful folklorists in a world that holds little, if any, serious regard for a field that can so easily be trivialized, largely from lack of knowledge about the field itself or a blatant disregard for cultural diversity and community traditions in general.   No matter where folklorists find themselves, whether it be the lone folklorist in an English Department (or an entire university), a state humanities or arts organization, or a local or national museum, folklorists often find themselves lonely and vulnerable, literally fighting for our jobs because our work rarely looks like the work of others in the organizations where we find ourselves. Addressing the issues examined in this collection long before they become very real, everyday concerns will bolster our enthusiasm for the field of Folklore Studies while also providing a smoother path on the journey of learning how to be a good folklorist.”

~Elain J. Lawless, author of Reciprocal Ethnography and the Power of Women’s Narratives, Curator’s Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of Missouri