Toward New Perspectives in Folklore
Edited by Américo Paredes and Richard Bauman
With a new preface.
"The incisive essays published in Toward New Perspectives shaped folklore research by anthropologists, linguists, sociologists, and literary scholars as well as folklorists for a generation."
- Amy Shuman, The Ohio State University
Charles L. Briggs, University of California, San Diego
"[This volume] must be regarded as an important location in the landscape of contemporary folkloristics, for it represented one of the first sustained efforts to make an accounting of the practices of the profession."
- Roger D. Abrahams, University of Pennsylvania
When the American Folklore Society first published Toward New Perspectives in Folklore in 1972, the volume was quickly recognized as a collection of essays "destined to be an oft-cited work." Indeed, during the last three decades scholars have described its publication as a watershed in the study of vernacular cultural expression.
Editors Américo Paredes and Richard Bauman envisioned a volume characterized by "exploration, challenge, and anticipation," a scholarly dialogue that made explicit both theoretical viewpoints and their implications for method and meaning. Thus, the authors of the thirteen essays engage a variety of concepts - including group, tradition, genre, identity, and text - and also address methodological concerns of transcription, translation, and analysis. A central concern is how particular social, cultural, and communicative contexts influence the creation and reception of a variety of expressive behaviors, from children's play to sacred narrative.
In the new preface, Bauman reminds contemporary scholars that Toward New Perspectives offers both an historical resource and an invitation to participate in an ongoing conversation about a range of theoretical issues.
Contributors: Dan Ben-Amos, Roger D. Abrahams, Richard Bauman, Dell Hymes, Elli Köngäs Maranda, Kenneth S. Goldstein, Robert Jerome Smith, Brian Sutton-Smith, Alan Dundes, Brian Stross, Dennis Tedlock, Heda Jason, and Gary H. Gossen.