The Oxford Handbook of American Folklore and Folklife Studies
surveys the materials, approaches, concepts, and applications of the field to provide a sweeping guide to American folklore and folklife, culture, history, and society. Forty-three comprehensive and diverse chapters delve into significant themes and methods of folklore and folklife study; established expressions and activities; spheres and locations of folkloric action; and shared cultures and common identities. Beyond the longstanding arenas of academic focus developed throughout the 350-year legacy of folklore and folklife study, contributors at the forefront of the field also explore exciting new areas of attention that have emerged in the twenty-first century such as the Internet, bodylore, folklore of organizations and networks, sexual orientation, neurodiverse identities, and disability groups.
Encompassing a wide range of cultural traditions in the United States, from bits of slang in private conversations to massive public demonstrations, ancient beliefs to contemporary viral memes, and a simple handshake greeting to group festivals, these chapters consider the meanings in oral, social, and material genres of dance, ritual, drama, play, speech, song, and story while drawing attention to tradition-centered communities such as the Amish and Hasidim, occupational groups and their workaday worlds, and children and other age groups. Weaving together such varied and manifest traditions, this handbook pays significant attention to the cultural diversity and changing national boundaries that have always been distinctive in the American experience, reflecting on the relative youth of the nation; global connections of customs brought by immigrants; mobility of residents and their relation to an indigenous, urbanized, and racialized population; and a varied landscape and settlement pattern.
Edited by leading folklore scholar Simon J. Bronner, this handbook celebrates the extraordinary richness of the American social and cultural fabric, offering a valuable resource not only for scholars and students of American studies, but also for the global study of tradition, folk arts, and cultural practice.
About the Author
Simon J. Bronner is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of American Studies and Folklore at the Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, and held the Maxwell C. Weiner distinguished professorship at Missouri University of Science and Technology. He has also taught folklore and ethnology at Harvard University, University of California-Davis, Leiden University (Netherlands), Beijing Normal University (China), and Osaka University (Japan). The author or editor of over 40 books, he is also the editor of book series on material culture and folklore and ethnology. He was president of the Fellows of the American Folklore Society and received lifetime achievement awards from the Society for his academic leadership and scholarship on youth culture.