Open Voices: Folklore for All, Folklore of All - The Folklore Society’s Annual Conference
Friday 6 to Sunday 8 May 2022, Online
CALL FOR PAPERS
Once upon a time, ‘folklore’ was thought of as the traditions of rural peasants, usually long gone. But when Alan Dundes asked: ‘Who are the Folk?’ in 1977, the answer was ‘Everyone.’ We all participate in the traditions of all the different groups we belong to, from small-scale family folklore to the broader groups of nation, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, disability, class, and more. As the focus has shifted away from the rural peasants pursued by Victorian antiquarians, the forum is open to hear the voices of other groups, especially marginalised and subordinated groups.
Folklore studies often focus on discrete groups and the creative expression of groups’ collective identities. But collective identity is complicated. Every ‘us’ at least implies a ‘them’. Every ‘us’, on closer examination, turns out to be a complex tangle of what we share with our fellows and what we don’t. What’s more, identities wax and wane in their significance, they change and new identities emerge. The relationship between individual and groups’ collective identification is no less multi-facetted.
Yet folklore is also dynamic, reciprocal and creative, arising from constant engagements with others. This not only results in renegotiations and reinforcing of identities, but also has the potential to interrogate other aspects of individuals and communities, including creativity and collaboration. Having a strong appreciation for diverse perspectives and participation, folklore is well-placed to represent and examine the intersections of different communities and cultures.
This conference explores the contribution of folklore and folkloristics to diversity of all types, including ethnicity, religion, nation, region, gender, sexuality, disability, class, and others, via all aspects of folklore, including jokes, tales, legends, myths, symbolism, music, calendar customs, folk drama, material culture, the rituals of everyday life, and many others besides, in order to interrogate the collaborations and contestations arising from cross-cultural engagements across time and place.
We invite 15-minute papers, presentations, performances or posters, on all aspects of folklore and folkloristic approaches exploring diversity, including, but not limited to: