New York and its folklore scholars hold an important place in
the history of the discipline. In New York dialogue between
folklore researchers in the academy and those working in the public
arena has been highly productive. In this volume, the works of New
York's academic and public folklorists are presented together.
Unlike some folklore anthologies, New York State Folklife
Reader does not follow an organizational plan based on regions
or genres. Because the New York Folklore Society has always tried
to "give folklore back to the people," the editors decided to
divide the edited volume into sections about life processes that
all New York state residents share. The book begins with five
essays on various aspects of folk cultural memory: personal,
family, community, and historical processes of remembrance
expressed through narrative, ritual, and other forms of folklore.
Following these essays, subsequent sections explore aspects of life
in New York through the lens of Play, Work, Resistance, and
Both the New York Folklore Society and its journal were, as
society cofounder Louis Jones explained, "intended to reach not
just the professional folklorists but those of the general public
who were interested in the oral traditions of the State." Written
in an accessible and readable style, this volume offers a glimpse
into New York State's rich cultural diversity.
Subjects: Sociology, Anthropology
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