Western Folklore

Vol. 70, No. 1 – Winter, 2011


The Rise and Fall–and Return–of the Class Rush: A Study of a Contested Tradition
Simon J. Bronner

ABSTRACT: The class rush or scrap involving a roughhouse public sporting competition is an American collegiate tradition that arose in the early nineteenth century. In this essay, the circumstances that led to the custom’s rise and fall along with the ensuing controversies over the appropriateness of the tradition to student life are examined. Analysis of the tradition’s relevance to the construction of masculinity and adulthood applies social psychological concepts of “narcissism of minor differences” and “play frames.” KEYWORDS: class rush, student, masculinity, play, violence

Folklore and the Potential of Acknowledgment: Representing "India" at the Minnesota Festival of Nations
Christine Garlough

ABSTRACT: This article explores the tensions between acknowledgment and recognition in performances by progressive South Asian American activists at the Minnesota Festival of Nations in the year 2000. Focusing on specific South Asian American folk performances that take place within the context of an “India” cultural booth, I argue performers are enjoined to enact cultural practices in ways that foreground a reified sense of “Indianness” that is at odds with the multicultural vision of their progressive grassroots school. KEYWORDS: folk festival, recognition, acknowledgment, South Asian American folklore

Through the Lens of the Grave Custom: The Public and Private Faces of the Western Manitoban Restaurant
Alison Marshall

ABSTRACT: This paper examines the place of Chinese food, identity, and everyday religion in the Canadian rural Midwest. Through a discussion of an annual grave custom to honor the earliest Chinese Canadian settlers in a small community, it develops the argument that Chinese cafes signify complex and efficacious public and private identities. Intersecting cafes both connect and attract Chinese people from hundreds of miles away to celebrate public festivals, rites of passage, and private achievements. KEYWORDS: Chinese identity, Chinese cafes, funeral customs, Guomindang, Chinese Canadian settlement


Jonathan Roper, editor, Charms, Charmers and Charming: International Research on Verbal Magic
Reviewed by David Elton Gay

James McCormick and Macy Wyatt, Ghosts of the Bluegrass
Reviewed by Wendy Welch

Michael Robert Evans, Isuma: Inuit Video Art and Michael Robert Evans, The Fast Runner: Filming the Legend of Atanarjuat
Reviewed by Joanna Hearne

Julia Brauch, Anna Lipphardt and Alexandra Nocke, editors, Jewish Topographies: Visions of Space, Traditions of Place
Reviewed by Gabrielle A. Berlinger

Roy Wagner, Coyote Anthropology
Reviewed by Michael A. Lange

William Lynwood Montell, Tales from Kentucky Funeral Homes
Reviewed by Callie Clare

Trevor H. J. Marchand, The Masons of Djenné
Reviewed by Winnie Lambrecht

Mary Elizabeth Johnson, Martha Skelton: Master Quilter of Mississippi and Patricia A. Turner, Crafted Lives: Stories and Studies of African American Quilters
Reviewed by John Wolford