Western Folklore

Vol. 70, No. 3/4 – Summer/Fall, 2011

Guest Editors’ Introduction

Fearlessly “Sifting and Winnowing": Folklore and the Wisconsin Idea
Christine Garlough and Anne Pryor

[From the guest editors’ Introduction]: As academics seek ways to break down the boundaries that separate universities from broader communities, they might look to folklorists, who have long recognized the value of diverse local cultures and are committed to not only studying those cultures but also helping them to remain vital. In this special issue of Western Folklore, we explore how state institutions might play an active part in building a better future for states and their citizens through civic engagement, classroom education, community outreach, and service learning.


Teaching Practice through Fieldwork Course Design
Janet C. Gilmore

ABSTRACT: This essay advocates teaching essentials of folkloristic practice that are more often left to informal on-the-job experiences and "traditional learning." It promotes college fieldwork classes as locations for introducing the skills associated with folkloristic practice. Triangulating with off-campus cultural organizations, models examined can orient students to public folklore fundamentals and function as valuable environments for learning, thus supporting contemporary college learning and teaching scholarship. KEYWORDS: fieldwork, education, pedagogy, public folklore

Afield in Wisconsin: Cultural Tours, Mobile Learning, and Place-based Games Ruth Olson & Mark Wagler
ABSTRACT: The authors describe three projects-the Greenbush Cultural Tour, the Neighborhood Games Design Project, and a workshop for folklorists on Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling-that demonstrate the importance of place-based education and promote learning outside formal classrooms with mobile devices and local games. These projects share a concern with creating deeper appreciation of local places, increasing civic engagement, and involving students and adults as digital producers as well as consumers. KEYWORDS: place-based education, mobile learning, mobile games, cultural tour, augmented reality (“AR”)

Wisconsin Folks: Digitizing Culture for the Public Good
Anne Pryor

ABSTRACT: Drawing from the aligned fields of public folklore, folk arts in education, and digital humanities, the development, maintenance, and redesign of the Wisconsin Folks website aimed to work for the common good in the public sphere. This article explores how the use of a digital medium complicates disciplinary issues of representation, practice, and pedagogy through the example of an interactive folk arts website. KEYWORDS: public folklore, education, digital cultural heritage, website development, Wisconsin Folks

Folklore and Performing Political Protest: Calls of Conscience at the 2011 Wisconsin Labor Protests
Christine Garlough

ABSTRACT: This article explores the strategic and sometimes subversive appropriations of Wisconsin folklore by citizens at the 2011 Wisconsin labor protests. These protest events critically played with the ethos of “progressive Wisconsin” and created, for a time, plural political spaces that seriously challenged mainstream discourses and allowed citizens to speak and listen to one another in the public sphere. KEYWORDS: folk performances, non-violent protest, rhetoric, critical play


Juan J. Alonzo, Badmen, Bandits, and Folk Heroes: The Ambivalence of Mexican American Identity in Literature and Film
Reviewed by Gustavo Ponce

Christie Fox, Breaking Forms: The Shift to Performance in Late Twentieth-Century Irish Drama
Reviewed by Mary Trotter

Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor, Death Lore: Texas Rituals, Superstitions, and Legends of the Hereafter
Reviewed by Virginia S. Fugarino

Trevor J. Blank, editor, Folklore and the Internet: Vernacular Expression in a Digital World
Reviewed by Kate Ristau

Niko Besnier, Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics
Reviewed by Aaron Mulvany

Tamar Alexander-Frizer, The Heart Is a Mirror: The Sephardic Folktale
Reviewed by Steve Siporin

Ilhan Basgöz, Hikâye: Turkish Folk Romance as Performance Art
Reviewed by Hande Birkalan Gedik

E. Moore Quinn, Irish American Folklore in New England
Reviewed by Anthony Bak Buccitelli

Claudia Gould, Jesus in America and Other Stories from the Field
Reviewed by Judith S. Neulander

Michael L. Trujillo, Land of Disenchantment: Latina/o Identities and Transformations in Northern New Mexico
Reviewed by Amy C. Mills

Bruce Jackson, Pictures from a Drawer: Prison and the Art of Portraiture
Reviewed by James Deutsch

Robert V. Wells, Life Flows on in Endless Song: Folk Songs and American History
Reviewed by Sam Sackett

J. Mallea-Olaetxe, Speaking through the Aspens: Basque Tree Carvings in California and Nevada
Reviewed by Margaret R. Yocom

Ted Olson and Anthony P. Cavender, editors, A Tennessee Folklore Sampler: Selections from the Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletin [1935–2009]
Reviewed by A.A. Hutira

Lisa Gilman, The Dance of Politics: Gender, Performance and Democratization in Malawi
Reviewed by Amy C. Mills

Babacar M’Baye, The Trickster Comes West: Pan-African Influence in Early Black Diasporan Narratives
Reviewed by Tracy Carpenter

David Delgado Shorter, We Will Dance Our Truth: Yaqui History in Yoeme Performances
Reviewed by Pauleena MacDougall

Dennis Cutchins and Eric A. Eliason, editors, Wild Games: Hunting and Fishing Traditions in North America
Reviewed by Timothy Thurston

Wolfgang Mieder, “Yes We Can”: Barack Obama’s Proverbial Rhetoric
Reviewed by Erik Aasland