Western Folklore

Vol. 78 No. 4 – Fall, 2019


Edmund Wilson Campaigns for an “American Percy’s Reliques”
Michael J. Bell
ABSTRACT: In the 1920s, Edmund Wilson, the American literary journalist, campaigned in the pages of Vanity Fair and The New Republic to convince American ballad professors to leave off their search for authentic folk songs and ballads and produce instead: “American Percy’s Reliques.” This essay examines what Wilson hoped such a collection might accomplish, why American ballad and folk song scholars ignored his lobbying, and what were the consequences of their resistance. KEYWORDS: Edmund Wilson, Ballads, American Folksong, Percy’s Reliques, Folklore Theory, 1920s

“Practicing Witchcraft Myself During the Filming”: Folk Horror, Folklore, and the Folkloresque
Paul Cowdell
ABSTRACT: Discussion of the folk horror subgenre emphasizes its use of folkloric materials. By portraying tensions between surviving village lore and the invention of faux-ancient practices, The Witches (1966), an early Folk Horror film, also demonstrates the subgenre’s close links with folkloristics. This article examines the folkloresque links between folk horror and folklore’s disciplinary history and development, developing definitions of the subgenre and extending our understanding of popular culture’s representational dependence on folkloristics. KEYWORDS: folk horror, folkloresque, history of folklore, witchcraft, paganism.

Digital Folkloristics: Text, Ethnography, and Interdisciplinarity
Jeffrey A. Tolbert and Eric D. M. Johnson
ABSTRACT: This paper argues for a digital folkloristics that combines the textual/quantitative approaches characteristic of the digital humanities (DH) with the field-based methods composing digital ethnography. It also outlines a broad category of digitally-enabled and digitally-focused scholarly work that is inclusive and in dialogue with many disciplines and acknowledges both the textual and ethnographic dimensions of folkloristic work. KEYWORDS: digital scholarship; digital ethnography; digital humanities; digital methodology; interdisciplinarity


Regina F. Bendix, Culture and Value: Tourism, Heritage, and Property
Reviewed by Daisy Ahlstone

Ivan M. Tribe, Folk Music in Overdrive: A Primer on Traditional Country and Bluegrass Artists
Reviewed by Drew Beisswenger

Trevor J. Blank and Lynne S. McNeill, Slender Man is Coming: Creepypasta and Contemporary Legends on the Internet
Reviewed by Jack Daly

Londa Schiebinger, Secret Cures of Slaves: People, Plants, and Medicine in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World
Reviewed by Lauren Ducas

Ulrich Marzolph, Relief after Hardship: The Ottoman Turkish Model for The Thousand and One Days
Reviewed by Dorian Jurić

Francis Young, Peterborough Folkloreand Suffolk Fairylore
Reviewed by Millie Rahn

Santiago Barreiro and Luciana Cordo Russo, Shapeshifters in Medieval North Atlantic Literature
Reviewed by Amber J. Rose

Benjamin Gatling, Expressions of Sufi Culture in Tajikistan
Reviewed by Sallie Anna Steiner

Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth
Reviewed by Marisa Wieneke

Mark Soileau, Humanist Mystics: Nationalism and the Commemoration of Saints in Turkey
Reviewed by Nathan Young