Western Folklore

Vol. 82 No. 3/4 – Summer/Fall, 2023

Special Issue on the Work of Anand Prahlad



Shelley Ingram and Todd Richardson

Through the “Unusual Door”: A Spiritual and Intellectual Journey with Anand Prahlad
Todd Lawrence

ABSTRACT: In this essay, I outline Anand Prahlad’s existential critique of folklore studies while simultaneously considering the personal and professional inspiration Prahlad has offered me. I highlight Anand Prahlad’s profound influence in Folklore Studies, Disability Studies, and creative writing. 
KEYWORDS: African American Folklore, Folklore Studies, Disability Studies, Proverbs.

Folk and Fetish [poem]
John Nieves

“…So I Licked Him!”: The Motif of the Lickable Chocolate Black Person
Claire Schmidt

ABSTRACT: The language of food is often used to communicate and debate beliefs about race and identity. This article explores a narrative offered by white people to the author as proof of nonracism. While the teller claims amusing innocence, the narrative reinscribes historical beliefs about white supremacy and black bodies as fetishized commodities. 
KEYWORDS: Racism, Food, Personal Experience Narrative, Fetish, White Supremacy

Veto [poem]
Constance Bailey

Tales from a Cabinet of Curiosities:Fetish, Tourism, and Resistance in Edinburgh
Willow Mullins

ABSTRACT: This article considers what it is like living continuously in a tourist town. Specifically, the author explores the kaleidoscopic experience of residing in an area of Edinburgh frequented by tourists and how it positions the author, a scholar of tourism, as both researcher and subject. The article theorizes tourism in terms of the fetish, an idea inspired by Anand Prahlad‘s mentorship.
KEYWORDS: Tourism, fetish, Romantic Nationalism, Scotland

Jessie L. Adolph

Museums Ate My Baby (Blanket): Folk Art, Oddities, and Blood Sauce
Jackson Medel

ABSTRACT: This creative essay explores the ways that the fields of folklore and museum studies form a complementary pair, with mutually beneficial and engaging areas of study and interest. It is anchored by a discussion of my intellectual development and perspective in relation to a key mentor, Dr. Anand Prahlad. This complementarity is demonstrated with specific examples of folk art in museums—and the fundamentally odd things that museums collect and folklorists study.
KEYWORDS: museums, folk art, folklife, collections, creative writing.

Ancestry [poem]
Jennifer Maritza McCauley

“Nig  r” is a Sexual Word: The White Fetishization of Blackness, as Told in Stories
Anand Prahlad

ABSTRACT: This creative essay theorizes that the white fetishization of blackness defines the white American relationship to all things black, including black people, their culture and cultural productions, and the myriad of significations that blackness embodies in the white imagination. This fetishization, rooted in colonialism and oddly reflected in popular, self-identified fetish communities and practices, is a necessary condition for “whiteness,” white power, and white identity. Approaching the topic of race in American culture through the lens of fetish theory is implicitly a critique of more conventional approaches and a suggestion for a paradigm shift in studies of culture and race.
KEYWORDS: fetish, sexuality, colonialism, race, mental illness.

Folklore and the Fetish: An Interview
Anand Prahlad with Constance R. Bailey

Anand Prahlad: A Bibliography


Charles G. Leland, The Book of 100 Riddles of the Fairy Bellaria
Reviewed by Gillian Coldesina

Mary J. Magoulick, The Goddess Myth in Contemporary Literature and Popular Culture: A Feminist Critique
Reviewed by Drew Holley

Tim Frandy and B. Marcus Cederström, Culture Work: Folklore for the Public Good
Reviewed by Margaret Hsiao

Mary Elizabeth Johnson Huff and Carole Ann King, Alabama Quilts: Wilderness through World War II, 1682-1950
Reviewed by Aisha Manus

Serenity Young, Women Who Fly: Goddesses, Witches, Mystics, and Other Airborne Females
Reviewed by Missy Petersen

Simon Young, The Nail in the Skull and Other Victorian Urban Legends
Reviewed by John E. Priegnitz II

Michael Owen Jones, Frankenstein was a Vegetarian: Essays on Food Choice, Identity, and Symbolism
Reviewed by Jerry Reed

Susan G. Davis, Dirty Jokes and Bawdy Songs: The Uncensored Life of Gershon Legman
Reviewed by Charles Wukasch