67 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Folklore about their New Books

New Books in Folklore Marshall Poe

    • Books
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Interviews with Scholars of Folklore about their New Books

    Michael Slouber, "A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses: Tales of the Feminine Divine from India and Beyond" (U California Press, 2020)

    Michael Slouber, "A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses: Tales of the Feminine Divine from India and Beyond" (U California Press, 2020)

    Michael Slouber's new book A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses: Tales of the Feminine Divine from India and Beyond (University of California Press, 2020) surveys the diversity of India's feminine divine tradition by bringing together a fresh array of captivating and largely overlooked Hindu goddess narratives from different regions. As the first such anthology of goddess narratives in translation, it highlights a range of sources from ancient myths to modern lore. The goddesses in this book battle demons, perform miracles, and grant rare Tantric visions to their devotees. Each translation is paired with a short essay that explains the goddesses­­s historical and social context, demonstrating the ways religion changes ov­­er time.
    Christopher Austen is Associate Professor, Religious Studies at Dalhousie University.
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    • 56 min
    Rachel V. González, "Quinceañera Style: Social Belonging and Latinx Consumer Identities"

    Rachel V. González, "Quinceañera Style: Social Belonging and Latinx Consumer Identities"

    A quinceañera is a traditional fifteenth birthday celebration for young women (though in contemporary times, it can also be for young men) in many Latinx communities. While the celebration has roots in religiosity, it has also become a space for imagining and performing class, identity, and Americanity. With fieldwork conducted in California, Texas, Indiana, and Mexico City, Dr. Rachel Gonzàlez provides a richly nuanced study in her recent book Quinceañera Style: Social Belonging and Latinx Consumer Identities (University of Texas Press, 2019) that examines the quinceañera as a site of possibility where young woman and their families can take ownership of their identity through consumerist actions and challenge narratives of Latinx class status that emphasize poverty and unstable migratory status by presenting an image of middle-class Latinx families
    In this podcast, we talk about how Dr. Gonzàlez’s move from studying neurology to studying folklore and why it was so important to study quinceañera with the lens of representation rather than ritual. We also discuss the ways in which aspirations of class mobility and Americanity are articulated through style and consumerist choices. The digital sphere also serves as an important creative space where information about quinceaneras – from clothing, advice, themes, and videos – are shared and allow young women and/or her family to imagine the possibilities for constructing a celebration that reflect their own ideals. Lastly, we discuss the ways in which Lia Garcia, a trans activist based in Mexico, uses the quinceañera in performance art to challenge perceptions of the body.
    Dr. Rachel Gonzàlez is an Associate Professor of Mexican American and Latino/a Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
    Nancy Yan received her PhD in folklore from The Ohio State University and taught First Year Writing, Comparative Studies, and Asian American studies for several years before returning to organizing work. 
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Jack Santino, "Public Performances: Studies in the Carnivalesque and Ritualesque" (UP Colorado, 2017)

    Jack Santino, "Public Performances: Studies in the Carnivalesque and Ritualesque" (UP Colorado, 2017)

    Public Performances: Studies in the Carnivalesque and Ritualesque (University Press of Colorado) offers a deep and wide-ranging exploration of relationships among genres of public performance and of the underlying political motivations they share. Illustrating the connections among three themes—the political, the carnivalesque, and the ritualesque—the volume provides rich and comprehensive insight into public performance as an assertion of political power.
    Dr. Jack Santino is professor of folklore and popular culture and has served as director of the Bowling Green Center for Popular Culture Studies. He was the Alexis de Tocqueville Distinguished Professor at the University of Paris, Sorbonne, 2010–2011. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Northern Ireland and has conducted research in Spain and France. His documentary film on Pullman Porters, Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle, received four Emmy awards. His research centers on rituals and celebrations, with a particular focus on carnival and political and public ritual as reflective of political, social, and cultural identity. He is the author of numerous books and articles.
    Dr. Isabel Machado is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender and Sexuality Studies at the Department of History of the University of Memphis.
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    • 1 hr 8 min
    William G. Pooley, "Body and Tradition in 19th-Century France: Félix Arnaudin and the Moorlands of Gascony, 1870-1914" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    William G. Pooley, "Body and Tradition in 19th-Century France: Félix Arnaudin and the Moorlands of Gascony, 1870-1914" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    The moorlands of Gascony are often considered one of the most dramatic examples of top-down rural modernization in nineteenth-century Europe. From an area of open moors, they were transformed in one generation into the largest man-made forest in Europe.
    Body and Tradition in Nineteenth-Century France: Félix Arnaudin and the Moorlands of Gascony, 1870-1914 (Oxford University Press) explores how these changes were experienced and negotiated by the people who lived there, drawing on the immense ethnographic archive of Felix Arnaudin (1844-1921).
    The study places the songs, stories, and everyday speech that Arnaudin collected, as well as the photographs he took, in the everyday lives of agricultural workers and artisans. It argues that the changes are were understood as a gradual revolution in bodily experiences, as men and women forged new working habits, new sexual relations, and new ways of conceiving of their own bodies.
    Rather than merely presenting a story of top-down reform, this is an account of the flexibility and creativity of the cultural traditions of the working population. William G. Pooley tells the story of the folklorist Arnaudin and the men and women whose cultural traditions he recorded, then uncovers the work carried out by Arnaudin to explore everyday speech about the body, stories of werewolves and shapeshifters, tales of animal cunning and exploitation, and songs about love and courtship.
    The volume focuses on the lives of a handful of the most talented storytellers and singers Arnaudin encountered, showing how their cultural choices reflect wider patterns of behaviour in the region, and across rural Europe.
     
    William G. Pooley, Lecturer in Modern European History, University of Bristol is a historian of France in the long nineteenth century, interested in popular and folk cultures.
    Rachel Hopkin PhD is a UK born, US based folklorist and radio produce.
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    • 57 min
    Adheesh Sathaye, “Crossing the Lines of Caste" (Oxford UP, 2015)

    Adheesh Sathaye, “Crossing the Lines of Caste" (Oxford UP, 2015)

    What does it mean to be a Brahmin, and what could it mean to become one?
    The ancient Indian mythological figure Viśvāmitra accomplishes just this, transforming himself from a king into a Brahmin by cultivation of ascetic power.
    The book, Crossing the Lines of Caste, examines legends of the irascible Viśvāmitra as occurring in Sanskrit and vernacular texts, oral performances, and visual media to show how the "storyworlds" created by these various retellings have adapted and reinforced Brahmin social identity over the millennia.
    Adheesh Sathaye is Associate Professor, Sanskrit Literature And Folklore, University of British Columbia. You can check out his online class "Narrative Literature in Premodern India" here.
    For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship
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    • 53 min
    Kathryn Hume, "The Metamorphoses of Myth in Fiction since 1960" (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020)

    Kathryn Hume, "The Metamorphoses of Myth in Fiction since 1960" (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020)

    Why do contemporary writers use myths from ancient Greece and Rome, Pharaonic Egypt, the Viking north, Africa's west coast, and Hebrew and Christian traditions? What do these stories from premodern cultures have to offer us? In her new book, The Metamorphoses of Myth in Fiction since 1960, Professor Kathryn Hume examines how myth has shaped writings by Kathy Acker, Margaret Atwood, William S. Burroughs, A. S. Byatt, Neil Gaiman, Norman Mailer, Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, Kurt Vonnegut, Jeanette Winterson, and others, and contrasts such canonical texts with fantasy, speculative fiction, post-singularity fiction, pornography, horror, and graphic narratives. She argues that these artistic practices produce a feeling of meaning that doesn't need to be defined in scientific or materialist terms. Myth provides a sense of rightness, a recognition of matching a pattern, a feeling of something missing, a feeling of connection. It not only allows poetic density but also manipulates our moral judgments, or at least stimulates us to exercise them. Working across genres, populations, and critical perspectives, Hume elicits an understanding of the current uses of mythology in fiction.
    Kathryn (Kit) Hume started as a medievalist in Old English, Middle English, and Old Norse, but has become a specialist in contemporary fiction. Her books have investigated fantasy, Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, Italo Calvino’s novels, and a great many contemporary Anglophone writers. She also drew on her experience as a job placement officer to write Surviving your Academic Job Hunt: Advice for Humanities PhDs.
    Carrie Lynn Evans is a PhD student at Université Laval in Quebec City.
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    • 1 hr 15 min

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