Folklore has been described as the unwritten literature of a culture: its songs, stories, sayings, games, rituals, beliefs, and ways of life. Encyclopedia of American Folklore helps readers explore topics, terms, themes, figures, and issues related to this popular subject. This comprehensive reference guide addresses the needs of multiple audiences, including high school, college, and public libraries, archive and museum collections, storytellers, and independent researchers. Its content and organization correspond to the ways educators integrate folklore within literacy and wider learning objectives for language arts and cultural studies at the secondary level.
This well-rounded resource connects United States folk forms with their cultural origin, historical context, and social function. Appendixes include a bibliography, a category index, and a discussion of starting points for researching American folklore. References and bibliographic material throughout the text highlight recently published and commonly available materials for further study.
- Folk heroes and legendary figures, including Paul Bunyan and Yankee Doodle
- Fables, fairy tales, and myths often featured in American folklore, including "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Princess and the Pea"
- American authors who have added to or modified folklore traditions, including Washington Irving
- Historical events that gave rise to folklore, including the civil rights movement and the Revolutionary War
- Terms in folklore studies, such as fieldwork and the folklife movement
- Holidays and observances, such as Christmas and Kwanzaa
- Topics related to folklore in everyday life, such as sports folklore and courtship/dating folklore
- Folklore related to cultural groups, such as Appalachian folklore and African-American folklore
- and more.
About the Author(s)
Linda S. Watts received her Ph.D. in American studies from Yale University and is professor of interdisciplinary arts and sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell. She is the author of Rapture Untold: Gender, Mysticism, and the ‘Moment of Recognition’ in Writings by Gertrude Stein and Gertrude Stein: A Study of the Short Fiction.