Humble Theory
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Humble Theory : Folklore's Grasp on Social Life

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Celebrated folklorist, Dorothy Noyes, offers an unforgettable glimpse of her craft and the many ways it matters. Folklore is the dirty linen of modernity, carrying the traces of working bodies and the worlds they live in. It is necessary but embarrassing, not easily blanched and made respectable for public view, although sometimes this display is deemed useful. The place of folklore studies among modern academic disciplines has accordingly been marginal and precarious, yet folklore studies are foundational and persistent. Long engaged with all that escapes the gaze of grand theory and grand narratives, folklorists have followed the lead of the people whose practices they study. They attend to local economies of meaning; they examine the challenge of making room for maneuver within circumstances one does not control. Incisive and wide ranging, the fifteen essays in this book chronicle the "humble theory" of both folk and folklorist as interacting perspectives on social life in the modern Western world.show more

Product details

  • Book | 470 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 30.23mm | 38g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 4 b&w illus., 13 tables
  • 0253022916
  • 9780253022912

About Dorothy Noyes

Dorothy Noyes is Professor in the Departments of English and Comparative Studies, a faculty associate of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, and past director of the Center for Folklore Studies, all at the Ohio State University. Her books includeFire in the Placa: Catalan Festival Politics After Franco and the forthcoming Sustainable Interdisciplinarity: Social Research as Social Process, coauthored with Regina Bendix and Kilian Bizer. A Fellow of the American Folklore Society, she teaches courses in folklore and performance theory, American regional cultures, fairy tale, poetry and politics, the cultural history of trash, and cultural diplomacy.show more

Table of contents

IntroductionPart I: The Work of Folklore Studies1. Humble Theory2. Group3. The Social Base of Folklore4. Tradition: Three Traditions5. Aesthetic is the Opposite of Anaesthetic: On Tradition and AttentionPart II. Histories and Economies of Tradition6. Voice in the Provinces: Submission, Recognition, and the Birth of Heritage7. The Work of Redemption: Folk Voice in the Myth of Industrial Development8. Festival Pasts and Futures in Catalonia9. Hardscrabble Academies: Toward a Social Economy of Vernacular Invention10. Cultural Warming? Brazil in Berlin11. Fairy-Tale Economics: Scarcity, Risk, ChoicePart III. Slogan-Concepts and Cultural Regimes12. On Sociocultural Categories13. The Judgment of Solomon: Global Protections for Tradition and the Problem of Community Ownership14. Heritage, Legacy, Zombie: How to Bury the Undead Past15. Compromised Concepts in Rising Waters: Making the Folk ResilientIndexshow more

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