Below is a list of readings in the approximate order that we will discuss or use them. Please make sure you have not only read the material for class but also have a copy with you in class. 


Bibliography for Competence-Performance-Text-Context

Bateson, Gregory. 1972. Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. (See the essays: “A Theory of Play and Fantasy” and “Style, Information, and Grace.”)

Bauman, Richard. 1975. “Verbal Art as Performance.” American Anthropologist 77 (2): 290–311. doi:10.1525/aa.1975.77.2.02a00030.

Goffman, Erving. 1974. Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. New York: Harper Colophon Books.

Hall, Edward. 1976. Beyond Culture. Anchor Books.

Matters of “Fact”

As Wikipedia notes:

The Day the Universe Changed is a British documentary television series written and presented by science historian James Burke, originally broadcast on BBC1 in [Spring] 1985 by the BBC [and rebroadcast on PBS in Autumn 1986]. The series’ primary focus is on the effect of advances in science and technology on western society in its philosophical aspects. The title comes from the philosophical idea that the universe essentially only exists as one perceives it through what one knows; therefore, if one changes one’s perception of the universe with new knowledge, one has essentially changed the universe itself. To illustrate this concept, James Burke tells the various stories of important scientific discoveries and technological advances and how they fundamentally altered how western civilization perceives the world. The series runs in roughly chronological order, from around the beginning of the Middle Ages to the present.

(Wikipedia also has a nice entry on the printing press.)


Bauman, Richard. 1972. The La Have Island General Store: Sociability and Verbal Art in a Nova Scotia Community. Journal of American Folklore 85/338: 330–343. JSTOR.

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara. 1975. A Parable in Context: a Social Interactional Analysis of Storytelling Performance. In Performance and Communication, 105-130. Ed. Dan Ben-Amos and Kenneth Goldstein. Mouton. doi:10.1515/9783110880229.105. PDF is on Moodle.

Robinson, Herbert. 1991. Family Sayings from Family Stories: Some Louisiana Examples. Louisiana Folklore Miscellany: 17-24. PDF is on Moodle.

Bell, Michael J. 1976. Tending Bar at Brown’s: Occupational Role as Artistic Performance. Western Folklore 35/2: 93-107. JSTOR.

Bennett, Gillian. 1989. ‘And I Turned Round to Her and Said…’ A Preliminary Analysis of Shape and Structure in Women’s Storytelling. Folklore, 100(2), 167-183. JSTOR.

Labov, William, and Joshua Waletzky. 1967. “Narrative Analysis: Oral Versions of Personal Experience.” In Essays on the Verbal and Visual Arts. Proceedings of the 1966 Annual Spring Meeting of the American Ethnological Society, 12-44. Edited by June Helm. American Ethnological Society.

Laudun, John. 2012. “Talking Shit” in Rayne: How Aesthetic Features Reveal Ethical Structures. Journal of American Folklore 125(497): 304–326.

Lindahl. 2012. “Legends of Hurricane Katrina: The Right to be Wrong, Survivor-to-survivor Storytelling, and Healing.”_ Journal of American Folklore_ 125(496): 139–76.

Carmichael, Katie, 2013. The Performance of Cajun English in Boudreaux and Thibodeaux Jokes. American Speech 88/4: 377-412.

Lindahl, Carl. 2005. Ostensive Healing: Pilgrimage to the San Antonio Ghost Tracks. Journal of American Folklore 118 (468): 164-185. JSTOR.

Additional Readings in Folklore Theory

Bennett, G. 1986. Narrative as Expository Discourse. Journal of American Folklore, 99(394): 415-434. doi:10.2307/540046

Hymes, Dell. 1971. The Contribution of Folklore to Sociolinguistic Research. Journal of American Folklore 84/331 (Toward New Perspectives in Folklore): 42-50. doi: 10.2307/539732. 

Hymes, Dell. 1981. Breakthrough into Performance. In “In Vain I Tried to Tell You”: Essays in Native American Ethnopoetics, 79-141. University of Pennsylvania Press. (Originally published in 1975 in Folklore: Performance and Context.)

Jakobson, Roman, and Petr Bogatyrev. 1980. “Folklore as a Special Form of Creation.” Folklore Forum 13(1): 1–21.

Tedlock, Dennis Tedlock. 1971. On the Translation of Style in Oral Narrative. Journal of American Folklore 84/331: 114-133.

Additional Case Studies

First, Swapping Stories is a good resource for ideas for the kinds of stories you can collect.

If you’re looking for models of analysis, then try the following:

Grider, Sylvia, Diane Goldstein, and Jeannie Banks Thomas. 2007. Children’s Ghost Stories. In Haunting Experiences: Ghosts in Contemporary Folklore, 111-140. Utah Stah State University Press. DOI:10.2307/j.ctt4cgmqg.9. JSTOR.

Marsh, Moira. 2015. Lies, Damned Lies, and Legends. In Practically Joking, 45-56. Utah State University Press. JSTOR.