Status: The Perils of “Folklore”

“That’s All Folks!” is a piece from a 1997 issue of Lingua Franca, for those who remember it fondly, about the perils of the name of “folklore”. The name of the field was enjoying a moment, in a larger cycle of such moments, of being debated. Should we switch to folkloristics to sound more, well, ic-ky, like linguistics or physics, or to ethnology to sound more like all the ologies (biology, psychology, sociology, etc.). I’m shortly headed to UCLA to join the Culture Analytics program, so I thought it was worth remembering that this nominal nom-nom, as the kids might say, has a history.

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