• General & world history
      February 2015

      A Fairytale in Question

      Historical Interactions between Humans and Wolves

      by Patrick Masius and Jana Sprenger (eds)

      International in range and chronological in organisation, this volume aims to grasp the maincurrents of thought about interactions with the wolf in modern history. It focuses on perceptions, interactions and dependencies, and includes cultural and social analyses as well as biological aspects. Wolves have been feared and admired, hunted and cared for. At the same historical moment, different cultural and social groups have upheld widely diverging ideas about the wolf. Fundamental dichotomies in modern history, between nature and culture, wilderness and civilisation and danger and security, have been portrayed in terms of wolf–human relationships. The wolf has been part of aesthetic, economic, political, psychological and cultural reasoning albeit it is nowadays mainly addressed as an object of wildlife management. There has been a major shift in perception from dangerous predator to endangered species, but the big bad fairytale wolf remains a cultural icon. This volume roots study of human–wolf relationships coherently within the disciplines of environmental and animal history for the first time

    • Popular beliefs & controversial knowledge

      The Rosslyn Hoax?

      Viewing Rosslyn Chapel from a New Perspective


      Subtitled, }Viewing Rosslyn Chapel From A New perspective{. Following the success of }The Da Vinci Code{, eminent Scottish Freemason, Robert Cooper, takes a look at the origin of Rosslyn Chapel. Exploring and exploding many myths, Cooper asks whether we, the public, have been the victims of a massive hoax and wonders whether the meaning of the Kirkwall Scroll has been hijacked for a particular purpose. And, ultimately, who benefits from trying to cover it all up?

    • Folklore, myths & legends

      Roll Away Saloon

      by Deirdre Paulsen

    • Folklore, myths & legends

      Folk Groups And Folklore Genres: A Reader

      A Reader

      by Elliott Oring

      Compiled to accompany the best-selling textbook, FolkGroups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction, the selections in this anthology extend the discussion in diverse directions, alert the reader to new problems, and introduce alternative perspectives. The essays include folklore classics and recent works, and are organized in sections that correspond to the chapter headings in An Introduction.

    • Cultural studies

      Following Tradition

      Folklore in the Discourse of American Culture

      by Simon Bronner

      [This] will be of immense help to scholars in many fields seeking to orient their thinking about place-based culture, narrative, and symbol. —Lawrence Buell Each of these chapters could stand alone as important pieces of historical reinterpretation, and taken independently, are excellent.... Bronner's introduction, almost seventy-five pages worth, could stand alone on its own as a volume, and still have been a major contribution to the field of 'tradition' studies. Bronner's historical research and broadly flung discursive net, as well as his thoroughly accessible writing style, cannot be surpassed.... This is an exceptionally dense and important piece of scholarship. Following Tradition is an exceptional volume of folkloristic history (exceptionally written, exceptionally researched, exceptionally detailed). —Culture and Tradition Following Tradition is an expansive examination of the history of tradition—"one of the most common as well as most contested terms in English language usage"—in Americans' thinking and discourse about culture. Tradition in use becomes problematic because of "its multiple meanings and its conceptual softness." As a term and a concept, it has been important in the development of all scholarly fields that study American culture. Folklore, history, American studies, anthropology, cultural studies, and others assign different value and meaning to tradition. It is a frequent point of reference in popular discourse concerning everything from politics to lifestyles to sports and entertainment. Politicians and social advocates appeal to it as prima facie evidence of the worth of their causes. Entertainment and other media mass produce it, or at least a facsimile of it. In a society that frequently seeks to reinvent itself, tradition as a cultural anchor to be reverenced or rejected is an essential, if elusive, concept. Simon Bronner's wide net captures the historical, rhetorical, philosophical, and psychological dimensions of tradition. As he notes, he has written a book "about an American tradition—arguing about it." His elucidation of those arguments makes fascinating and thoughtful reading. An essential text for folklorists,Following Tradition will be a valuable reference as well for historians and anthropologists; students of American studies, popular culture, and cultural studies; and anyone interested in the continuing place of tradition in American culture.

    • Folklore, myths & legends

      Children's Folklore

      A Source Book

      by ed. Brian Sutton-Smith, Jay Mechling, Thomas W. Johnson, & Felicia R. McMahon

      Above and beyond its appeal for folklorists in general, Children's Folklore is an indispensable introduction to its own subject... This volume contains a wealth of guides and sources that will benefit any interested scholar.—Journal of American Folklore A collection of original essays by scholars from a variety of fields—including American studies, folklore, anthropology, psychology, sociology, and education—Children's Folklore: A Source Book moves beyond traditional social-science views of child development. It reveals the complexity and artistry of interactions among children, challenging stereotypes of simple childhood innocence and conventional explanations of development that privilege sober and sensible adult outcomes. Instead, the play and lore of children is shown to be often disruptive, wayward, and irrational. The contributors variably con-sider and demonstrate "contextual" and "textual" ways of studying the folklore of children. Avoiding a narrow definition of the subject, they examine a variety of resources and approaches for studying, researching, and teaching it. These range from surveys of the history and literature of children's folklore to methods of field research, studies of genres of lore, and attempts to capture children's play and games.

    • Folklore, myths & legends

      The Flowering Thorn

      by Thomas Mckean

    • Local history

      Folklore in Utah

      A History and Guide to Resources

      by David Stanley

      Over thirty scholars examine the development of folklore studies through the lens of over one hundred years of significant activity in a state that has provided grist for the mills of many prominent folklorists. In the past the Folklore Society of Utah has examined the work of such scholars in biographical and other essays published in its newsletters. This book incorporates those essays and goes well beyond them to include many other topices, offering a thorough history of folklore studies and a guide to resources for those pursuing research in Utah now and in the future. The essays survey the development and contributions of folklore studies in Utah from 1892 to 2004 but also represent developments in both academic and public-sector folklore throughout the United States. Following a thorough historical introduction, part I profiles the first folklorists working in the state, including Hector Lee, Thomas Cheney, Austin and Alta Fife, Wayland Hand, and Lester Hubbard. Part II looks at the careers of prominent Utah folklorists Jan Harold Brunvand, Barre Toelken, and William B. Wilson, as well as the works of the next, current generation of folklorists. Part III covers studies in major folklore genres, with essays on the study of material culture, vernacular architecture, and Mormon, ethnic, Native American, and Latino folklore. Part IV examines public folklore programs including organizations, conferences, and tourism. Back matter describes academic programs at Utah institutions of higher education, summarizes the holdings of the various folklore archives in the state, and provides a complete cross-indexed bibliography of articles, books, and recordings of Utah folklore.

    • Popular beliefs & controversial knowledge

      Turning the Hiram Key

      Making Darkness Visible

      by Robert Lomas

      In this ground-breaking book, the author describes his personal journey through the mystical rituals of Freemasonry. Drawing from personal spiritual insights hidden Masonic texts and modern scientific knowledge, he reveals why people join Freemasonry, what they expect to find and how they benefit. The book discloses the inner secrets of Freemasonry, which have hitherto been the preserve of a select few. In doing so, it provides a window into the world which has been shrouded in mystery and suspicion.

    • Folklore, myths & legends

      Shared Space

      by James Griffith

    • Folklore, myths & legends

      Out Of The Ordinary

      by Barbara Walker

    • Folklore, myths & legends

      Dynamics Of Folklore

      Revised and Expanded Edition

      by Barre Toelken

      One of the most comprehensive and widely praised introductions to folklore ever written. Toelken's discussion of the history and meaning of folklore is delivered in straightforward language, easily understood definitions, and a wealth of insightful and entertaining examples. Toelken emphasizes dynamism and variety in the vast array of folk expressions he examines, from "the biology of folklore," to occupational and ethnic lore, food ways, holidays, personal experience narratives, ballads, myths, proverbs, jokes, crafts, and others. Chapters are followed by bibliographical essays, and over 100 photographs illustrate the text. This new edition is accessible to all levels of folklore study and an essential text for classroom instruction.

    • Sociology & anthropology

      Healing Logics

      Culture and Medicine in Modern Health Belief Systems

      by Erika Brady

      Scholars in folklore and anthropology are more directly involved in various aspects of medicine—such as medical education, clinical pastoral care, and negotiation of transcultural issues—than ever before. Old models of investigation that artificially isolated "folk medicine," "complementary and alternative medicine," and "biomedicine" as mutually exclusive have proven too limited in exploring the real-life complexities of health belief systems as they observably exist and are applied by contemporary Americans. Recent research strongly suggests that individuals construct their health belief systmes from diverse sources of authority, including community and ethnic tradition, education, spiritual beliefs, personal experience, the influence of popular media, and perception of the goals and means of formal medicine. Healing Logics explores the diversity of these belief systems and how they interact—in competing, conflicting, and sometimes remarkably congruent ways. This book contains essays by leading scholars in the field and a comprehensive bibliography of folklore and medicine.

    • Folklore, myths & legends

      Of Corpse

      by Peter Narvaez

    • Tribal religions

      Cannibalism is an Acquired Taste

      And Other Notes From Conversations With Anthropologist Omer C. Stewart

      by Carol L Howell

      Omer Stewart is most noted for his career-long study of the Peyote religion. His mentor, A L Kroeber, instilled in him an abiding respect for cultural variation. Applying this fundamental principle to his work in the 1930s, Omer was surprised to find himself at odds with many notable colleagues. With characteristic self-confidence, he was undeterred in his effort to document the religion, defend its practice, and push open the door to applied anthropology. In CANNIBALISM IS AN ACQUIRED TASTE, Carol L Howell weaves together taped interviews with Stewart; excerpts from his letters, notes, and papers; and recollections of family members and others. The result is a fascinating sketch not only of Omer Stewart as a person but also of his contributions to the field of anthropology and the academic and social milieu in which he participated. A must for anthropologists and anyone interested in the art of biography.

    • Archaeology

      Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl

      The Once & Future Lord of the Toltecs

      by H B Nicholson

      This is the most comprehensive survey and discussion of the primary documentary sources and the relevant archaeological evidence concerning the most enigmatic figure of ancient Mesoamerica. Probably no indigenous New World personage has aroused more interest or more controversy than this Lord of Tollan, capital of the Toltec Empire, who was merged with the prominent Feathered Serpent god, Quetzalcoatl. Professor Nicholson sorts through this wealth of material, classifying, summarising, and analysing all known primary accounts of the career of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, in the Spanish, Nahuatl, and Mayan languages, which Spanish missionaries and Spanish-educated natives recorded after the Conquest. In a new Introduction, he updates the original source material presently available to scholars concerned with this figure. After careful consideration of the evidence, he concludes that, in spite of the obvious myth surrounding this renowned Toltec priest-ruler, at least some of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl's recorded life and deeds are drawn from historical fact. Nicholson also contends that the tradition of his expected return probably played a role in the peaceable reception of Cortés by Moctezuma II in Mexico's Tenochtitlan in the fall of 1519. Includes new illustrations and an index.

    • Folklore, myths & legends

      Alas Poor Ghost

      Tradition of Belief in Story and Discourse

      by Gillian Bennett

      In the rational modern world, belief in the supernatural seemingly has been consigned to the worlds of entertainment and fantasy. Yet belief in other worldly phenomena, from poltergeists to telepathy, remains strong, as Gillian Bennett's research shows. Especially common is belief in continuing contact with, or the continuing presence of, dead family members. Bennett interviewed women in Manchester, England, asking them questions about ghosts and other aspects of the supernatural. (Her discussion of how her research methods and interview techniques evolved is in itself valuable.) She first published the results of the study in the well-received Traditions of Belief: Women and the Supernatural, which has been widely used in folklore and women's studies courses. "Alas, Poor Ghost!" extensively revises and expands that work. In addition to a fuller presentation and analysis of the original field research and other added material, the author, assisted by Kate Bennett, a gerontological psychologist, presents and discusses new research with a group of women in Leicester, England. Bennett is interested in more than measuring the extent of belief in other worldly manifestations. Her work explores the relationship between narrative and belief. She anticipated that her questions would elicit from her interviewees not just yes or no replies but stories about their experiences that confirmed or denied notions of the supernatural. The more controversial the subject matter, the more likely individuals were to tell stories, especially if their answers to questions of belief were positive. These were most commonly individualized narratives of personal experience, but they contained many of the traditional motifs and other content, including belief in the supernatural, of legends. Bennett calls them memorates and discusses the cultural processes, including ideas of what is a "proper" experience of the supernatural and a "proper" telling of the story, that make them communal as well as individual. These memorates provide direct and vivid examples of what the storytellers actually believe and disbelieve. In a final section, Bennett places her work in historical context through a discussion of case studies in the history of supernatural belief.

    • Folklore, myths & legends

      Anguish Of Snails

      Native American Folklore in the West

      by Barre Toelken

      Pure literature, appropriate—crucial—to professional anthropologists and folklorists, a delight for the layman, an epiphany for students. Barre Toelken has written a pure gem that is incredibly readable for anyone at all educated but is loaded with profound content. —Roger Welsch A valuable, nearly indispensable, contribution... of very significant use to students and teachers of anthropology, folklore, and Native American studies' and to all who have an interest in this fascinating subject... strong, original, immensely interesting, well written, and perfectly readable. —N. Scott Momaday After a career of working and living with Native Americans and studying their traditions, Barre Toelken has written this sweeping study of Native American folklore in the West. Within a framework of performance theory, cultural worldview, and collaborative research, he examines Native American visual arts, dance, oral tradition (story and song), humor, and patterns of thinking and discovery to demonstrate what can be gleaned from Indian traditions by Natives and non-Natives alike. In the process he considers popular distortions of Indian beliefs, demystifies many traditions by showing how they can be comprehended within their cultural contexts, considers why some aspects of Native American life are not meant to be understood by or shared with outsiders, and emphasizes how much can be learned through sensitivity to and awareness of cultural values.

    • Classic fiction (pre c 1945)

      Y Mabinogi

      by Iestyn Roberts

    • Popular beliefs & controversial knowledge
      November 2009

      2012 and Beyond

      An Invitation to Meet the Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

      by Diana Cooper

      Diana Cooper's inspirational book reminds us that 2012 offers the greatest opportunity for spiritual growth that there has ever been. She takes us through the ancient prophecies for 2012, what is expected to happen in that year and the incredible changes the world will see in the twenty years beyond. She offers forecasts for 2032 to the time when new Golden Cities will arise and everyone will live in the fifth dimension. Cooper concludes with practical information to help you prepare for your role in the incredible transformational shift the world is about to experience.

    Subscribe to our newsletter