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Ebook Information

Eight Words for the Study of Expressive Culture

An examination of words--art, tradition, text, identity, context, genre, performance, group--that are fundamental concepts for the study of creativity and tradition in human expression

Group. Art. Text. Genre. Performance. Context. Tradition. Identity.

No matter where we are--in academic institutions, in cultural agencies, at home, or in a casual conversation--these are words we use when we talk about creative expression in its cultural contexts. Eight Words for the Study of Expressive Culture is a thoughtful, interdisciplinary examination of the keywords that are integral to the formulation of ideas about the diversity of human creativity, presented as a set of essays by leading folklorists.

Many of us use these eight words every day. We think with them. We teach with them. Much of contemporary scholarship rests on their meanings and implications. They form a significant part of a set of conversations extending through centuries of thought about creativity, meaning, beauty, local knowledge, values, and community. Their natural habitats range across scholarly disciplines from anthropology and folklore to literary and cultural studies and provide the framework for other fields of practice and performance as well.

Eight Words for the Study of Expressive Culture is a much-needed study of keywords that are frequently used but not easily explained. Anchored by Burt Feintuch’s cogent introduction, the book features essays by Dorothy Noyes, Gerald L. Pocius, Jeff Todd Titon, Trudier Harris, Deborah A. Kapchan, Mary Hufford, Henry Glassie, and Roger D. Abrahams.

"Without doubt, Eight Words for the Study of Expressive Culture is one of the most significant books published in the field of folklore in decades. It will take its place as a standard text in any discipline that considers the creativity and art of traditional and emergent culture as its subject matter. Cultural studies, anthropology, sociology, folklore, and many other disciplines will find this book invaluable. The ideas are original and contemporary, the scholarship is the very best available, and the contribution is rich. This book arrives just in time--the ethnographic and cultural studies disciplines need its imagination, its solid scholarship, and its good sense."--Jack Santino, President of the American Folklore Society

Burt Feintuch directs the Center for the Humanities at the University of New Hampshire, where he is a professor of folklore and English. From 1990 to 1995, he edited the Journal of American Folklore.

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