This fall, University of Illinois Press celebrates new books published in the Folklore Studies in a Multicultural World Series. Since 2009, University of Illinois has been a partner in the multi-press initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation, along with the University Press of Mississippi, and the University of Wisconsin Press. The Folklore Studies in a Multicultural World series emphasizes the interdisciplinary and international nature of current folklore scholarship, documenting connections between communities and their cultural production. Series volumes highlight aspects of folklore studies such as world folk cultures, folk art and music, foodways, dance, African American and ethnic studies, gender and queer studies, and popular culture.
This fall we have published five new contributions to the series, including: Global Tarantella: Reinventing Southern Italian Folk Music and Dances in which author Incoronata Inserra ventures into the history, global circulation, and recontextualization of tarantella around the world; Storytelling in Siberia: The Olonkho Epic in a Changing World by Robin Harris, who documents how Siberia’s Sakha people have used UNESCO’s Masterpiece Program to revive the epic narrative and song tradition olonkho; Recasting Folk in the Himalayas: Indian Music, Media, and Social Mobility by Stefan Fiol who explores the lives and work of Gahrwali artists who produce folk music, juxtaposing performance contexts in Himalayan villages with Delhi recording studios; Czech Bluegrass: Notes from the Heart of Europe by Lee Bidgood who merges intimate immersion in the music with on-the-ground fieldwork informed by his life as a working musician to paint a portrait of the Czech bluegrass phenomenon; and Building New Banjos for an Old-Time World by Richard Jones-Bamman who ventures into workshops and old-time music communities to explore how banjo builders practice their art.