Explorations of Culture, Belief, and Media

I’m a folklorist whose interests center on vernacular belief and the role of traditional cultures (broadly understood) in contemporary popular media.  It’s my hope that this site will become a place not only for me to discuss my research and teaching, but a home for conversations with scholars, creators, and other folks interested in folklore.

In my view, folklore is an ordinary cultural and communicative register in which all people participate, but which is dependent on shared frameworks of knowledge. For folklore to “work,” in other words, you have to “get it.” (But we can still recognize a process as folkloric even if we aren’t part of the culture[s] in which it occurs.) Importantly, folklore is not a type of “thing,” but a mode of expression and action. And there is no “folk,” except–as Alan Dundes once wrote–every one of us.