Editors of Volume on Folklore and Economics Seeking Chapter Submissions
Friday, January 23, 2015
The editors of The Folklorist in the Marketplace: The Economics of Folklore and the Folklore of Economics have released the following call for submissions:
Folklore and the marketplace, at least in the west, have long eyed
each other with unease. The earliest generations of folklorists tended
to construct the subject of their study as outside of, or even in direct
opposition to, market concerns. Folklore and its active bearers perhaps
offered a refuge from the perceived stresses of the capitalist economy,
and folk economies a potentially more holistic alternative to the
homogeny of the industrial and mass produced. Yet the economic question
has in many ways always been folklore’s silent partner.
More recently, folklorists have defined themselves in relation to
the marketplace, as fieldworkers writing about it, as brokers acting in
it, and as a space, that slips between the metaphorical and the real, in
which folklore itself takes place. Meanwhile, forms marked as "folk”
have been alternately denigrated and celebrated in multiple
marketplaces, often for the same qualities, and the language of folklore
has become one of the dialects of marketing. While economists have
tended to use the word "folklore” to signal the untrue, some recent
studies address how folk traditions, oral and material, may impact
development and other economic metrics. Thus, folklorists are already
talking about economics and economists are talking about folklore.
This edited volume seeks to place the folklorist into the
marketplace and bring these discussions together. Here, we hope to
explore how the marketplace and folklore itself have always been
integrally linked in ways both productive and subversive. We will probe
how folklore can productively comment on economic structures at the
micro and macro level and how economic concerns may shape not only the
folk groups we study but also the field of folklore itself.
The book will approach the relationship between folklore and
economics from two directions: the folklore of economics and the
economics of folklore. The first half situates the folklorist into the
marketplace itself to give a folklorist’s perspective of economics and
economic exchange. Chapters may include ethnographies of those involved
in economic transactions as buyers, sellers, and middlemen, from the
farmers’ market to the trading floor on Wall Street; folk economies;
advertising culture; or a folkloric reading of advertising.
The second half turns the equation around to investigate how
folklore itself may be subject to economic influences. Here, chapters
may focus on the commercialization of folk tales or other folk forms;
the impact of financial pressures on folk display from festival to
exhibit to text; the evolving role of the culture broker; or an economic
analysis of market levels for folk art.
Please send 500-word abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 May 2015.
Editor: Willow G. Mullins, Washington University in St. Louis
Secondary Editor: Puja Batra-Wells, The Ohio State University