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AFS Review: Calls for Submissions

Call for Papers: Betrayal: Race, Class and Conscience in the Study of Folklore

Tuesday, October 23, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tim Lloyd
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While we don’t want to presume too much about our collaborators, be they actual or prospective, we think it’s safe to say that we all love folklore. We may identify and define it in different, perhaps even contradictory, ways, but we have all opted to place folklore somewhere near the center of our lives.

When it comes to the field that claims professional expertise over this stuff that we love, however, things get trickier. We are grateful that there’s a reasonably sustainable place within American academia for us to pursue ideas and expressions about which we are passionate, and this gratitude is not beyond words: we would like to thank our disciplinary ancestors for their hard work in creating the space we currently occupy. But it’s also our space now, and we want to do different, perhaps even contradictory, things from here. Although folklorists do not sign formal contracts when we become folklorists, we believe that there is a traditional and often unspoken assumption that it is our obligation to perform certain types of cultural work directed toward implicitly sanctioned goals. In simplest terms, we wish to betray the tradition we have inherited.

To that end, we are inviting chapter submissions for an edited collection tentatively titled Betrayal: Race, Class and Conscience in the Study of Folklore. We welcome work from all areas of folklore scholarship.

We don’t want to articulate a manifesto here--this is a call for chapters, not a call to arms. We are curious whether or not you have an essay or article that addresses or enacts betrayal within the field of American folklore studies. Perhaps what you’ve written (or wish to write) betrays these implicitly sanctioned beliefs about academic professionalism or responsible disciplinary practices or "proper” folkloric subjects. Or perhaps you’ve set out to interrogate the very nature of these obligations and beliefs that continue to, for better and worse, structure our field. Most likely, your work may betray in ways we can’t anticipate, which we think is the best sort of betrayal.

Please send a 350-400 word abstract to Todd Richardson at, Shelley Ingram at, or Willow Mullins at We will also be attending the AFS meetings this year in New Orleans, so look for us there if you would like to discuss this collection further.

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