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AFS Review: Calls for Submissions

CFP: Diagnosing Folklore: Perspectives on Health, Trauma, and Disability

Monday, August 5, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
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In recent years, the folklore discipline has perpetually grown to embrace new and compelling research on traditionally underexplored areas of inquiry. While great progress has been made to welcome folkloristic work in the study of mental health, trauma, and disability studies, there still remains a glaring need for additional contributions to the burgeoning body of scholarly literature. Diagnosing Folklore aspires to provide an inclusive forum for an expansive conversation on the sensitive, raw, and powerful processes that shape and imbue meaning in the lives of individuals and communities beleaguered by stigmatization, conflicting public perceptions, and contextual constraints.

Accordingly, the editors welcome submissions that thematically address the following from a folkloristic perspective:

  • Stigma and/or public perceptions about mental health/ illness, trauma, and disability
  • Narratives about mental health/ illness, trauma, and/or disability
  • Folkloric explanations for mental health/ illness, trauma, and/or disability (including beliefs)
  • Tellability and untellability
  • Non-narrativity
  • Stigmatized vernacular
  • The intersection of embodiment with mental health/ illness, trauma, and disability
  • Bodylore as it relates to wellness, mental health/ illness, trauma, and disability
  • Traditions of disbelief seen as "mental illness”
  • Folk medicine as it relates to the themes of mental health/ illness, trauma, and disability
  • "Best” medical practices (as they correlate to folk knowledge)
  • Unofficial knowledge vs. official knowledge
  • Fieldwork best practices, auto-ethnography, reciprocal ethnography pertaining to mental health/ illness, trauma, and disability

In addressing these topics, we hope to raise and answer important questions as well: How do people make sense of their experiences (with mental health/ illness, trauma, and disability) and share them with others—both those who are exoteric and esoteric and verbal vs. non-verbal? Is sharing always a good thing? Are some experiences unable to be understood by those outside of the experience? Should we even try? How do we discuss these issues with other scholars and medical practitioners who think this is "all in your head”? (a la David Hufford’s "Traditions of Disbelief”) Of course, the editors also welcome suggestions from prospective contributors; furthermore, the editors welcome contributions from scholars in allied disciplines who are open to applying folkloristic perspectives to underexplored areas of study within the study of health, trauma, and disability.

The editors of the volume, Trevor J. Blank and Andrea Kitta, are in discussion with the University Press of Mississippi regarding publication and will be sharing selected contributors’ abstracts with the editor-in-chief of the press. Those interested in contributing to Diagnosing Folklore should submit a tentative chapter title and 400-word abstract to Trevor J. Blank via email at by no later than Monday, September 2, 2013. Selected authors will be notified of their acceptance by October 1, 2013. Initial chapter drafts of approximately 6,000 to 10,000 words will be due in June 2014.

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