strip of folkloristic study

a) instead of using a text from a book, you collect something in the field;

b) instead of being limited to a genre like Märchen, you can use study any form of oral literature or verbal art;

c) instead of a dry analysis of a text abstracted from context, you have the opportunity (and thus the imperative) to find out what the text ‘means’ in context, to the teller, listener, etc.; and

d) instead of following one narrow strip of folkloristic study, you locate your collected text within the larger field of folkloristics through journal/library searches.Like last time, when it is completed, you will hopefully have acquired both an appreciation for some of the methods of folklore scholarship and concerns about the adequacy of these methods for fully discussing a piece of oral narrative.

1. Record a narrative, joke, proverb, anecdote, (etc.) from someone

You should use standard interview procedures (about which you can ask me directly). You should transcribe the narrative, if not the entire interview.

2. In the course of collecting, ask the performer why they tell it, in what context(s), how they understand it, how they imagine their audience(s) to understand it, etc. A ‘biography’ of the teller would be very useful here as well, certainly their role as a ‘tradition bearer’ or ‘performer.’

3. Try to locate it within a particular genre, and try to find analogous versions, types, styles of your narrative. There are standard reference works and/or figures (Brunvand for contemporary legend, Legman for dirty jokes, Meider for proverbs, etc.) to consult.

4. Justify why you think this falls under the rubric “folk narrative” “oral literature” etc.

5. In a short (7-10 pages) essay, summarise your findings

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