Celebrating 100 Years of the Texas Folklore Society, 1909-2009

Celebrating 100 Years of the Texas Folklore Society, 1909-2009

Celebrating 100 Years of the Texas Folklore Society, 1909-2009

Celebrating 100 Years of the Texas Folklore Society, 1909-2009

Synopsis

The Texas Folklore Society is one of the oldest and most prestigious organizations in the state. Its secret for longevity lies in those things that make it unique, such as its annual meeting that seems more like a social event or family reunion than a formal academic gathering.

This book examines the Society's members and their substantial contributions to the field of folklore over the last century. Some articles focus on the research that was done in the past, while others offer studies that continue today. This book does more than present a history of the Texas Folklore Society: it explains why the TFS has lasted so long, and why it will continue.

Excerpt

The Texas Folklore Society celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2009, so it wasn’t hard to decide on a theme for this year’s publication. I didn’t want to write Volume IV of the history of the TFS, an undertaking F. E. Abernethy began with the first three volumes that cover the Society’s origin and development from 1909–2000. I wanted this book to examine what makes the Texas Folklore Society unique among other scholarly organizations, and thereby sum up why we’ve lasted so long. I believe the Texas Folklore Society’s secret for longevity lies in those things that make it different from other organizations—its publications, its people, and its meetings. Those are the features that have not only kept the Society going for a hundred years, but they have also made it thrive. So, in this book you’ll find some articles that provide a critical, analytical view of what the TFS has produced in folklore research, and you’ll also find some very personal, reflective articles from members of the memories and friendships they treasure.

In the program for the 1935 annual meeting, J. Frank Dobie summed up the importance of the Texas Folklore Society:

The Texas Folk-Lore Society is twenty-six years
old. It has published nearly 2000 pages of lore per
taining to Texas and the Southwest. It has con
tributed enormously to such books as Lomax’s
American Ballads and Folk Songs, Sandburg’s The
American Song Bag
, Dobie’s Coronado’s Children,
and other books. It is by all odds the most impor
tant state organization of its kind in America.

That was over seventy years ago, when the Society was practically still in its infancy. We’ve now published well over 14,000 pages of folklore material, in sixty-six regular publications (including this one). We’ve also sponsored another thirty-six publications, ranging from pamphlets to full-length books on the cowboy life . . .

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