Academic journal article Western Folklore

Folklore in Utah: A History and Guide to Resources

Academic journal article Western Folklore

Folklore in Utah: A History and Guide to Resources

Article excerpt

Folklore in Utah: A History and Guide to Resources. Edited by David Stanley. (Logan: Utah State University Press, 2004. Pp. 352, preface, photographs, appendices, bibliography, indices. $24.95 paper)

Folklore in Utah is an ambitious collection of forty interpretive essays, reminiscences, biographical sketches, and descriptions of academic programs, archives, and public sector activities, capped by a comprehensive bibliography of Utah folklore. The volume, writes editor David Stanley, had its origins in a series of essays first published in the Utah Folklife Newsletter between 1985 and 1991. All the essays have been updated for publication in this volume, which, as its subtitle suggests, is intended primarily as a reference book.

Among the many noteworthy attributes of the book is the quality of the editing. Stanley retains the voice of each of the thirty-six contributors but creates from their individual essays highly readable and evenly written entries on a wide range of topics. He and his collaborators have set a high standard for similar volumes for other states and regions of the country.

Following Stanley's opening essay, "Folklore Work in Utah-A Historical Survey," the book is organized into four major sections. The first two comprise brief biographical profiles of folklorists who have worked in and contributed to Utah folklore studies. The profiles themselves are arranged by generation, beginning with Austin Fife, Wayland Hand, and Hector Lee (known fondly in Utah as the "Three Nephites"), continuing with Jan Brunvand, Barre Toelken, and William "Bert" Wilson, and concluding with the third generation of academic and public sector folklorists at work in the state today. Read together, the biographies provide an informal and warmly personal history of the evolution of folklore studies in the state. The volume's third section, "Studies in Utah Folklore and Folklife," covers folklore studies among various folk groups, from Native American tribes to recent immigrants; also included are essays on studies in material culture and vernacular architecture. The fourth section of the book describes a wide range of public folklore programs in Utah, from the annual Fife Folklore Conference at Utah State University to folklore programs in state and national parks in Utah. Appendices highlight the state's eight academic folklore programs, its seven major archival collections, the state folklife program, a calendar of annual festivals and celebrations, and a whale of a bibliography of Utah folklore. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.