Models of Performance in Oral Epic, Ballad and Song

By Nagy, Joseph Falaky | Western Folklore, Winter/Spring 2003 | Go to article overview

Models of Performance in Oral Epic, Ballad and Song


Nagy, Joseph Falaky, Western Folklore


The five essays and afterword assembled here originally came together as contributions to a conference bearing the same title as this issue, held 23-24, February 2001, at the University of California, Los Angeles, and sponsored by the UCLA Program in Oral Tradition Studies. I would like to thank all of the speakers, introducers, and commentators who participated; Professor H. Ansgar Kelly, Director of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Professor Timothy R. Tangherlini, Chair of the Scandinavian Section of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, for their unstinting support; and Ms. Karen E. Burgess, Program Coordinator of the Center, and an accomplished folklorist, for her sage advice and ever-cheerful assistance.

The point of holding the conference and fostering the dialogue that formed its core was to demonstrate that especially in the study of oral tradition and performance we in folklore studies vitally need to stay in touch with our colleagues in ancient and medieval literature/language studies, areas where the distinction between oral and written tradition can become provocatively opaque. …

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