Please join me this Tuesday evening for a live Twitch interview and chat with author Laura VanArendonk Baugh about folklore: what it is, what folklorists study, how it relates to fiction, and how we can think like folklorists about culturally sensitive issues in our writing.
Date: Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Time: 7:00 PM EST
You don't need a Twitch account to listen in, but you'll need one if you'd like to participate in the conversation, and they're free.
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about language and verbal lore with help from scholars J.L. Austin and Richard Bauman, author Frank Herbert, Swedish performers Emma Åslund and Åsa Larsson, and others. I'm also exploring the use of language and verbal lore in storycraft and providing you with an exercise on the topic. Settle in, friends! I squeezed a discussion of conspiracy theories into my newsletter schedule last month, so this is nearly a double edition.
Here are the folklore-related memes I published to social media in August 2020.
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. This edition is a departure from my promised two-part discussion of language and verbal lore, which will be condensed and presented in a single edition next month. Instead, I'm answering the call of folklore scholar Phillips Stevens Jr., who argues that folklorists are uniquely qualified to address harmful collective narratives and because of this, they have "a professional and moral responsibility to share their knowledge" (Stevens Jr. 1996, 391). I'm also following the lead of Timothy Tangherlini and his fellow scholars, who write that "people are making real-world, and at times violent or dangerous, decisions based on informal stories that circulate on and across their social networks, and that conspiracy theories are a significant part of that storytelling" (Tangherlini et al. 2020, 34). With these arguments in mind, I'll endeavour to provide you with an accessible introduction to narrative scholarship on the topic of conspiracy theories and summarize my discussion with a list of questions you can use to evaluate the trustworthiness of narratives you encounter online and elsewhere.
Here are the folklore-related memes I published to social media in July 2020.
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about material culture with help from the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, scholars Judith Farquhar and Simon Bronner, The Joy of Vegan Baking, and the 2005 science fiction film Serenity. I'm also discussing the use of material culture in storycraft and providing you with an exercise on the topic.
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. At the summer and winter solstices, I mimic the sun and pause to reflect on my own creative work. In this edition, I'm discussing representation issues in fiction with a passage from my short story "D is for Duel/One Who Dies as a God Dies," which was published in the D is for Dinosaur anthology.
Here are the folklore-related memes I published to social media in May 2020.
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about folk customs with help from scholars Richard Sweterlitsch and Wayland Hand, author Naomi Novik, and friends Vigdís Andersen and Sveinn Svavarsson, among others. This edition of the newsletter marks a departure from folkloric belief and the beginning of a broad-strokes introduction to various folklore genres designed to fill the rest of the year. Each of the upcoming topics is widely studied by folklorists, but because they're less immediately applicable to writers, I'll only be glossing them. However, the structure of the newsletter will remain the same, and my hope is that you'll find something useful in the material for world-building, setting, and dialogue. Next year, I'll be starting something altogether new!