Implied NowhereAbsence in Folklore Studies

Implied NowhereAbsence in Folklore Studies

Shelley Ingram, Willow G. Mullins, and Todd Richardson

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9781496822956

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

Implied Nowhere: Absence in Folklore Studies talks about things folklorists don’t usually talk about. It ponders the tacit aspects of folklore and folklore studies, looking into the unarticulated expectations placed upon people whenever they talk about folklore and how those expectations necessarily affect the folklore they are talking about. The book’s chapters are wide-ranging in subject and style, yet they all orbit the idea that much of folklore, both as a phenomenon and as a field, hinges upon tacit or absent assumptions about who we are and what it is that we do. The authors articulate theories and methodologies for making sense of these absences, and, in the process, they offer critical new insights into discussions of race, authenticity, community, folklore and literature, popular culture, and scholarly authority. Taken as a whole, the book represents a new and challenging way of looking into the ways that groups come together to make meaning. In addition to the main chapters, the book also includes eight “interstitials,” shorter chapters that consider understudied and under-appreciated aspects of folklore. These discussions, which range from a consideration of knitting in public to the ways that invisibility shapes an internet meme to Bob Dylan, are presented as questions more than answers, encouraging readers to think about what folklore and folklore studies might look like if practitioners only chose to look at the subject from a slightly different angle.