Collaborative Grad Student Publication on Urban Legend Motifs, Themes, and Genres
Call for Papers Date:
By some accounts, motif indexes are archaic in their practicality as a research tool by folklorists. For others, volumes like Thompson & Aarne’s collaboration still remain an important piece of their scholarship. In a world where the Internet is dominate and speed counts, a digitized, searchable database of information is the perhaps the most sought after research commodity. As such, this call for contributions will seek to answer the need for a digital, searchable, and efficient research tool in the discipline of folklore. Simultaneously, this call will provide graduate students a valuable opportunity to become published in both electronic and print formats, but more importantly facilitate cooperation and interaction among the upcoming generation of folklorists and other humanities scholars from various programs.
The idea: to create a collaborative publication with a supplemental and complementary electronic database to aid researchers studying urban legends. Graduate students are asked to select a genre, motif, theme, or actual legend itself, and then write an encyclopedia-style entry. The list of available topics (distributed via email upon receipt of student interest) is a work-in-progress and as this project is geared toward facilitating ideas from grad students everywhere, there are no limitations to what can be covered. Topics not listed on the provided list are welcome for submission so long as the topics are approved as relevant to the project by the editor(s). Collections such as Brunvand’s Encyclopedia of Urban Legends report legends and their variations, and the ever-popular Snopes.com routinely debunks circulating urban legends. This project, however, will be focused primarily on analysis of the genre, though entries on actual legends are welcome as well. Preferably, submissions will focus upon a particular topic while providing examples of relevant material. For example, an entry on the portrayal of disability in urban legends may cite “The Hook” or “The Blind Man” legends.
It is important to note that the end result of this project is not clearly defined. The outcome, be it a website, CD-ROM, book, or special issue of a journal, will depend largely on the quality, quantity, and relevance of the submissions, as well as the valued opinions and suggestions shared amongst contributors in deciding the evolution of the project.
Interested graduate students should contact Trevor Blank, at firstname.lastname@example.org to express their interest in submitting/ getting involved. While I am currently heading the editing effort, I welcome volunteers to step up to help steer the course of the project. Feedback is always welcome from faculty, students, and fans alike.
Trevor J. Blank
President, Folklore Student Association
Bloomington, IN 47408
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