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The Uses of Disciplinary History

The Uses of Disciplinary History Page 110 REFLECTIONS Regina Bendix Many folklorists were rather perplexed when the first call for papers for a special issue on “The Uses of the Folk” circulated on-line. “Haven’t we worked on this topic since the 1960s?” they asked, and they followed that query up with a sardonic observation that, once again, the labors and insights of the small discipline of folklore had gone unnoticed by the giant field of history.1 A similar mixture of unease and amazement pervaded in the early 1980s when two books dealing with tradition, a core term in folklore, stirred wide debate. One was by the sociologist Edward Shils, and the other, which brought the idea of “invented tradition” into the academic limelight, had been edited by the historians Eric Hobsbawm and Terrence Ranger.2 Neither book acknowledged folklorists’ extensive work on, or perhaps more accurately, with the concept of “tradition.” Folklorists in turn may have embraced invented tradition a little too hastily, as they adopted it as a label for various sociopolitical and economic phenomena, most notably “fakelore” and “folklorismus,” that had long been debated in folklore studies internationally.3 These discussions among folklorists, which lasted roughly from the 1960s to the 1980s, acknowledged http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Radical History Review Duke University Press

The Uses of Disciplinary History

Radical History Review , Volume 2002 (84) – Oct 1, 2002

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by MARHO: The Radical Historians' Organization, Inc.
ISSN
0163-6545
eISSN
1534-1453
DOI
10.1215/01636545-2002-84-110
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Page 110 REFLECTIONS Regina Bendix Many folklorists were rather perplexed when the first call for papers for a special issue on “The Uses of the Folk” circulated on-line. “Haven’t we worked on this topic since the 1960s?” they asked, and they followed that query up with a sardonic observation that, once again, the labors and insights of the small discipline of folklore had gone unnoticed by the giant field of history.1 A similar mixture of unease and amazement pervaded in the early 1980s when two books dealing with tradition, a core term in folklore, stirred wide debate. One was by the sociologist Edward Shils, and the other, which brought the idea of “invented tradition” into the academic limelight, had been edited by the historians Eric Hobsbawm and Terrence Ranger.2 Neither book acknowledged folklorists’ extensive work on, or perhaps more accurately, with the concept of “tradition.” Folklorists in turn may have embraced invented tradition a little too hastily, as they adopted it as a label for various sociopolitical and economic phenomena, most notably “fakelore” and “folklorismus,” that had long been debated in folklore studies internationally.3 These discussions among folklorists, which lasted roughly from the 1960s to the 1980s, acknowledged

Journal

Radical History ReviewDuke University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2002

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