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From Fireplace to Cyberspace: The Folklore of Europe from Prehistory to the Present (HI3T4)

“Folklore expresses fundamental human needs, desires, and anxieties which are often not revealed through other means” (Simon J. Bronner). It allows people to create traditions, share knowledge, and give meaning to everyday life. It helps to form individual, group, and national identities. Folklore in Europe has always been mutable and engaged in a constant process of regeneration. The old and the new, the oral, the textual and the visual have mixed and mingled. Folklore has moved from the countryside to towns and cities and now to the Internet as digital communication encourages new forms of vernacular expression.

This module focuses on the beliefs, practices, and representations of continental Europe and the British Isles from prehistory to the present. It introduces you to the methodological and theoretical issues involved in researching and writing on folklore. Topics include nationalism, politics, the ritual year, birth, marriage, and death, the supernatural, place, work and play, urban legends and cyberlore. The module considers similarities and differences between the folkloric traditions of different European countries and communities, while also encouraging you to reflect on the broader global contexts and frameworks in which these developed.

Module Convenors: Jonathan DaviesLink opens in a new window and Colin StorerLink opens in a new window