A Treasury of American-Jewish Folklore

ISBN 13: 9780765760241
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A Treasury of American-Jewish Folklore [Steve Koppman, Lion Koppman] on tiarotisour.cf *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. To find more information on. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. The Koppmans have compiled a wonderfully diverse collection of folklore covering years of the.

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A Treasury of Jewish Folklore, edited by Nathan Ausubel

Start on. Show related SlideShares at end. WordPress Shortcode. Published in: Education. Even during the years when Botkin's opponents in folklore studies sought to marginalize his influence, such folklorists as Kenneth Goldstein, Bruce Jackson, Archie Green, Ellen Stekert, Richard Bauman, and Roger Abrahams sought contact with Botkin and received the encouragement they sought in resisting narrow approaches to the material of folklore studies and to the role of the folklorist in the larger culture.

These folklorists were involved in the folksong revival, a development Botkin welcomed but influential academic folklorists such as Richard Dorson opposed as inimical to the status of folklore as a scholarly discipline. Botkin's various treasuries had helped introduce some of these scholars to folklore, and to what Botkin thought of as the legacy of the diverse and creative American folk of the past and the present.

Botkin's lifelong openness to new currents in the social sciences fitted in with their desire to bring new perspectives to the study of the folk and the lore. In addition, Botkin provided these folklorists with a link to New Deal and Popular Front cultural politics. For them, Botkin's outsider status in the profession may have only added to the attraction they felt toward him and his work--to the legacy he was offering them.

Examining Botkin's response to the post World War II folksong revival provides insights into what he hoped his legacy would be.

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Observing the revival, Botkin concluded that his views regarding the direction folklore scholarship should take were not yet defeated, despite the campaign of vilification of his work that emanated from the folklore department at Indiana University. What pleased Botkin most was that the revival stimulated new questions about the meaning and use of tradition: "What is the relation of the individual to the group?

By , he concluded, the positive influence of the folksong revival was spilling over into the American Folklore Society and was playing a major role in encouraging new approaches among younger folklore scholars.

He held on to the hope that a new generation of scholars, many of whom were deeply involved in the revival, might heal the divisions among older folklorists. He saw these divisions as standing in the way of both scholarly innovation and the utilization of folklore. This new generation of folklorists would improve academic folklore's relations with the public and move beyond what Botkin saw as false dichotomies.

As a supportive critic of the revival, Botkin reiterated the main themes of his lifelong work in folklore. Botkin saw the folksong revival as a sign that the work he had been doing in folklore might be continued by others, that his legacy although he did not use this term would be expanded by others.

Benjamin Botkin's Legacy-in-the-Making (American Folklife Center, Library of Congress)

Botkin's position that the revival raised profound issues about the study and use of folklore had roots in the vision and theories he had been articulating since the publication of his first volume of Folk-Say. In these essays, he made not only theoretical points but also sought to explore what it would mean for the use of folklore if Americans especially creative writers, historians, and folklorists recognized and encouraged the creative reciprocity between the individual and the folk.

Thus, in , he boldly announced before a session of the Modern Language Association, that "if giving back to the people what we have taken from them and what rightfully belongs to them, in a form in which they can understand and use, is vulgarization than we need more of it. When public folklorists today look at Botkin's career they find much that they are eager to embrace. They find parallels between Botkin's work as a governmental official and their own publicly funded positions. He has left them an inspiring treasure of easily quoted phrases that they readily use and honor, such as "giving back to the people" and folklore is "public, not private property.

Public folklorists can also trace a line from Botkin to themselves.

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At the Point Park College meeting in on applied folklore, Richard Bauman cited Botkin's call a decade earlier for creating an applied folklore center as a precedent. In time, a group of folklorists, including some who had participated in the folksong revival, and who had been brought up on Botkin's treasuries, supported 1 the establishment in of the Smithsonian Institution's Festival of American Folklife, 2 folklorist Archie Green's efforts to create an American Folklife Center established in the Library of Congress in , and 3 the creation of a network of public sector folklorists funded by the National Endowment for the Arts's Folk Arts Program, which was established in One would like to conclude on the happy note that, as Botkin emerges as the patron saint of the public folklore movement and as the controversy between Botkin and Dorson becomes a part of the past no longer helping to define the identity of the folklore discipline , Botkin's vision of the role of folklore study in American culture and his life and work including his published and unpublished research and writings are both undergoing reassessment and reaching a new and larger audience.

But that, alas, is only partially true. While one can find encouraging evidence pointing in that direction, the amount of work that has been done with Botkin's legacy has only begun to scratch the surface of what needs to be done. Scholars in search of legitimizing ancestors are selective.

Not folklorists, but literary scholars and historians, have led the way in re-examining Botkin's work.

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Not Specified Original publication date While one can find encouraging evidence pointing in that direction, the amount of work that has been done with Botkin's legacy has only begun to scratch the surface of what needs to be done. American Folklore Society. Want to Read saving….

They have called attention to Botkin's Federal Writers' Project living lore and industrial folklore experiments; examined Botkin's role in the regionalist movement; pointed out Botkin's role in the New Negro Renaissance; noted his contribution to the Popular Front cultural movement; and credited Botkin with an important role in creating a popular understanding of American folk music.

It is becoming increasingly clear that an understanding of the career of this Boston-born child of poor Jewish immigrants has much to tell us about American intellectual and cultural history. In the work of these historians and literary scholars, one finds an emerging Botkin legacy that has been largely ignored--a legacy-in-the-making, if others come forward to make something of it.

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And this will become increasingly possible, now that more than twenty-five years after his death the National Endowment for the Humanities has given the archives at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln a grant to microfilm Botkin's papers and preserve his fieldwork recordings. Folklorists have been slow to wrestle with Botkin's work as more than a possible source of inspiration—despite the fact that he tried to call their attention to his early work and its importance as part of his legacy.

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His Lay My Burden Down: A Folk History of Slavery constituted both an introduction to the Federal Writers' Project ex-slave narratives and an editorial experiment in creating a work that Botkin saw as combining folklore, literature, and history. Historians initially rejected both Botkin's volume and the Federal Writers' Project narratives. When they later began to use the narratives, they gave little attention to Botkin's ideas about folklore and history.

A Treasury Of American-Jewish Folklore

The story was largely the same with folklorists. In numerous articles, Botkin reviewed his role in the development of American folklore studies during his years in Oklahoma and Washington, D. These articles continue to offer an invitation to folklorists today to appreciate and build on his work.