The judges have announced this year's very strong shortlist for the Katharine Briggs Award. The book prize was established to encourage the study of Folklore, to help improve the standard of Folklore publications in Britain, to establish The Folklore Society as an arbiter of excellence and to commemorate the life and work of Katharine M. Briggs. The shortlisted titles (alphabetical by author) are:
Gary Fine and Bill Ellis, The Global Grapevine: Why Rumours of Terrorism, Immigration and Trade Matter (OUP, 2010) Patricia Fumerton and Anita Guerrini, Ballads and Broadsides in Britain, 1500-1800 (Ashgate, 2010) Herbert Halpert and JDA Widdowson, Folk Tales, Tall Tales, Trickster Tales and Legends of the Supernatural from the Pinelands of New Jersey: Recorded and Annotated by Herbert Halpert between 1936 and 1951 (The Edwin Mellen Press, 2010) Alessandro Portelli, They Say in Harlan County: An Oral History (OUP, 2010) Steve Roud, The Lore of the Playground: One Hundred Years of Children's Games, Rhymes and Traditions (Random House, 2010) Jay M. Smith, Monsters of the Gévaudan: The Making of a Beast (Harvard UP, 2011) Alexandra Walsham, The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity, and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland (OUP, 2011) Jack Zipes, The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-tale Films (Taylor and Francis, 2010)
My congratulations to all the authors. The winner will be announced at the Katharine Briggs Evening, 9th November (see the FLS Facebook page or the website for further details). The Briggs lecture will be given by Michael Rosen on 'Folk tradition: What do we do with it?' Alessandro Portelli, one of the shortlisted authors, will also be in London the night before to give the Raphael Samuel Memorial Lecture at the Bishopsgate Institute.
Welcome to the folklore blog of Paul Cowdell. I'll post here details of ongoing research, bits and pieces from previous fieldwork, items of news, and anything else that seems to fit.
I got interested in folklore research while working as an actor/facilitator in community theatre. I was initially interested in folk song, which remains my abiding love, but I'm easily persuaded that all aspects of folklife are fascinating and worthy of study.
I took an MA in Folklore and Cultural Tradition at the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition (NATCECT) at the University of Sheffield, graduating with a Distinction for my Dissertation on 'Traditional Song in Social Context: A Study of Romney Marsh'. I won the Folklore Society's President's Prize in 2006 for an essay on dating an unpublished agricultural protest song in the Francis Collinson folk song collection. Having done fieldwork for the Smithsonian Institution's Folklife Festival 2007, I went over to Washington DC to work there as a presenter. I have continued to do presentation work, and have made regular appearances on radio discussing aspects of folklore.
I completed a PhD at the University of Hertfordshire, where I was looking at contemporary belief in ghosts. The thesis is available online here. I am a serving committee member of the Folklore Society.
You can drop me a line at paul.cowdell AT talk21.com (@ replaces AT)