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Tradition in the Twenty-First Century

Locating the Role of the Past in the Present

edited by Robert Glenn Howard and Trevor J. Blank

Paperback Price $29.95
Ebook Price $24.95

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"The editors of Tradition in the Twenty-First Century are to be heartily congratulated for assembling a lively set of readings that raise important issues, ask useful questions, and offer lines of thought with the capacity to focus, refine, and extend the folkloristic encounter with perhaps its core intellectual construct, the elusive yet necessary concept of tradition."

—Journal of American Folklore

"The authors of this volume have indeed done a fine​ ​service to the whole field of folklore studies in showing directions of both future development of​ ​tradition in the contemporary world and the perspectives of its research.​ ​. . . Any essay in this collection actually requires (and is worth) a separate​ ​review since each of them stimulates discussion and future investigation.​"​



In Tradition in the Twenty-First Century, nine diverse contributors explore the role of tradition in contemporary folkloristics. For more than a century, folklorists have been interested in locating sources of tradition and accounting for the conceptual boundaries of tradition, but in the modern era, expanded means of communication, research, and travel, along with globalized cultural and economic interdependence, have complicated these pursuits. Tradition is thoroughly embedded in both modern life and at the center of folklore studies, and a modern understanding of tradition cannot be fully realized without a thoughtful consideration of the past's role in shaping the present.

Emphasizing how tradition adapts, survives, thrives, and either mutates or remains stable in today's modern world, the contributors pay specific attention to how traditions now resist or expedite dissemination and adoption by individuals and communities. This complex and intimate portrayal of tradition in the twenty-first century offers a comprehensive overview of the folkloristic and popular conceptualizations of tradition from the past to the present and presents a thoughtful assessment and projection of how "tradition" will fare in years to come. The book will be useful to advanced undergraduate or graduate courses in folklore and will contribute significantly to the scholarly literature on tradition within the folklore discipline.



Interview on Utah Public Radio


Robert Glenn Howard is the Director of Digital Studies and a professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and editor of the journal Western Folklore.

Trevor Blank photoTrevor J. Blank is associate professor of communication at the State University of New York at Potsdam. He is the editor of Folklore and the Internet and Folk Culture in the Digital Age, coeditor of Tradition in the Twenty-First Century and Folklore and Social Media, and author of The Last Laugh: Folk Humor, Celebrity Culture, and Mass-Mediated Disasters in the Digital Age and Toward a Conceptual Framework for the Study of Folklore and the Internet. Follow him on Twitter: @trevorjblank.

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  • Paperback Price: $29.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-87421-899-2
  • Ebook Price: $24.95
  • EISBN: 978-0-87421-900-5
  • Publication Year: 2013
  • Pages: 238
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: edited by Robert Glenn Howard and Trevor J. Blank
  • ECommerce Code: 978-0-87421-899-2
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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