Origin as Essence in American Discourses of the Folk
Presentation: 9:30-11:18 AM
Conversation: 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Drawing on examples from Cajun Mardi Gras and Appalachian music and folktales, Professor Lindahl will talk about how both "folk" and folklorists construct origin narratives for their traditions and why these often diverge from the available historical evidence.
Carl Lindahl (Ph.D., Indiana University) is Martha Gano Houstoun Research Professor of English at the University of Houston. Lindahl is an internationally recognized authority on folktales, medieval folklore, festival, fieldwork, and Southern and Francophone U.S. folk cultures. Among his numerous books are Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana American Folktales from the Collections of the Library of Congress. Since 2005, Lindahl has co-directed Surviving Katrina and Rita in Houston, the first large-scale oral history project in which the survivors of a major disaster have taken the lead in documenting it.