Haunting Experiences
272 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paperback
Release Date:30 Sep 2007
ISBN:9780874216363
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Haunting Experiences

Ghosts in Contemporary Folklore

Utah State University Press
Ghosts and other supernatural phenomena are widely represented throughout modern culture. They can be found in any number of entertainment, commercial, and other contexts, but popular media or commodified representations of ghosts can be quite different from the beliefs people hold about them, based on tradition or direct experience. Personal belief and cultural tradition on the one hand, and popular and commercial representation on the other, nevertheless continually feed each other. They frequently share space in how people think about the supernatural.

In Haunting Experiences, three well-known folklorists seek to broaden the discussion of ghost lore by examining it from a variety of angles in various modern contexts. Diane E. Goldstein, Sylvia Ann Grider, and Jeannie Banks Thomas take ghosts seriously, as they draw on contemporary scholarship that emphasizes both the basis of belief in experience (rather than mere fantasy) and the usefulness of ghost stories. They look closely at the narrative role of such lore in matters such as socialization and gender. And they unravel the complex mix of mass media, commodification, and popular culture that today puts old spirits into new contexts.
Haunting Experiences offers significant resources for scholars of contemporary ghostlore, as well as entertaining material for general readers. . . . In their conclusion, Goldstein, Grider, and Thomas make the point that ghosts have remained with us ‘because they give voice to both the everyday and the extraordinary experiences that haunt us’ (227). Having demonstrated the depth and complexity of these experiences, the authors have given us valuable guidelines for future research.’
—Journal of Folklore Research
Diane E. Goldstein is associate professor of folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland and is cross-appointed to Memorial University's School of Medicine. She is editor of Talking AIDS: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, one of the earliest anthologies on AIDS, and has extensive experience working on AIDS policy-making initiatives with the Canadian government. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of American Folklore, Folklore, Ethnologies, Contemporary Legend, and The Journal of Applied Folklore.
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