Toward a Conceptual Framework for the Study of Folklore and the Internet
54 pages, 4 x 6
Release Date:15 Jun 2014
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Toward a Conceptual Framework for the Study of Folklore and the Internet

Utah State University Press

Trevor Blank broke new ground for the field of folklore studies in this essay by rationalizing the study of the internet as an important area of expressive vernacular culture. Pushing back against traditionalists who dismissed the digital as simply the domain of technicians and mass media, Blank argues that "from the earliest moments of the modern Internet’s existence, folklore was a central component of the domain, moderating the intersection of computer professionals with hackers, newfangled lingo, and the dispersal of stories, pranks, and legends." With this essay and the volume it introduces, Blank theorizes the internet as an important analytic venue for folklorists, and sets the agenda for digital folklore research.

Utah State University Press’s Current Arguments in Folklore is a series of thought-provoking, short-form, digital publications made up of provocative original material and selections from foundational titles by leading thinkers in the field. Perfect for the folklore classroom as well as the professional collection, this series provides access to important introductory content as well as innovative new work intended to stimulate scholarly conversation

Trevor J. Blank is an assistant professor in the department of English and communication at the State University of New York at Potsdam. He earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from the Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, and an M.A. at Indiana University's Folklore Institute. He is the editor of Folklore and the Internet: Vernacular Expression in a Digital World (USU 2009), co-editor (with Robert Glenn Howard) of Tradition in the Twenty-First Century: Locating the Role of the Past in the Present (USU 2013) and author of The Last Laugh: Folk Humor, Celebrity Culture, and Mass-Mediated Disasters in the Digital Age (Wisconsin 2013). In 2010, he was awarded the American Folklore Society's William Wells Newell Prize in Children's Folklore for his research on "fartlore." Currently, Blank serves as editor to the open access journal, New Directions in Folklore. Follow him on Twitter@trevorjblank. (Photo credit: Philip Sanfilippo

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