New Books Network

Michael Dylan Foster and Jeffrey A. Tolbert

The Folkloresque

Reframing Folklore in a Popular Culture World

Utah State University Press 2015

New Books in AnthropologyNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in FolkloreNew Books in Literary StudiesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books in Sociology July 2, 2019 Rachel Hopkin

This volume introduces a new concept to explore the dynamic relationship between folklore and popular culture: the “folkloresque.” With “folkloresque,” Foster and Tolbert name...

This volume introduces a new concept to explore the dynamic relationship between folklore and popular culture: the “folkloresque.” With “folkloresque,” Foster and Tolbert name the product created when popular culture appropriates or reinvents folkloric themes, characters, and images. Such manufactured tropes are traditionally considered outside the purview of academic folklore study, but the folkloresque offers a frame for understanding them that is grounded in the discourse and theory of the discipline. Fantasy fiction, comic books, anime, video games, literature, professional storytelling and comedy, and even popular science writing all commonly incorporate elements from tradition or draw on basic folklore genres to inform their structure. Through three primary modes–integration, portrayal, and parody–the collection offers a set of heuristic tools for analysis of how folklore is increasingly used in these commercial and mass-market contexts. Michael Dylan Foster and Jeffrey A. Tolbert‘s edited collection The Folkloresque: Reframing Folklore in a Popular Culture World (Utah State University Press, 2015) challenges disciplinary and genre boundaries; suggests productive new approaches for interpreting folklore, popular culture, literature, film, and contemporary media; and encourages a rethinking of traditional works and older interpretive paradigms.


Rachel Hopkin is a UK born, US based folklorist and radio producer and is currently a PhD candidate at the Ohio State University.