1st Edition

South Asian Folklore in Transition Crafting New Horizons

Edited By Frank J. Korom, Leah K. Lowthorp Copyright 2019
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    196 Pages
    by Routledge

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    The Indian Subcontinent has been at the centre of folklore inquiry since the 19th century, yet, while much attention was paid to India by early scholars, folkloristic interest in the region waned over time until it virtually disappeared from the research agendas of scholars working in the discipline of folklore and folklife. This fortunately changed in the 1980s when a newly energized group of younger scholars, who were interested in a variety of new approaches that went beyond the textual interface, returned to folklore as an untapped resource in South Asian Studies.

    This comprehensive volume further reinvigorates the field by providing fresh studies and new models both for studying the “lore” and the “life” of everyday people in the region, as well as their engagement with the world at large. By bringing Muslims, material culture, diasporic horizons, global interventions and politics to bear on South Asian folklore studies, the authors hope to stimulate more dialogue across theoretical and geographical borders to infuse the study of the Indian Subcontinent’s cultural traditions with a new sense of relevance that will be of interest not only to areal specialists but also to folklorists and anthropologists in general.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of South Asian History and Culture.

    1. Introduction: locating the study of folklore in modern South Asian studies  Part I. Historicizing Folklore  2. How stories lodge in lives  3. The scribal life of folktales in medieval India  4. Nameless in history: when the imperial English become the subjects of Hindu narrative  Part II. Materializing Folklore  5. Standing in cement: possibilities created by Ravan on the Chhattisgarhi Plains  6. Tools and world-making in the worship of Vishwakarma  7. Pavitra Hindu homes: producing sacred purity in domestic diasporic settings  8. Shrines, stones, and memories: the entangled storyworld of a goddess temple in Assam  Part III. Politicizing Folklore  9. Criminal ‘folk’ and ‘legal’ lore: the kidnap and castrate narrative in colonial India and contemporary Chennai  10. Folklore, politics, and the state: Kutiyattam theatre and National/Global Heritage in India  11. The amplified sacrifice: sound, technology, and participation in modern Vedic ritual


    Frank J. Korom is Professor of Religion and Anthropology at Boston University, USA. He specializes in the cultures of South Asia and the diasporas derived from the region. He is the author and/or editor of ten books, most recently The Anthropology of Performance (2013).

    Leah K. Lowthorp is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Folklore at the University of Oregon, USA. Her work spans the impact of global cultural policy on artist communities in South Asia, community advocacy and the arts, and the digital folklore of human reproductive and genetic technologies. She has authored several articles and book chapters on these topics.