Folklore Institute

Folklore Institute

The Folklore Institute is a world-renowned center for folklore scholarship, where folklorists and scholars in related disciplines of the humanities and social sciences investigate the interplay of tradition and creativity within social and cultural conditions. Whether through verbal, material, or customary forms, human beings seek understanding and involvement through the shaping of traditional resources to meet new and challenging circumstances. The students and faculty of the Folklore Institute work together to document, describe, analyze, and interpret the interplay of creativity and tradition, whether it takes place in rural or urban, domestic or international, past or present settings.

We are an international center for folklore training, counting among our graduates, prominent folklorists in the public and academic realms of the United States and in 60 countries around the world. The Folklore Institute is home to the Journal of Folklore Research, the Journal of Folklore Research Reviews, Folklore Forum, and Trickster Press.

Partners & Affiliations

As an intellectual community, we engage in cooperative projects and conferences, and we collaborate with various units on campus, including:

Areas of research

Verbal arts
  • Songs
  • Myths
  • Folktales
  • Legends
  • Personal narratives
  • Jokes
  • Proverbs
Material culture
  • Body art
  • Dress and costume
  • Folk art
  • Foodways
  • Vernacular architecture
Special topics
  • Cosmology and worldview
  • Belief and supernatural traditions
  • Memory and commemoration
  • Sense of place and place-making
  • Folklore and the environment
  • Folklore and the internet
  • Folklore and embodiment
  • Children’s folklore
  • Women’s folklore
  • Occupational folklore
  • Ethnographic fieldwork
  • Archival work
  • Digital humanities
  • Museum studies
  • Applied folklore and activism