His concern here is to assess the material folklorists have so painstakingly amassed and classified, to interpret folklore, and to use folklore to increase our understanding of human nature and culture. Account Options Sign in. Kayla Leasure rated it it was ok Feb 04, Aditi Patel rated it it was amazing Dec 14, This is pretty dated now but will be of interest with respect to the history of the discipline of folklore. Read, dubdes, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. Refresh and try again.

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Career[ edit ] Dundes attended Yale University , where he studied English. When it turned out that the ship he was to be posted to, stationed in the Bay of Naples , already had a communications officer, Dundes asked what else that ship might need, not wanting to give up such a choice assignment. He then spent two years maintaining artillery guns on a ship in the Mediterranean. Upon completion of his service, Dundes attended Indiana University to pursue a Ph.

D in folklore. He completed his degree very quickly and went on to a teaching position at the University of Kansas where he stayed for only a year before being offered a position in the University of California, Berkeley anthropology department teaching folklore. Dundes held this position for 42 years, until his death in Teaching methods[ edit ] Known unofficially "as the Jokes Professor" [2] at UC Berkley, his classes were very popular, combining "learning" with "an irresistible wit and style".

The final project for this course required that each student collect, identify, and analyze 40 items of folklore. All of this material about , items is housed and cataloged in the Berkeley Folklore Archives. Dundes also taught undergraduate courses in American folklore, and psychoanalytic approaches to folklore his favorite approach in addition to graduate seminars on the history of folkloristics, from an international perspective, and the history and progression of folklore theory.

He dealt frequently with folklore as an expression of unconscious desires and anxieties and was of the opinion that if people reacted strongly to what he had to say, he had probably hit a nerve and was probably on to something.

In his opinion, the presentation of data, no matter how thorough, is useless without the development and application of theory to that data. It is not enough to simply collect, one must do something with what one has collected.

Towards the end of his life, he received an envelope containing a check from a former student, which he asked his wife to open. This money allowed Dundes to endow the university with a Distinguished Professorship in Folkloristics, thereby ensuring that upon his retirement folklore would not be abandoned in the department. Apparently he or she called the university prior to the donation to find out if Dundes was still teaching, or as Dundes told it, "to see if I was still alive.

The check was made out to the university, Dundes said, but with instructions that he could use it in any manner he saw fit. The professor instead decided to invest it in the study of folklore.

Influence[ edit ] Before the term folkloristics can be fully understood, it is necessary to understand that the terms folk and lore are defined in many different ways. Any group of people sharing a common linking factor, e. Another implication of this broader defining of the term folk, according to Dundes, is that folkloristic work is interpretative and scientific rather than descriptive or devoted solely to folklore preservation. In other words, Dundes advocates the use of folkloristics as the preferred term for the academic discipline devoted to the study of folklore.

According to Dundes, folkloristic work will probably continue to be important in the future. According to folklorist William A. Rather, it is centrally and crucially important in our attempts to understand our own behavior and that of our fellow human beings" , Honors[ edit ] Dundes was honored by a collection of essays compiled in his honor as a festschrift in They were married for 48 years,".

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Alan Dundes


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