Emergent Questions for Folklore Studies
Ideas emerging from these ancestors’ professional experiences and community work challenge us to grapple with a number of questions for our field. Among them:
- Who has defined the field and how has this contributed to whose work and concepts are centered? Whose contributions have been overlooked, absent, unattributed, or misattributed?
- Which academic disciplines and sectors have been considered salient to the work of folklore?
- If we examine the concept of “folk” as an expression of domination from colonizing discourses, how has the concept of “folk” been socially constructed? In relation to what? Why are those who are labeled “folk” labeled in that way?
- How is the construction of humanity and citizenship related to the construction of folklore studies? Who is defined as part of humanity and as part of American culture? Who has been excluded?
- How have ideas of racism, classism, colonialism, and other systems of oppression been embedded into folklore studies?
- What cultural knowledges have folklore studies missed in neglecting the scholarship of these ancestors? What new concepts and insights can folklore studies gain from the perspectives of these marginalized scholars?
- How and in what ways has folklore studies perpetuated or countered stereotypes, invisibility, marginalization, and bias in how cultures are represented in theories, epistemologies, methodology, documentation, and presentation practices? What role has and can activism for equity play in folklore studies?
- How have BIPOC communities and scholars responded to racism, classism, colonialism, and other forms of oppression through BIPOC folklore scholarship and praxes?
- What does an inclusive and equitable critical antiracist and decolonized folklore praxis look like?