CFP for Ethnologies: Criminal Folklore

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12 October 2017

 Louis Riel addressing the jury during his trial for treason.

Special issue of Ethnologies

Criminal Folklore

Black market, grey market and various criminal activities have had a complex place in folkloristics. As a subject in various artistic forms, like the English Murder Ballads, the complex outlaw legends of, say Robin Hood or Américo Parades’ With a Pistol in His Hand, artistic meditations on crime and criminals are central. Less common are ethnographically informed studies like Richard MacKinnon Cockfighting in Cape Breton, Eleanor Wachs genre study, Crime Victim Stories, or Lynwood Montell’s regional and oral history based, Killing: Folk Justice in the Upper South.  Whether crime has been ignored because of the historic Romantic valorization of the folk and its concomitant effacing of the more problematic realities of everyday life, or that it is simply a difficult topic that has not yet been picked up by the ethnographic turn in contemporary folkloristics is open for debate.  This volume seeks to make crime and the problematic label “criminal”, central to the folklore project and to provide critical re/assessments of how we think of, study, and live with crime.

We seek submissions from a wide variety of perspectives but especially encourage submissions that are based on the following:

  • artistic practices/representations (song, narrative, art, dance, etc.);

  • ethnographic fieldwork on black/grey markets and/or crime/criminals;

  • theory and approaches to the folkloristic study of crime.

Proposals for articles (title, author’s name and a 150-word abstract) must be sent by August 15, 2018 to the guest editor, John Bodner

For further information or to submit a manuscript please contact the guest editor or the assistant editor of Ethnologies Van Troi Tran