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Tradition in the 21st Century
Trevor J. Blank & Robert Glenn Howard, eds
6 x 9, 238 pages
published: 2013

ISBN 978-0-87421-899-2
paper $27.95

ISBN 978-0-87421-900-5
e-book $22.00

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Trevor J. Blank is an assistant professor in the Department of English and Communication at the State University of New York at Potsdam and editor of Folk Culture in the Digital Age.


Robert Glenn Howard is the Director of Digital Studies and a professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and editor of the journal Western Folklore.

Tradition in the 21st Century

Locating the Role of the Past in the Present

Trevor J. Blank & Robert Glenn Howard, eds

Also by Blank - Folk Culture in the Digital Age and Folklore and the Internet

In Tradition in the Twenty-First Century, nine diverse contributors explore the role of tradition in contemporary folkloristics. For more than a century, folklorists have been interested in locating sources of tradition and accounting for the conceptual boundaries of tradition, but in the modern era, expanded means of communication, research, and travel, along with globalized cultural and economic interdependence, have complicated these pursuits. Tradition is thoroughly embedded in both modern life and at the center of folklore studies, and a modern understanding of tradition cannot be fully realized without a thoughtful consideration of the past's role in shaping the present.

Emphasizing how tradition adapts, survives, thrives, and either mutates or remains stable in today's modern world, the contributors pay specific attention to how traditions now resist or expedite dissemination and adoption by individuals and communities. This complex and intimate portrayal of tradition in the twenty-first century offers a comprehensive overview of the folkloristic and popular conceptualizations of tradition from the past to the present and presents a thoughtful assessment and projection of how "tradition" will fare in years to come. The book will be useful to advanced undergraduate or graduate courses in folklore and will contribute significantly to the scholarly literature on tradition within the folklore discipline.