Western Folklore

Vol. 82 No. 2 – Spring, 2023



Layered Meanings of Resistance through Dress and Bodily Practices: A Case Study of Iranian Women

Zahra Abedinezhad

ABSTRACT:Western scholarship is particularly concerned with the intentionality behind women’s dress and grooming in Islamic societies. In everyday life, however, women manipulate their available repertoires to meet a variety of needs and purposes. Impulses toward resistance are typically intertwined with other motives and messages. Interviews with urban women in contemporary Iran reveal that trendy styles of dress such as wearing mantels without buttons and tucking scarves behind ears perform autonomy, comfort, and a rejection of the dominant model of hijab imposed by authorities. KEYWORDS: Iranian women,material culture, dress, resistance, interpretation.

“A Pleasing Terror”: Legends, Scholarly Authority, and the Folkloresque in the Ghost Stories of M. R. James

Timothy H. Evans

ABSTRACT:The influential English writer M. R. James (1862-1936) developed a repertoire of techniques for creating folkloresque ghost stories that seem authentically supernatural. These include the citation of (often invented) scholarly sources, details of (often invented) material culture and landscape, and reference to (often invented) oral tradition. James’s stories are literary (folkloresque) counterparts to supernatural legends, creating their sense of credibility with techniques that are similar to those used to create a sense of truthfulness in legends. KEYWORDS: M. R. James, legends, folkloresque, ghost stories, folklore and literature

Line Fishing in the Myette Point Houseboat Community

James Reitter and Jim Delahoussaye

ABSTRACT:This article discusses the occupational folklife of a Cajun community living on the Atchafalaya River Basin in southern Louisiana. Through personal interviews, members of the Myette Point houseboat community share stories of their unique livelihood. Detailing tools, techniques, and environmental knowledge of river- basin fishing acquired through experiences and oral narratives, the people of this community embraced a way of life that is virtually nonexistent in modern America. KEYWORDS: fishing; occupational folklore; Atchafalaya Basin; Cajun; Louisiana


Ron Briley, Searching for Woody Guthrie: A Personal Exploration of the Folk Singer, His Music, and His Politics
Reviewed by Hillary R. Anderson

Rachel Harris, Soundscapes of Uyghur Islam
Reviewed by Michael A. Denner

Wolfgang Mieder, Dictionary of Authentic American Proverbs
Reviewed by James I. Deutsch

Jeanne Pitre Soileau, What the Children Said: Child Lore of South Louisiana
Reviewed by Shelbie Durrant

John Bodner, Wendy Welch, Ian Brodie, Anna Muldoon, Donald Leech, and Ashley Marshall, COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories: QAnon, 5G, the New World Order and Other Viral Ideas
Reviewed by Christopher Nicholson

Timothy Lloyd, What Folklorists Do: Professional Possibilities in Folklore Studies
Reviewed by Hilary-Joy Virtanen

John McDowell, Katherine Borland, Rebecca Dirksen, and Sue Tuohy, Performing Environmentalisms: Expressive Culture and Ecological Change
Reviewed by Taylor Wyatt