Folk Illusions: Children, Folklore, and Sciences of Perception

Folk Illusions: Children, Folklore, and Sciences of Perception

by K. Brandon Barker, Claiborne Rice

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Overview

Wiggling a pencil so that it looks like it is made of rubber, "stealing" your niece's nose, and listening for the sounds of the ocean in a conch shell– these are examples of folk illusions, youthful play forms that trade on perceptual oddities. In this groundbreaking study, K. Brandon Barker and Claiborne Rice argue that these easily overlooked instances of children's folklore offer an important avenue for studying perception and cognition in the contexts of social and embodied development. Folk illusions are traditionalized verbal and/or physical actions that are performed with the intention of creating a phantasm for one or more participants. Using a cross-disciplinary approach that combines the ethnographic methods of folklore with the empirical data of neuroscience, cognitive science, and psychology, Barker and Rice catalogue over eighty discrete folk illusions while exploring the complexities of embodied perception. Taken together as a genre of folklore, folk illusions show that people, starting from a young age, possess an awareness of the illusory tendencies of perceptual processes as well as an awareness that the distinctions between illusion and reality are always communally formed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253041098
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 04/22/2019
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

K. Brandon Barker is Lecturer in Folklore at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Claiborne Rice is Associate Professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Table of Contents

Preface: Zane's Illusion


Acknowledgements


Accessing Audiovisual Materials


1. Everyone Knows that Seeing is (not always) Believing


2. Four Forms of Folk Illusions


3. Folk Illusions and the Social Activation of Embodiment


4. Folk Illusions and Active Perception


5. Folk Illusions and the Weight of the World


6. Folk Illusions and the Face in the Mirror or The Boundaries of a Genre


7. Folk Illusions, Development, and Body Acquisition


Appendix: Catalog of Folk Illusions


Bibliography


Index

What People are Saying About This

Susana Martinez-Conde

Barker and Rice, the contemporary Brothers Grimm of illusions, have assembled and systematized a compilation of folk illusions, thanks to a painstaking process of recording children's reports and adult recollections, and by directly observing interactions among kids.

"

With clear focal points, sound and carefully explained methodology, and thought-provoking, substantial analysis, this book makes an excellent contribution to children's folklore and related fields.

"

Elizabeth Tucker

With clear focal points, sound and carefully explained methodology, and thought-provoking, substantial analysis, this book makes an excellent contribution to children's folklore and related fields.

Customer Reviews