In Search of Authenticity: The Formation of Folklore Studies

In Search of Authenticity: The Formation of Folklore Studies

by Regina Bendix

NOOK Book(eBook)

$10.49 $14.95 Save 30% Current price is $10.49, Original price is $14.95. You Save 30%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
Want a NOOK ? Explore Now

Overview

In Search of Authenticity: The Formation of Folklore Studies by Regina Bendix

    Authenticity is a notion much debated, among discussants as diverse as cultural theorists and art dealers, music critics and tour operators. The desire to find and somehow capture or protect the “authentic” narrative, art object, or ceremonial dance is hardly new. In this masterful examination of German and American folklore studies from the eighteenth century to the present, Regina Bendix demonstrates that the longing for authenticity remains deeply implicated in scholarly approaches to cultural analysis.
    Searches for authenticity, Bendix contends, have been a constant companion to the feelings of loss inherent in modernization, forever upholding a belief in a pristine yet endangered cultural essence and fueling cultural nationalism worldwide. Beginning with precursors of Herder and Emerson and the “discovery” of the authentic in expressive culture and literature, she traces the different, albeit intertwined, histories of German Volkskunde and American folklore studies. A Swiss native educated in American folklore programs, Bendix moves effortlessly between the two traditions, demonstrating how the notion of authenticity was used not only to foster national causes, but also to lay the foundations for categories of documentation and analysis within the nascent field of folklore studies.
    Bendix shows that, in an increasingly transcultural world, where Zulu singers back up Paul Simon and where indigenous artists seek copyright for their traditional crafts, the politics of authenticity mingles with the forces of the market. Arguing against the dichotomies implied in the very idea of authenticity, she underscores the emptiness of efforts to distinguish between folklore and fakelore, between echt and ersatz.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780299155438
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date: 07/30/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Regina Bendix is assistant professor of folklore at the University of Pennsylvania. A native of Switzerland, she is the author of several books and many articles about European and American folklore and folklife, including Backstage Domains: Playing William Tell in Two Communities.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews