Kenneth L. Untiedt, ed. Folklore: In All of Us, In All We Do. Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press, 2006. Pp.xi+298, photos, illustrations, index. $34.95 cloth.
B. Grantham Aldred
At first blush, Folklore: In All of Us, In All We Do appears to be a straightforward collection of Texan folklore, a gathering of diverse materials under a regional banner. And indeed, it serves well in this capacity. However, the collection goes deeper than that and examines a more compelling question using these texts: the relationship between folklore and history. Collected into five thematic sections, Folklore: In All of Us, In All We Do gives insight into the rich tapestry of Texas folklife from the eyes of its various contributors. Continue reading “Kenneth L. Untiedt, ed. Folklore: In All of Us, In All We Do.”
Heroes Are Over With: Possibilities for Folk Hybridity in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
Katie L. Ramos
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Folklorists have long sought to illuminate the blurry boundary between contemporary popular culture and folk culture, and in the information age that boundary is fuzzier than ever. The internet provides tools for the folk to produce creative works and disseminate them widely while remaining mostly anonymous. These tools have also allowed greater interaction between producers of popular media and their fan (folk) base. Camille Bacon-Smith and Henry Jenkins have identified a “participatory culture” in which fans produce their own creative works (on and offline) in response to popular film and television. The more recent phenomenon of internet-based high-budget programming has led to an even greater level of interaction between media producers and their fans. One example is Joss Whedon’s 2008 web production Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Whedon was known for friendly interaction with his fans, but when he developed Dr. Horrible he encouraged them to engage actively in creative play with the musical, partly through a contest that asked viewers to create their own video responses to the musical. The ten best were included on the DVD release. This paper examines how the producers and fans of Dr. Horrible entered into a (lopsided) reciprocal performance, inventing and re-inventing a shared, creative event. Continue reading “Heroes Are Over With: Possibilities for Folk Hybridity in “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog””