Folklore and Contagion: Legends and Vernacular Risk Perception

Professor of Practice / Director of Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts

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Virginia Siegel
Subjects: Folklore

Diving Deeper: Doing Folklore Research

The resources listed in this guide just scratch the surface of folklore scholarship. Folklore and folklife scholarship covers a wide range of interdisciplinary research in the areas including health, education, applied anthropology, folk narrative (tale, legend, myth), folk belief/religion, folk art, music,  gender studies, and vernacular architecture.

Make sure to visit our general research guide on folklore and folklife research, though key pages are bookmarked below for your easy reference:

When doing your own searches on folklore and contagion, possible key words to think about include:

  • contemporary/urban legend, legend cycles, contamination legends, localized legend/localization, friend of a friend (FOAF), ostension
  • stigma, stigmatized narrative, stigmatized vernacular, stigmatized disease
  • tellability/untellability in narrative
  • personal experience narrative
  • vernacular risk perception
  • local knowledge, folk belief/vernacular belief, folk medicine