Among my interests is folklore, tradition (ritually and conceptually speaking), and storytelling conventions. I like when people can tell a good story, one that can inspire creative and critical thought. Folklore is a kind of “meta” media, given that cultural conventions and technological innovations shift how we think about, compose, perform, and experience stories.
Part of my dissertation work was an extension of this. You can read more about that on my research page. But I’ve been fascinated with folklore since I was very young–specifically American Indian stories, Australian Aboriginal Dream Tales, and songs and Scottish Gaelic stories and songs, to name a few.
A recent project I had the opportunity to participate in was Dale Olsen’s World Flutelore book. As an assistant to his research, I (with a number of other scholars/assistants) helped him compile flute lore from around the world. These are stories, descriptions, and interpretations of many examples of flutes as they are found in mythology, poetry, lyrics, and other narrative and literary sources from around the world. Olsen sought to determine in the volume what is singularly distinct or unique about flutes, flute playing, and flute players in a global context. He addresses how and why world flutes are important for personal, communal, religious, spiritual, and secular expression.
My friend and colleague, Damascus Kafumbe, and I are in the planning stages of a Ugandan Folklore Project, cataloging, collecting, and interpreting folk songs from around the country and surrounding areas. You may wish to check back at my blog for information on this developing project.
I hope to continue to address storytelling conventions and ethnopoetic concerns in my research, of course, but folklore has been and continues to be, for me, a poignant aspect of the human experience–of my experience. Folklore is the culmination of sacred and profane experiential phenomena filtered through (sometimes generational memory) and performed utilizing social conventions that ebb and flow through time. How cool is that?