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Title: Canada, Australia and the Scholarship of World Folklore - Small watchers from the periphery but also significant players on much larger stages
Contributor(s): Ryan, John S (author)
Publication Date: 2010
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Abstract: At the last regional Canadian Studies conference - one held in the University of New England, Armidale, N. S.W. before this one, in July 1989, - several eminent Canadian folklorists participated in a one day seminar largely organized as a form of tribute to Professor Russel Ward (1914-1995), the author of the classic study of the colonial period in Australia, The Australian Legend (1958), with special reference to the itinerant workers in the bush. That much reprinted volume was the earlier settlers - and it remains - a seminal study of Europe - derived national identity, one appealing enormously to the Canadian psyche, despite the considerable areas of difference between them - Arctic zones in the first, and the vast, semi-arid hinterland in the other. This exposition is concerned to identify the ways in which the two countries have coped with the juggernaut bodies of folkloric scholarship that have come from Europe, or, more oppressively, from the adjacent United States of America. Canada has done much, especially through Memorial University, to trace the whole phase of white settlement in colder North America, especially from Elizabethan times. Australia was/ is much reliant on two schools of training and thought, thought, the myth conscious Oxford graduates, especially those taught by J.R.R. Tolkien, - and, perforce, their own cohorts of graduates, especially in the last 40 years; and the inspirational and supportive work of John D. Widdowson,- of both Sheffield and Edinburgh Universities, and also Oxford-trained, ... each professor born in another country, South Africa and Northern England, respectively. For it is always the case that 'the outsider has the best view', and is the most percipient of fresh mores. The paper will be illustrated by several clusters of names, favoured topics, and will note how these two countries have been able to provide bridges to the earlier/ emerging/ shared folkloric scholarship of such larger cultures as those of India, China, Indonesia, or aspects of difference defining the Inuit, the Aboriginal people, the Maoris, and other Polynesian nations. The final speculation is that Folklore is one of the areas where the United Nations / UNESCO has perhaps had its greatest and most modestly priced successes, no more so that through the work of Keith McKenry (b. 1948), and one far out-doing the Smithsonian at the level of ideas, if not of exhibitions.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: 15th Biennial Conference of the Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand (ACSANZ) - Connecting Communities: Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Armidale, Australia, 4th - 7th July, 2010
Conference Details: 15th Biennial Conference of the Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand (ACSANZ) - Connecting Communities: Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Armidale, Australia, 4th - 7th July, 2010
Source of Publication: 15th ACSANZ Conference Abstracts, p. 30-30
Publisher: University of New England
Place of Publication: online
Field of Research (FOR): 200206 Globalisation and Culture
160810 Urban Sociology and Community Studies
160803 Race and Ethnic Relations
HERDC Category Description: E3 Extract of Scholarly Conference Publication
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