Richard Mercer Dorson: Institutionalization and internationalization of the American folklore science

  • Ljubomir Hristić Institute of Social Sciences Belgrade
Richard Dorson, folklore, theory, mehod


Richard Mercer Dorson made great strides in fieldwork theory and technique, influencing especially his own students' work. He pioneered the analysis of oral style in folk narratives and of the role of folklore in American literature, here too stirring up considerable controversy. He was an architect of intellectual bridges between folklorists of the United States and their counterparts in Europe, Africa, and Asia, both through his own writings and through the published works and conferences he stimulated others to bring about. And, more than anyone else, he agitated for the establishment of academic programs in folklore in the United States, with the respected professional instructors, systematic curricula, and scholarly bibliography needed to sustain them. The legacy of Dorson's writings to future American, and folklorists worldwide, is rich and complex, requiring the long term for its full significance to be appreciated.


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How to Cite
Hristić, Ljubomir. 2006. “Richard Mercer Dorson: Institutionalization and Internationalization of the American Folklore Science”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 1 (2), 79-90.