Reviewing Folklore Scholarship on Death

Israt Jahan Lipa (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

Folklorists’ explorations of grief culture extend from historical and contemporary death customs and rituals to legends and personal experience narratives. Because individuals mourning the death of a loved one negotiate complex fields of emotion, folklorists have struggled with the responsibilities of eliciting, recording and reporting extremely sensitive, personal information, and emotions of grief and loss. They have faced challenges of representation as they attempt to represent family members’ re/creation of memories of the deceased person. In this regard, I ask: How have folklorists dealt with the losses faced by their interlocutors? How have they positioned themselves in this work? How have their own emotions shaped approaches and understandings?

Part of 05-14 Death, Legend, and Belief, Friday, October 14, 10:30 am–12:30 pm