Folklore in/and/after the Mueller Report

William Westerman (New Jersey City University)

The 2019 Report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, viewed through a folkloristic lens, teaches us something about the nature of propaganda as applied folklore and its influence on folk belief for political ends. Knowledge about the work of the 13 propagandists indicted as a result of the investigation was pre-empted by the diverting catchphrase, “No collusion!” that cast the report as ineffectual when in fact it revealed a great deal about the nature of communication, rumor, and the formation of folk belief in the digital age. Folk belief scholarship helps us understand the applied folklore of power.

Part of 04-05 Contemporary Engagements [hybrid], Friday, October 14, 8:30 am–10:00 am