“the plaything of fate and the sport of the rushing current”: Sailor as Figure and Character in Folklore and Literature

Jessica Floyd (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

This paper investigates the sailing character and explores how he should be viewed as a figure in folklore and as a literary trope. The sailing man appears rooted in culture across time, space, and place, arriving in spaces like eighteenth-century satirical caricatures from London, early British and American poetry and plays, and even later erotic content that arrives in the twentieth century. I am interested in the congealed identity of the sailing character and what the articulation of this figure means across genres and periods. This paper investigates the how and why he is an embedded figure in popular culture.

Part of V4-05 Folklore, Gender, and Literature, Thursday, October 12, 8:00 am–10:00 am