Amateurs and Professionals

Matthew James Cheeseman (Folklore Society, London)

Despite its implicit and often unwelcome hierarchies, the distinction between ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ persists in UK folkloristics, probably because its meaning has been flexible. Currently ‘professional’ folklorists communicate scholarly research whilst ‘amateurs’ range from entrepreneurs through performers and enthusiasts. Whatever the distinction, the Folklore Society has always accommodated the full spectrum of amateurs and professionals. This presentation discusses this through describing the Legendary Weekend, an annual conference now in its seventeenth year. Convened by the folklorist and curator Jeremy Harte, the event is more open to performers and enthusiasts than the annual conference, which positions itself as a research conference.

Part of 07-10 (Up)Roots and Leaves: The UK Folklore Society and Folkloristics in Britain, Saturday, November 04, 8:30 am–10:00 am