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Devoted to the Study of Folklore and Tradition

The Folklore Society (FLS) is a learned society, based in London, devoted to the study of all aspects of folklore and tradition, including: ballads, folktales, fairy tales, myths, legends, traditional song and dance, folk plays, games, seasonal events, calendar customs, childlore and children's folklore, folk arts and crafts, popular belief, folk religion, material culture, vernacular language, sayings, proverbs and nursery rhymes, folk medicine, plantlore and weather lore.

Next Folklore Society Event

Creativity during the Covid lockdown: Life and Renewal During the Pandemic

  • 07-08/10/2021
  • 10:00 - 17:00
  • online

Anthropology and Folklore in Conversation: The Sixth Joint Seminar of The Folklore Society and The Royal Anthropological Institute ‘Creativity during the Covid lockdown: Life and Renewal During the Pandemic’ A Virtual, Two-Day Conference Date:  Thursday 7 and Friday 8 October, 2021. Time:  10 AM to 5:30 PM. The Royal Anthropological Institute, and The Folklore Society...

More events coming up

Presidential Address and Annual General Meeting 2021“I was Satan’s Roadie”: Tracking the Devil in English Local LoreBrother Workmen: Solidarity in Trade FolkloreMermaids: Fish, Flesh or Fowl

Folklore Society News

All FLS News back issues now available in the Members’ area

All issues of our newsletter FLS News, from No.1, 1985 to the most recent issue, are now available as pdfs in the Members area of our website, as well as earlier newsletters 1980-83, and Derek Froome’s index of FLS News Nos.1-50, 1985-2006. Just log in to the Members only area: https://folklore-society.com/wp-login.php If you’ve forgotten your log...

FLS Office, Part Time Administrator job

Congratulations to our Assistant Librarian Dr Tina Paphitis who is soon to begin a three year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Oslo. Tina will continue to work for us remotely as Assistant Reviews Editor for Folklore. We are seeking to appoint a new part-time (2 days a week) administrative assistant to carry out administrative...

‘Henry Glassie: Field Work’

Henry Glassie: Field Work: at The Folklore Society Click here to buy a ticket to watch the film for £4.99 (UK only) Directed by Pat Collins Documentary | English/Portuguese | 105 min Distributed in the UK by New Wave Films From the director of Song of Granite and Silence comes this new documentary study of the...

The Katharine Briggs Award 2020

We are delighted to announce that the winner of The Katharine Briggs Award 2020 is William G. Pooley, Body and Tradition in Nineteenth-Century France: Félix Arnaudin and the Moorlands of Gascony, 1870-1914, published by Oxford University Press. And the runner-up is Jonathan L. READY, Orality, Textuality, and the Homeric Epics: An Interdisciplinary Study of Oral...

Past Presidents of The Folklore Society

Dr Ross Macfarlane has very kindly compiled a list of all of our past Presidents on the Wikipedia entry for The Folklore Society: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Folklore_Society#Presidents Thanks Ross

The Katharine Briggs Award 2020

We are pleased to announce the shortlist for the Katharine Briggs Award 2020, which was postponed from last November to 23 February 2021. The shortlist is in alphabetical order: Karl BELL (ed), Supernatural Cities: Enchantment, Anxiety and Spectrality (Boydell Press) Deirdre MASK, The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal about Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power...

Non-Print Media Award 2021

Unfortunately, owing to pandemic conditions, we were not able to solicit entries to make a 2020 award viable. We remain committed to the Award, however, which seems to be more important than ever given the situation confronting publishers, and will be holding it in 2021. We are extending the eligibility period this year, to cover...

Extract from FLS News no.92, Nov 2020

Here’s an item from our newsletter FLS News no. 92, November 2020, by Andrew Bennett: NEW CUSTOMS: CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS Folklorists are good at looking at old customs, and particularly vanishing ones; we should pay more attention to emerging ones. Take Christmas decorations for example. Decorative mistletoe, holly, and Christmas trees have been around at least since...

Anatoly Liberman responds to John Hines’s Review

After the publication of John Hines’s review of Anatoly Liberman’s book In Prayer and Laughter: Essays on Medieval Scandinavian and Germanic Mythology, Literature, and Culture (Paleograph Press, 2016), in Folklore 131, no. 3 (September 2020), Prof. Liberman sent us the following response, and Prof. Hines sent the reply that follows the response below. Response:  Author’s...

We Herts Folklorists 4!

Here is our fourth and final post for a special weekly blog series we’ll be running over the next few weeks, showcasing some of the wonderful talent of people who have recently completed or are currently undertaking the MA in Folklore Studies at the University of Hertfordshire. Throughout this series you will see some great folklore-inspired...

We Herts Folklorists 3!

Here is our third post for a special weekly blog series we’ll be running over the next few weeks, showcasing some of the wonderful talent of people who have recently completed or are currently undertaking the MA in Folklore Studies at the University of Hertfordshire. Throughout this series you will see some great folklore-inspired work,...

Free Downloads of Owen Davies’ Articles in Folklore from 23 Oct to 31 Dec 2020

As a welcome to our new Folklore Society President, Prof. Owen Davies, the following articles published by him in our journal Folklore will be available to download free from Friday 23 October until 31 December 2020: ” Witchcraft and the Somerset Idyll: The Depiction of Folk Belief in Walter Raymond’s Novels” (Folklore, vol. 126, 2015):  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0015587X.2015.1006955...


Calendar Customs in Fiction

Sophie Parkes-Nield, a PhD student at the Centre for Contemporary Legend, Sheffield Hallam University, is searching for calendar customs represented in fiction. If you’ve spotted a custom in a novel or short story, please email her at [email protected] or tweet her via https://twitter.com/sophparkes

Fund-Raising for The Folklore Society

Following our move to 50 Fitzroy Street, the Society’s annual costs for office accommodation have significantly increased, so we are inviting all members and friends of The Folklore Society to support us by making donations via our Charities Aid Foundation page at CAF Donate: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/11322

The Folklore Society office has moved to 50 Fitzroy Street

Our new office address is: The Folklore Society, 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT, tel. +44 (0)203 915 3034 Office hours: Tuesday to Friday from 13:30-5:30 pm (and at other times by appointment). Our staff are part-time, so please let us know in advance of your visit in case we’re working away from the office...

MA in Folklore Studies at University of Hertfordshire

Exciting news for anyone wanting to turn their interest in folklore into an academic qualification: the University of Hertfordshire are now offering a Folklore Studies MA, which will run both part-time and full-time. For further details on the programme of study and how to apply, please see: https://www.herts.ac.uk/courses/ma-folklore-studies

Concealed revealed

The Concealed Revealed, a strand of the Inner Lives: Emotion, Identity and the Supernatural, 1300-1900 Project, is hoping to produce an extensive catalogue of concealed objects and domestic apotropaic devices, from shoes and cats to timber marks, across Britain. Dr Ceri Houlbrook, of the University of Hertfordshire, is not only seeking information about these objects but is also aiming to...

Folklore query? Ask the Folklorists

If you have a folklore enquiry, email us at thefolkloresociety @gmail.com and we will try our best to answer it or to refer you to someone else who can. Follow us on Twitter @FolkloreSociety and on our Folklore Society Facebook page

Other Folklore Events and Calls for Papers

Please submit this online form if you would like us to publicise your event on our website.


Religion and Victorian Popular Literature and Culture: Call for Papers

  • Start date: 13th Jul 2021
  • End date: 1st Nov 2021
  • online

Journal of Victorian Popular Fictions, issue 5.2 (Autumn 2023), Call for Papers on “Religion and Victorian Popular Literature and Culture”. The issue will be guest edited by Naomi Hetherington and Clare Stainthorp. A 500-word abstract and short biography in Word should be submitted to [email protected] by 1 November 2021. Final articles to be submitted by 30 September 2022....

Hidden Charms 3

  • Date: 2nd Oct 2021
  • St Mary's Creative Space, St Mary's Hill, Chester CH1 2DW

Our theme is the magical protection of buildings and related topics. Speakers are Brian Hoggard on Horse skulls and their use in magic, Debora Moretti on Rethinking the perception of magic and rituals in archaeological contexts, Jeremy Harte on Arrow sharpening marks, Jeannine Woods on Pagan protection rituals in popular Christian celebrations of Bríd/Brigid in Ireland, Linda Wilso...

North Lincolnshire Museum – Folklore

  • Date: 23rd Oct 2021
  • North Lincolnshire Museum

Common Ground Lincs are excited to be working again with North Lincolnshire Museum to create an exhibition of contemporary artworks made in response to folklore. Our curators are seeking works that explore themes of folklore and stories, traditional customs, folk music, folk medicine, witchcraft, and magic. Artwork can be of any medium. Including, but not limited to, painting, ph...

Diversity in Folk

  • Start date: 13th Nov 2021
  • End date: 14th Nov 2021
  • Cecil Sharp House, London

Diversity in Folk: Call for Papers The annual conference of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library will take place on 13 and 14 November 2021 at Cecil Sharp House in London. Its theme will be ‘Diversity in Folk’. Send proposals for papers, 400 words max, by 30 July...