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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

Spring-heeled Jack on the Continent

  • 21/02/2023
  • 18:00-19:30
  • Online talk

Czech Pérák (Spring Man) graffiti; photo Petr Janeček

Spring-heeled Jack on the Continent A Folklore Society online talk by Dr Petr Janeček (Charles University, Prague) Tuesday 21 February 2023, 18:00 GMT Spring-heeled Jack is one of the most peculiar demonic beings of British folklore. Since the beginning of the 20th century, legends about this mysterious urban phantom reached Continental Europe and adapted to...

More events coming up

‘There wis a lady dressed in green’: William Montgomerie’s Recordings of ChildrenLighthouses and the ParanormalArt of Belonging: Sicilian Folk Art Practices Today‘Riders on the Storm; Riders at the Door’: The Nordic Legends of the Wild Ride

Folklore Society News

Estella Canziani Post-graduate Bursary for Research 2023

We are very pleased to announce that our Estella Canziani Post-graduate Bursary for Research 2023 has been awarded to Claire Slack (DHeritage, University of Hertfordshire) for her research project: ‘Sharing Sacred Spaces: Engagements with the Contemporary Heritage of British Pagan Sacred Sites.’ Congratulations Claire, we look forward to receiving your report and ‘postcard from the...

Report from Jessica Lloyd re Estella Canziani Bursary 2022

Randwick Wap 2022 Field Study Report by Jessica Lloyd Thanks to the Estella Canziani Post-graduate Bursary for Research 2022, I was able to undertake field research on 7th May 2022 at the Randwick Wap in Gloucestershire in order to understand the custom and its meaning to those in attendance. This was conducted as the first...

Report from Georgina Rowe re Estella Canziani Bursary 2022

I was delighted to receive the Estella Canziani Postgraduate Bursary for Research this year, which facilitated an archive visit I took in mid-July to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House. My PhD thesis explores the influence of the old songs upon newly composed traditional folk music in the twenty-first century, with tropes...

Season’s Greetings

Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year to all  

The Archaeology of Ritual and Magic

The Archaeology of Ritual and Magic Council for British Archaeology online talk by Dr Mark Curteis 25 January 2023, 7.30pm Tickets Free. Book via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-archaeology-of-ritual-and-magic-a-talk-by-dr-mark-curteis-tickets-235358843637  

The Katharine Briggs Award 2022

We are delighted to announce that the winner of The Katharine Briggs Award 2022 is: Folklore, Magic, and Witchcraft: Cultural Exchanges from the Twelfth to Eighteenth Century, Edited by Marina Montesano, and published by Routledge. Congratulations Marina. We also congratulate the three joint runners-up: Martin Graebe (ed.), The Forgotten Songs of the Upper Thames: Folk Songs from...

ISFNR Interim Conference 2022

We were delighted to attend and set up our Folklore Society stand at the ISFNR Interim hybrid Conference 2022: “Folk Narrative and the Visual Arts”, at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, in July this year. The papers were excellent and it was a lovely occasion to meet old friends and...

Marking the Death of the Queen

Following the sad news of the death of the Queen, we went to pay our respects and to see the floral tributes that people have been placing outside Buckingham Palace.  

Princess: BBC Sounds podcast with Juliette Wood

In this episode of BBC R4’s Princess series, our own Dr Juliette Wood and MP Stella Creasy talk with Anita Anand about the origins and folklore of Walt Disney’s Princesses, including Elsa from Frozen; first broadcast 4 July 2022, listen again on BBC Sounds: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0cjrpx7

A Message in Support of the People of Ukraine

A Message in Support of the People of Ukraine from The Folklore Society As a learned society long concerned with the everyday, overlooked and subtle ways that we make meaning in our lives and identities, we offer solidarity to our colleagues and friends in Ukraine at this most difficult time. The threat posed by authoritarian...

Wiki Loves Folklore competition 2022

15 March is the deadline for uploading entries to the Wiki Loves Folklore competition 2022. Find out more about the competition, prizes and rules at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Wiki_Loves_Folklore_2022 We’re inviting folklorists who upload entries to Wiki Loves Folklore to also send them to us at thefolkloresociety @ gmail.com, so that we can share some of them on...

Estella Canziani Post-graduate Bursary for Research 2022

We are very pleased to announce the award of Canziani bursaries to: Jessica Lloyd (PhD candidate, University of Nottingham): ‘Folklore and identity in Southwest England’, and Georgina Rowe (PhD candidate, University of Birmingham): ‘No longer “unwritten:” British traditional folk music and the archive’


Ethics Guidelines for Collecting Folklore

Ethical guidelines for good practice in collecting, archiving and sharing folklore material. Folklore collection originally developed and flourished at a time when research ethics, and questions about intellectual property, were given little thought. Contemporary expectations demand that folklorists (and other researchers) pay attention to such matters. With this in mind, the Folklore Society suggests the...

Courses in Folklore Studies

Here’s a selection of courses and classes on folklore studies at various different levels ranging from learning for fun to Masters and PhD. PhD in Folklore, Contemporary Legend, Film & Media, at Sheffield Hallam University PhD opportunities in folklore, contemporary legend, film & media at the Centre for Culture Media and Society (CCMS), Sheffield Hallam...

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

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

Vaughan Williams Memorial Library

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) is England’s designated library and archive dedicated to English folk song and dance. Located at Cecil Sharp House, the home of the English Folk Dance & Song Society, it contains an inspiring collection of books, sound, film, photographs, and special archival collections. A number of the VWML’s archival collections and other important...

Other Folklore Events and Calls for Papers

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


Shaking the Tree, Breaking the Bough: Frazer’s Golden Bough at 100

  • Start date: 10th Feb 2023
  • End date: 12th Feb 2023
  • online

  This conference hosted by Drs. Caroline Tully and Stephanie L. Budin, under the auspices of the University of Melbourne, from Friday, 10 February to Sunday, 12 February 2023, evaluates the continued influence of Sir James G. Frazer and his magnum opus The Golden Bough on the Humanities in modern academia. Talks are 20 minutes/40 minutes (keynote speakers) each, with...

This Is The Land

  • Start date: 11th Feb 2023
  • End date: 19th Feb 2023
  • The Network Theatre, 246A Lower Road, London SE1 8SJ

As part of VAULT Festival 2023, RedRoom Theatre present This Is The Land. Five elemental figures navigate their fast and furious arrival. Transcending narrative, complex stories seep from the earth’s sediments, told through sound, dance, imagery and memories. This symphony of resounding stories summons ghosts from the geology of the British Isles and beyond. Affirming the unsettl...

Folk Singing Symposium

  • Start date: 24th Feb 2023
  • End date: 25th Feb 2023
  • Victoria Hall, Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 2JB

We have a great lineup of speakers, and a few spaces left for people to come along and join the discussions. The symposium is for anyone interested in folk singing, not just academics! We would appreciate it if you could share this with your networks, if appropriate. Booking now open for the Folk Singing Symposium, held at the University of Sheffield 24-25 February. A wealth of s...

Humour and Sexual Violence (Birkbeck University Virtual Workshop)

  • Date: 15th Mar 2023
  • Virtual Workshop

Workshop Call for Papers: Humour and Sexual Violence Call for Papers deadline: 31 January 2023 Online Event: 15 March 2023 The juxtaposition of humour and sexual violence as objects of study seems jarring; however, as scholars such as Nicola Gavey (2005) have argued, normative discourses of (hetero)sexuality and gender provide a “cultural scaffolding” for rape and sexual viol...

Mythos as MythUs: Facing and Overcoming crises through traditional narrative from antiquity to the present (international summer program)

  • Start date: 19th Jun 2023
  • End date: 28th Jun 2023
  • University of Athens (History Museum, Plaka) and Antiparos, Cyclades

This 10-day program offers students the opportunity to dive into myth and folk narrative, from antiquity to the present, as these are the long-shared humanity’s voice, with which people respond to harsh realities and times of crisis, and deal with the distress that impacts entire communities. In times of transition and upheaval, myth and narrative serve to counter the inimical ste...

Perspectives on Contemporary Legend, 40th conference

  • Start date: 26th Jun 2023
  • End date: 30th Jun 2023
  • Sheffield Hallam University

CALL FOR PAPERS - PERSPECTIVES ON CONTEMPORARY LEGEND 40th conference International Society for Contemporary Legend Research Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK | 26-30 June, 2023 The International Society for Contemporary Legend Research is pleased to announce that the 2023 Perspectives on Contemporary Legend 40th International Conference will be held in the Dorothy Fleming...