Using the Folklorist’s Toolkit for Fiction with R.B. Lemberg

Date:

November 15, 2022

Time (US Pacific):

6:00 pm

Online

Learn how the tools developed to study folklore may be used to enrich our own storytelling in terms of both structure and worldbuilding. This course encourages careful engagement with folkloric traditions.

 

Folkloric expression is rich and varied in cultures around the world, both traditional and modern. Authors of fantastic fiction often draw on folkloric traditions to enrich their worldbuilding, but this needs to be approached carefully.

In this two-session class, we will explore some concepts from folkloristics, or the study of folklore, to examine the traditional structuring of narratives. We will examine what makes something folklore, and how our own storytelling may benefit from folkloric approaches. We will then take a look at concepts from Axel Olrik’s Epic Laws, Propp’s Morphology of the Fairytale, the ATU Tale Type Index, the Motif-Index, and the composition of epic poetry to examine how some of the structures and techniques of traditional narratives can be used for plotting and structuring scenes.

We will also take a look at how folk life may appear in our stories, and how we can move beyond verbal genres in our worldbuilding to construct fantastic worlds rich in folk traditions which may include material culture, dances, rituals, and foodways.

Last but not least, this workshop encourages careful engagement with folkloric traditions, and examines how the legacies of imperialism, colonialism, Eurocentrism, racism, and sexism in academia and beyond continue to affect how folkloric material is used and received in literature.

This class will have a special emphasis on Ukrainian folklore (although it will not be limited to Ukrainian folklore), and a portion of the proceeds for this class will be donated to Ukraine relief.

For writers of all levels. No advance preparation is required.

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Event Schedule Details

  • November 15, 2022 6:00 pm   -   7:30 pm
  • November 22, 2022 6:00 pm   -   7:30 pm
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