ISCLR 2017 Conference Schedule

This is not an official version of the schedule. Simply a readily available one so that fellow folklorists can see who presented what at this year’s meeting.


Supernatural Legends and Place

  • Constraints of Ghost Walks and Haunted Tourism in Utah • Kylie Schroeder
  • Mysterious Northeast Arkansas: Ghost Stories in Jonesboro • Richard Burns
  • Supernatural Creatures and Belief in South Louisiana • Carolyn E. Ware


  • The Mad Doctor of the Pennhurst Haunted Asylum • Shannon K. Larson
  • The Haunted Cheerio and Other Tales: Negotiating Belief in a Louisiana Classroom • Shelley Ingram


Local Legendry

  • Hidden Treasures in Welsh Legendry • Elissa R. Henken
  • Jean Lafitte and the Other Lex Non Scripta: Outlaw as Expression of Folk Law • Keagan LeJeune
  • The Peck Ranch Massacre and Formulaic Atrocity • William M. Clements

Legend and Media I

  • Slenderman is Coming to Get Your Little Brother or Sister: Teenagers’ Legend-Related Pranks on You-Tube • Libby Tucker
  • The One at the Conference: Podcasting and Legend Scholarship • Eleanor Hasken

Legend and Media II

  • The Myth of the “Killer 2026”: Serial Killer, Urban Legend, or Both? • Daniel P. Compora
  • Framing Children’s Narratives in Online Clown Legends • Jessica Doble
  • The Clown Legend Cascade: The Legend Conduit in the Information Age • John Laudun


Fake News I

  • Pizzagate, Fake News and Its Ostensive Consequences • Jesse Fivecoate
  • Crawford Road: Legend, News, and Stigmatized Places • Kristina Downs

Fake News II

  • Fake News, Folk News, and Contemporary Legends: Information and Belief in the Age of #Alternative Facts • Andrea Kitta & Lynne McNeill

Fake News, Folk News

  • Fake News, ‘Folk News’ and the Fate of the Far Away Moses • Steven Winick
  • Conspiracy, Legendry, and the Politics of Culture in the Case of the
  • Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code • Gregory Hansen
  • Cuckolding and Consent: An Analysis of Power and Sex within the Alt-Right • Bakr Abbahou


Narrative Motifs

  • Ambrož Kvartič, Shibboleth: A Mechanism of Language Differentiation as a Narrative Folklore Motif
  • Contemporary Legend and Rumor: A Response to Dr. Hobbs • David Samper

AI in 2017

I am considering focusing my English 115 this year on issues having to do with artificial intelligence, especially in relationship to human intelligence. A couple of recent news stories suggest that it’s a topic worth considering with my students:

  • In Digital Journal, James Walker reports that Facebook “Researchers shut down AI that invented its own language.” While it is true that the two AIs involved, Bob and Alice, appeared to have deviated from standard English, it isn’t necessarily the case that the language at which they arrived was “most efficient solution”. It was simply one solution given the inputs. Other inputs might have resulted in a different “speaking in code.”
  • Some of the work is actually available from Facebook’s Code site: “Deal or no deal? Training AI bots to negotiate”.

Meir Sternberg on Narratology’s History

As part of a larger effort to think about the shape of small stories, I have begun to try to delineate more carefully the modes of oral discourse — e.g., description, narration, exposition, etc. Apart from the early work by Labov and Waletzky, whose work on narrative versus free clauses is foundational, the work I have found most compelling is that of Meir Sternberg. Re-reading his 1981 essay on “Ordering the Unordered: Time, Space, and Descriptive Coherence” is an exercise in wondering how one mind could anticipate so much of what was to come and what still needs to get done.

I’ll have more to say about Sternberg later, but in the mean time, I found this delightful excerpt from an interview in which he explains the difference, or the lack thereof, between classical and post-classical narratology.