CFP: Star Wars and Folkloristics

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The Folk Awakens: Star Wars and Folkloristics in Popular Culture

A special issue of New Directions in Folklore


The resurgence of the Star Wars film franchise provides folklorists a unique insight into the performance, reception, transmission, and creation of folklore in real-time.  As a trademarked franchise, Star Wars encompasses movies, television shows, toys, games, clothing, and countless other forms of consumable popular culture artifacts.  Allegedly built as a new version of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, the franchise lives in the culture as more than just popular productions, but as a hybrid narrative form that imposes a top-down narrative structure onto a fan community that reciprocates and participates through performative world building.  The producers of Star Wars and its fans have in effect created an entire folk system around the movies, including fan-productions like books, costumes, and holidays.  This special issue of New Directions in Folklore will frame Star Wars and its role in culture in the context of folkloristic and ethnographic methodologies.  Contributions are welcome from any folkloristic perspective on topics such as the following:

  • The intersection of popular culture and folklore
  • The transmission of narratives over generations
  • Embodied fandom and cosplay
  • Vernacular religions and its evolution
  • Crafting fandom in a hybridized digital culture
  • Nostalgia and memory through cinema
  • The complexities of narrative
  • The future of the narrative museum
  • The question of authorship and formal folklore
  • The power of cinema on popular culture
  • Ethnographic analyses of fan communities
  • The role of digital culture in formalizing vernacular culture

Proposals accepted no later than January 31, 2017.  Please submit your name, CV, abstract (200-300 words), and a brief note on your research methods (~100 words) to

All submissions should be original works that are not previously published or currently under consideration for publication.