A Folklorist's Progress: Reflections of a Scholar's Life

Portada
Indiana University Press, 1996 - 353 pàgines
The Life of Stith Thompson as revealed in these pages was in some ways ordinary, in others extraordinary. Reading through A Folklorist's Progress one sees clearly the contours of an academic life in the midcentury United States. In an efficient manner, Professor Thompson portrays the rounds of an academic of the period, planning for courses, establishing and revising programs, attending international meetings and conferences, working ideas into publications. He also describes the social domain with its cycle of parties, receptions, visits, and social clubs. These autobiographical pages paint an engaging portrait of community organized around the life of the intellect. But not every scholar has the opportunity to found an academic field, and in this light the career of Stith Thompson veers toward the extraordinary. Obituaries described Thompson as ""the father of folklore"", a journalistic label that, with some qualifications, epitomizes his scholarly career. While folklore studies existed in Europe well before Thompson's lifetime, it was Stith Thompson who, in 1949, conceived of a doctoral degree program in folklore, the first in the U.S. Stith Thompson's success in securing support for the unknown discipline of folklore was due to his stature in the academic community, his skill in dealing with the administrative structure of an American university, and his ties to funding agencies, the state department, and scholarly societies all over the world.
 

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Continguts

From a Colonial Melting Pot
3
Stith Thompson in folklore office Indiana University
5
The First World I Knew
14
The Thompson farmhouse ca 1890
16
Indianapolis 18971905
23
Stith Thompson at high school graduation
28
19051907
31
Wisconsin 19071909
35
Faculty Dancing Club costume ball
157
1939
159
19391941
161
Certificate of membership in the FinnoUgric Society
162
1941
167
Thompson family at the pyramids in Mexico
177
1942
180
19431945
186

Portland 19091911
40
Stith Thompson and Edward Tabor
41
19111912
47
19121914
52
Texas 19141918
63
Stith Thompsons house in Austin Texas
64
1918
70
19181920
72
Stith and Louise Thompson on honeymoon
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19201921
78
Touring in Maine
81
19211926
83
Stith and Dorothy Thompson
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19261927
91
19271931
101
19311935
112
Thompson family and friends Thanksgiving 1933
118
1935
121
Group picture FolkTale Congress Lund 1935
126
1936
129
19361937
133
Summer 1937
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Thompsons on the road Ireland 1937
136
Stith Thompson and Séamus Ó Duilearga
142
New Administration at Indiana
152
19451946
193
Group picture Second Folklore Institute Summer 1946
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1947
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Certificate of honorary membership in the Institute of Folklore
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Stith Thompson at folklore center Rio de Janeiro 1947
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1947
238
19471950
243
Brochure announcing graduate program in folklore
247
Wedding of Rita Thompson Hays 1950
257
19501951
259
Group picture Midcentury Folklore Conference 1950
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19511952
272
Séamus Ó Duilearga 1951
276
Stith Thompson at home ca 1950
296
19521953
297
19531955
304
Stith Thompson and folklore students at Hoosier Courts 1953
305
Stith Thompson São Paulo August 1954
312
Stith Thompson ca 1955
318
1955
319
Unfinished Business
329
Stith Thompson shortly after retiring
331
Selected Bibliography of Stith Thompsons Work
345
Index of Names and Places
348
Copyright

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Sobre l'autor (1996)

The son of a farmer, Stith Thompson was born near Bloomfield, Kentucky. In 1918 he married Louise Faust and they had two children, Dorothy and Marguerite. After receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1914, Thompson began his teaching career at the University of Texas at Austin, later teaching at Colorado College and then at the University of Maine. Finally, he went to Indiana University, where he established his prominence as a folklorist. Thompson was instrumental in establishing folklore studies in the United States, legitimizing it as an academic discipline and placing it on a firm empirical foundation. In 1950 he organized an important international conference at Indiana University, bringing together world-renowned specialists to discuss aspects of the field in order to develop a historical perspective on folklore research. He also created a center for the study and research of folklore and for the training of folklore scholars at Indiana University. The University became the first in the United States to offer a doctoral program in folklore. Using the historic-geographic methods developed earlier by Julius and Kaarle Krohn, Thompson translated Aarne's Type-Index and produced the Motif-Index of Folk-Literature, revising both in subsequent years. They remain the central indexes for the historical approach to folk tale study. Thompson gained international recognition for his writings, which were praised for both their scholarship and their style. It has been written of his work that "[it] is not dry, attenuated, dull, pedantic . . . for Mr. Thompson has . . . unspoiled direct appreciation of the zest and flavor of the best in traditional literature" ( N.Y. Times Book Review).

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