Monday, December 4th, 2017...8:51 pmmooree

Introduction to Anthology of CR/HR on Folklore

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I have created an anthology of literature from two separate, yet similar, ideological and literary movements during the beginning of the 20th century: the Celtic Revival and the Harlem Renaissance. While these movements occurred around the same time in history, their respective goals and strivings lead them in opposite directions. Past and present, both groups of people have faced oppression, the foundation on which they derive their creativity and identity, specifically folk identity. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Irish were under the control of the expansive British empire who revoked their uniqueness to become more homogenous with the Anglican culture. Their folk traditions came from ancient times of old Eire, a rural and picturesque land in which the identity of “The Celt” came into existence. This figure was dreamy and imaginative, in touch with nature, and mystical. The Irish’s own language, Gaelic, dominated the society, in which stories of fairytales and great Celtic heroes were told by word of mouth. In the Celtic Revival movement, hundreds of years later, nationalist sentiments emerged as these examples of folklore were revitalized and reimagined, in order glorify the past and return to the sacredness of the Irish culture in the face of complete assimilation to the English ways. In the United States however, Blacks were suppressed by the institution of slavery, creating folk traditions like the sorrow song and a dialect in which this group, who did not have access to education, communicated. Still suffering from the detrimental effects and consequences of slave practices, African American writers involved in the Harlem Renaissance reclaimed their identity as valuable workers, thinkers, and human beings, moving away from the white culture’s perceptions of who they were. Drawing on their past experiences and the contemporary discrimination, they used these roots to reinvent themselves as educated, cultured, sophisticated, and exemplary citizens of their country. In this introduction, I intend to use the literary works of these movements to show how these writers were thinking about their own folk traditions and the cultural inheritance they have been granted as a means of better understanding themselves and the political and social climate in which they live.



2 Comments

  • I really like how you incorporated small blurbs about each movement in this introduction. By doing this, you’re not assuming that the reader already know about the movements and the information you provided in your blurbs transitions way into your thesis. I would just suggest some paragraph breaks:)

  •   Professor Seiler
    December 8th, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Emma–Just acknowledging your post here, since we’ve talked in the meantime. Again, I think the point about oral/written and, in turn, written in *what language* is a great seam to explore in your project.

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