Oral Culture and Community in Nineteenth-Centruy France

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: History Faculty


My aim is to use folklore collections as a means to 'listen in' to social practices. Folklorist preserved tales and songs as aesthetic documents, but by reconnecting them to the context of their performance, the historian can also uncover their social function. Riddles might form a marriage negotiation, tales were cultural capital, and legends were lessons in vital geography. Various genres or oral literature will be examined through case-studies including on board ship, within an extended family, and among a protoindustrial work party work party. From these examples, historian can better grasp how communities worked together, despite the conflicts that divided them.


10 25 50