Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Women in Folklore: Encyclopedia of Women's Folklore and Folklife

The Encyclopedia of Women's Folklore and Folklife edited by Liz Locke, Theresa A. Vaughan, and Pauline Greenhill came out at the very end of 2008 and was reviewed several times over the past year. I haven't seen a copy myself since it's not easily accessible yet, but I am very interested in it. If you have easy access to a university library--which I do not--I recommend searching or asking for it there.

Here's some of the general information I have learned about it so far.

Description from the publisher:

From the stone age to the cyber age, women and men have experienced the world differently. Out of a cosmos of goddesses and she-devils, earth mothers and madonnas, witches and queens, saints and whores, a vast body of women's folklore has come into bloom. International in scope and drawing on more than 130 expert contributors, this encyclopedia reviews the myths, traditions, and beliefs central to women's daily lives. More than 260 alphabetically arranged entries cover the lore of women across time, space, and life. Students of history, religion and spirituality, healing and traditional medicine, literature, and world cultures will value this encyclopedia as an indispensable guide to women's folklore.

In addition, there are entries on women's folklore and folklife in 15 regions of the world, such as the Caribbean, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Western Europe. Entries provide cross-references and cite works for further reading, and the encyclopedia closes with a selected bibliography of print and electronic resources. Students learning about history, world cultures, religion and spirituality, healing and traditional medicine, and literature will welcome this companion to the daily life of women across time and continents.

Title Features:

• Four substantial overview essays survey the present state of scholarship on women's folklore and folklife around the world
• More than 260 alphabetically arranged entries written by more than 130 expert contributors discuss a wide range of topics related to women's folklore and folklife
• An alphabetical list of entries provides easy access to the contents of the encyclopedia
• A guide to related topics groups entries in broad categories to help readers find related terms
• Entry bibliographies list works for further reading.
• A selected bibliography lists the most important general print and electronic resources on women's folklore and folklife.

Table of Contents:

List of Entries
Guide to Related Topics
Overview Essays
The Encyclopedia
Appendix: Call for a Second Edition
Selected Bibliography
About the Editors and Contributors

The reviews have been positive overall, leading me to believe this is an excellent resource on the topic, especially as a jumping off point into more detailed subtopics.

Note that the links above go to Amazon.com. However, I checked Barnes and Noble for this title and it is currently discounted at a better price there. Also, it is possible to browse the beginning of the first volume to get a better idea of the entries list and other resources found within. Go to Barnes and Noble: Encyclopedia of Women's Folklore and Folklife to see more.

(And, yes, SurLaLune is also a Barnes and Noble Affiliate.)

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