The Name is the Thing
Near and Middle Eastern Studies
During the 1996 annual meeting of the American Folklore Society (AFS), several folklorists called for the replacement of the term folklore with one that would better represent current activities in the filed and that would be free of any negative connotations. A new term would enable folklorists to center themselves in both scholarship and public affairs. In defense of folklore, the present article begins by comparing the addresses given at the celebration of the term's centennial and those delivered at its 150th anniversary. In the United States, where folklore has suffered the greatest damage, there is a correlation between the departure of folklorists from the academy and their move into the public sector and the devaluation of the meaning of folklore.