Modern folks and folk moderns

Brian Inman Becker
Literary modernism and the historical study of folklore entered American cultural life at the same time as responses to similar anxieties regarding the national present. This dissertation argues that the overlap at the beginning of the twentieth-century between these seemingly contradictory movements—the “modern” looking forward and the “folk” backward—explains a broader cultural shift in American self-representation in the ensuing decades. As other scholars have shown, there is often little to distinguish the projects of early...
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