Folk/History: American Traditions and the Study of History, 1900-Present


  • Anthony Bak Buccitelli The Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg


folklore, folk memory, popular culture, performance


Intimately woven into the fabric of everyday life, American traditions are studied both as texts, read as windows into cultural attitudes, and practices, read as strategies by which people create or contest meaning. This course will introduce students to the role of traditional expressive culture in the life and history of the United States. As traditional expressions often place current issues into certain kinds of relationships with the past, these traditions will be approached through the larger frameworks of race, class, gender, and sexuality that have helped to shape American culture.

Author Biography

Anthony Bak Buccitelli, The Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg

Anthony Bak Buccitelli is assistant professor of american studies and communications. He holds a Ph.D. in american and new england studies from Boston University and an M.A. in folklore from the University of California, Berkeley. He currently serves as co-editor for Cultural Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Forum on Folklore and Popular Culture, on the editorial boards of Alternative Spirituality and Religions Review and New Directions in Folklore, and the Journal of American Studies of Turkey. He has also served on the Council of the New England American Studies Association and and on the Executive Committee of the Western States Folklore Society. He was the recipient of an Angela J. and James J. Rallis Memorial Award and an Alice M. Brennan Humanities Award in 2010, given by the Humanities Foundation at Boston University, and the Oberlin College Fellowship for Alumni in 2009. His current book project Remembering Our Town: Social Memory, Folklore, and (Trans) Locality in Three Ethnic Neighborhoods in Boston examines the interrelationship of ethnicity and place identity in the vernacular memory practices of urban ethnic neighborhoods. His other publications include his chapter “Performance 2.0: Observations Toward a Theory of the Digital Performance of Folklore” in Folk Culture in the Digital Age (Utah State University Press, 2012), journal articles on digital hyperlocality, and reference entries for Multicultural America: A Multicultural Encyclopedia and Celebrating Latino Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Cultural Traditions.