Folklore 101


Special Edition with digital extras!

This fun, accessible guide to the academic study of folklore packs in a college class's worth of material, from basic concepts and major folklore genres to special topics based on identity, fancy theories, and more.



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An accessible introduction to Folklore Studies

When's the last time you got to pick a folklorist's brain?

Did you know memes count as folklore?

Or that folklorists assign numbers to fairy tales to keep track of them all?

The field of folklore studies is over two centuries old, and it's full of amazing insights about human behavior, creativity, and community. Folklore studies is as interdisciplinary as it gets, squished somewhere between anthropology and linguistics and religious studies and comparative literature and more. It's all about the informal human interactions, the million tiny acts and stories and beliefs and arts that function as social glue even if they seem beneath notice. Do traditional holiday foods have a deeper meaning? Yep. Same with folk music, ballads, proverbs, jokes, urban legends, body art, and a ton more genres covered in this book.

Is the whole book as easy to read and irreverent as this description? Yep.

"This wonderfully insightful book introduces the reader to folklore with warmth and good humor. Students and others interested in folklore will love it!"

-Libby Tucker, Distinguished Service Professor of English, Binghamton University and author of Haunted Halls: Ghostlore of American College Campuses

If you've always wanted to take a folklore class, or you're a writer or artist using folklore in your work, or you're just generally interested in the topic, this is the book for you!

"Dr. Jeana Jorgensen knows her stuff and, just as importantly, knows how to communicate it. Folklore 101 is a treasure trove of knowledge, the kind it would take years of college courses to accumulate yourself. If you're curious about academic folklore, this clear, engaging book is where you want to start."

–Dr. Sara Cleto, co-founder of The Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic

Special Edition Extras

This one's a bit special.

We've worked with the wonderful folks at Marvellous Maps to provide you with an unique discount off their beautifully-illustrated Great British Folklore and Superstition Map.

Perfect for folklore and history lovers! Britain is a bubbling cauldron of myth, legend and barely believable but bewitchingly tall tales. A land of marauding monsters and dastardly demons, where mythical beasts run amok and spooky spirits lurk behind every creaking door. Have your pants scared off by over 1,400 legendary locations, ghost-written and craftily conjured into cartographical form for your fiendish delight. But watch out - the Devil is in the details.

The map features:

  • BRITAIN’S TOP 50: Britain’s most mythical locations mapped, along with a legendary road trip that links them all up.
  • LEGENDS & HEROES: More than 150 swashbuckling stories of sword-swinging heroes, feats of daring and places immortalised in local legend.
  • STRANGE BEINGS: From grouchy giants to (un)friendly fairies and everything in between, track down these mythical creatures in their fabled stomping grounds.
  • GHOSTLY GOINGS-ON: A spooky selection of more than 500 haunted spots, all guaranteed to give you goosebumps.
  • MYSTERIES & MAGIC: Over 300 places wreathed in tales of witchcraft, devilry, superstition and ancient mystery.
  • FREAKY FESTIVALS & EVENTS: More than 30 of Britain’s quirkiest and freakiest festivals and events.
  • EPIC EXPEDITIONS: From paranormal pub crawls to magical mystery trails, explore supernatural Britain via these epic odysseys.
  • POINTS OF INTEREST: An enchanting selection of museums, mystical must-knows and place names that’ll give you the shivers.

Get your discount code with your very own Special Edition ebook of Folklore 101.


Like an entire college education in folklore studies packed into a neat little book. Perfect for all fairytale fans or anyone just wanting to learn something new. Jeana takes topics other academics have made dull and explains them in fresh and funny ways that will stick with you long after you finish turning the pages.

Molly Likovich

This is the most fun I have ever had reading a textbook. I admit I find folklore fascinating, but this introduction makes it even more interesting. The author's style is very readable, almost conversational. The book includes a ton of examples, stories, and personal anecdotes. There are also a lot of suggestions for further reading. And it covers so many areas of folklore, things I never even thought of, from fairy tales to urban legends to counting rhymes and who wears pink or blue.

Emilie Johnson

...will have you rethinking all you thought you already knew about folk lore. Written in easy to understand terms and divided into easily digestible segments, this book is a good one to read and reread as your time allows.

Kat Lebo

Folklore 101 is an approachable, enjoyable dive into a fascinating academic field—a “DIY folklore class” for the curious.

A thought-provoking special topics section concludes the book with even more unique material regarding the folklore of women, children, occupational groups, and the disability community.

Clarion Reviews

News about Folklore 101

Retelling and saving all kinds of different folklore matters. Even though many conversations focused on stories of the past, these types of stories can teach people important lessons for the future.

When's the last time you got to pick a folklorist's brain? Did you know memes count as folklore? Or that folklorists assign numbers to fairy tales to keep track of them all? Folklore 101 by Dr. Jeana Jorgensen has all the answers.

Photo of Dr. Jeana Jorgensen

Dr. Jeana Jorgensen

Jeana Jorgensen studied folklore at UC Berkeley with Alan Dundes, and went on to earn her MA and PhD in folklore at Indiana University. She has since taught at UC Berkeley, Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis, and Butler University, as well as delivering guest lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Tartu (Estonia), the Central University of Jharkhand (India), and multiple other universities (as well as virtual guest lectures at the University of Tampa, Bowling Green State University, and more). Her research and teaching center on general folklore history and theory, gender and sexuality in folklore, and folk narrative genres such as fairy tales and fairy-tale retellings. She also specializes in the history of sex education, feminist and queer theory, body art, and the digital humanities.

With other 25 academic articles and book chapters to her name, she is now focusing on bringing more scholarly writing to the general public, firmly believing that scholarship can and should be both accessible and fun.

More about Dr. Jeana Jorgensen

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