Beginning in the spring of 1997, I've been collecting sacred and supernatural legends and memorates associated with landscape features, both built (bridges, grottos) and natural (barrens, hollows), across Newfoundland. Particular emphasis has been on the areas around the Codroy Valley and on the Southern Shore of the Avalon Peninsula. Fieldwork is being supplemented with material from MUNFLA and historical sources from the nineteenth century. Looking for common features in the stories and the landscapes they are associated with, it is my hope that this work will bring me closer to understanding the interaction between people and the familiar landscapes of home. This research was initiated by my desire to investigate such questions as: why do we feel the way we do about a particular place? What is it about a place that makes us feel uneasy, filled with awe, or safe? Why does one landscape inspire us with its beauty and another fill our hearts with dread?
Although there has been considerable research in recent years on human/landscape interaction, I've found that approaching the subject through an examination of its associated folkloric expressions has yielded insights which differ considerably from those found within the disciplines of cultural geography, environmental psychology and ecological anthropology. Thus far, it would seem that beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder, and many of our perceptions of the sacred and supernatural in the landscape are strongly influenced by the oral traditions that surround them. Oral history, legend, belief and tradition are subtly woven in our perceptions of the numinous the moment we approach the bogs,bridges, hills or hollows of home.
Awards & Prizes
John Bodner, MUN, has been awarded the 1999 F.A. Aldrich Graduate Award and was the recipient of the David Buchan Graduate Research Award in Folklore for Winter 1999.
Jane Burns, MUN, has been awarded an Institute of Social and Economic Research Doctoral Fellowship for 1998-1999.
Holly Everett, MUN, was named a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies and awarded the University Medal for Excellence in Graduate Studies upon convocation.
Paul Gruchy, MUN, was the 1998 recipient of the F.A. Aldrich Graduate Award, the Very Reverend Edward and Marjorie Rusted Harlow Travel Award and the Bowring/Harlow Scholarship.
Kristin Harris, MUN, has been awarded The David Buchan Graduate Research Award in Folklore for winter 1998.
Douglas Jole, MUN, has been awarded an honourable mention from the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research for his submission for the 1999 David Buchan Student Essay Prize, "The Bigfoot Legend: Towards a Diachronic Study of Changing Texts and the Effects of Media on Contemporary Legend."
Mikel Koven, MUN, was named a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies.
Lara Maynard, MUN, has been named a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies and awarded the Guigne International Ltd. Graduate Research Award in Folklore and Technology for 1998 and the Women's Association of Memorial University of Newfoundland Graduate Scholarship for 1998.
Cathy Rickey, MUN, received the Mary A. Griffiths Memorial Bursary for Folklore Field Research for 1998-1999 and the Neil Murray Graduate Research Award in Folklore for 1998-1999.
Niko Silvester, MUN, has been named a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies.
Ranald Thurgood, MUN, has been named a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies.
Wendy Welch, MUN has been awarded the Guigne International Ltd. Graduate Research Award in Folklore and Technology for 1999 and the David Buchan Graduate Research Award in Folklore for fall 1998.
Folklorists Work in Alberta
Submitted by Jason Galinowski, University of Alberta
After much blood, sweat and tears (and a few grant applications), the Huculak Chair of Ukranian Culture and Ethnography at the University of Alberta in Edmonton hired four students for the summer of 1998 under the supervision of Dr. Andriy Nahachewsky. The four students worked on a variety of projects. Linda Jendzjowsky and Roman Tarnowsky had the huge task of pulling together the incomplete catalogue of some 20,000 books, manuscripts, cassettes, videos, photographs and artifacts that comprise the Ukranian Folklore Archive. Rita Dirks worked on refurbishing a manuscript of the memoirs of Peter Svarich towards publication. Jason Galinowski, an MA student in the Ukranian Folklore Program, conducted interviews and gathered information about life in the Alberta Ukranian communities in earlier years, concentrating on the biographies of key individuals in several locales.