John McDowell Research Collection


I, John Holmes McDowell, am a folklorist steeped in the ethnography of performance and communication, and I have found myself on the edge and sometimes in the middle of many richly expressive moments. This quest has carried me to four continents (and an island or two), into homes, plazas, churches, and cabildos in dozens of villages, towns, and cities. It is my style to travel light, avoid the authorities as much as possible, and seek out the good-hearted people of a place, and in this I have been very fortunate. I have been fortunate, as well, for the companionship, in the field, of my photographer wife Patricia Glushko.

In this collection you will find an excellent representation of the publications resulting from my adventures in folklore, including: one of my books; a good sample of articles and book chapters; and a decent selection of the many reviews I have published over the years. The topics addressed in this body of work reflect my continuing fascination with the expressive cultures of Latin America, in particular of the Andes and Mexico; with the folklore of children; and, in general, with the role of language as a feature of social interaction across settings from conversation to ritual. These topics have led me into powerful themes such as commemoration, folklorization, and most recently, ecoperformativity, domains of inquiry where I hope to have shed light on social practices and cultural processes, and how individuals find their way through them.

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