Please note: This Research Guide is under revision. Please be aware that some links may be broken during this time.

Folklore is a wonderfully broad and interdisciplinary field, “the study of society, past or present, through its documents and cultural artifacts, its epics, ballads, folktales, legends, beliefs, and other cultural phenomena, including music, song, and dance,” as Harvard’s Program in Folklore and Mythology defines it.

Students and other researchers explore questions related to the study of folklore through courses in many different disciplines such as Anthropology, Literature, and Religion.

The Traditions research guide includes links to research databases and reference books on folklore-related topics, and more. Begin by going to one of the specific areas of the site --Narratives, Fairy Tales, Mythology, Oral Literature,  Dance, Craft and Art, Ethnography,  Ethnomusicology  -- or by using the Search this Guide function.  


For research assistance with topics in Folklore, or to make any suggestions or comments related to this guide, please contact Research Librarian Ramona Islam at Widener Library (see profile at right).

Folklore at Harvard

Academic Departments and Committees


Current Courses


Selected Faculty Publications (2005 - present)

Lisa T. Brooks

The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native space in the Northeast. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2008.
HOLLIS Catalog Record

Michael Herzfeld: 

Evicted from Eternity: The Restructuring of Modern Rome. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2009.
HOLLIS Catalog Record

Monti Moments: Men's Memories in the Heart of Rome. [videorecording] Filmed and produced by Michael Herzfeld; an En Masse Films Associated production. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Media LLC, 2007.
HOLLIS Catalog Record

Cultural Intimacy: Social Poetics in the Nation-State. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2005. 
HOLLIS Catalog Record

Peter Machinist:

“Kingship and Divinity in Imperial Assyria, ” in Gary Beckman and Theodore J. Lewis, eds., Text, Artifact, and Image. Revealing Ancient Israelite Religion.  Providence: Brown Judaic Studies vol. 346, 2006), pp. 152-188. 
HOLLIS Catalog Record

Catherine McKenna:

"Performing Penance and Poetic Performance in the Medieval Welsh Court". Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, 2007 Jan; 82 (1): 70-96.
HOLLIS Catalog Record

Stephen Mitchell: 

Bibliography of Stephen Mitchell's publications

Gregory Nagy: 

Homer the Classic. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006 
HOLLIS Catalog Record
Homer's Text and Language. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004.
HOLLIS Catalog Record 

Kimberly C. Patton: 

The Sea Can Wash Away All Evils: Modern Marine Pollution and the Ancient Cathartic Ocean. New York : Columbia University Press, 2007. 
HOLLIS Catalog Record

"Introduction"  in The Origins of Theater in Ancient Greece and Beyond: From Ritual to Drama. Edited by Eric Csapo, Margaret C. Miller. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 
HOLLIS Catalog Record

Michael J. Puett:

Et al., Ritual and Its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity. Oxford, New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2008.
HOLLIS Catalog Record

Panagiotis Roilos:

C. P. Cavafy: The Economics of Metonymy. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 2009.
HOLLIS Catalog Record

Amphoteroglossia: A Poetics of the Twelfth-Century Medieval Greek Novel. Washington, D.C., Center for Hellenic Studies, 2005.
HOLLIS Catalog Record

John Stauffer:

Ed., The Problem of Evil: Slavery, Freedom, and the Ambiguities of American Reform. Amherst: Univ. of Mass. Prss, 2007.
HOLLIS Catalog Record

Ed., Prophets of Protest: Reconsidering the History of american Abolitionism. New York: New Press, 2006.
HOLLIS Catalog Record.

Maria Tatar: 

Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood. New York: Norton, 2009.HOLLIS Catalog Record

Andersen, H. C. (Hans Christian), 1805-1875. The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen.
Edited with an introduction and notes by Maria Tatar ; translations by Maria Tatar and Julie K. Allen. New York : W.W. Norton, 2008. HOLLIS Catalog Record


Jan Ziolkowski:

Ed., with Michael Palmer. The Virgilian Tradition: The First Fifteen Hundred Years. New Haven: Putnam, 2008.
HOLLIS Catalog Record

Trans., Letters of Peter Abelard: Beyond the Personal. Washington, D.C.: Catholic Univ. of America Press, 2008.
HOLLIS Catalog Record 

Solomon and Marcolf. Cambridge. Dept. of the Classics, Harvard Univ., 2008.
HOLLIS Catalog Record 

Nota Bene: Reading Classics and Writing Melodies in the Early Middle Ages. Turnhout: Brepols, 2007.
HOLLIS Catalog Record 

Fairy Tales from Before Fairy Tales: The Medieval Latin Past of Wonderful Lies. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 2007.
HOLLIS Catalog Record



This section includes both listings of events at Harvard and of events elsewhere that may be of interest to members of the Harvard community.


American Folk Art Museum Calendar
Boston College Irish Studies
Folk Arts Center of New England
Folk Music Calendar from WUMB
Folk Song Society of Greater Boston
League for Advancement of New England Storytelling
MIT Folk Dance Club
New England Folk Festival Association
West African Dance in Boston



Pam Matz, Research Librarian & Library Liaison to the Programs of Folklore and Mythology and the Study of Religion
Rm. 240, Widener Library
T: 617-495-8713

Elizabeth McKeigue, former Research Librarian & Library Liaison to the Departments of Celtic, Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures


The authors of this site are very grateful to the following people who have helped to create this web resource.

Faculty Advisors

Katherine Chadbourne, Preceptor in Expository Writing
Deborah Foster, Head Tutor & Director of Undergraduate Studies and Senior Lecturer in Folklore and Mythology
Catherine McKenna, Margaret Brooks Robinson Professor of Celtic Languages and Literatures
Stephen Mitchell, Professor of Scandinavian and Folklore
Maria Tatar, John J. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Collaborating Librarians
Michael Blake, Electronic Resources and Assistant Librarian, Wolbach Library
Joe Bourneuf, Head of Reference, Widener Library
Greg Finnegan, Associate Librarian for Public Services and Head of Reference, Tozzer Library
Michael J. Hemment, Research Librarian & Head of Scholarly Research Initiatives, Widener Library
Liza Vick, Music Reference and Research Librarian, Loeb Music Library

Presidential Instructional Technology Fellows
Victoria Chow, Graduate Student, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Lahiru Jayatilaka, Harvard College

Special Thanks to
Enrique Diaz, Designer/Multimedia Specialist, Harvard College Library
Susan Fliss, Associate Librarian for Research and Instruction, Harvard College Library

Ask a Librarian