Call for Papers: Folklore and Psychedelics

folklore journal psychedelic

In an influential definition of folklore, folklorist Alan Dundes explains that the concept of 'Folk' "can refer to any group of people whatsoever who share at least one common factor," and that "[e]very group has its own folklore."

The 'Lore' in folklore may consist of any number of items featured in an expansive (though not exhaustive) list, including: "myths, legends, folktales, jokes, proverbs, riddles, chants, charms, blessings, curses, oaths, insults, retorts, taunts," and so on, as well as "folk costume, folk dance, folk drama [...] folk art, folk belief (or superstition), folk medicine, folk instrumental music [...], folk metaphors [...], names (e.g. nicknames and placenames," and much more.

We could also add folk-psychologies, folk-ecologies, and so on - bodies of traditional and contemporary knowledge and ideas about the world, ourselves and others - to this list. More recent efforts to define folklore have shifted towards an emphasis on practice. Simon Bronner, for instance, explains: "'Put simply, folklore is 'traditional knowledge, put into, and drawing from, practice'". Folklore, then, is concerned with what everyday people think and do.

This special issue of Psychedelic Press aims to explore these, and related, phenomena in the context of psychedelic folk cultures. Topics that might be discussed in this context include:

  • Traditional and indigenous knowledge systems and psychedelics.
  • Popular and contemporary psychedelic cultures.
  • "...dried grams in darkness" - Ideas about how best to consume psychedelics.
  • Ideas about where to go to pick and prepare magic mushrooms, for example, which may be passed on through oral tradition, etc.
  • Role of folkloric entities in trip experiences, e.g. encounters with elves, gnomes, etc.
  • Collections of psychedelic trip reports, e.g. Erowid, etc.
  • Modern folklore - fact and fiction surrounding the exploits of famous psychonauts and researchers, etc.
  • 'Legendary' events in psychedelic history. 
  • Ethnographies of contemporary psychedelic cultures.
  • And more...
– Abstracts (appx. 150 words for appx. 3000-word essay)
 Abstracts deadline: 5 November, 2022

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