CARTA: The Role of Myth in Anthropogeny - Folktales, Animals, and the Human Search for Origins with Brandon Barker

7/12/2023; 18 minutes

For more than a century, folklorists have indexed a vast number of the world's folkloric narratives according to varying structures (i.e. tale types) and to discrete elements (i.e. motifs) that commonly appear across cultures. This talk will introduce and analyze several examples of motifs indexed in folklorist Stith Thompson's system. Ultimately, I ask whether stories about origins (human origins or otherwise) might constitute a genuine cultural universal? And if so, what might the folkloric representations of human origins say about a contemporary science of anthropogeny? (#38996)

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