Traditionalism might be described as the notion of holding on to the past to pass on to the future; folklore is the transmission of traditions -- art, literature, knowledge, and practice -- through oral communication and behavioral example. In our fast paced, ever-changing, futuristic, digital age, what new sorts of modes are emerging that millennials (Generation Y) employ to receive, hold, and transmit the traditions entrusted to them? Scholars of folklore and tradition recognize that the Internet has been transformative on these ancient cultural practices, but exactly how transformative? Have these changes necessitated new models to "carry the flame" forward, so to speak? Professor of Anthropology and folklorist Tok Thompson will bring polymathic insight into an exploration of how GenYs might carry their traditions securely into the future.
Tok Thompson is an Associate Professor of Anthropology who specializes in folklore and popular culture. After receiving his PhD from Berkeley, Thompson engaged in a two-year postdoctoral position with the Centre for Irish-Scottish Studies at Trinity College, Dublin, where he helped launch a new M.Phil. in Translation Studies. He also researched Irish language traditions in County Fermanagh on behalf of the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, and the District Council of Fermanagh. He has written extensively about questions of tradition, heritage, and folklore.