Accepted Paper:

"Did you hear about the lady in the hospital after eating a horseburger?" Keeping up with contemporary vernacular material  

Author:

Kelly Fitzgerald (University College Dublin)

Paper short abstract:

Technological advancements have also created various avenues for the dissemination of new vernacular material to circulate throughout ever-increasing groups and communities. A central issue relates to the importance of the continuing record and how best to document the vernacular imagination.

Paper long abstract:

Technological advancements have created avenues for the dissemination of new vernacular material to circulate throughout ever-increasing communities. A central issue relates to the importance of the continuing record and how best to document the vernacular imagination. Perhaps, arguably, in a time when tradition archives have little resources to collect current and contemporary material- folklore and its contextual relevance are changing at a faster rate than ever before. Hence, at this period in time, it may be more urgent to collect, gather and assess material found within the vernacular imagination. In a hundred years time the work of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries will be well represented but what about the twenty-first century not to mention the twenty-second century? Elements found in earlier traditional material may be seen to have had a longer life expectancy than material today. This enhances the need and urgency to collect material as it makes its way into society. Is it possible to identify a point in time that qualifies vernacular culture as having become part of tradition? If so, how long must it be remembered after the events have occurred to be considered part of tradition? Within these islands at the moment there is an inundation of vernacular culture created orally, textually and visually around the recent findings of horsemeat in beef burgers. There is less a chance of collecting even the 'sampler' today as the speed of change challenges the documentation of an item that might be regarded as representative.

Panel P51
The role of archives in the circulation chain of tradition