The Truth About Tall Tales American Folklore from Johnny Appleseed to Paul Bunyan

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Synopsis

What can we learn about our culture from the stories we tell? Join master presenter Christopher Fee to learn what our heroes and monsters—both real and imagined—have to tell us about who we are as Americans.

American folklore is as vibrant and diverse as Americans themselves. Some tales offer embellished accounts of real historical figures, and in others, figures are invented to serve a cultural or commercial purpose. Often didactic and always fantastic, in one way or another these tales help us make sense of the world.

Join Christopher Fee, coeditor of An Encyclopedia of American Myth, Legend, and Folklore, for an entertaining and revealing look at our nation’s folkloric imagination. In this compelling 24-lecture audio series, you’ll meet figures such as Daniel Boone and John Henry, and learn the stories of characters such as Water Jar Boy and the Woodcutter and the Fairy. Specters also abound, and you’ll encounter frightening figures ranging from the Headless Horseman to La Llorona.

Having explored traditional forms of folklore, myth, and legend in America, you will turn to new storytelling methods, discussing genres such as conspiracy theory, urban myth, and “fakelore.” Finally, you will conclude by asking how these kinds of stories represent a search for deeper truths, which suggests why American folklore still matters so much to so many.

This course is part of the Learn25 collection.

Chapters

  • Opening Credits

    Duration: 08s
  • About the Author

    Duration: 01min
  • Lecture 1: The Truth About Tall Tales, An Introduction to American Folklore

    Duration: 22min
  • Lecture 2: From Johnny Appleseed's Tinpot Hat to George Washington's Cherry Tree - American Icons and Historical Folklore

    Duration: 23min
  • Lecture 3: From Daniel Boone to Davy Crockett - Folklore of the American Frontier

    Duration: 25min
  • Lecture 4: From The Headless Horseman to Rip Van Winkle - Washington Irving, An American Literary Folklore

    Duration: 24min
  • Lecture 5: The Biggest, the Baddest and the Best - Tall Tales from Mike Fink to Pecos Bill

    Duration: 23min
  • Lecture 6: Myths of the Mountain Man - From Jim Bridger to the Revenant

    Duration: 24min
  • Lecture 7: Tales from Tombstone - Outlaws and Heroes of the Old West

    Duration: 27min
  • Lecture 8: Advertising as Folklore - Paul Bunyan and Big Timber

    Duration: 26min
  • Lecture 9: From the Star Woman to the Earth Diver - Native American Folklore

    Duration: 29min
  • Lecture 10: Chupacabra to La Llorona - Hispanic American Folklore

    Duration: 27min
  • Lecture 11: From John Henry to Stagolee - African American Folklore

    Duration: 25min
  • Lecture 12: From the Wood Cutter and the Ferry to Chinatown Ghost Stories - Asian American Folklore

    Duration: 29min
  • From Tall Barney to Joe Magarac - Ethnic, Vocational and Regional American Heroes

    Duration: 26min
  • Lecture 14: From the Christmas Tree to Old Saint Nick - American Yuletide Folklore

    Duration: 25min
  • Lecture 15: From Jack-O-Lanterns to Trick or Treat - American Halloween Folklore

    Duration: 25min
  • Lecture 16: From the Bell Witch to Bloody Mary - Ghost Stories as Folklore

    Duration: 30min
  • Lecture 17: From Bigfoot to the Jersey Devil - Monsters of American Folklore

    Duration: 26min
  • Lecture 18: From The Amityville Horror to Gravity Hill - The Folklore of American Places

    Duration: 27min
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