No. 57                                                                                                          January 2004

ISSN 1026-1001



From the Editor

How to Get to Aberystwyth

2004 Conference Announcement

Conference Application

Membership Renewal Form

Cite Unseen


From the Editor

This issue of FTN is a society newsletter in the truest sense of the word: instead of the more frequent ‘Notes and Queries’ approach we often take, this issue is primarily designed to bring members up to speed on a variety of issues facing the society. Firstly, you’ll find, once again, the announcement for the 2004 conference, to be held 21-24 July 2004 in Aberystwyth, Wales; next, is the conference application form, which should you be intending on attending, needs to be filled in and posted to me, along with your abstract (if you’re presenting) and registration fee, by 1 February 2004 in order to best accommodate the schedule; thirdly, by popular demand, are some traveling instructions for getting to Aberystwyth; fourthly, I’ve included an ISCLR membership renewal form. On this latter item, when I sent out the renewal forms last year, many members were upset at the implication I seemed to be making (in my other role as Membership Secretary) regarding the payment of membership fees. Once again, and publicly, I apologize for any offence caused as this was categorically not the intention. And to pre-empt any further offence, I’ve included the membership renewal form in this current issue of FTN, rather than in a separate mailing – if you have recently sent me your cheque for your 2004 membership, thank you very much and a receipt is on its way; if you haven’t sent in your cheque for 2004, then you can safely assume your membership fees are now due and I look forward to processing their renewal upon receipt. Finally, I have included a 2003 ‘Cite Unseen’ bibliographical list of books and articles which may be of interest to readers. Should any of you come across other articles which may be of interest to ISCLR members, than please send such references along (although personally, I’d love receive the full articles). References can be sent to our FTN email address,


 How to Get to Aberystwyth


By Train

Probably the simplest route to take is via train: there are train stations at all the major airports – Heathrow, Birmingham and Manchester. The easiest train route is probably to fly into Birmingham, if that is an option for you, as there is a direct train from Birmingham New Street (the city’s main station) direct to Aberystwyth. With either Heathrow or Manchester airports, you’ll need to travel to either Birmingham or Wolverhampton in order to change onto the Aber-train. There is a very good web-based service which allows you to schedule your journey and to see prices. In some cases you can book your tickets on-line too, but unfortunately, they’re unable to post tickets to addresses outside of the UK. But they are worth checking out:

     There is a fellow who runs the Newport Train Station travel office who is probably the best rail travel agent in the world. From this little office in mid-Wales, he can find you ANY rail journey you can conceive of for the best possible price. Feel free to email Peter Compton on with your enquires. And he will post rail tickets anywhere in the world, just remember to leave sufficient time for the tickets to arrive. Grad students attending this conference (or basically, just coming to the UK) should contact him regarding the possibility of further discounted rail fares should they qualify for a Young Person’s Rail Card.


By Bus

The National Express bus service connects all the major airports with a variety of destinations across the UK, including Aberystwyth. The price is a little bit cheaper, but obviously the travel is considerably longer. You can schedule and book tickets here:


By Car

Car rentals tend to be pricey in the UK, and I don’t necessarily advocate folk unfamiliar with Wales’ twisty-turny roads to try them out. However, should you be braver than I (not hard, particularly when it comes to driving in the UK!), then I strongly suggest checking out the Automobile Association (AA)’s ‘route planner’ webpage:


If you have any specific travel concerns that are not covered here, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on


Cite Unseen


Blécourt, Willem de. “Bedding the Nightmare: Somatic Experience and Narrative Meaning in Dutch and Flemish Legend Texts.” Folklore 114.2 (2003): 227-45.

Bowen, John R. Islam, Law, and Equality in Indonesia: An Anthopology of Public Reasoning. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003.

Casebier, Karen. “History or Fiction? The Role of Doubt in Antoine de La Sale's Le Paradis de la royne Sibille.” Fifteenth-Century Studies 28 (2003): 37-50.

Cebula, Larry. Plateau Indians and the Quest for Spiritual Power, 1700-1850. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2003.

Chevalier, Jacques M. and Andréz Sánchez Bain. The Hot and the Cold: Ills of Humans and Maize in Native Mexico. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2003.

Danow, David. “Penelope and the Holy Grail.” Semiotica: Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies/Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique 144, no. 1-4 (2003): 67-86.

Davies, Owen. “The Nightmare Experience, Sleep Paralysis, and Witchcraft Accusations.” Folklore 114.2 (2003):181-203.

De Luna, Anita.  Faith Formation and Popular Religion: Lessons from the Tejano Experience. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.

Denike, Margaret. “The Devil's Insatiable Sex: A Genealogy of Evil Incarnate.” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 18.1 (2003): 10-43.

Dow, Bonnie J. “Feminism, Miss America, and Media Mythology.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs 6.1 (2003): 127-49.

Drukker, Tamar. “Thirty-Three Murderous Sisters: A Pre-Trojan Foundation Myth in the Middle English Prose Brut Chronicle.” Review of English Studies: The Leading Journal of English Literature and the English Language 54.216 (2003): 449-63.

Etkind, Alexander. “Whirling with the Other: Russian Populism and Religious Sects.” Russian Review: An American Quarterly Devoted to Russia Past and Present 62.4 (2003): 565-88.

Gaudet, Marcia and James C. McDonald (eds.). Mardi Gras, Gumbo, and Zydeco: Readings in Lousiana Culture. Jackson, MS: UP of Mississippi, 2003.

Gelbin, Cathy. “Narratives of Transgression, from Jewish Folktales to German Cinema: Paul Wegener's Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam (The Golem: How He Came into the World, 1920).” Kinoeye 3, no. 11 (2003 Oct 13): (no pagination).

Gerulaitis, Leonardas V. “Medications Recommended in Incunabula.” Fifteenth-Century Studies 28 (2003): 138-47.

Gibson, Marion (ed.). Witchcraft and Society in England and America, 1550-1750. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2003.

Gregg, Jessica. Virtually Virgins: Sexual Strategies and Cervical Cancer in Recife, Brazil. Stanford: UP Stanford, 2003.

Hayes, Dawn Marie. Body and Sacred Place in Medieval Europe, 1100-1389. New York and London: Routledge, 2003.

Hoëm, Ingjerd and Sidsel Roalkvam, (eds.). Oceanic Socialities and Cultural Forms: Ethnographies of Experience. New York: Berghahn, 2003.

Huang, C. Julia. “Weeping in a Taiwanese Buddhist Charismatic Movement.” Ethnology: An International Journal of Cultural and Social Anthropology 42.1 (2003): 73-86.

Hult, Marte Hvam. Framing a National Narrative: The Legend Collections of Peter Christen Asbjørnsen. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 2003.

Jennings, Rachel. “Celtic Women and White Guilt: Frankie Silver and Chipita Rodriguez in Folk Memory.” MELUS: The Journal of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 28.1 (2003): 17-37.

Kellogg, Judith L. (ed.). Essays on the Arthurian Tradition in Children's Literature – Special Issue. Arthuriana 13.2 (2003).

Korhonen, Teppo, Helena Ruotsala and Eeva Uusitalo (eds.). Making and Breaking of Borders: Ethnological Interpretations, Presentations, Representations. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2003.

Laviolette, Patrick. “Landscaping Death: Resting Places for Cornish Identity.” Journal of Material Culture 8.2 (2003): 215-40.

Lawless, Elaine J. “Transforming the Master Narrative: How Women Shift the Religious Subject.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 24.1 (2003): 61-75.

Ma, Sheng-mei. “Mulan Disney, It's Like, Re-Orients: Consuming China and Animating Teen Dreams.” In Brenda Ayres and Susan Hines (eds.). The Emperor's Old Groove: Decolonizing Disney's Magic Kingdom. New York: Peter Lang, 2003.

MacDonald, Mary N (ed.). Experiences of Place. Cambridge, MA: Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University, 2003.

Merriam, Sharan B., Bradley Courtenay, and Lisa Baumgartner. “On Becoming a Witch: Learning in a Marginalized Community of Practice.” Adult Education Quarterly 53.3 (2003): 170-88.

Napolitano, Valentina and Gerardo Mora Flores. “Complementary Medicine: Cosmopolitan and Popular Knowledge, and Transcultural Translations: Cases from Urban Mexico.” Theory, Culture & Society 20.4 (2003): 79-95.

O'Leary, Aideen M. “Apostolic Passiones in Early Anglo-Saxon England.” In Kathryn Powel and Donald Scragg (eds.). Apocryphal Texts and Traditions in Anglo-Saxon England. Cambridge: Brewer, 2003.

Paglia, Camille. “Cults and Cosmic Consciousness: Religious Vision in the American 1960s.” Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics 10. 3 (2003): 57-111.

Palmer, Steven. From Popular Medicine to Medical Populism: Doctors, Healers, and Public Power in Costa Rica, 1800-1940. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2003.

Perdue, Theda. “Mixed Blood” Indians: Racial Construction in the Early South. Athens, GA: U of Georgia P, 2003.

Poignant, Rosylyn. “The Making of Professional ‘Savages’: From P. T. Barnum (1883) to the Sunday Times (1998).” In Christopher Pinney  and Nicolas Peterson (eds.).Photography's Other Histories. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2003.

Ray, Celeste (ed.). Signifying Serpents and Mardi Gras Runners: Representing Identity in Selected Souths. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2003.

Rissanen, Matti. “Salem Witchcraft Papers as Evidence of Early American English.” English Linguistics: Journal of the English Linguistic Society of Japan 20.1 (2003): 84-114.

Sinclair, Karen. Maori Times, Maori Places: Prophetic Histories. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.

Snodgrass, Judith. Presenting Japanese Buddhism to the West: Orientalism, Occidentalism, and the Columbian Exposition. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2003.

Sylvain, Renée. “Class, Culture and Recognition: San Farm Workers and Indigenous Identities.” Anthropologica 45.1 (2003): 111-19.

Taussig, Michael. “The Language of Flowers.” Critical Inquiry 30.1 (2003): 98-131.

Tonn, Mari Boor. “Miss American Contesters and Contestants: Discourse about Social 'Also-Rans'.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs 6.1 (2003): 150-60.

Tromp, Marlene. “Spirited Sexuality: Sex, Marriage, and Victorian Spiritualism.” Victorian Literature and Culture 31.1 (2003): 67-81.

Upchurch, Robert K. “The 'Goed Fyn' of Saint Alexius in a Middle English Version of His Legend.” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 102.1 (2003): 1-20.

Wade, Elizabeth I. “Magic and Superstition in a Fifteenth-Century Student Notebook.” Fifteenth-Century Studies 28 (2003): 224-41.

West, Harry G. (ed.). Transparency and Conspiracy: Ethnographies of Suspicion in the New World Order. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2003.

Whitehead, Neil L. (ed.). Histories and Historicities in Amazonia. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2003.

Zheng, Yangwen. “The Social Life of Opium in China, 1483-1999.” Modern Asian Studies 37.1 (2003): 1-39.





FTN needs your contributions!

Please send me news, queries, research notes, clippings, calls for papers, book and movie reviews, or notes about local rumor and legend cycles for inclusion in FTN.



Deadline for next issue:

March 2004


Next Issue Out:

April 2004


FoafTale News (FTN) is the newsletter of the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research.  We study "modern" and "urban" legends, and also any legend circulating actively.  To join, send a cheque made out to "ISCLR" for US$30.00 or UK£20 to Mikel J. Koven, Department of Theatre, Film and TV, Parry-Williams Building, Penglais Campus, UWA, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 2AJ, UK. Institutional rates available upon request.  Members also receive Contemporary Legend, a refereed academic journal.  Some back issues of FTN are available on-line at, while others can be requested from the Editor.   FoafTale News is indexed in the MLA Bibliography.

 This newsletter is called FoafTale News for the jocular term current among legend scholars for over twenty years.  The term "foaf" was introduced by Rodney Dale (in his 1978 book, The Tumour in the Whale) for an oft-attributed but anonymous source of contemporary legends: a "friend of a friend."  Dale pointed out that contemporary legends always seemed to be about someone just two or three steps from the teller  — a boyfriend’s cousin, a co‑worker’s aunt, or a neighbor of the teller’s mechanic.  "Foaf" became a popular term at the Sheffield legend conferences in the 1980s.   It was only a short step to the pun "foaftale," a step taken by a yet-anonymous wag. 

 FoafTale News welcomes contributions, including those documenting legends” travels on electronic media and in the press.  All research notes and articles are copyright by the individual authors who reserve all rights.  For permission to reprint, contact them at the addresses given in the headnote of the article. Send queries, notices, and research reports to a maximum of 3000 words to the Editor; clippings, offprints, and citations are also encouraged.

 The opinions expressed in FoafTale News are those of the authors and do not in any necessary way represent those of the editor, the contributing compilers, the International Society for the Study of Contemporary Legends, its Council, or its members.

 Editor:  Mikel J. Koven, Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Parry-Williams, Building, Penglais Campus, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom, SY23 2AJ

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ISCLR Web page:

 ISSN 1026-1001