News and Events


Candidate: Ms. Contessa Small

Thesis Title: Co-Creating Harry Potter: Children's Fan-Play, Folklore and Participatory Culture

Date: Friday, March 20, 2015

Time: 2:00 pm

Place: IIC 2014 - Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation


Candidate: Ms. Julie LeBlanc

Thesis Title: Marketing Traditional and Contemporary Folklore: How Microbreweries and Community Events Process Local Legends and Folklore in Quebec

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Time: 2:00 pm

Place: IIC2014 - Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation



Please see links below:

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Dean's List

Five Folklore students were honoured at a Dean's List Reception on October 30, 2013. Jules Helweg-Larsen, Ruth Hurich, Blair Kerr, and Kandice Strowbridge were presented with certificates for making the Faculty of Arts Dean's list for 2012-2013. Jules was also awarded the Department of Folklore's book prize. Kayla Carroll, MA student in Folklore, was recognized for being a Dean's list student in English. She also delivered welcoming remarks.

Ruth ( Daisy ) Hurich and Candice Strowbridge at the Dean's list reception


Kayla Carroll and Jules Helweg-Larsen celebrating at the Dean's List Reception



Folklore's newest MA Graduate, Purna Roy, along with Dr. Diane Tye and Dr. Martin Lovelace









Quidi Vidi Field School - Faculty and Student's hard at work



Quidi Vidi Field School

The Folklore 6020 class is blogging about their experiences at the field school in Quidi Vidi. You can follow them at click here


Cynthia Boyd and Emily Urquhart - Our newest Ph.D's. Congratulations!!



Collection Launching

Collection Launching



New On-Line Course for Undergraduate Students 

Fairy tale film (movie or TV versions of international wonder tales) and cinematic folklore (representations of other traditional genres in film) express notions of gender that have multiple implications for their creators and audiences. Using feminist film theory, we explore filmed versions of traditional culture primarily for adults For more information click here

Pillow Top workshop

The Pillow Top workshop which was held on Saturday, November 3, was a huge success. Please listen to the CBC radio interview for more details.


Keels Field School Blog

Keep up-to-date with the graduate students who are attending the Folk 6020 field school course this semester by visiting their blog. 




Keels Field School September 2012 in the Media

Dr. Gerald Pocius talks about the upcoming Folk 6020 graduate field school in Keels, Bonavista Bay on CBC Weekend AM radio show. 

Dr. Pocius has also spoke about the field school pilot project with Janet Harron (Communications Co-ordinator, Faculty of Arts). Janet's article can be found at

Book Launch for Sonny's Dream: Essays on Newfoundland Folklore and Popular Culture

Sonny's Dream Book Cover


Please join us at the launch of Dr. Peter Narváez book Sonny's Dream: Essays on Newfoundland Folklore and Popular Culture. The launch will be held on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at Bitters Pub (Feild Hall, Memorial University) at 7:00 PM. Free parking will be available in lots 62 and 19. All are welcomed to attend.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the launch and will cost $34.95 (+ tax).

Book Launch Poster
Book Order Form (Book available January 20, 2012) article (Janet Harron)

Remembering Dr. Peter Narváez (1942-2011)

The Folklore Department was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Peter Narváez on November 11, 2011. Dr. Narváez was a faculty member for nearly thirty years (1974-1995), was a past Director of the Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive, and held the position of Honorary Research Professor at the time of his death. He was cross appointed to the School of Music and was a founder and an active supporter of the Ethnomusicology graduate program.

A folklorist, ethnomusicologist and musician with research interests in vernacular music, traditional song, blues, jazz, African-American folklore, Newfoundland folklore, popular culture, folklore and media, folk custom and belief, and occupational folklife, Dr. Narváez published many articles in a wide variety of folklore and behavioral science journals. He edited three major collections of essays: Media Sense: The Folklore-Popular Culture Continuum (with Martin Laba,1986); The Good People: New Fairylore Essays (1991, 1997); and Of Corpse: Death and Humor in Folklore and Popular Culture (2003). A collection of his revised essays is soon to be published by the Department of Folklore.

Dr. Narváez was a past president of both the Folklore Studies Association of Canada and the Association for the Study of Canadian Radio and Television. He served as audio-visual editor for Ethnologies, as well as sound recordings review editor for the Journal of American Folklore. In 2002, with Pauline Greenhill, he edited a special Canadian issue of that periodical.

In 2006 Dr. Narváez was awarded the Marius Barbeau Medal from the Folklore Studies Association of Canada (FSAC)/L'Association canadienne d'ethnologie et de folklore (ACEF), a lifetime achievement award in recognition of his contributions to Canadian folklore studies. Additionally, a special issue of the Association's journal, Ethnologies (30.2, 2008), was edited in honour of his work by Pauline Greenhill, Diane Tye, and Holly Everett, and contributed to by former students and colleagues.

Beyond his scholarship, Dr. Narváez was recognized as an outstanding blues musician and composer. In 2003 his CD of original blues, Some Good Blues, earned him nominations for “blues artist of the year” from the Music Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (MIA) and the East Coast Music Awards (ECMA).

Dr. Narváez performing on the picket line during the MUNFA strike, Fall 2000.
 (Photo credit: Dr. P. Hiscock)


Related Links:

Professor helped shape Nfld.'s music scene (Globe and Mail)
Dr. Narváez preforming "Black Fly Moan" on Out of the Fog (YouTube Video)

Ethnologies in Honour of Peter Narváez
"Colleague and Friend Remembers Peter Narvaez" (CBC News Article)
Dr. Narváez recieving the Marius Barbeau Medal, May 2006 (YouTube Video)


The 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Peter Narváez by Folk Arts Society President Anita Best on the evening of Sunday, August 8, during the 34th Annual Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival in Bannerman Park.

Since making Newfoundland his home some 35 years ago, Peter has been instrumental in furthering the appreciation of local music, folk belief and culture, both professionally and personally. He is a teacher, researcher, writer and editor who holds a doctorate in Folklore and American Studies from Indiana University, and who has lent his considerable talents to the Folklore Department at Memorial University for more than three decades now. A past president of the Folklore Studies Association of Canada and the Association for the Study of Canadian Radio and Television, and a former member of the Folk Arts Society's Board of Directors, Peter is a highly-respected community volunteer who is always ready to lend a hand to local organizations and events.

Peter is best known as an accomplished acoustic blues musician and singer/songwriter. His most recent album, Some Good Blues, earned him nominations for "Blues Artist of the Year" from both MusicNL and the ECMAs. Peter's guitar and harmonica playing is second to none and has kept him in incredible musical company over his 50-year performing career. He is currently working on two new recordings.

In addition to his impressive professional accomplishements, Peter is known as a patient, kind and generous individual, with an incredible enthusiasm for music and life. The Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society is proud to be able to honour Peter's outstanding contributions to the provincial folk arts community through his research, writing and performance.

Dr. Margaret Bennett (M.A. Folklore 1975) Awarded Honorary Doctorate

One of the first of Herbert Halpert’s students to gain the degree of M.A. in Folklore at Memorial has been awarded the degree of Doctor of Music (Honoris Causa) by the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow (July 6th, 2010). The award recognizes her outstanding achievements as folklore scholar, singer, and storyteller. After Memorial she earned a Ph.D in Ethnology at the School of Scottish Studies, and she is the author of eight books and many articles, in addition to maintaining an international performing career.

During a recent visit to the department she presented MUNFLA with copies of three of her latest works: the DVD Guthan is Cuimhne: Voices & Memories. 150 Years of Québec Hebridean Connections, the CD Cèilidh Fàilteachaidh on Talamh Ùr, Newfoundland Homecoming Cèilidh, and what is perhaps the first folklore study to examine change in tradition across four generations of a single family, the CDs and booklet Dìleab Ailein: The Legacy of Allan MacArthur. Newfoundland Traditions Across Four Generations. The work shows the warmth of Margaret’s continuing relationship with the MacArthur family of the Codroy Valley, where her apprenticeship as a folklorist began in the late 1960s.

The Department of Folklore congratulates Margaret on her continuing contributions to folklore studies in Scotland and Newfoundland. For more on Margaret’s work see her website:

 Ethnomusicologist Wins Substantial Fellowship

Dr. Beverley Diamond has won as prestigious Trudeau Fellowship
Dr. Beverley Diamond has won as prestigious Trudeau Fellowship



By Janet Harron

A Memorial professor of music and folklore who has been a trailblazer in the area of ethnomusicology in Canada has been named a Trudeau Fellow, one of the most prestigious humanities awards in Canada.

This lucrative fellowship, which includes $225,000 paid over three years, will allow Dr. Beverley Diamond to advance and expand upon her important work. Read more...

The Department Celebrates 40 Years

As part of its 40th celebrations in 2008, the Department of Folklore hosted the launching of the reprinted Gerald S. Doyle "Old-Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland (1940)," a public lecture by Canadian artist David Blackwood, and a small display on the history of the department. Here are a few scenes from the festivities.





University Royalty

The Royal Society of Canada (RSC) has named two Folklore professors to the society: Dr. Gerald Pocius, University Research Professor and member of both the Folklore and Archaeology departments; Dr. Beverley Diamond, Director of the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place (MMaP) and Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology. Election to the society is considered the highest academic honour in Canada. Read more...







First provincial folklorist a Memorial alumnus

(By Janet Harron)

Dale Jarvis, Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer for Newfoundland and Labrador
Dale Jarvis, Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer for Newfoundland and Labrador



Memorial University alumnus Dale Jarvis has been named Newfoundland and Labrador’s first provincial folklorist. Mr. Jarvis, who holds an MA in Folklore, has worked for 13 years with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL).

Well known locally from his involvement in storytelling festivals and the famed St. John’s Haunted Hike, Mr. Jarvis is also the author of two popular books on Newfoundland and Labrador folklore and ghost stories and a third volume for young adults.

His entrepreneurial streak will serve him well in his new position as Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Development Officer for the province.

“Our intangible cultural heritage is in everything we do, and it is such a huge part of the vibrant, living culture we have in Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Mr. Jarvis. “It is going to be exceptionally exciting work, and I am very enthusiastic about diving in.”

Having worked as the provincial registrar for historic buildings, Mr. Jarvis is excited about moving from the tangible examples of our built heritage to the intangible and foresees much future crossover between his position and the folklore faculty of Memorial in terms of, among other things, providing technical expertise.

Department head Dr. Diane Tye couldn’t be more pleased at the government’s decision to recognize the culture and tradition of the province as one of its greatest resources.

“We are very pleased with the appointment of Mr Jarvis as ICH Development Officer,” says Dr. Tye. “We expect that this growing partnership will lead to closer collaboration between the university and the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation in developing future policies and programs. The Folklore Department is committed to documenting and preserving local culture in Newfoundland and Labrador and this new position will help bring folklore to the public view in different and exciting ways.”

Mr. Jarvis is actively seeking input from the general public and encourages both communities and individuals to get in touch. The new provincial folklorist can be reached by telephone at 1-888-739-1892 or by email at His blog can be found at