News and Events


2nd Interdisciplinary Research Symposium: Irish Studies in Talamh an Éisc - Supported by the Folklore Department

Thursday, November 19 - Saturday, November 21, 2015

Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John's Campus)

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

The 2nd Interdisciplinary Research Symposium: Irish Studies in Talamh an Éisc builds on an inaugural event in 2013. It brings together students and scholars at Memorial University as a place with a long-standing interest and expertise in Irish Studies, with community participants, to advance their common interests and knowledge in areas related to the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Irish Studies, Newfoundland-Ireland connections, Newfoundland-Northern Ireland connections, and the Irish language.

The website will be updated as events are finalized. Please join us at the St. John's campus, Memorial University, and in downtown St. John's, from Thursday, November 19, 2015 until Saturday, November 21, 2015.

To view the website, please click here


Congratulations to our Dean's List Recipients

(L-R) Celeste Billung-Meyer, Daze Jefferies, Dr. Holly Everett, Dean of Arts, Dr. Lynne Phillips


New Graduate Fees - September 2016

Graduate students will continue to be charged the current fees up to and including the Spring 2016, after which the fees approved for the 2016-2017 academic year will apply.

You will find the new fees updated on the SGS website as well as the University Calendar



LOOKING BACK: GAMES WE PLAYED, Traditional Games and Pastimes in Newfoundland and Labrador

To view booklet click here









On Wednesday, December 10th, 2014, the CBC presented CNS, The Rooms, and MUNFLA with over 200 hours of recordings from the Newfoundland National Convention. The recordings were originally broadcast on radio between 1946-1948 and gave listeners unprecedented access to the debates that would eventually lead the Dominion of Newfoundland into Confederation with Canada.

Many thanks to Christine Davies, Associate Producer with CBC Radio, for her tremendous efforts in reformatting these files and to the Corporation for this most generous gift. Prior to this presentation, MUNFLA held 60 of these recordings in both 1/4” reel and CD format; the gift of the external drive will now mean researchers can have easier access to all the recordings.


Present for the presentation: Denise Wilson, CBC Atlantic Managing Director; Joan Ritcey, Head – Centre for Newfoundland Studies; Greg Walsh, Provincial Archivist – The Rooms; Pauline Cox, Archivist – MUNFLA; Christine Davies, Associate Producer – CBC Radio.


Book Review - The Ballad and the Folklorist

The Ballad and the Folklorist has been reviewed by Dr Ian A. Olson on the Musical Traditions webpage.

Read review here

Book Launch - The Ballad and the Folklorist

Presentation of The Ballad and the Folklorist to David's school.

See link: click here




The Departments of Folklore and Geography will be offering a field course at Harlow next Spring called "Consuming Cultures: from field to plate". This Harlow Programme will run during Intersession in 2015 (mid-May to late June 2015). Comprised of four courses taught by Diane Tye (Folklore) and Charles Mather (Geography), the programme will explore cultural, political and social aspects of food in England. England is an excellent place to study food: not only does the country have rich foodways traditions, it has undergone a recent revolution in terms of food production and consumption. After two weeks of classes in Newfoundland (available through Lecture Capture to those outside St. John's), we will undertake four weeks of field trips in England to farms, breweries, museums, restaurants, supermarkets, food markets and many other sites along the chain from field to plate. To register your interest or learn more about the programme please email Diane Tye . We have a facebook page that has just been set up, and we will use it to post announcements and updates:

Running the programme depends on us getting sufficient interest, so if you are potentially interested, please let me know, and please spread the word amongst your colleagues. This promises to be an incredibly interesting and exciting field course.


What's your master plan?

Please click here for our Joey Donnelly




Please see links below:

click here

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For he's a jolly good Fellow

Dr. Gerald Pocius of the Department of Folklore was recently named a Fellow of the American Folklore Society at a ceremony in Providence, Rhode Island.

For details click here


 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


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: