English (United Kingdom)
Jonathan Roper
inglise ja võrdleva rahvaluule vanemteadur

BA, Keele; MA, Sheffield; PhD, Sheffield

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Research Interests

My academic research to date has mainly focused on traditional linguistic genres such as verbal charms and riddles. My interest encompasses both texts and practice, i.e. charms and charming, riddles and riddling, as well as the people involved, the charmers and the charmed, the riddlers and the riddlees. I have organised international conferences on the topic, and established an organisation within the International Society for Folk Narrative Research to encourage and co-ordinate charms research.

Another area of fascination is that of the historical and present-day dialects and folklore of southern England and of the far east of Canada (Newfoundland, Labrador, the lower North Shore of Quebec). I have conducted fieldwork in the latter areas intermittently between 2000 and 2015.

As well as the written word, I have been interested in ethnographic film as a research medium. This has led to the production of three films, one on mumming, another on fortune-telling, with the most recent being a portrait of a traditional singer.

Recent Activities

I am a member of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISNFR) and I chair their committee on Charms, Charmers and Charming. I serve on the Editorial Board of Commentationes Archivi Traditionum Popularium Estoniae, and am an associate member of the Folklore Fellows. I am Recorder for Folklore and Dialect for the Devonshire Association, and also a partner in the Nord-Plus Folklore-Philology Network 'The Encounter with the Other World – Supernatural and Fantastic in Pre-modern Scandinavia'.

Selected Publications

  • English Verbal Charms (Helsinki: Academia Scientiarum Fennica, 2005) (FFC 288).

  • Alliteration and Culture [editor and contributor] (London: Palgrave, 2011).

  • Charms, Charmers and Charming [editor and contributor] (London: Palgrave, 2008).

  • Charms and Charming in Europe [editor and contributor] (London: Palgrave, 2004).

  • 'The Ad Hoc Calendarized'. Western Folklore. 2015. 74,2.

  • 'Sternberg, the Second Folklorist'. Folklore. 2014. 125,2: 202-217.

  • ‘England – the land without folklore?’ 227-253 in Baycroft, Timothy and David Hopkin, eds. 2012. Folklore and Nationalism in Europe During the Long Nineteenth Century. Leiden: Brill.

  • 'William Barnes and Frisian Forefathers'. 2012. Leeds Studies in English, 43 (n.s.): 9-20.

  • ‘Zauberspruch’. 2013. In Brednich, Rolf et al., eds. Enzyklopädie des Märchens, 15: 1197-1201.

  • Recommended Links

    Folklore Fellows
    The Folklore Society
    ISFNR Committee on Charms, Charmers and Charming