The Fall issue (v. 135, no. 538) of the JAF: A Global Quarterly will be available online and will arrive in mailboxes soon. In our ongoing effort to integrate more dialogue into the journal, this issue experiments with a new response essay format in addition to offering articles published as stand-alone pieces. Piotr Grochowski’s “Miracles and Visionaries in the Digital Age” explores the impact of digital technologies in Catholic Apparitional movements. In “Orphan Lines and Orphan Songs: Poetics and Pragmatics of Kmhmu Parallel Verse,” Frank Proschan examines connections between orphan lines and images of orphanhood in Kmhmu verbal art and poetics in Southeast Asia and the diaspora in order to expand the scope from a focus mostly on “refugees” to “the contemporaneous creativity of their counterparts at home.”
Tom Mould’s essay “Counter Memes and Anti-Legends in Online Welfare Discourse” appears in conversation with three response essays by scholars grounded in different disciplinary, regional, or topical expertise. Mould’s essay uses welfare memes to explore the efficacy of counter memes as strategies for the critique of hegemonic discourse and pervasive stereotypes in the powerful realm of the internet and social media. In the brief response essay “Vaccine Hesitancy Counter Memes,” folklorist Anastasiya Astapova considers Mould’s essay as it relates to the anti-vaccination movement that intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic in European contexts. In “Counter Memes and Anti-Legends in Online Welfare Discourse,” media scholar Mia Moody-Ramirez considers the contribution that Mould’s essay makes to media studies debates about how memes and other media forms contribute to both racism and anti-racism. Media scholar Whitney Phillips’ “In a Land of Venn Diagrams: Reflections on Anti-Fans and Countermemes, Trolls, and Anti-Legends” provocatively complicates Mould’s essay by highlighting how difficult it is to determine either intention or outcome for anything that happens online.
In the obituary column, Michael Owen Jones offers a tribute to his close friend and colleague Robert A. Georges, and Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt remembers Ira Stuart Jackson. As always, the issue includes book reviews and featured and reviewed projects essays.
We encourage our readers and potential authors to visit JAF’s website https://americanfolkloresociety.org/journal/submissions/ to learn about the types of material we publish and to consider contributing to our new and innovative formats and genres. Please contact Editor-in-Chief Lisa Gilman if you have ideas or questions at [email protected].
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