Lee Haring

Lee Haring

Fellow: Awarded 1998

Field of Study: Folklore and Popular Culture

Competition: US & Canada

Lee Haring is Emeritus Professor of English at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. After doctoral study in seventeenth-century English poetry, he took up the study of folklore, introduced several folklore courses, and helped produce two recordings of American folk music. As a founding faculty member of Friends World College, the round-the-world study program, he resided in Kenya, where he began studying East African traditions. In 1975-76 he served the University of Madagascar as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in American Folklore and Civilization. There he conducted extensive library research on Malagasy culture, which led to the publication of his Malagasy Tale Index, a comprehensive analysis of folktales; Ibonia, Epic of Madagascar, available at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~public/Ibonia/frames.html; and Verbal Arts in Madagascar, a study of four genres of oral literature.

Awarded a second Fulbright grant, this time for research and teaching of folklore in the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, he conducted folklore fieldwork and began the study of the cultural interrelations of the Southwest Indian Ocean islands. His book Stars and Keys: Folktales and Creolization in the Indian Ocean shows those interrelations, through translating and commenting on a hundred stories from Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, the Comoros, and Seychelles. He has published a field manual, bilingual in English and Kreol, titled Collecting Folklore in Mauritius, and two tale collections. He has taught also in the graduate folklore program at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Connecticut, and the University of California at Berkeley.