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Roger David Abrahams

1961 Ph.D. Graduate
Dissertation Advisor(s): MacEdward Leach
"Negro Folklore from South Philadelphia, A Collection of Analysis"



Roger Abrahams retired in 2002 as the Rosen Professor of Humanities.  He received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1961 and taught for many years at the University of Texas and the Claremont Colleges before returning to Penn in 1985. He was the author of a book on African-American men's poetry, Deep Down in the Jungle. He helped to create the field of modern folklore study, specifically the performance-theory style of research, which moved to study folklore not as isolated texts but as expressive events.  In 2005, Abrahams was awarded the Kenneth Goldstein Award for Lifetime Academic Leadership by the American Folklore Society.


Courses Taught

fall 2004

ENGL 503.401 Issues Folklore Theory  

spring 2004

ENGL 548.401 Festive Drama  

fall 2003

ENGL 593.401 Carnival/Pageant/Parade  

fall 2000

ENGL 590.401 From Oral to Written canceled  

spring 2000

fall 1988

ENGL 095.800 Romantics and Modernists