Piled Higher and Deeper: The Folklore of Campus Life

Simon J. Bronner, Author August House Publishers $9.94 (256p) ISBN 978-0-87483-154-2
The author, a professor of folklore and American studies at Penn State, has compiled a broad-ranging anthology of undergraduate lore. It's all here: collegiate lingo, Greek traditions, exam scams, campus jokes and pranks, graffiti and more. (The book's title itself is the punchline to a slightly scatological definition of the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.) Topics treated at length include legends of campus ghosts, May Day celebrations, and fraternity and sorority initiations. Bronner also outlines the evolution of the American university, from the early days of regimentation and strong school identity to the present, when the college experience is becoming a marginal part of the lives of graduates. As a result, Bronner notes, their mores are increasingly individual and less likely to be shared among groups. Fun to dip into--definitely not meant for straight reading except for the serious folklorist--this compilation will provide both students and long-postgraduates with mood-elevating moments of recognition. Bronner's books include American Children's Folklore. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-0-87483-443-7
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-87483-161-0
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