David Gray Engle, Ph.D.

Professor of German and Folklore

Coordinator, German Studies

Office: Peters Building 452
Phone: (559) 278-2708 | FAX: (559) 278-7878
email: daviden@csufresno.edu

MCLL Resident

My Professional Websites:
Folklore: http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore
Traditional Ballad Index: http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/BalladIndexTOC.html
German Ballad Index: http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/balladenindex


  • B.A, M.A., Ph.D. (1985) UCLA in Germanic Languages and Literatures; emphasis in Folklore.
  • Building on my formal training in both German and Folklore, I garnered significant experience working for the German national Folksong Archives (Freiburg) from 1976 to 1981 (1977-80 as an acting curator). I joined California State University, Fresno, in 1988, and have headed the German Section of the Department of Foreign Languages since then. My publications concentrate on the area of folksong, especially German balladry, and ballad classification.
  • In 1995 I founded the Central California Folklore Archives, a growing, modern repository of folklore and folk-contexts.
  • In addition, I have been named Assistant Editor to the Traditional Ballad Index, an Annotated Bibliography to Folk Songs from the English-Speaking World, which you can find here on-line.

Stop! Look! and Listen!

On Community

What after all, is "community"? In the words of Josiah Royce, the philosopher who coined the term "beloved community" and spent much of his life charting the conditions for modern affiliation, individuals:

do not form a community ... merely insofar as [they] cooperate. They form a community when they accompany this cooperation with that ideal extension of the lives of each member, ... [who] says: "This activity which we perform together, this work of ours, its past, its future, its sequence, its order, its sense, all these enter into my life and are the life of my own self writ large."

In a theory drawing heavily on Pauline theology and Deweyan pragmatism, Royce argued that it was not geographical location but collective "ideal extensions" toward a common past (crucifixion) and anticipated future (resurrection) that creates community. Royce's communitarian ethos synthesizes three elements: memory, hope, and collective practices. These constellate as the conditions for loyalty among comrades, "loyalty" being for Royce the means and end of community life. Royce argued that the solution to the problem of community was in shared interpretation of a common history. This narrative enabled those sharing it to participate in collective projects building toward an idealized future.

The above quote is from Jeff Land, Active Radio: Pacifica's Brash Experiment (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), pg. 137. The embedded quote is from Josiah Royce, "The Body and the Members" (in Classical American Philosophy, ed. John Stuhr, New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1987), pg. 230.

No wonder we are in the fix we are in. But let us not lament: the trick is to find ways of re-weaving a multistrand narrative which (by including each one of us then and now, by including our possibilities) will allow us to include ourselves, our possibilities, our children (however they may be) in our future. We are united by our differences; the trick is to rescue our differences, our possibilities, and our unity into the seventh generation.

Some very informative websites deserving your attention are: