FOAFTale News (FTN) is the newsletter of the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research. We study “modern” and “urban” legends, and also any legend circulating actively. FOAFTale News is indexed in the MLA Bibliography.
This newsletter is called FOAFTale News for the jocular term current among legend scholars for over twenty years. The term “foaf” was introduced by Rodney Dale (in his 1978 book, The Tumour in the Whale) for an oft-attributed but anonymous source of contemporary legends: a “friend of a friend.” Dale pointed out that contemporary legends always seemed to be about someone just two or three steps from the teller – a boyfriend’s cousin, a co-worker’s aunt, or a neighbor of the teller’s mechanic. “Foaf” became a popular term at the Sheffield legend conferences in the 1980s. It was only a short step to the pun “foaftale,” a step taken by a yet-anonymous wag.
FOAFTale News is an online publication. For more information and the complete run of issues (1985-2016), click here (opens in new window).
In 2021 the Executive Council of ISCLR decided to discontinue FOAFTale News in its current format, and to put longer contributions as blogs on this website in the section FOAFTale Blogs. Shorter messages and news items can be found on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.