David Rubin, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, in 1947. Ph.D. from Harvard University, New Haven. Professor of Psychology at Duke University, Durham.
Fellow (1 September 1991 – 30 June 1992)
During my sabbatical I wrote much of a book titled, Memory traditions: The cognitive psychology of counting-out rhymes, ballads, and epic, integrating ideas and data from the fields of human memory and oral traditions. The basic hypothesis is that oral traditions provide a means to test and expand our knowledge of human memory. If a tradition is to survive, it must be stored in one person’s memory and passed to another person who can also store and retell it. All this must occur over many generations. The book contains original studies on North Carolina ballads and children’s counting-out rhymes and reanalyzes of other traditions, especially epic.