Professor Stephen Gencarella

Host, Myths and Legends and Nature Folk: Wildlife or Wild Myth?
Professor, UMass/Amherst

With a genuine love of our textured past, Professor Gencarella celebrates a good story...acknowledging what may be fact or fiction...and focusing on both the story...and the reason the story was propagated...all good fodder for conversation. Engaging, fantastical, and funny...check out all of the Professor's contributions on iCRV!

Stephen Olbrys Gencarella is a professor of folklore at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the resident folklorist for the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, CT. He is currently finishing a collection of essays on eccentrics in New England for Globe Pequot Press and a book on the folklore of the Moodus noises. He is an officer for the Eastern Regional Tourism District and has been a Visiting Professor at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts. Steve grew up in Westerly, Rhode Island and is now a resident of Lyme, Connecticut, where he lives with his wife, four children, three dogs, and countless wild animals who visit the pond at their home. You can reach him at or



Hair of the Dog

Here is how you can get to the Hair of the Dog Course Myths, legends, intrigue...all attached to the role of the adult beverage in the human journey... This is a series that is actually used in a course at UMass/Amherst...the fifteen-plus lectures journeys to foreign lands...goes back centuries...speaks to the process of making these beverages, the social acceptance/landscape that led to their growth, and the stories and legends left in their wake.... Cheers!

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Myths and Legends

Understand what is fact or fiction; learn from the reasons why a story was started or propagated…or just sit back and enjoy the tale! From Captain Kidd to the Leatherman...the Moodus Noises to Israel Putnam...the Frog War of 1754 to Devil's witches and tall tales...all of this is/was part of our social landscape but how did these stories become popular...what influences re-shaped the did these stories come back after decades of quiet...all of this is what this series is all about....

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Nature Folk: Wildlife or Wild Myth?

Naturalist Ranger Russ from Meigs Point Nature Center teams up with noted folklorist Professor Stephen Gencarella from UMass/Amherst to share perspective on the creatures and characters that might have been part of our natural world centuries ago....and the stories attached to them! What is a Whapperknocker? What are the truths about the last gray wolf in about that frog war in Windham...we dissect the story and share from both the nature side and the folklore side what might be true...and where the fantastical may take over...and why!

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