Lord, Alfred Bates
Lord, Alfred Bates(1912–91) scholar of oral traditions; born in Boston, Mass. He was educated at Harvard (B.A. 1934, M.A. 1936; Ph.D. 1949), where he was a member of the faculty from 1940 until his retirement as the Arthur Kingsley Porter professor of Slavic and Comparative Literature in 1983. In the 1930s, along with Milman Parry, he recorded and transcribed more than 12,000 oral epics of Serbo-Croatian singers, work which he continued after Parry's death in 1935. Parry and Lord's work with the Serbo-Croatian oral poets led them to conclude that Homer was an oral poet, a theory that revolutionized Homeric studies. His publications include Serbo-Croatian Folk Tales (with Bela Bartok, 1951), Singer of Tales (1960), and Epic Singers and Oral Tradition (1991). His numerous awards include the Order of the Yugoslav Flag with Golden Wreath (1988).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.