Professor Jack Doyle spent over 30 years dedicated to the study and documentation of storytellers in the South with special emphasis on South Carolina. He was a founding member of the South Carolina Storytelling Network, a founder of the South Carolina Center for Oral Narration at the University of South Carolina at Sumter, and creator of a documentary on Sumter traditional storyteller Buford Mabry.
Indeed, Mr. Mabry stated, “Dr. Jack Doyle’s tireless efforts in promoting and preserving the storytelling tradition have provided inspiration to students, colleagues, and the storytellers themselves. South Carolina has not had a better advocate for its oral traditions than Jack Doyle.”
In talking about his love for storytelling, Dr. Doyle said, “Some storytellers start with folktales that have been around for years. Stories can be about people, places, events, and even supernatural beings. But they are all ways of preserving folklore and culture through the telling of stories. Originally, that was how our history was kept: passed down from generation to generation, embedded in the story itself. These stories are records that tell us who we were, who we are, who we might become. They are a vital way to preserve our culture.” Dr. Doyle passed away in September 2011. He received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award in 2005.