Folklore Courses Spring 2022

  • FOLKLORE 100 - Introduction to Folklore

    (3 Credits)

    TR 3:30 pm – 4:20 pm

    Course Description: This course serves as an introduction to folklore; that is, the arts, beliefs, stories, sayings, customs, and ways of communication we engage with in our everyday lives. We’ll be examining a variety of folklore genres, while also learning about and employing the methods and practices of folklore scholars. Because this is a practical as well as theoretical course, we will be conducting fieldwork in the region as part of a semester-long folklore project. By the end of the term, you will be able to better understand what folklore is, how and why it functions, and the many and often hidden ways that it is a part of our everyday lives. You’ll learn about ethnographic methods and techniques and how to use interviews, photography, and videography to document various genres of folklore. You’ll better understand what culture is, how it affects our everyday lives, and how it is transmitted, changed, created and re-created, lost, found, and reclaimed. 

  • FOLKLORE 102 - Introduction to Comparative US Ethnic and American Indian Studies

    (3 Credits)

    TR 11:00 am – 11:50 am         Instructor: Timothy Yu

    Course Description:

  • FOLKLORE 103 - Introduction to Music Cultures of the World

    (3 Credits)

    MW 1:20 pm – 2:10 pm         Instructor: Nadia Chana

    Course Description:

  • FOLKLORE 210 - African Storyteller

    (3 Credits)

    ONLINE

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  • FOLKLORE 215 - Horror: Expressions of National Angst

    (3 Credits)

    TR 11:00 am – 12:15pm          Instructor: Scott Mellor

    Course Description: Horror has been a popular genre of storytelling since time immemorial. The horror expressed in story is often representative of fear and anxiety, sometimes personal, other times more representative of our communities. Through the oral tradition, we tell ghost stories, abduction stories and more to express the angst we feel the world around us. Since the advent of the novel, those fears have found their way into our literature and more recently our movies, television shows and more. This course will look at representations of social angst as they express themselves in horror movies, mostly in a European and North American context. In this class is will look social issues expressed in horror. Students will have an opportunity to express their opinions about the social issues expressed in the horror movies, synthesize, and relate them to their experiences outside the classroom through class discussion and weekly written discussions.

  • FOLKLORE 345 - The Nordic Storyteller

    (3 Credits)

    TR 1:00 pm – 2:15pm          Instructor: Scott Mellor

    Course Description: Telling stories is as old as time. Folk storytelling, which originate in the distant past, has often been scorned by the literary establishment, but the fact that they survived through centuries of oral transmission until they were finally recorded in the fairly recent past testifies to their lasting existential appeal. The stories these texts tell are dashingly entertaining and often deeply disturbing: they may offer a profoundly fatalistic view of existence, but they may also voice an angry and, at the same time, humorous protest against oppression. When this narrative type was discovered by scholars and the societal elite about 1800, it inspired many first-rank Nordic authors, e.g., Hans Christian Andersen, Henrik Ibsen, Selma Lagerlöf; and in the 20th century it has cast its spell over Isak Dinesen, Villy Sørensen, and Pär Lagerkvist and its influence has moved from literary to other media today. The course examines both the original folktales, its modern “imitations” and literature as well as gives an introduction to the critical methodologies that have recently been developed to deal with this seemingly simple, but in reality, highly sophisticated, narrative.

  • FOLKLORE 347 - In Translation: Kalevala and Finnish Folklore

    (3 Credits)

    TR 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm          Instructor: Thomas A. DuBois

    Course Description: This course introduces Finland’s national epic, the KalevalaBased on traditional heroic and romance songs collected by Elias Lonnrot from Finnish and Karelian peasants in the nineteenth century, the Kalevala provides a glimpse of ancient Finnish mythology as well as traditional Finnish agrarian life. We will examine the folklore on which it was based and the literature, film, music, and popular culture it has inspired over the past two centuries with an eye to understanding the ways in which Finns have used the Kalevala to imagine their nation, their ideals, and their aspirations.  

  • FOLKLORE 440 - Scandinavian American Folklore

    (3 Credits)

    MW 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

    Course Description: This course focuses on the folklore of Nordic America including Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Sámi materials to help us understand what we mean when we talk about Nordic America. We’ll be asking questions about the cultures and identities of the millions of immigrants who came to the United States from the Nordic countries and how they change or stay the same. And we’ll be examining what that means for the millions of Americans today who identify themselves as Nordic Americans. 

    This is a practical as well as theoretical course, so we will be conducting fieldwork with Nordic Americans in the region. While this is not an ethnic studies course, we’ll be working to better understand issues of ethnicity through the lens of folklore studies by exploring the culture of Nordic America so that you can gain a better understanding of the people and area in which you will be conducting your fieldwork. Along with your fieldwork, class projects will incorporate ways in which you can make your field research available to the public.