Guntis I. Smidchens
Comprehensive overview of the field of folkloristics, focusing on verbal genres, customs, belief, and material culture. Particular attention to the issues of community, identity, and ethnicity. Offered: jointly with C LIT 230.
Folklore (traditional stories, beliefs, songs, and customs) is a rich source for understanding people and their worldviews. This course will survey several genres of folklore and study the people who maintain those folklore traditions. A variety of theories and methods applied in folklore studies during the past two centuries will be introduced in readings and lectures.
Student learning goals
To learn some “classic” folklore examples: variants of legends, folktales and songs in Northern Europe and America.
To engage and critique a variety of folklore interpretations (“survivalist,” historic-geographic, functional, interpretive, culture brokering, etc.)
To learn how to formulate your own, ethnographically based interpretations of folklore.
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Oral presentations: 20% Class discussion (face-to-face and online) 20% Three response essays: 20% Quizzes: 20% Final Examination: 20%