Courses: 2008-2009


Autumn 2008 | Winter 2009 | Spring 2009

Autumn 2008

English 270: Introduction to Folklore
Instructor: Sheila Bock
TR 11:30-1:18
# 09018-6
This class explores forms of traditional, vernacular culture--including verbal art, custom, and material culture--shared by men and women from a number of regional, ethnic, religious, and occupational groups. At the same time, we will consider various interpretive, theoretical approaches to examples of folklore and folklife discussed, and we will investigate the history of folklore studies and the cultural contexts in which this field has flourished. Recurring central issues will include the dynamics of tradition, the nature of creativity and artistic expression, and the construction of personal and group identities.

NELC 360: Sheherazade and Company: Sex, Gender and Power in Middle Eastern Storytelling
Instructor: Margaret Mills
MW 10:30-12:30
# 22540-1
Since the Brothers Grimm made their famous collection, most westerners have been in the habit of considering folktales to be "kiddie lit." In many societies where oral narrative traditions are still active, though, folktales are told that engage adults with a full range of human concerns, including "adult themes". This course explores adults' oral storytelling as practiced today, and its depiction in literature from medieval south and western Asia to the modern Middle East. We will investigate how storytellers, male and female, portray gender relations, social norms and stereotypes, starting with that archetypal Middle Eastern storyteller, Sheherazade of the 1001 Nights. She tells her tales to distract and reform a murderous king and save the lives of the women of her community. We will then look at some other medieval story collections as well, where women's own antisocial behavior is the subject (and object) of strategic storytelling. We will examine the storytelling of living performers, men and women, recorded by Ohio State's own Professor Sabra Webber in Tunisia, and by Margaret Mills in Afghanistan, and finally we will look at Fatima Mernissi's Dreams of Trespass and Azar Naficy's Reading Lolita in Tehran, two memoirs about stories and the use of story from key contemporary women writers. All examples, from India to Morocco, are in English.

English 367.05: Memory and Place in the University District (The US Folk Experience)
Instructor: Prof. Ray Cashman
MW 1:30-3:18
# 09070-1
To better appreciate memory, place, and community in everyday life we will collect oral histories in our own backyard from residents of the University District. You will learn fieldwork techniques used by anthropologists, folklorists, and oral historians (e.g., interviewing, participant-observation, transcription). Ethnographic writing assignments will include reflections on the fieldwork process, how the past is represented in the present and to what ends, and how mere space is transformed into meaningful place through narrative. Interview transcripts, fieldwork documentation, and analyses will be deposited in the archives of the OSU Center for Folklore Studies. 367.05 fulfills the GEC "Social Diversity in the US" requirement and the second composition course you need to graduate. Pending approval this course may be taken for "Service Learning" credit.

English 577.03: Irish Folklore (Issues and Methods in the Study of Folklore)
Instructor: Prof. Ray Cashman
TR 1:30-3:18
# 09106-7
This course introduces the popular beliefs, vernacular customs, material culture, and oral traditions of Ireland, north and south. Although much Irish folklore has roots in the far distant past, we will focus on those traditions documented from the late 18th through 21st centuries—a period during which folklore inspired the Irish literary revival and served the nation-building project of a newly independent republic. We will conclude with an investigation of the politics of culture, identity, and heritage in contemporary Northern Ireland where the legacy of British colonialism remains most pronounced. Students will work with and help process as-yet unreleased audio materials from the archives of the Ulster Folk Museum. Other assignments will include a midterm exam and final 8-10 page paper.

Comparative Studies 597: Global Folklore
Instructors: Prof. Sabra Webber (Columbus) and Prof. Katherine Borland (Newark)
MW 1:30-3:18
# 05906-3
This capstone course for nonmajors addresses issues of the contemporary world through the medium of folklore and the study of folkloristics. Drawing upon examples from around the world (Africa, the Middle East, India, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the South Pacific and so on) we will consider what part of our contemporary culture is "lore" and how traditional cultural resources interact with commercial, mediated and state-generated cultural constructs. We will examine oral, musical, visual and material cultural expressions. We will explore how the types, motifs, and characteristics of folklore find their way into popular literature and film as well as how folklore adapts and shapes the products of commercial mass media. Finally, we will identify the ways in which communities around the world, including those of students in the course, use their folklore as a counter-hegemonic resource to resist or negotiate regional and global powers. Jennifer Heath, editor of The Veil: Women Writers on Its History, Lore, and Politics, will be a guest speaker speaking on the practices of veiling of men, women, and material culture objects around the world. The course will be team taught in two electronically linked classrooms on the Columbus and Newark Campuses. Requirements include a midterm, two film essays and a final paper.

Comparative Studies 677.02: Tourists, Travelers, and Tricksters
Instructor: Prof. Sabra Webber
M 5:30-8:18 PM
# 05910-7
"Travelers, Tourists, Tricksters" is an investigation of different sorts of travelers--explorers, ethnomusicologists, anthropologists, folklorists, NGO and government officials and workers, missionaries--as well as of the contemporary phenomenon of tourism and related theories. We will look at a wide range of travel narratives and their relation to trickster stories as they arise in different cultural and historical contexts. (We may take a look as well at tricksters who stay put.) It is to be hoped that students will produce papers that circle around these themes and that their projects will intersect in ways that will enhance the work of fellow students in the seminar. We will start with several works that address the trickster and, at least indirectly, the trickiness of travel. The book, Out of Our Minds: Reason and Madness in the Exploration of Central Africa, by Johannes Fabian, from which we will read two chapters, attends mostly to travel and exploration, but the trickster theme is there for us to discover. The article, "'A Tolerated Margin of Mess': The Trickster and His Tales Reconsidered," by Barbara Babcock-Abrahams provides something of a check-list of trickster characteristics. We will then move from past to present travel and from explorers to travelers to tourists in the readings for the next few weeks. Examples of readings to be addressed are excerpts from Imperial Eyes and Travelers and Travel Liars as well as shorter articles such as "The Philosopher as Traveler," "Looking for Virgil's Tomb," Passport Nuisance," "All these Frontiers," "Exploration to Travel to Tourism," "Issues in the Anthropology of Tourism," "Thanatourism in the Early 21st Century: Moral Panics, Ulterior Motives and Alterior Desires" and "Tourism at Borders of Conflict and (De)militarized Zones."

Comparative Studies 694 Development Theory: Service Learning in Nicaragua
Instructor: Prof. Katherine Borland
The Ohio State University at Newark is pleased to again offer its service learning program in Nicaragua. Students with a sense of adventure and a desire to learn in a non-traditional setting must apply no later than April 30th to be considered for the program. The group will travel to Masaya, Nicaragua from December 11-23 and learn about North-South relations; work alongside members of the Monimbo Indigenous Movement; live at the hammock cooperative; visit an organic farm, a pottery cooperative, and the Laguna de Apoyo (site of the 2000 earthquake); and talk with community organizers working to address social justice problems at the grassroots level. . Any Ohio State University student is eligible to apply; however, students must enroll in CS 694 in autumn 2008. Students will earn five credits for CS 694, Development Theory and five credits for CS 498.02, Nicaraguan Service Learning. While Spanish language proficiency is helpful, it is not required. The cost of the trip will include Ohio State tuition plus a $1,060 program fee. An automatic Newark campus student travel grant of $300 is available. For more information, please visit or contact Professor Katherine Borland (

Comparative Studies 706: Complex Ethnography
Instructor: Prof. Tanya Erzen
T 1:30-4:18
# 05933-6
This seminar provides an opportunity for graduate students to develop their own research projects in a collaborative, collegial, and challenging atmosphere. We will discuss and practice a number of ethnographic research methods; but equally importantly, we will focus on how to conceptualize our objects of research. In particular, we will examine the function of ethnographic fieldwork when our research subjects are also our interlocutors and collaborators in the production of knowledge. What does ethnography look like when the "field" is not bounded clearly? How might we ethnographically approach research problems that span several sites, or that seem intangible? How can we track in everyday life the workings of global capital, the increasing flows of bodies and information, and the accelerating transformations in biomedicine, media, and information technologies? How do we tie the specifics of our research to broader questions or concerns? We'll address such questions in conceptual and concrete ways, through readings by anthropologists concerned with refining ethnographic method after anthropology's reflexive turn, as well as through field projects tied to students' own research interests. Depending on student interest, the readings may address a wide range of topics, from diasporic communities to disability, to biomedicine and religion, to militarization and the commodification of culture. The readings will also demonstrate a variety of approaches to ethnography, from poetics, to politics, to life histories, to multi-sited strategies.

English 792: Theories of Myth
Instructor: Prof. Merrill Kaplan
TR 1:30-3:18
# 09289-2
Stories about gods, stories about how to world came to be in the form it is now, stories set before the beginning of time or at the end of time—myth is a major genre of traditional narrative, and every human society has myths. How did they start? What is the relationship between myth and religion? How is it that so many myths are so similar even though they come from wildly different places? Are they literature? What do they mean, and how can we analyze them? This course is about how to think about myth and how myth is good to think with. Students will become familiar with the major theories and theorists of myth and bring them to bear on Norse, Greco-Roman, and other world mythologies. The subject matter will be of interest to students of folklore, religion, and ancient literatures, among others. Assigned books will include Theories of Mythology (Eric Csapo), Sacred Narrative (ed. Alan Dundes), Ovid's Metamorphases, and Snorri Sturluson's Edda. Shorter readings will be made available online.

EDU T&L 905: Ethnography of Communication
Instructor: Prof. Marcia Farr
M 4:30-6:48
# 08670-2
This two-quarter course introduces the Ethnography of Communication as a field of research. During the first quarter, we learn about the theoretical assumptions and conceptual frameworks used in this kind of research, as well as the various methods for both gathering and analyzing data. Basically, researchers in this field study language in its social and cultural contexts—and this includes both oral and written language. Thus it is useful for educational researchers concerned with literacy, and with the inter-relationships of orality and literacy in daily practice across diverse populations, who each have their own ways with (oral and written) words.
During the first quarter, students select a topic, and population, for research and then critically review available literature on that topic and population, as well as identify a research site. During the second quarter, students pursue their own research in settings within Central Ohio. (Selected students can negotiate drafting a proposal for dissertation research instead, or developing a pilot project prior to actual dissertation research.)

AnchorWinter 2009

Comparative Studies 201: Literature in Society: Great Story Collections East and West
Instructor: Margaret A. Mills
MW 9:30-11:18 AM
This course takes a journey generally eastward from Europe and backward in time, to explore a selection of the world's great story collections in the social and historical settings of their literary creation. All are representations of live storytelling, as the literary compiler or compilers understood it, and all drew on local oral tradition for their stories to one degree or another. As such, these collections give us windows on ideas about story performance at different times and places, actual and imaginary: its styles, its settings, its purposes and meanings. What do these representations have in common? How are they different? What can they tell us about actual social practices involving storytelling, and how can we distinguish this social background from literary fantasy or invention? How do these collections, dating from the 15th century CE and earlier, from Europe to India, relate to storytelling as it is practiced today, either as formal entertainment or as part of our everyday lives? Where and how do stories get repeated? What are the contributions of different media (live voice, writing or print, audio recording, film, television) to the telling of tales?
The collections we will sample are Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Boccaccio's Decameron (for which we will also view and discuss Pasolini's film Decameron), the Thousand and One Nights (for which we will also view and discuss the Disney film, Aladdin), Sufi stories from Fariduddin 'Attar's Conference of the Birds and Jalaluddin Rumi's Mathnavi, and the classical Sanskrit Panchatantra.
Besides two short (3-5 page) papers commenting on course readings and class discussion, due during the term, and a final exam consisting of a choice of short essay questions, each member of the class will perform for the class a short (5 to 10-minute) story or narrative joke of their own choosing (which can be fictional, or from personal experience or oral history from their family or elsewhere), and respond to other students' questions about how they chose the story, where it came from, what interests them about it, what they consider to be effective story-telling, etc. Your style as a performer will not be graded, but rather the quality of discussion that is created around the example you bring for the class to discuss.

Medieval and Renaissance Studies 240: Witchcraft and Magic
Instructor: Sarah Iles Johnston
MW F 11:30 -12:18
In this interdisciplinary course, students will explore the history and culture of witchcraft and magic from ca. 400 to 1700 C.E. within sociological, religious, and intellectual contexts. By the end of the course, students will have a better understanding of the practice, persecution, and social construct of magic and witchcraft in the medieval and early modern periods and its far-reaching impact on society.

English 270: Introduction to Folklore
Instructor: Sheila Bock
MW 1:30-3:18 PM
This class explores forms of traditional, vernacular culture--including verbal art, custom, and material culture--shared by men and women from a number of regional, ethnic, religious, and occupational groups. At the same time, we will consider various interpretive, theoretical approaches to examples of folklore and folklife discussed, and we will investigate the history of folklore studies and the cultural contexts in which this field has flourished. Recurring central issues will include the dynamics of tradition, the nature of creativity and artistic expression, and the construction of personal and group identities.

English 367.05: Memory and Place in the University District (The US Folk Experience)
Instructor: TBA
TR 9:30-11:18 AM
To better appreciate memory, place, and community in everyday life we will collect oral histories in our own backyard from residents of the University District. You will learn fieldwork techniques used by anthropologists, folklorists, and oral historians (e.g., interviewing, participant-observation, transcription). Ethnographic writing assignments will include reflections on the fieldwork process, how the past is represented in the present and to what ends, and how mere space is transformed into meaningful place through narrative. Interview transcripts, fieldwork documentation, and analyses will be deposited in the archives of the OSU Center for Folklore Studies. 367.05 fulfills the GEC "Social Diversity in the US" requirement and the second composition course you need to graduate.

Persian 370: Persian Mythology and Folklore
Instructor: Benjamin Gatling
TR 1:30-3:18 PM
This course explores the mythology and folklore of Persian-speaking lands, from cosmological texts through popular theater and narrative performance to popular customs and beliefs. Students will become familiar with the concepts and individuals (gods, heroes, demons) of ancient and more recent Persian mythology, as well as with various categories of folklore and folklife in present day Iran. This course will also introduce students to the basic concepts and methods of comparative myth and folklore studies. Although a variety of texts will be read, the emphasis of the course will be on the mythological and folk aspects of the texts, rather than their purely literary qualities.

Near Eastern Languages and Cultures 380: Everyday Life in South Asia
Instructor: Margaret A. Mills
TR 1:30-3:18 PM
This course is an introduction to the cultural diversity of South Asia through the study of everyday life and media representations. The cultural wealth and diversity of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) mainly comes to the attention of the American public in the form of brief news reports on sectarian and other violence or concerning interruptions of national and international political processes. This course is designed for those who want to know more about how members of the culturally, religiously, and professionally diverse population of this important region experience, manage, and find meaning in their everyday lives. Anthropologists, historians, folklorists, and scholars of religion, media and cultural studies all contribute different insights on this subject. The broad-ranging essay collection of Mines and Lamb, (eds.), Everyday Life in South Asia, will ground the course, balanced with readings on contemporary folklore in everyday use and several recent documentary and feature films.

International Studies 501: People and the Environment in China
Instructor: Elana Chipman
TR 11:30-1:18 PM
This seminar explores the relationship between society and the natural environment in Chinese societies by looking at conflicts over access to and use of the environment, as well as ideas about "nature" and our rights and responsibilities toward it. As a course grounded in anthropological and historical perspectives, its aim is to understand China's environmental issues and conflicts in terms of particular cultures, places, and times. Through readings and films, we will consider environmental debates in relation to issues such as land rights, environmental regulation, environmental knowledge (scientific and popular), population and food security, migration and urbanization, conservation and resource management, gender and ethnicity, global commodity chains, and hazardous waste. The emphasis will be on specific case studies which will then be set in relation to movements within the global political economy, as well as larger scholarly debates.

International Studies 501: Music in Disputed Territories: Cultureal Dimensions of Globalization
Instructor: Amy Horowitz
TR 9:30–11:18 AM
This course examines the role that music plays in forging new identities and in crossing political boundaries in disputed territory. Music has played a significant, if not always recognized role in world politics from campaign jingles to revolutionary protest music. We will explore music in the context of performances in daily life, religious ritual, and cultural and political events. From the music of Israeli Jews from Islamic lands to the proliferation of Reggae and Afro–Cuban music in Europe, we will focus on how music defies national and political boundaries and creates unlikely coalitions among listeners and performers. Some of the questions we will ask are: what is the role of technology in the globalization of local music? What is the impact of community upheaval (migration, exile, refugee status,) on music formation and change? The course challenges students to examine the assymetrical encounter and subsequent power relationships between local African, Asian, European, North American and Latin American musical traditions.

English 577.02: Folklore Genres: Legend
Instructor: Merrill Kaplan
MW 1:30-3:18 PM
This course introduces students to legend, that genre of folk narrative that includes narratives of King Arthur and Elvis Presley, elves and aliens, and everything you've heard about the Mooney Mansion on Walhalla Drive. Students will gain familiarity with traditions of several places and times while exploring the structure and subject matter of legend, the relationship between legend and personal experience, and the nature of legend as contested truth. Students will learn about the history of the collection of legends and become acquainted with some of the major scholars of legend and their ideas. By the end of the course, students will understand some of the difficulties posed by attempts to define legends as a genre and have learned strategies for interpreting legend as meaningful expression.

Comparative Studies 677.04: Understanding China through Ethnography
Instructor: Elana Chipman
TR 3:30-5:18 PM
In this reading-intense seminar we will examine both the minutiae of daily life and larger scale issues in contemporary Chinese societies. We will read a range of works, beginning with Fei Xiaotong's classic village ethnographies from the 1930s, and continue to contemporary works such as Jing Jun's portrait of a community displaced by a dam project, Tamara Jacka's study of migrant women laborers in Shenzhen, and an ethnography of bridal studios in Taipei by Bonnie Adrian. Through these anthropological and ethnographic materials focusing on individuals, communities, and their lives we will strive to understand some of the continuing and emerging issues facing China today in context; including migration and urbanization, environmental degradation, economic change, tourism, and family organization. Students will write short response papers to the readings through the semester and complete a final take home essay.

English/Comparative Studies 770.01: Introduction to Graduate Study in Folklore 1: Folklore Genres and Interpretive Methods
Instructor: Dorothy Noyes
MW 11:30-1:18 PM
Eng# 08889-4; CS# 05685-5
This course, part of the newly revised graduate curriculum in folklore, provides an entry into folklore studies through the ground floor. While at 800-level we offer courses focusing on the core bodies of folklore theory-tradition, performance, and sociocultural differentiation--, the 770 series provides a practical introduction to the stuff of vernacular cultural creation and its study. This first course throws us into the deep end: interpreting folklore in context, the equivalent of close reading in literary studies. After a brief introduction to the history and politics of folklore research, we will survey the canonical oral, material, and gestural genres of the field, looking at a variety of traditions internationally through the work of good ethnographers. Through these examples, students will find guidelines for conducting their own "philology of the vernacular," in Richard Bauman's phrase. In addition to responses to the readings, students will perform a series of interpretive exercises to be revised into a final paper on material of their own choosing.

Near Eastern Languages and Cultures/Comparative Studies 792: Tradition and Transmission
Instructor: Margaret A. Mills
MW 2:30-4:18 PM
NELC# 12278-9; CS# 05693-1
This course is offered as one of the core graduate seminars for those interested in theory and research methodology in folklore studies. We will review theories of how cultural forms travel through time and space across social networks, their stability, variation, and cultural reproduction. Key terms such as genre, structure, formula, and text/ entextualization are examined for their place in theories of transmission. Other key concepts and topics: Diffusion and the comparative method; ethnomimesis; habit and the reproduction of the everyday; implicit vs. explicit memorial forms; theories of oral transmission, orality and memory techniques, literacy and entextualization; sites of memory (memory as celebrated, as sequestered, or censored/suppressed); cultural continuities operating below awareness; traditionalization and invented traditions; heritage.

Education T&L 905: Ethnography of Communication
Instructor: Marcia Farr
W 4:30-6:48 PM
This two-quarter seminar introduces the Ethnography of Communication as a field of inquiry for studies of oral and written language. We explore cultural differences in language use, investigating oral language genres and/or literacy practices within specific groups across social contexts. This sequence of two courses is foundational for those considering such research for their dissertations or theses.
The first quarter course provides the theoretical framework and general methodology of this field, as well as examples of specific studies carried out within this tradition. Over the course of the two quarters we read ethnographies of communication of specific populations within the United States and in other world sites.
The second quarter course is project-oriented. We focus on fieldwork and analysis as students conduct their own research. The final paper reporting on this research might serve as an initial draft of an article for a scholarly journal or a book chapter. Students enrolling in the second quarter of this course sequence (Winter 2009) should either have taken the first quarter of the sequence or otherwise have some background in this area.

AnchorSpring 2009

English 270: Introduction to Folklore
Instructor: Ray Cashman
M W 11:30 AM-1:18 PM
This class explores forms of traditional, vernacular culture--including verbal art, custom, and material culture--shared by men and women from a number of regional, ethnic, religious, and occupational groups. At the same time, we will consider various interpretive, theoretical approaches to examples of folklore and folklife discussed, and we will investigate the history of folklore studies and the cultural contexts in which this field has flourished. Recurring central issues will include the dynamics of tradition, the nature of creativity and artistic expression, and the construction of personal and group identities.

East Asian Languages and Literatures 357: East Asian Folklore
Instructor: Mark Bender
M W 1:30-3:18 PM
This course introduces the traditional folklore of various cultures in East Asia. Considering folklore as a dynamic process, the course will examine specific items of folk activity in the cultures of China, Korea, and Japan, giving due to local, majority, and minority ethnic cultures. In the first two weeks of the course, discussions will center on key terms such as "folklore," "tradition," "context," "performance," and "genre." In ensuing weeks, the themes of folk song, narrative, dance, material culture, epic, rituals, and ethnic tourism will be explored. This quarter, there will be an especially heavy focus on certain ethnic minority cultures in southwest China (Yi, Miao (Hmong), Tibetan, and others).

English 367.05: The US Folk Experience
Instructor: Sheila Bock
M W 9:30-11:18 AM
In this course, we will use the core concepts and methods of the field of folklore as the basis for reading assignments and writing projects. Because the theme of this course is "The U.S. Folk Experience," we will begin with a brief introduction to basic concepts of American folklore and ethnography, including folk groups, tradition, and fieldwork methodology, focusing on how these concepts and methodologies contribute to the development of critical reading, writing, and thinking skills. Students will also learn fieldwork techniques and use them in the study of local practices and groups. These practices will provide you the "raw data" students will use for ethnographic writing assignments. 367.05 fulfills the GEC "Social Diversity in the US" requirement and the second composition course you need to graduate.

International Studies 501: Living Jerusalem: Ethnography and Blogbridging in Disputed Territory
Instructor: Amy Horowitz
M W 9:30-11:18 AM
Living Jerusalem is a pilot course that combines an ethnographic, historical, political and cultural overview of Jerusalem and examines the impact of weblogs (blogs) and video conferences as dialogue points for individuals living as adversarial neighbors in this disputed urban context.
Throughout the quarter we will explore multiple histories; contemporary political issues; intersections of cultural practices, cultural borrowing, transmission and appropriation; disputed claims to cultural legacies. Students will have access to the Jerusalem project archive, which includes data collected by Israeli and Palestinian ethnographers in the early 1990s.
One of our goals is to better understand blogging as a tool in our study of Jerusalem. Students will build weblogs through which they will offer responses to course readings and other forms of media as well as dialogue with one another and share new materials. Students will be responsible for creating and maintaining their weblog by posting reading responses and journal entries throughout the term. The creation and continued use of the weblog will account for 1/2 of student grades. The final project for the course will emerge from the weblog itself. We will also explore the use of video conferencing as vehicle for discussion with Israeli and Palestinian faculty members and students from Jerusalem.
During our final exam period, we will evaluate the course structure, readings, and discussions with aim of further developing the course.

International Studies 501.4: On the Move: Travel, tourism, pilgrimage and other itineraries
Instructor: Elana Chipman
T R 9:30-11:18 AM
Mass tourism and the leisure industry originated in the nineteenth century, yet pilgrimage and other forms of travel have existed for much longer. This cross-cultural course will explore travelling not only as an important cultural and social activity and economic industry (the world's largest), but also as a way of achieving a better understanding of the complex relationship between contemporary globalization and culture. We will use perspectives from anthropology and other humanistic sciences to analyze pilgrimage, tourism and travel as cultural practices from the perspectives of both hosts and guests. For example, what cultural beliefs and values have historically encouraged travel, exploration, trade, colonialism, and ultimately, modern tourism? What is tourism's relationship with economy, social class, and leisure? How does tourism impact indigenous peoples, and ideas of cultural identity and authenticity? In what way are the experiences of tourists different from those of a pilgrim Assignments will include two take-home essay exams a short research paper, and occasional response papers to class readings.

English 577.01: Studies in Folklore: Ethnicity and Migration
Instructor: Amy Shuman
M W 1:30-3:18 PM
We will study a great variety of cultural practices, including food, music, dance, festival, storytelling, and more to better understand immigration, ethnicity, and cultural heritage. Our central topic is the movement of people, ideas, things, and cultural practices as they circulate across borders. More specific topics include how people perform their ethnicity with food, dance and music, at weddings and other occasions, the emergence of genres of ethnic music, stereotyping and legends about particular groups or events, forms of pan-ethnicity and ethnic fusion (such as Native American pow-wows and ethnic restaurants), the creation of cultural heritage in festivals and museums, sites of contested identities, and the dissemination of knowledge through martial arts, ethnic restaurants, and other cultural sites. Requirements: Mid-term Exam, Final exam, Class Project/Term Paper.

English 571: The Sociolinguistics of Talk (Special Topics in English Language Study)
Instructor: Galey Modan
T R 1:30-3:18 PM
This course is an introduction to the empirical analysis of spoken language, with a focus on ordinary, everyday conversation. This course will not help you to become a better public speaker. Instead, you will learn about the mechanics of conversation: how do we start and end conversations, accomplish turntaking on AIM, show politeness or interest, create identities for ourselves and others through our talk? With a focus on face-to-face interaction, we'll examine how speakers utilize social context in talk and exploit language in order to achieve social and political effects in everyday settings. Topics covered include turn-taking and interruption, politeness, discourse markers such as 'like' and 'y'know', cross-cultural communication, and language and power.
Required texts: Deborah Cameron, Working with Spoken Discourse; reading packet.
Requirements: Recording and transcribing conversations; 2 short papers; midterm; final group project.

Comparative Studies 677.03: Cultures of Waste and Recycling
Instructor: Dorothy Noyes
M W 3:30-5:18 PM
This course explores the notion of the residual: what is leftover, useless, unclassifiable. Starting off from Agnès Varda's film The Gleaners and I (2000), we will explore the customary management of communal resources, both human and material. We'll examine the creation of waste (and its converse, deprivation) with the codification of custom in modernity, and look at strategies by which waste is recuperated as a matter of necessity, aesthetics, or ideology. We'll look at how different kinds of leftovers move in and out of systems of value: for example, the labeling of things as "junk" or "antiques," people as "trash," or ideas as "folklore." Finally, we'll think about the status of residues in social and cultural theory. Readings will be eclectic, including classic selections from symbolic anthropology (Douglas, Leach, Lévi-Strauss, Thompson) and sociology (Weber, Veblen), folktales, the Book of Ruth, Benjamin Franklin, and ethnographic articles on stereotyping, outlaws and outsiders, collecting, folk art, and popular protest. Students will write a few short response papers and a research paper.

English 694: American Regional Cultures and Global Transition: Appalachia, Louisiana, and the Texas Border Country (Issues in the Contemporary World)
Instructor: Dorothy Noyes
T R 1:30-3:18 PM
This course fulfills the capstone GEC requirement by introducing you to the folklore of three American regions. Imagined as different from a supposed American norm, each region is both attractive to outsiders and stigmatized by them. In each region, a dynamic vernacular culture has emerged out of complex race and class relations. In each region, both government policy and economic forces have powerfully transformed local lifeways and the physical environment, and vernacular political expression has been subject to violent repression. Each region has also been strongly marked by in- and out-migration.
We'll look at historical change through the prism of celebrated folklore forms such as Louisiana Mardi Gras, Appalachian fairy tales, and the Tex-Mex corrido. We'll also explore the impact of recent events: Hurricane Katrina and the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast, mountaintop-removal mining in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee, and the proposed border fence across the US-Mexican border to halt undocumented migration.
Readings will be drawn from several disciplines. Students will write three short essay exams and a Web-based research paper.
Note: This course will satisfy the GEC capstone requirement as the equivalent of English 597. For clarification/confirmation, please contact Debra Lowry in the Department of English at

English 770.03: Introduction to Graduate Study in Folklore 3: Ethnography of Communication
Instructor: Galey Modan
T R 5:30-7:18 PM
Ethnographic approaches to interaction and performance; the speech community; the communicative economy.

Comparative Studies 792: Ethnography and Native Americans
Instructor: Daniel Reff
M 5:30-8:18 PM
The birth of American anthropology, including modern ethnography, is in many respects "the study of the American Indian." Throughout the twentieth century, and even today, Native America has been a focal point for ethnography, including post-colonial attempts to empower native peoples to tell their own "story." In this seminar we will examine the relationship between ethnography and Native Americans. Although the seminar will focus on prominent twentieth-century and more recent examples of ethnographic writing, we will begin by considering the antecedents of modern ethnography, including works of historical fiction such as Bandelier's The Delightmakers, and still earlier "proto-ethnographies" compiled by European explorers and Spanish missionaries. We will also engage the Native American response to the non-native and "scientific" presentation/construction of Indian identity.

Anthropology 810.21: Study Design & Data Analysis in Ethnographic Research
Instructor: Mark Moritz
R 2:30-5:18
# 01527-8
The focus of this course is research design and ethnographic methods. We cover a wide range of formal and informal methods of data collection and quantitative and qualitative methods of data analysis. This course is highly recommended for all graduate students who are considering doing ethnographic research.
An earlier version of the syllabus is available online.

English 870: The Folk: Theories of High and Low Culture
Instructor: Amy Shuman
M W 9:30-11:18 AM
The concept of the folk is an invention of modernity and nationalism. The classification as "folk" can be used negatively, to exoticize others, to demean particular practices, or positively, to reclaim identity, or as a strategy of empowerment, among other alternatives. This course explores many of the modern binary oppositions that rely on or include the concept of folk, such as belief/superstition, high/low, oral/literary, modern/traditional. In addition to these academic classifications, we will observe how groups use the category of folk in their understandings of themselves, whether in terms of heritage culture, ethnic customs, or subcultures. Readings will include academic discussions of issues, popular ethnographies in which groups represent themselves, and representations used in museums, festivals or other public events. No prior familiarity with folklore is necessary. Requirements: oral presentation on one of the readings; written responses to readings; term paper.