Current Folklore Course Offerings


Autumn 2021 Courses

English 2270 and Comparative Studies 2350: Introduction to Folklore Studies
Instructor: Emma Cobb
Course#: TBD
Tuesday and Thursday 11:10-12:20 Lazenby 002

This class explores forms of traditional, vernacular culture - including verbal art, custom, and material culture - shared by people from a number of regional, ethnic, religious, and occupational groups. We will consider various interpretive, theoretical approaches to examples of folklore and folklife, and we will investigate the history of folklore studies. Recurring central issues will include the dynamics of tradition, the nature of creativity and artistic expression, and the construction of group identities. Folklore theory and methods will be explored through readings and an independent collecting project, where students will gather folklore from their home town or the college campus.  Students will interview people for stories and other oral forms, and will document cultural practices through photographs, drawings and fieldnotes. Final collecting projects will be accessioned in the Student Ethnographic Collection at the Center for Folklore Studies Archives. Make your mark documenting the expressive culture you know most intimately and that you value most and expand the consultable record of human experience.

English and Comparative Studies 7350: Folklore Theory: Tradition
Instructor: Amy Shuman
Course#: TBD
Thursday 1:50-4:50 Denney Hall 213 (zoom will be available for students attending remotely)

No concept is more central, or more fraught, in folklore studies than the concept of tradition. Long ago, folklorists rejected static concepts of tradition and instead understand traditionalizing as a process of recreating and inventing the past in the present. That said, some forms, stories, ways of making things endure, inviting the study of transmission of knowledge and cultural practices across generations and across cultures. Tradition is a weighty term, invoking questions of who controls the transmission of culture, what counts as transmittable, and how is tradition from one context borrowed, appropriated, and/or remade in another? To address these questions, we will explore tradition as part of the circulation of culture, centering not only on the appearance of stability in objects and practices but also on the complexity of performers, audiences, apprentices, and masters and on the dynamic processes of transmission, including learning, memory, invention, imagination, transformation, creolization, appropriation, censorship, and adaptation.

TURKISH 3350 - Contemporary Issues in Turkey
Danielle V. Schoon
Course#: 34222
Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:20-3:40pm ONLINE Synchronous

This course provides an introduction to contemporary issues in Turkey. Our understanding of current events will be grounded in deep historical, social, and geographic analyses, informed by both local and global dynamics. Most of the class focuses on political, economic, and social issues to help us contextualize current events and issues.

GE soc sci indivs and groups and diversity global studies course.

Music 6672/4555.07: Introduction to Ethnomusicology (7-week seminar, first session)
Dr. Ryan Skinner
Course #: TBD
Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:20-3:40PM 

This course is designed as a historical introduction to the discipline of Ethnomusicology. Beginning with the scholarship that founded Comparative Musicology in the late 19th century and the musical currents of Cultural Anthropology in early 20th century, the course moves through successive periods of disciplinary orientations and cross-disciplinary affiliations, from the Anthropology of Music of the 1960s to the Comparative Sociomusicology of the 1980s; from Popular Music Studies of the 1990s to the Anthropology of Sound and Listening of the past decade. Through this historical survey, this course aims to give students a broad overview of the methods, theories, topics, people, and places that have defined “Ethnomusicology”–– in all of its various sub-disciplinary guises––from the late-19th century to the present. The course is open to advanced undergraduates (MUSIC 4555.07) and graduate students (MUSIC 6672) alike!

Comparative Studies 6750.01/English 6751.01: Philology of the Vernacular
Dr. Katherine Borland
Course#24321, 24148, 24149
Day(s) & Time: Tuesday 2:15-5:00 PM (In Person) Hagerty Hall 451

How do we interpret traditional forms and the cultural practices that mold them? How can we read a cultural expression as text within the context of its performance? This course provides an introduction to folklore materials and methods by investigating the genres of traditional expression that have shaped the field at particular historical moments: song, tale, custom, proverb, festival, dance, legend, belief and material culture.  We will survey the accumulated riches of field research and develop the tools necessary for interpreting traditional expression. Throughout, we will interrogate the usefulness of the concept of genre to the study of folklore. This course is one of the two Tools courses required for the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Folklore. For more information on GIS, see

SPAN 7380: Introduction to Spanish Sociolinguistics
Dr. Anna Babel
Course#: 34768
Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:20-3:40PM (In Person)

This course acts as an introduction to the subdiscipline of sociolinguistics, investigating its development as a field of study as well as its ties to linguistic anthropology.  We focus on the relationship of micro-level linguistic variation to social and cultural patterns, linking sociolinguistic variation to larger-scale political and economic forces.  There is a particular focus on research in and studies from the Spanish-speaking world.  Participants in the class are expected to take a critical approach to the theories we discuss, actively evaluating their strengths, weaknesses, and appropriate applications.  Specific topics may include foundations of sociolinguistics and related disciplines; approaches to the speech community; theories of context, such as register, genre, and style; theories of practice; discourse and conversation analysis; performance, voice, and footing; language ideologies and attitudes; semiotics and indexicality; varieties and codes, including multilingualism and language contact; and theories of identity.  Time permitting, we may explore other topics that are relevant to students in the class.  This class is intended to be flexible and is open to modification depending on the needs and interests of the participants. 

Music 8886: Theories and Methods in Ethnomusicology (7-week seminar, second session)
Dr. Ryan Skinner
Course #: TBD
Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:30-3:30PM 

This course is run as an intensive and immersive seminar on current trends, directions, ideas, and orientations in the field of ethnomusicology. It follows directly on the heels of the 7-week “Introduction to Ethnomusicology” (MUSIC 6672/4555.07), though the introductory course is not required to participate in this graduate-level class. For “Theories and Methods,” students will read, reflect on, and discuss a series of recent monographs in the discipline, books which challenge, reimagine, and seek to further develop (or critique) what it means to do (and, for some, undo) ethnomusicology today. The final project for the class will be a book review of a recent ethnomusicological monograph not included on the syllabus. For this assignment, students will not only carefully and critically read and respond to their chosen text, but also locate and appeal to a particular scholarly audience with reference to a target journal in the field, such as: Ethnomusicology, Ethnomusicology Forum, Popular Music and Society, Popular Music, JAMS, Current Musicology, or any number of relevant area and cultural studies publications.