Current Folklore Course Offerings

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Spring 2022 Courses

 

GRAD COURSES

 

English 7872: Introduction to Discourse Analysis (Seminar in English Linguistics)
Galey Modan
Thursdays 9:10-12:00

For students interested in examining discourse as part of a linguistics, folklore, literature or other humanities or social science research project, this course will give you the tools to investigate how language structure (not just content) shapes perceptions, values, social interaction, and power struggles. The course provides an overview of the major approaches to analyzing spoken and written discourse used in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, including interactional sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, ethnography of communication, pragmatics, and critical discourse analysis. We will explore how the contexts of social interactions both shape and are shaped by discourse.  The approach that we will take to analyzing texts is a micro-level one, focusing on the details of linguistic structure and how those details connect to more macro spheres of social engagement.  Students will collect examples of spoken and written texts, and analyze them in short paper assignments and one longer final paper.


Comparative Studies 8858/English 8858.01/.02: Eco-Fairy Tales
Mary Hufford             
Wednesday 9:10-Noon

This graduate seminar brings ecofeminist and ecocritical perspectives to bear on the study of fairy tales as they have evolved over the past four centuries, from collections created under the sign of romantic nationalism to the work of contemporary fairy tale revisionists.  Linking the domination and exploitation of both women and nature under patriarchal capitalism, ecofeminism offers an angle onto myriad Others inhabiting fairy tales. Ecocriticism, the critique of the environmental effects of literary and cinematic productions, frames our exploration of the literary ecology of fairy tales, an ecology intertwined with industrialization, modernity, and the fate of the global forest. Coursework will include: in-class presentations; contributions to and leading of discussion; written and archival exercises; and a term project. 


English 7861.02: Studies in Narrative and Narrative Theory
Amy Shuman
Thursdays 12:40-3:40

An introduction to the foundations of narrative study. The course provides the tools necessary to do narrative analysis for a thesis or dissertation on any sort of narrative text, including both narratives collected in interviews or on the web or in published fiction. We will discuss a wide variety of narratives including folk tales, everyday conversational narratives, stories about illness and disability, refugee stories, and stories about the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of everyday life. We will analyze narratives from a variety of sources, including published fiction and non-fiction, internet blogs and other media, and stories recorded in everyday life.


 

GRAD/UNDERGRAD COURSES

 

Comp Studies 5691 Topics in Comparative Studies: Material Culture, Materiality and Agency
Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth
MW 11:10-12:30

What do things do? How do they influence our actions and social lives we assemble around us? How does their circulation and movement influence global flows and processes? This course explores how the world of things and materials surrounding us impact our lives, our environments, our economies, and ourselves by surveying social theory related to material culture and materiality. From Marx and Mauss to Tsing and Tallbear, we will draw upon an inter-disciplinary framework to explore how thinkers in Anthropology, Folklore Studies, Geography, Archaeology, Economics, Science and Technology Studies, Museum Studies and beyond have thought through things in time and space. Students will take on a semester-long study of material culture of their choice through the lenses of various theories of material culture, materiality, and agency. They will also experiment with museum exhibition, accession, and repatriation practices and gain skills in building global commodity chains through ARC GIS Storymapping.

 


UNDERGRAD COURSES

 

English 2270 and Comparative Studies 2350: Introduction to Folklore Studies
Emma Cobb
Tues/Thurs 11:10-12:20

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 2270H and Comparative Studies 2350H: Honors Introduction to Folklore Studies
MW 2:20-3:40
Rachel Hopkin

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.


Comparative Studies 3501: Humanitarianism: Ideals and Realities in the Contemporary World
Professor: Katherine Borland
TTh 3:55-5:15

For over a century the U.S. government has considered Central America its backyard, an extension of the territory it claimed through manifest destiny.  This means the U.S.  has dominated the region politically, militarily, economically and culturally. When Central Americans have asserted their right to self-determination, many U.S. citizens and citizen groups have supported them in those goals through projects of solidarity and development. In this class, we will examine the strengths and weaknesses of various forms of solidarity and U.S. government assistance as they have impacted Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. We will explore patterns common to the region in the governmental and grassroots initiatives to democratize governments, invigorate economies, protect citizens from harm, enhance human rights, respond to disasters, protect ecosystems, and confront the health, education and housing issues that accompany persistent poverty and inequality.

The course explores the history, dominant discourses, and practices of aid (governmental and grassroots) to Central America by investigating primary texts dating from the nineteenth century to the present, by consulting the critical literature on the history of development, and by examining dramatizations in film and literature of both the predicaments of the region and solutions generated by residents and outsiders.  Throughout, we will attempt to understand why some humanitarian projects flourish whereas other, equally well-intended ones constitute setbacks rather than advances toward a more just and peaceful Central American reality. Focusing on one world region, we will explore the ideals of humanitarianism and the difficulties of humanitarianism in practice in order to generate new thinking about enduring worldwide predicaments.

 


 

 

 

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 https://cfs.osu.edu/programs/graduate-options/gis-graduate-curriculum

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.