Spring 2017 Folklore Course Offerings

 

Undergraduate Courses | Upper Level Undergraduate Courses | Undergraduate/Graduate courses | Graduate Courses | Affiliated Courses

 

Undergraduate Courses


INTRODUCTION TO FOLKLORE 
(CS 2350 / ENGLISH 2270)

Folklore Cat

Merrill Kaplan | TTh 12:45-2:05| Denney Hall 250 | #17005 / 18568 

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 personal and group identities. Folklore theory and methods will be explored through engagement with primary sources: folktale, legend, jokes, festival, belief, and costume, and students will collect examples of folklore through fieldwork.

GE Arts and Humanities: Cultures and Ideas.
 

THE U.S. FOLK EXPERIENCE  
(ENGLISH 2367.05) 


Martha Sims | MoWeFr 9:10AM - 10:05AM | Caldwell Lab 119 | #18573

Rachel Hopkin | MoWeFr 1:50PM - 2:45PM | Caldwell Lab 102 | #26950

 

Concepts of American folklore & ethnography; folk groups, tradition, & fieldwork methodology; how these contribute to the development of critical reading, writing, & thinking skills. 

 

SCIENCE FICTION AND/OR FANTASY: THE FAIRY TALE AND REALITY
(ENGLISH 3372)


Dorothy Noyes | TuTh 9:35AM - 10:55AM |  Journalism Bldg 371  | #33692

Most of us associate the fairy tale with magic and fantasy. This course considers the many ways in which fairy tales call us back to the "real" world; in fact, the modern Western world. We'll look first at the fairy tales of oral tradition as a kind of peasant survival guide, with examples from Italy, India, Ireland, and beyond. Then we'll see how the genre was domesticated and standardized in print and film, creating prominent models of selfhood and success along the way- taking us from Perrault to the Grimms, to Hans Christian Andersen and Horatio Alger, and finally to Soviet children's writers and Walt Disney. There was always subversion on the sidelines, however, and we'll look at other writers and filmmakers who bend or break the dominant fairy tale script.

In all these transformations, fairy tales explore the tension between three ways individuals can respond to the promise of modern society: playing the game to win, escaping the game, and changing the rules. But what happens when we lose faith in the game? In a group project we'll survey what has been happening lately to the fairy tale plot in popular culture. There will also be two exams.


HUMANITARIANISM IN QUESTION: U.S. IMPERIALISM AND SOLIDARITY WITH CENTRAL AMERICA
(COMPSTD 3501)


Katherine Borland | TTh 11:10am – 12:30pm | Stillman Hall 135 | #32240

humanitarianism

Explore 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, prosperous, and peaceful Central American reality.

 


Upper-Level Undergraduate Courses

 

INTRODUCTION TO NARRATIVE AND NARRATIVE THEORY
(ENGLISH 4559)

Amy Shuman | TuTh 12:45PM - 2:05PM  |  Denney Hall 206 | #32641

Stories give shape to our everyday life experiences.  We tell stories about ourselves, about others, about trivial interactions that fade from memory, and about life changing events.  In this course we explore who tells stories to whom and in what contexts; the course will give you the tools to understand how narrative works. We’ll examine narrative form, genre, performance, repertoire and interaction.  Each student will collect stories that will become the focus of a term paper. Requirements include a midterm exam, comments posted to Carmen (a total of 10 comments for the semester) instead of a final exam, and a term paper.

 

STUDIES IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE: THE SOCIOLINGUISTICS OF TALK
(ENGLISH 4571)


Gabiriella Modan | TuTh 2:20PM - 3:40PM |  TBD  | 

The dinnertable conversations, class discussions, chats while exercising, arguments, and joking that we engage in every day are rich with pattern and meaning. This course is an introduction to the analysis of spoken language, with a focus on ordinary conversation. The 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, decide when it's our turn to talk, 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 their goals, as well as how their goals sometimes get thwarted, 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. the fairy tale with magic and fantasy. 

 

AMERICAN REGIONAL CULTURES IN TRANSITION: APPALACHIA, LOUISIANA, AND THE TEXAS BORDER COUNTRY
(ENGLISH 4597.02)

Dorothy Noyes | TuTh 12:45PM - 2:05PM  |  Bolz Hall 422 | #18587

This course will introduce you to the folklore of three American regions. Each is famous for its traditional culture, but each is often thought of as deviating in a distinctive way from the national culture: Louisiana is "creole," Texas is "border," and Appalachia is "folk." While exploring these differences, we'll also observe the commonalities: positive and negative stereotyping from outside, complex racial and class composition, heavy in- and out-migration, environmental distinctiveness and stress, extraction economies, tense and often violent relationships with both government and business. 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 Hurricane Katrina and the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast, the energy economy in Appalachia, and the cross-border movements of people, drugs, and capital.  A general question arises: what counts as America?

 


Graduate Courses

Folklore is an inherently interdisciplinary field that draws and borrows from a host of other fields across campus. Although core folklore faculty are not teaching graduate folklore courses in English or Comparative Studies this semester, graduate students can take courses from our esteemed affiliate faculty (see in the section below) for credit toward their program. Email Dr. Katherine Borland at borland.19@osu.edu for more information.

 


Affiliated courses
 

 

RUSSIAN FAIRY TALES AND FOLKLORE
(RUSSIAN 2345)

Anastasiia Gordiienko | WF 11:10AM-12:30PM | TBD  | #33257

 

Course description: Examines four categories of texts, both verbal and visual: (1) a survey of Russian demonology; (2) a large selection of the best-known Russian fairy tales,; (3) scholarly articles analyzing the differences between folklore and literature; and (4) visual materials (film, paintings, graphics, and handicrafts) and music inspired by Russian fairy tales. Taught in English. GE cultures and ideas and diversity global studies course.

 

THE MIDDLE EAST IN THE MEDIA

(NEAR EASTERN LANGUAGES AND CULTURES 3204-10)

Danielle Schoon | WF 9:35am-10:55am | Location TBD | 

Syrian refugees, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an authoritarian regime in Turkey, ongoing turmoil in Iraq and Afghanistan... These are just a few of the stories coming out of the Middle East that dominate headlines around the world. How do we understand the broader context for these stories? How might the media shape what we do and do not know about the Middle East? How does the media literally mediate between the so-called ‘East’ and ‘West’? This course uses a wide lens to evaluate how the Middle East and its people are represented in, by, and for the media. It also takes a broad view of the media (or “mediascape”) as news, entertainment, and communication, including everything from newspapers to television, music, film, advertising, digital and social media. We will discuss topics such as globalization, security, censorship and freedom of speech, and the role of technology in social movements such as the Arab Spring.

All majors welcome. Fulfills GE Culture & Ideas and Diversity: Global Studies.
 


THEORY AND METHOD IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION

(RELIGIOUS STUDIES 3972)
 

Isaac Weiner | TR 11:10AM-12:30PM | Hayes Hall 005  | 

 

What is “religion”? How and why do we study “religion”? Is “religion” a manifestation of some sacred, sui generis reality that human beings can only dimly apprehend? Or is “religion” a rickety ideological superstructure built on the foundation of colonial, economic, and gendered oppression? Perhaps it’s a psychological projection, a delusion from which humanity must free itself. Or maybe “religion” is simply the creation of the scholar who studies it. This course provides a survey of classical and contemporary theories that have tried to answer these questions along with many others. We will cover a wide array of approaches to the study of religion, ranging from anthropology to psychology, feminist theory to cognitive science, and apply those approaches to interpret specific case studies of religious practices in particular places. Students also will have the opportunity to contribute original research to the American Religious Sounds Project, an OSU collaborative scholarly initiative. This class is required of Religious Studies majors and minors, though it is open to all students interested in the subject.

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: FIELD RESEARCH AND SEMINAR: SOCIAL POLICIES, PRACTICES, JUSTICES, AND RESPONSIBILITY

(AFRICAN AMERICAN & AFRICAN STUDIES 5189)

 

A service-learning course that draws on the principles of experiential learning by immersing students in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs.

 

RESEARCH DESIGN AND ETHNOGRAPHIC METHODS

(ANTHROPOLOGY 5650)

Jeffrey H. Cohen | MoWeFr 9:10AM - 10:05AM  |  Jennings Hall 160 | 

 

methods


This course introduces core ethnographic methods for anthropological fieldwork. We will master a variety of tools from the basics of participant-observation to defining social networks.

 

ANALYZING LANGUAGE IN SOCIAL MEDIA
(ENGLISH/LINGUISTICS 5804)
 

Lauren Squires and Marie-Catherine de Marneffe | WeFr 9:35AM - 10:35AM  |  TBA | 
 

The goal of this course is to learn how to conduct data analysis based on social media (e.g. Twitter). This course will approach the study of language and interaction in social media from both theoretical and practical angles. From the theoretical side, we will explore why social media are of interest for linguistic and other social science researchers, focusing on previous research findings about communicative behavior in social media. From the practical side, students will learn to perform analysis of social media behavior, covering all steps in the research process from data collection/selection to quantitative and qualitative analysis and reporting. The course will thus offer students valuable skills in both understanding and conducting social science research.

The course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Class sessions will be a micture of lecture, discussion, and hands-on programming work at computers. No previous experience in lingusitics or programming is required, though some background in the study of language will be helpful.



INTRODUCTION TO ETHNOMUSICOLOGY

(MUSIC 4555/6672)

Ryan Skinner | WeFr 2:20PM - 3:40PM  | 18th Avenue Library, rm 205 | 

This course is designed as a historical introduction to the discipline of Ethnomusicology. Beginning with the scholarship that founded Comparative Musicology 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 - over the past 125 years.
 

DISCOURSE ANALYSIS: SOCIAL CONTEXTS
(ENGLISH 7872)
 

Gabriella Modan | W 9:10AM - 12:10PM  | Denney Hall 419 | #32615

For students interested in using discourse analysis as part of a folklore, linguistics, literature, or other humanities or social science research project, this course will give you the tools to investigate how language shapes perceptions, values, social interaciton, 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, conversational analysis, ehtnography of communication, pragmatics, and critical discourse analysis. 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 life. Students will collect spoken and written texts and analyze them in short paper assignments. 

REQUIREMENTS: transcription assignment, 3 short papers, one 15-page final paper.


SPECIAL TOPICS IN THEATRE HISTORY: PERFORMING PUBLICS

(THEATER 7899.07)


Shilarna Stokes | WF 1:35PM-3:40PM | Drake Performance and Event Center 2072  | #32177

nightcrowdband

This graduate seminar introduces participants to the study of events featuring “the public” as both performers and spectators. Drawing on readings from across a range of fields including theatre, dance, performance studies, and cultural studies, we will consider how performance events and practices construct, contest, and attempt to transform collective subjectivities. We’ll look first at the “public-making” work of large-scale events such as festivals, pageants, protests, and flash mobs. Next, we’ll concentrate on contemporary performance works that address themselves to “intimate” or “ambient” publics. Examples include immersive theatre projects, site-responsive installations, and works associated with relational aesthetics. Throughout the semester, we will ask how “performing publics” negotiate questions of race, class, gender, ethnicity and nationality, and we will compare different methods of research and analysis. Final projects may be performance-based or writing-based. * Class meeting times may be adjusted to accommodate the needs of students. Contact the instructor at stokes.217@osu.edu with questions or come to the first class meeting. 

 

CARTELAMI, CARDBOARD CONSTRUCTIONS, & MATERIAL CULTURE
(ART 7108/ HISTORY OF ART 8000)


Laura Lisbon and Lisa Florman | TR 6:55pm-9:40pm | where?  | #15241 / 18983

cartelami
The recent rediscovery of cartelami opens up a world of ephemeral art and popular devotion in the northern Mediterranean, much of it lost to post-Vatican II Catholicism. Cartelami are painted cardboard pieces used to assemble a stage set for Easter Week devotions in which ordinary people re-enact sacred history. Connecting familiar Baroque aesthetics to new techniques from secular theater through the ambitions of local magnates and communities, cartelami draw on painterly craft to transform the spaces and optics of parish churches and bring narrative to life.

This multi-disciplinary seminar will have a steady stream of visiting artists and guest lecturers (from, among other places, Architecture, the Center for Folklore Studies, Theater, and the Center for the Study of Religion), and cover topics ranging from scenography to folk art and vernacular religion to visual storytelling and Picasso’s cardboard constructions of the early twentieth century. Students will be able to work on an equally wide range of projects, provided that they are at least tangentially related to the topics discussed in class.

 

AMERICAN SPIRITUALITY
(COMPSTD 8872)

 

Isaac Weiner | T 2:15PM - 5:00PM  |  TBA | 

What is "spirituality"? Why has it become such a pervasive term in contemporary American culture, used to describe phenomena as varied as yoga, chaplaincy, and Oprah? What do people mean they describe themselves as "spiritual but not religious"? How does the "spiritual" relate to other critical categories like religion, race, gender, schience, politics, capitalism, and the secular?

This graduate seminar will explore these questions from a variety of vantage points. We will adopt a genealogical approach, considering how the meaning of "spirituality" has developed over time through its shifting intersections with other categories. We will then consider a range of sites and settings, including many often deemed "secular," in and through which spiritual discourses and practices have developed, such as commerce, medicine, popular media, and law and governance. The class will include a comparatie dimension, but will focus especially on the U.S. context. Readings will include primary and secondary texts on issues like religious liberalism, the rise of psychology, secularism and secularization consumerism, media, and globalization. In the end, students will produce an article-length research paper.

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