Current Folklore Course Offerings

Spring 2019

Undergraduate Courses | Undergraduate/Graduate Courses | Graduate Courses | Affiliated Courses

Undergraduate Courses

 

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN TURKEY
(Turkish 3350)

Danielle Schoon | TuTh 12:45 - 2:05 | Enarson Classroom Bldg 015

Ongoing civil war with the Kurds... massive Syrian migration... censorship of journalists and academics... a failed coup attempt... a rapidly declining economy... What is going on in Turkey today, and what impacts do these events have on the world? This course will help us evaluate and contextualize current events in and related to Turkey as they have been shaped by local and global dynamics. We will follow the news from Turkey as events unfold in real time, and ground our understanding in deep historical and geographic analyses. Along with academic texts, we will make use of social media, film, music, and hands on experiences. Students may pursue a final project shaped by their own interests.

INTRODUCTION TO FOLKLORE 
(English 2270 & Comparative Studies 2350) 
Sydney Varajon | TuTh 12:45 - 2:05 | Cockins Hall 312 
Afsane Rezaei | TuTh 5:30-6:50PM | Hagerty Hall 062

Folklore is the culture that people make for themselves. Folklore is cherished by families or danced on the streets by unruly young people. The forms of folklore circulate from person to person and group to group, adapting to every change of situation; they lend themselves to a wide array of social purposes. We will look at a range of cultural practices from both US and international settings, including oral/verbal, customary, and material genres of folklore. For example, we will consider how domestic art reveals aspects of gendered work, or how contemporary legends about food, illness, or public disasters both reflect and constitute public opinion of ethnic, racial, or sexual minority groups. Students who take this course will learn how to put their knowledge of expressive culture to real-world use, such as listening for and attending to cultural differences in educational and public sector contexts. We will also learn how to conduct an ethnographic project—from collecting data, interviewing, and transcribing, to analyzing and archiving the material. Your final project will include original ethnographic research on a group, a practice, a place or a genre of expressive culture that you have access to face-to-face. Potential topics include: dorm life rituals, jokes and pranks, traditions of rural Ohio (farming, forestry, hunting), yard art, or local festivals and foodways.
***GE Cultures & Ideas***

RUSSIAN FAIRY TALES AND FOLKORE
(Russian 2345)
Staff | WeFr 9:35 - 10:55 | Mendenhall Lab 174

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.

THE U.S. FOLK EXPERIENCE
(English 2367.05)
Martha Sims | MoWeFr 9:10 - 10:05 | Denney Hall 262
Staff | MoWeFr 1:50 - 2:45 | Denney Hall 268

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

FOLKLORE OF CONTEMPORARY GREECE
(Modern Greek 2680)
Georgios Anagnostou | TuTh 11:10 - 12:30 | Smith Lab 1042

A general survey of socio-cultural trends and issues in modern Greece through close examination of ethnographies and other folk expressions.

THE MIDDLE EAST IN MEDIA
(Near Eastern Languages & Cultures 3204)
Ehsan Estiri | TuTh 3:55 - 5:15 | Hagerty Hall 160

The overarching goal of this course is to evaluate the figurative image of the Middle East produced by the American media industry. Despite the geographical distance, or perhaps as a result of it, we get to know the Middle East through narratives constructed by the media. This course aims to evaluate these narratives by juxtaposing them with the everyday life of Middle Easterners. Students will learn to critically approach, interpret, and evaluate the media narratives (in form of news segments, films, social media content, news articles, and books) that inform our understanding of international culture and politics. We will also look at the current state and impact of media in the Middle East.

WOMEN IN THE MUSLIM MIDDLE EAST
(Near Eastern Languages & Cultures 3205)
Danielle Schoon | TuTh 9:35 - 10:55 | Hagerty Hall 056

This class explores the position of women in the contemporary Middle East. We will analyze women’s cultural, social, and economic roles in a variety of Middle Eastern countries within the context of Islam. A significant part of this discussion is locating the voices of Muslim women as much as possible to understand how they perceive themselves and their roles in Islamic society and the wider world. By looking at a wide range of topics, such as Islamic law and the family, women in the Qur’an, Islamist feminisms, and Muslim women’s political participation, we will uncover the complex ways in which notions of religious identity and gender intersect in the modern Middle East.

 

Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

 

OHIO FIELD SCHOOL
(English 5189-S & Comparative Studies 5189-S)
Cassie Patterson, Cristina Benedetti | Mo 2:15 - 5:00 | Denney Hall 245

The Ohio Field Schools Course provides an introduction to ethnographic field methods (participant-observation, writing field notes, photographic documentation, audio-interviewing), archiving, and the public exhibition of research for both undergraduates and graduate students. Students will contribute to a team-based, immersive research project designed to document the ways that diverse communities express and preserve a sense of place in the face of economic, environmental and cultural change. The semester-long, experientially-based course will consist of three parts:

- Introduction to fieldwork (on OSU campus in Columbus)
- A one-week field experience in Scioto County during spring break (where students will reside together on-site)
- Accessioning, digital gallery preparation, and reflection (on OSU campus in Columbus)

Thus, throughout the semester, students will practice all of the skills necessary to construct a permanent record of local expressive culture that will be accessible to future researchers and community members. Participation in all parts of the course is required.
Description

Introduction to ethnographic field methods (participant-observation, writing field notes, photography, interviewing), archiving, and public humanities. An introduction to fieldwork is followed by a field experience (where students will reside together in local housing) followed by accessioning, exhibition planning and reflection.

 

Graduate Courses

 

INTRODUCTION TO GRADUATE STUDY IN FOLKLORE II: FIELDWORK & ETHNOGRAPHY OF COMMUNICATION
(English/Comparative Studies 6750.02)
Gabriella Modan | Tu 1:50 - 4:50 | Denney Hall 213

This course will be run as a seminar/workshop that explores a range of issues in fieldwork as practiced in folklore and allied fields of ethnographic research. Qualitative methods covered include participant observation, interviewing, transcription, and organizing and using field notes. Issues raised by these qualitative methods include ethics, collaboration and working relationships in the field, native ethnography, and how best to negotiate Institutional Review Boards for research with human subjects. The first half of the course will focus on methods of conducting fieldwork, while in the second half students will analyze their experiences and the materials collected using the tools of Ethnography of Communication. Beginning with foundational ethnographies of communication and continuing through to contemporary studies, we will consider such issues as the politics of representation, the interplay of language and context in meaning making, speech genres and styles, and language ideologies.   

CONVERSATION AND DISCOURSE ANALYSIS: SOCIAL CONTEXTS
(English 7872)
Gabriella Modan | We 9:10 - 12:10 | Denney Hall 447

For students interested in examining discourse as part of a social science or humanities research project, this course will provide you with tools to analyze discourse structure and the relation of linguistic patterns to patterns of social and political interaction. Drawing from subfields such as interactional sociolinguistics, pragmatics, ethnography of communication, and critical discourse analysis, we will explore how the contexts of various spheres of social interaction both construct and are constructed by discourse that occurs in or in relation to them. The approach that we will take to analyzing texts is a micro one, focusing on the ways in which the details of linguistic structure connect to spheres of social engagement. Feel free to email me with any questions: modan.1@osu.edu

SEMINAR IN FOLKLORE
(English 8858.01)
Merrill Kaplan | Time & Location TBA

We used to think of folklore as oral tradition, but much of our vernacular expression today takes place in electronic form. Some old genres have easily made the leap to new media, among them jokes, urban legends, and rumors. New medium-specific genres have emerged: hashtags, prank videos, photoshop lore, and more. Some genres seem frivolous, like reaction GIFs and memes. Some may have played an important role in swinging a national election, like fake news-and memes. A few internet creations, like Slenderman and Rickrolling, have spilled out of the Internet into the offline world. Scholars have been accustomed to studying localized "artistic communication in small groups" now must grapple with sometimes anonymous communities that interact solely in virtual spaces from the Wikipedia talk pages to 4chan to Twitter. This course examines digital folklore from the first chain emails to today’s Web 2.0. We’ll read Whitney Phillips' and Ryan M. Milner's The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online and Limor Shifman's Memes in Digital Culture among other works by both folklorists and media scholars. We'll try to get a grip on what happened when virtual worlds opened up to everyday people and what's happening now.

 

Affiliated Courses

Other Courses of Interest to Folklorists

 

THE QUESTION OF COMPARATIVE STUDIES
(Comparative Studies 2099)
Isaac Weiner | Mo 5:20 - 6:15 | Hagerty Hall 451

This course offers an introduction to the Comparative Studies major. It is designed to help students to take advantage of curricular, research, and advising opportunities; to manage the particular challenges of independent and interdisciplinary work; to link classroom work to social and political engagement with relevant communities; and to prepare for life after graduation.
This course is graded S/U.

CITY AND CULTURE IN THE U.S.
(Comparative Studies 2689
)
Miranda Martinez | TuTh 11:10 - 12:30 | Caldwell Lab 133

Interdisciplinary perspectives on the development, accuracy, and influence of popular images and stereotypes of city and country.  

HORROR FICTION IN ANCIENT GREECE
(Classics 3100 - 010)
Sarah Johnston | MoWeFr 11:30 - 12:25 | Denney Hall 250

What Are You Afraid Of? Horror Fiction from Ancient Greece to Now, an in-depth analysis of selected topics in ancient literature and culture.
Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.

ANCIENT GREEK RELIGION
(Classics 3401)
Sarah Johnston | MoWeFr 1:50 - 2:45 | Denney Hall 238

Study of ancient Greek religions, including the beginnings of Christianity.

POPULAR CULTURE AND WORLD RELIGION
(Religious Studies 3679)
Hugh Urban | TuTh 12:45 - 2:05 | McPherson Lab 2015

The representation of religion in visual culture, in the United States and around the world; the ways that religious traditions are represented or misrepresented; the ways religious traditions appropriate popular culture for their own purposes; new forms of religious practice and community that grow directly out of popular culture.

RELIGION AND LAW IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
(History 3680)
Isaac Weiner | MoWe 12:45 - 2:05 | Ramseyer Hall 115

Comparative, interdisciplinary approach to studying religion and law. Drawing on concrete cases, historical studies, and theoretical literature, the course explores how the relationship between religion and law has been configured differently in different liberal democracies, such as the U.S., France, and Israel, and what this might mean for contemporary debates.

HISTORY OF MUSIC IN THE UNITED STATES
(Music 5646)
Graeme Boone | TuTh 12:40 - 1:35 | 18th Avenue Library 205

A survey of music in the United States from colonial times until the present.

THEORIZING AMERICA 
(Comparative Studies 7380)
Miranda Martinez | Tu 2:15 - 5:00 | Hagerty Hall 451

Interdisciplinary study of culture, identity, and representation in the U.S.
    

SEMINAR ON ISSUES IN ART EDUCATION
(Art Education 7795 - 10)
Margaret Wyszomirski | Th 2:00 - 5:00 | Sullivant Hall 231A


 

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