Course Archive: 2015-2016

 

Autumn 2015 | Spring 2016

Autumn 2015

 

Undergraduate Courses

Introduction to Folklore -English 2270/Comparative Studies 2350
Instructor TBA
MoWeFr 10:20AM - 11:15AM Denney Hall 250  
GE Cultures and Ideas
# 32881/ # 32904
A general study of the field of folklore including basic approaches and a survey of primary folk materials: folktales, legends, folksongs, ballads, and folk beliefs.

Prereq: English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for English 2270 (270), or 2350H. GE cultures and ideas course. Cross-listed in English 2270.

Introduction to Folklore  (Honors) - English 2270H/ Comparative Studies 2350H
Dr. Dorothy Noyes
TuTh 2:20PM - 3:40PM  Denney Hall 268  
GE Cultures and Ideas, Honors Course  
#32878/ #32905

Folklore is the culture that people make for themselves. Not all of us are specialists, but all of us tell stories, shape our environments, cultivate communities, and take care of our souls and our bodies. 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'll look at a range of genres from both US and international settings: folktales, legends, jokes, song and dance, religious and holiday custom, foodways, craft, and domestic art. You’ll conduct a small field project of your choice and learn the basics of these folkloristic skills:

  • Interpreting culture. Learn how to “read” a wide variety of cultural messages according to their own conventions and in their social context.
  • Field observation and ethnography. Learn how to size up an unfamiliar situation, participate in it appropriately, and describe it in writing.
  • Interviewing and rigorous listening. Learn how to understand what someone is telling you without imposing your own agenda on the conversation.
  • Understanding diversity. Learn how communities in the US and internationally develop distinctive forms of expression that can foster strong identities, exercise social control, provoke conflict, and build bridges.
  • Connecting vernacular and codified expression. Learn about the interchanges and miscommunications among communities, professionals, and institutions.

Prereq: Honors standing, and English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for CompStd 2350, English 2270 (270), or 2270H.

The U.S. Folk Experience- English 2367.05
Instructor- TBA
WeFr 9:35AM - 10:55AM  Denney Hall 245  
GE Diversity: Social Diversity in the US
GE Writing and Communication: level 2
#15559

Concepts of American folklore & ethnography; folk groups, tradition, & fieldwork methodology; how these contribute to the development of critical reading, writing, & thinking skills. Only one 2367 (367) decimal subdivision may be taken for credit.

Prereq: 1110.01 (110.01) or equiv, and Soph standing; or EM credit for 1110.01 (110.01) or equiv; or a declared major in English. Not open to students with credit for 2367.01 (367.01), 210, 267, 267H, 301, 303, or equiv.

Vampires, Monstrosity, and Evil: From Slavic Myth to Twilight- Slavic 2230
Dr. Daniel Collins  
MoWeFr 1:50PM - 2:45PM  Caldwell Lab 120  
GE Cultures and Ideas. GE Diversity: Global Studies.
#20478

Changing approaches to evil as embodied in vampires in East European folk belief & European & American pop culture; function of vampire & monster tales in cultural context, including peasant world & West from Enlightenment to now.  Taught in English.
 
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 130.

Norse Mythology and Medieval Culture- Scandinavian 3350
Dr. Merrill Kaplan
TuTh 9:35AM - 10:55AM  Ramseyer Hall 100
GE Literature.GE Diversity: Global Studies
# 23841
 
What do we know about Thor and Odin, and how do we know it? This course examines the myths of the Old Norse gods and the sources in which those myths are recorded. Students will gain insight into the world view and beliefs of the pagan North by reading (in English translation) the most important textual sources on Scandinavia's pre-Christian mythology. Placename, archaeological, and other evidence will also be discussed. Students intrigued by the Viking Age, medieval Northern Europe, or the interpretation of myth will find much of interest.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for Scandnav 222.

Contemporary Folklore in the Arab World - Arabic 3301/Comparative Studies 3657
Dr. Sabra Webber  
Mo 9:10AM - 11:55AM Hagerty Hall 042  
GE Cultures and Ideas. GE Diversity: Global Studies AND
Meets Arab Literature and Culture in translation requirement for Arabic majors and minors.
# 32501/#32648  

Study of contemporary folklore of the Arab world, including verbal art, material culture, visual self-presentation, and performance.  Video conferences with students in India and Cairo are planned.

Prereq: English 1110 (110), or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 377 or Arabic 3301 (377).
 

Upper- Level Undergraduate Courses

English Studies and Global Human Rights- English 4554
Dr. Amy Shuman
TuTh 2:20PM - 3:40PM  Hayes Hall 025  
GE Diversity: Global Studies.
#32903  

Covers key human rights concepts and the role that humanities-based methods of analysis can play in the study of human rights. Examines how human rights are described in legal texts, cultural narratives, public discourses, and artistic representations. Also considers conflicting and contested representations, how they work, and how they are used in particular contexts.

Prereq: 2367.

Folklore III: Issues and Methods: Hoaxes, Fakes & Frauds - ENGLISH 4577.03 - 0010   
Dr. Merrill Kaplan
TuTh 2:20PM - 3:40PM  Hayes Hall 005  
# 32853

Study of folk groups & communities, folklore genres, & issues & methods in folklore studies. Theoretical, methodological, & policy concerns in contemporary folklore research. Folklore Minor course.

Prereq: 10 qtr cr hrs or 6 cr hrs of English at 2000-3000 level, or permission of instructor. 5 qtr cr hrs in 367 or 3 cr hrs in 2367 in any subject is acceptable towards the 6 cr hrs. Not open to students with 10 qtr cr hrs for 577.03. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.

 

Undergraduate/ Graduate Combined Courses

Studies in Orality and Literacy- Comparative Studies 5668/NELC 5568
Dr. Sabra Webber
Th 4:00PM - 6:45PM  Hagerty Hall 451  
#32647/ #32646  

Examination of major theories of writing and of oral composition and transmission, in juxtaposition to case material deriving from a variety of Middle Eastern and Western studies.

Sample Texts:  Joyce Coleman, “Orality and Literacy,” Walter Ong “Digitization Ancient and Modern,” Denise Schmandt-Besserat, “The Origins of Writing,” David Carr, “Torah on the Heart,” Anna Davies, “Forms of Writing in the Ancient Mediterranean World,” Konrad Hirschler, “Literacy, Orality, Aurality,” and “The Written Word in the Medieval Arabic Lands,” Roman Jakobson "Roman Grammatical Parallelism & Its Russian Facet," Susan Niditch “New Ways of Thinking About Orality and Literacy,” Sabra Webber “Canonicity and Middle Eastern Folk Literature,” James C. Scott, Ch. 6 ½ “ Orality, Writing and Texts” IN The Art of Not Being Governed, Salem/Pax,  Elaine Richardson and Sean Lewis "'Flippin’ the Script' / 'Blowin’ Up the Spot': Puttin’ Hip-Hop Online in (African) America and South Africa"

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 648, or NELC 5568 (648).  
 
Comparative Folklore: Folklore and Gender- Comparative Studies 5957.01
Dr. Katherine Borland
Tu 10:00AM - 12:45PM  Hagerty Hall 451  
#32623/ #32626

This course explores folklore from a gendered, feminist lens and feminist theory from a folkloristic lens in order highlight the unique contributions of feminist folklorists and folkloristics to our understanding of expressive culture.  We will engender key terms and definitions even as we challenge existing categories of folklore scholarship.  We will recognize women’s expressive practices and the conditions of their concealment, recuperating along the way the voices of our scholarly foremothers.  We will complicate concepts of genre, performance, tradition and ethnography by applying the gendered lens.  Feminism pushes the study of folklore toward an investigation of the politics of culture.  We will trace that trajectory in our survey of the field, exploring along the way female adventurers and murdered girls in ballads, feminist fairytale revisions, lorena bobbit jokes and southern women’s bawdy humor, bodylore, foodways, dance traditions and the intimate dance of culture on/in/and by women.

Prereq: 2350, 2350H, English 2270, or 2270H (270). Not open to students with maximum qtr cr hrs for 677.01 and 677.02. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.

The Anthropology of Food: Culture, Society and Eating- Anthropology 5624  
 Dr. Jeffrey H. Cohen
TuTh 12:45PM - 2:05PM  McPherson Lab 1021  
#33291/ #33292

Explores food traditions, global expansion of foods and the production/exchange of food in culture and society.

Prereq: 2200 (200), 2201 (201), or 2202 (202), or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 620.08.

 

Graduate Courses

Theorizing Folklore II: The Ethnography of Performance- English 7350.02/ English 7350.22/ Comparative Studies 7350.02
Dr. Dorothy Noyes
Th 9:10AM - 12:10PM  Denney Hall 419  
Graduate Theory for GIS.
#32879/ #32880/ #32884

Since the 1970s, the performance turn in folklore, anthropology, and related disciplines has illuminated our understanding of agency and efficacy in everyday life as well as specialized cultural production. In a major revision of the modern culture concept, the performance approach focuses on cultural forms as process and practice: not texts instantiating a static shared worldview but historically situated, conventional transactions among persons. As part of the reaction to a linguistic ideology privileging reference, the performance approach looks at how language is used to construct reality; reacting to the focus on deep structure in most grand theory, it insists on the significance of material and interactional surfaces. With its attention to bodies in motion, it remains relevant as a corrective to the reification of values and identities in contemporary cultural politics.

This seminar will examine both programmatic texts and selected case studies in the ethnography of performance: that is, an approach based in "thick description" of instances. While theory in the field has tended to develop within genre specializations, we will examine verbal art, cultural performance (ritual, festival, spectacle) and the performance of selfhood together in the attempt to illustrate common issues and a general paradigm. Students will share in preparing for discussion and write a research paper. This course fulfills the core theory requirement of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Folklore. (For more information, seehttp://cfs.osu.edu/programs/graduate-options/gis-graduate-curriculum .)

Prereq: Grad standing, or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for English 870.
 


Spring 2016

 

Undergraduate Courses

Introduction to Folklore -English 2270/Comparative Studies 2350

WeFr 3:55PM - 5:15PM  Denney Hall 250 
GE Cultures and Ideas. Folklore Minor and Concentration required course.
# 18798/ # 17116

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.

Introduction to Folklore  (Honors) - English 2270H/ Comparative Studies 2350H

Dr. Sabra Webber
WeFr 11:10AM - 12:30PM Denney Hall 209
GE Cultures and Ideas, Honors Course 
#27933/ #28237

Folklore is the culture that people make for themselves. Not all of us are specialists, but all of us tell stories, shape our environments, cultivate communities, and take care of our souls and our bodies. 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'll look at a range of genres from both US and international settings: folktales, legends, jokes, song and dance, religious and holiday custom, foodways, craft, and domestic art. You’ll conduct a small field project of your choice and learn the basics of these folkloristic skills:

  • Interpreting culture. Learn how to “read” a wide variety of cultural messages according to their own conventions and in their social context.
  • Field observation and ethnography. Learn how to size up an unfamiliar situation, participate in it appropriately, and describe it in writing.
  • Interviewing and rigorous listening. Learn how to understand what someone is telling you without imposing your own agenda on the conversation.
  • Understanding diversity. Learn how communities in the US and internationally develop distinctive forms of expression that can foster strong identities, exercise social control, provoke conflict, and build bridges.
  • Connecting vernacular and codified expression. Learn about the interchanges and miscommunications among communities, professionals, and institutions.

Russian Fairy Tales and Folklore - Russian 2345 - 0010 

Dr. Helena Goscilo
TuTh 12:45PM - 2:05PM  Mendenhall Lab 191
GE Cultures and Ideas. GE Diversity: Global Studies.
#30938

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

MoWeFr 9:10AM - 10:05AM  Bolz Hall 314
#18809

MoWeFr 1:50PM - 2:45PM  Enarson Classroom Bldg 340 
#27970

GE Diversity: Social Diversity in the US.
GE Writing and Communication: level 2

Concepts of American folklore & ethnography; folk groups, tradition, & fieldwork methodology; how these contribute to the development of critical reading, writing, & thinking skills. Only one 2367 (367) decimal subdivision may be taken for credit.

 

Upper-Level Undergraduate Courses

Play (Genres, Form, Meaning, and Use -Folklore II) - English 4577.02

Dr. Amy Shuman
TuTh 9:35AM - 10:55AM Denney Hall 207
Folklore Minor course
#18823

Play is central to our communication with each other and central to many if not all fields of study.  Play and work can be one and the same. For animals, there is often a fine line between play and aggression.  In this class, we explore play from many angles.  The study of play is fundamentally interdisciplinary as it pushes, stretches, and dissolves the edges of art, literature, culture, science, math, linguistics, semiotics, economics, etc.  This is a course about interstices and the in-between places where meaning is made and negotiated. We will revisit the classic theories of play (Vygotsky, Bateson, Huizinga, and others), which establish the foundations of thinking about play as a model for understanding embodied, everyday experience. We will also explore anthropological studies of play as culturally situated . All students are welcome. No previous work in folklore or anthropology is required. 

American Regional Cultures in Transition: Appalachia, Louisiana, and the Texas Border Country- English 4597.02

Dr. Dorothy Noyes
TuTh 12:45PM - 2:05PM Arps Hall 388 
GE cross-disciplinary seminar course
Folklore Minor course
# 18827

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, mountaintop-removal mining and the energy economy in Appalachia, and the cross-border trafficking of people, drugs, and capital.  A general question arises: what counts as America?

Global Folklore- Comparative Studies 4597.03

Dr. Katherine Borland
TuTh 9:35AM - 10:55AM   Hagerty Hall 145
GE Cross-Disciplinary Seminar. GE Diversity: Global Studies
Folklore Minor Course
#31773
  
This course provides an introduction to contemporary folklore from around the world.  How do ordinary people create meaning and beauty in their everyday lives?  How do communities and groups mark themselves and maintain a collective sense of themselves as distinct from other communities/groups, particularly in a period of aggressive globalization?  What does it mean to respect and conserve cultural as well as biological diversity?  Students will begin by learning key concepts of folklore scholarship:  culture, tradition, performance, genre, the local/global distinction, the folk/popular divide, the dynamics of tradition and innovation in folklore production.  Through an exploration of these concepts students will develop an expansive definition of folklore in the modern world.  In the second half of the course, we will explore a set of special topics through readings and films from varied world regions,  and we will connect via videoconference with student groups in Egypt, India and Croatia to exchange knowledge and perspectives.  We will focus on the transmission and transformation of cultural knowledge and practice in situations of want, conflict, and upheaval.  Please note:  all classes will be conducted as student-led discussions of course readings.  As an upper-level GE, this course provides practice in reading scholarly articles, discussion and written syntheses.  Class participation is required.

 

Undergraduate/Graduate Combined Courses

Traveler as Trickster (Comparative Folklore) - Comparative Studies 5957.01

Dr. Sabra Webber

Th 3:15PM - 6:00PM Hagerty Hall 451
Folklore Minor and Folklore GIS Topics 
#25143/ #25144

This seminar takes a critical look at different sorts of travel and travelers--explorers, ethnomusicologists, migrant workers, anthropologists, folklorists, NGO and government officials and workers, missionaries, and tourists. We look at a wide range of travel narratives and their relation to “tricksters” and to trickiness in various cultural and historical contexts.  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 and in turn will be enhanced by theirs.

Captain Richard F. Burton in disguise

Folklore Professionalization Workshops (Independent Study)

Dr. Dorothy Noyes
12-2PM
Sign up for 1 hour of independent study
The course number in English or Comparative Studies will depend on your own department and rank.

Returning by request, this is a workshop for grad students and advanced undergrads thinking about going forward, intended to provide the disciplinary orientations that are otherwise hard to manage in our interdepartmental program.

February 8: Library research resources and strategies
March 21: Managing field data
April 4: Writing research proposals
April 18: The field and profession of folklore

 

Graduate Courses

Fieldwork and the Ethnography of Communication (Introduction to Graduate Study in Folklore II)- English 6751.02/ English 6751.22/ Comparative Studies 6750.02

Dr. Gabriella Modan
Tu 1:50PM - 4:50PM   Denney Hall 435 
Folklore GIS Tools
#31832/#31833/#32319

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.

Differentiation, Identification, and the Folk (Theorizing Folklore III)- English 7350.03/ English 7350.33/ Comparative Studies 7350.03

Dr. Merrill Kaplan
We 12:40PM - 3:40PM Denney Hall 245
Graduate Theory for GIS.
# 31839 / # 31840 / # 32320

This seminar explores the concept of the Folk, its roots in the 18th century and before, its development in the modern and postmodern world, and its uses in a range of cultural contexts both inside and outside academia. We’ll discuss the formation and maintenance of nationalisms – perennial sites of identity construction dependent on one or another understanding of the Folk. We’ll also investigate multiple processes of differentiation along ethnic, racial, class, and other lines in the US and elsewhere. Readings will be drawn from a broad range of historical moments. No prior familiarity with folklore is necessary.
 

Ethnographies of Dance and Performance - Dance 7409 - 1010

Dr. Danielle van Dobben Schoon
MoWe 8:30AM - 10:05AM  Location TBA
Folklore GIS Topics 
# 32730

This graduate seminar (undergraduates can petition in) studies dance from an  anthropological perspective, emphasizing the politics of the body and movement and questioning the power dynamics that have shaped ‘world dance’ studies in a particular way. Through the course of exploring inspiring and intriguing dance practices from around the world and making some first attempts at writing dance ethnography, we will also encounter opportunities to question our own positionalities as dancers, scholars, and social beings.

 

Affiliated Courses

The Sociolinguisitcs of Talk (Studies in the English Language) - English 4571

Dr. Gabriella Modan 
TuTh 11:10AM - 12:30PM  Enarson Classroom Bldg 230
Folklore Minor Course
# 25169

This course is an introduction to discourse analysis, with a focus on the mechanics of ordinary, everyday conversation. We'll explore topics such as: the different functions of 'like' and why it's so hard to stop using it; why LOL does not really mean laugh out loud; how we start and end phone conversations; why some people think interruption shows interest but others think it shows rudeness; how we create identities for ourselves and others through our talk, succeed or fail in communicating with people from cultural backgrounds different from our own, exert or resist power. With a focus on face-to-face interaction, we'll examine how speakers utilize information about the social world in talk and exploit language in order to achieve social and political effects in everyday settings.

Cultural Diplomacy- International Studies 4800

Dr. Dorothy Noyes
TuTh 9:35-10:55 AM, Arps Hall 012
Folklore GIS Course
#32486

This course explores cultural diplomacy (CD), broadly understood: the exchange of performances and ideas across state borders with the intention of building political influence, abroad or at home. We consider the theory and practice of cultural diplomacy in several contexts. To begin with, we consider diplomacy itself as a kind of cultural performance. Next we look at the historical context in which state-sponsored CD took shape in the twentieth century, followed by the rise of grassroots alternatives that sought to bypass or even undermine state initiatives. A fourth unit considers  the recent revitalization and reshapings of cultural diplomacy in response to consumer capitalism, the globalization of public opinion, new media, and geopolitical shifts. Finally, we explore the current prominence of the culture concept in international affairs, considering both its useful ambiguities and its limitations as an analytical or policy framework. In each case we’ll examine concrete examples of cultural forms in motion to consider the possible effects and efficacy of CD initiatives: student exchange programs, jazz, ballet, boxing matches, tourism, the Olympics, sister cities, religious testimonials, international volunteering, drunken weddings, Hollywood films, viral videos, and more. Requirements include quizzes, two take-home exams, and a short paper observing a cultural performance.

 Studies in Narrative and Narrative Theory- English 7861.01/ English 7861.02

Dr. Amy Shuman 
Tu 12:45PM - 3:40PM  Denney Hall 207
Folklore GIS Course
# 31842/#31843

An introduction to foundational and contemporary theories of narrative from the perspective of ethnographic studies of narrative in interaction, especially in everyday life. Some of the topics we will explore include counter-narrative, framing, story ownership, inter textually, oral history, orality and literacy, empathy, and verbal and visual textuality. The purpose of the class is to give students the theoretical and methodological tools they need for their particular projects, for example in disability, sexuality, medicine, education, or other areas of study.

Discourse analysis: Social Contexts (Seminar in English Language) - English 7872.01/ English 7872.02

Dr. Gabriella Modan 
Th 1:50PM - 4:50PM  Denney Hall 207 
Folklore GIS Course
# 18921/ #18922

For students interested in examining discourse as part of a linguistics, literature, 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 various spheres of social interaction both shape and are shaped by discourse in or about them.  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. 

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


The Center for Folklore Studies coordinates folklore course offerings across departments, available both as individual electives and as part of the undergraduate and graduate programs. Peruse our course archives (in the column to the right) for more information about regularly offered classes. 5000-level courses are open to both graduate and undergraduate students without special permission. Graduate students interested in lower-level courses may consult the relevant professor regarding alternative possibilities for enrollment.

Visit buckeyelink to register for folklore courses.

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