Folklore | Korean Folklore
F305 | 2539 | Janelli
Description and Objectives. This course has two objectives. The
first is to acquaint students with the study of past and present
Korean folk culture. Topics include: material culture, family and
kinship, popular religion, performing arts, weddings, and efforts to
preserve, revitalize, and "construct" traditions in situations of
rapid social change. As part of a liberal arts curriculum, the
course has a second objective of helping students to enhance their
skills in interpreting cultures and thereby develop more informed
understandings of the various ways of life found throughout the world.
The two objectives are pursued through assigned readings, lectures,
videos, slides, class discussions, and individual reflection. The
topics of the readings and audiovisual material are varied and deal
with diverse topics, but all are devoted to using folklore as a means
of identifying, interpreting, or explaining Korean traditions or
Prerequisites. The course is available for undergraduate credit
only. Since it is a 300-level course, students are expected to have
completed their second year of course work.
Grading Policies. Grades are determined as follows:
(a) Three examinations each contribute 25% of the grade for the
(b) Students are asked to prepare before eight classes a one-page,
double-spaced (i.e., about 250-300 word) synopsis of the week's
reading assignments, including the reading assigned for the day the
synopsis is due, and one question for class discussion. The question
should be suitable for class discussion on the basis of the reading
assignments. These eight synopses and questions are to be typed or
computer-printed and submitted at the beginning of class. They will
be graded and will contribute 20% of the semester's grade.
(c) The remaining 5% of each person's grade is determined by oral
contributions to class discussions.
(d) Points may be added to the semester's average for optional book
reviews (see below).
Optional Book Reviews. Each student has the option of writing one,
two, or three book reviews to earn points that can be added to
her/his semester average. All reviews must be submitted by the last
class of the semester. They are to be typewritten or computer-
printed. Each review should be approximately five pages in length
and points will be graded according to the following scale: 3-very
good, 2-average, 1-weak, 0-inadequate.
A book review should not only describe the contents of a book but
also identify the author's main points and show how well the
information presented in the book supports these points. It should
also discuss how the book relates to the topics and issues pursued in
the class readings, lectures, audio-visual material, and class
1. Roger L. Janelli and Dawnhee Yim Janelli, Ancestor Worship and
Korean Society. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1982.
(Paperback ISBN: 0-8047-2158-0).
2. Laurel Kendall, Getting Married in Korea: Of Gender, Morality, and
Modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.
(Paperback ISBN: 0-520-20200-7)
3. Chan E. Park, Voices from the Straw Mat: Toward an Ethnography of
Korean Story Singing. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2003.
4. A course pack of about a dozen articles or book chapters.
Fulfills a COAS Arts and Humanities, Traditions and Ideas
distribution requirement and is on List A of the COAS Culture Studies