Folklore | Korean Folklore
F305 | 16979 | Janelli
Description and Objectives. This course has two objectives. The
first is to acquaint students with scholarship on Korean vernacular
cultural heritage. Topics include: material culture, family and
kinship, popular religion, performing arts, weddings, and efforts to
preserve, revitalize, and reinterpret 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 comprehending cultures and thereby develop more informed
understandings of the various ways of life found throughout the
The two objectives are pursued through assigned readings, lectures,
videos, slides, class discussions, and individual reflection. The
topics of the readings and audiovisual material deal with diverse
topics, but all are devoted to using folklore and its interpretation
as a window on Korean culture and society. (Nearly all of the videos
and slides are rare and, like lectures and class discussions, cannot
be accessed outside of class.)
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-
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 support these points. It should
also discuss the relationship between the book to the topics and
issues pursued in the class readings, lectures, audio-visual
material, and discussions.
Not every book that purports to deal with Korea's vernacular
cultural heritage is suitable for review. Some are collections of
disparate articles; others are written for children or lack adequate
information. Books should be chosen in consultation with the
instructor, preferably by mid-semester and during office hours. Such
consultation will help to ensure that the effort expended to prepare
the book review bring the most benefit.
Required Readings. Three books are available for purchase at the
Indiana Memorial Union, Aristotle's, and TIS. One copy of each is
also available in the Library in the Media/Reserves Room. About a
dozen articles or book chapters, available through E-Reserves, are
also part of the readings for the course.