American Studies | Colloquium in American Studies / Topic: American Folk Narrative
G620 | 22442 | Sandra Dolby


(4 cr. hrs.)
Jointly offered with FOLK-F545
This course examines some of the genres of folk narrative popular in
American culture as well as current theories and analytical
perspectives useful in carrying out research on these forms of
expression.  We will attend to both historically significant genres,
such as the folktale and myth, and genres that are currently
thriving, such as the urban legend, the personal narrative, and
jokes.  Also we will note that some narrative forms are often
closely tied in the literature to specific culture groups—for
example, myths with Native American groups, rap-like “toasts” with
African American performers, and the Jack tales with Ozark or
Appalachian storytellers. Because the topic of American folk
narrative is richly inclusive, the course will be to some extent a
survey, leaving deeper explorations of each genre or culture group
for subsequent coursework or independent research.  Consequently,
one major requirement for the course will be a research proposal
outlining a project that, when completed, would explore a
significant question tied to one of the genres surveyed in the
course.  Additional requirements will include oral reports on
research articles, some discussion leadership, and at least one
brief piece of fieldwork.