Folklore | American Folk Narrative
F545 | 23636 | Dolby


Meets with G620.  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 and Native American groups, rap-like “toasts” and
African American performers, and the Jack tales and 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 and written reading responses.

Texts ordered for the course include:

Abrahams, Roger.  Deep Down in the Jungle
Baker, Ronald L.  Hoosier Folk Legends
Basso, Keith.  Portraits of the White Man
Bauman, Richard.  Story, Performance, and Event
Dolby, Sandra K. Literary Folkloristics and the Personal Narrative
Dorson, Richard.  American Folklore
Hufford, David J.  The Terror That Comes in the Night
Hurston, Zora Neale.  Mules and Men
Randolph, Vance.  Pissing in the Snow
Roberts, Leonard W.  South from Hell-fer-Sartin
Stith Thompson, Folk Tales of the North American Indians