Folklore | Ritual, Festival & Public Culture
F755 | 25822 | Stoeltje
Meets with E678/G751. If we take ritual to be the social act basic
to humanity, as Rappaport argues, this formal event and the multiple
related ritual genres (festival, carnival, drama, contests,
pilgrimage, etc.), provide an arena for the exploration of the
social response to contradiction. Rituals intensify and condense
communication, creating an experimental technology, in the words of
the Comaroffs, to affect the flow of power in the universe, to plumb
the magicalities of modernity.
The course will focus on the larger concept of ritual genres as
performed in various locations. Using anthropological theories of
ritual and power, the course will consider the production of ritual,
the form itself, its discourse, and the actual performance.
Selected studies will concentrate on the public context of ritual
and festival, participation of specific populations, and the
outcomes, planned and unplanned. Linking ritual to public culture,
the course explores it as a response to contradiction in social and
political life. We will consider the interaction of the ritual
genres with politics, tourism, history, identity, gender, the state,
religion. Examples will include rites of passage (traditional ones
and newly created ones), historical celebrations enacting an event
in history, occupational festivals, rituals of domination and
rituals of resistance.
Two papers will be required: one 10 page paper and one 20 page paper.
Readings will be announced.