Folklore | Australian Folklore
F320 | 24901 | Dolby


This course will introduce students to some of the folklore of
Australia, both that of the native Aboriginal peoples and that of the
settler population.  The format of the course will be a combination
of lecture and discussion, and grades will be based on class
participation and several written assignments.  More specifically,
the writing exercises will involve some or all of the following:  1)
writing a letter requesting materials from the National Library of
Australia’s Folklore Archive or a similar source; 2) responding in a
brief essay to the materials requested and received from the
Library’s archives; 3) writing a short comparative essay examining
Australia’s legendary character Ned Kelly with any legendary figure
in American culture; 4) formulating a concise research question on
Aboriginal culture and writing a short paper in response; 5) writing
a short essay on the formal and esthetic properties of a given
example of either folksong or children’s folklore—both of which have
been collected in abundance in Australia; 6) writing an essay
identifying features of the cultural frame of reference in a folklore-
rich film such as Walkabout or The Last Wave; 7) doing a short
ethnographic interview here in the USA, asking the interviewee to say
what he or she knows about people and folklore from Australia; and
finally, 8) a short description and full analysis of a selected
example of folklore—such as, a pattern of folk speech, a folk craft,
an aboriginal myth, or a folksong.

Books ordered for the course include: A Guide to Australian Folklore;
Aboriginal Myths and Legends; and The Outlaw Legend.  We will also
view a number of Australian films.