Folklore | Field Seminar in Cultural Documentation
F804 | 22231 | Carpenter/Stafford

Meets with F404.  Students in this service-learning course will be
introduced to basic tools of cultural documentation utilized by
applied folklorists, anthropologists and others. They will explore,
document, and seek to understand the cultural expressions of
residents of Crestmont on Bloomington’s west side, with the goal of
helping to define social action projects that improve the quality of
life across the lifespan of residents.
The 2006 class extends the on-going work (from 2004) of the
instructors with Crestmont residents, especially members of the
neighborhood Boys and Girls Club.  In the beginning of the semester,
students will read intensively and complete team research related to
living in federal housing projects: safety issues, poverty and old
age, family life. Later in the semester, students will be involved in
the completion of a work (started in last year’s class) of a
collaborative, public sculpture for the front entrance of the Club,
with Bloomington artist Joe LaMantia. Children at the Club, their
parents and neighbors, and partners in the wider community will
contribute materials and skills to build the sculpture together with
Joe LaMantia.
Through a variety of activities (including the community art
project), students will learn about and practice photo/video
documentation, interviewing, participant-observation, fieldnotes,
transcription, archiving, and analysis.  All students will sign up
for weekly volunteer shifts at the Boys and Girls Club in Crestmont
or in connection with their focus area. Weekly fieldnotes will be
required. The class will culminate in formal presentations to
community groups, reflection, and recommendations for subsequent
action. The class will require initiative, imagination, careful
scheduling, and dedication.