Folklore | Introduction to Folklore
F101 | 7944 | M. Foster


Fulfills COLL Arts & Humanities, Traditions & Ideas

Folklore is alive. It inspires the choices we make every day: how we
communicate, what foods we eat, what games we play, what stories we
tell, how we interpret the world around us. Folklore reflects our
values, our prejudices, our fears, and our desires. The practices,
beliefs, and objects that constitute folklore are so intrinsic to
our daily lives that they are often overlooked in other disciplines
that study human culture, but every culture has folklore and we are
all part of the folk.

In this course we will consider the role folklore plays in the lives
of people around the world. We will examine a variety of traditional
genres, including myth, legend, folktale, joke, gesture, ritual and
craft, and we will also explore the way folklore informs our own
contemporary lives, from Internet sites and tattooing to urban
legends and fraternity/sorority initiation rites.

Throughout the class we will consider different theories of folklore
and think critically about the historical development of
folkloristics and its relationship to issues of identity, class,
ethnicity, and nationalism. Students will also have a chance to
venture into the field to collect and analyze folklore themselves.