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Fall 2017 Graduate Course Offerings

Folk-F516 Folklore Theory in Practice
Instructor: Ray Cashman
W 4:00-6:30pm
Course # 2280

Location: Classroom Office Building Room 272

This course is a graduate seminar that introduces students to the field of folklore studies (folkloristics). Students will encounter the major theories and methods that have been developed in folkloristics for the study of expressive forms and vernacular cultures in social and historical context. To pursue such inquiry requires grappling with the key debates and social contexts that have shaped the study of folklore. Important case studies from the literature of folkloristics will be examined, appreciated, critiqued and contextualized. Students will become familiar with a range of approaches to the study of expressive culture in four broad generic areas: (1) verbal folklore, (2) material culture, (3) composite and performance genres, and (4) customary knowledge and practice. Folkloristics will be situated within a wider constellation of disciplines and interdisciplinary projects concerned with the human condition and we will begin to wrestle with the distinctive roles that folklorists might play in the contemporary world.

Folk-E522 The Study of Ethnomusicology
Instructor: Sue Tuohy
T 3:00-5:30pm
Course # 6431

Location: Classroom Office Building Room 272

Intended for graduate students who do/will specialize, conduct research, and/or teach in the field, this course is designed as an introduction to ethnomusicology as an academic discipline. Its primary goal is to give students a good sense of the various aspects of the field as a whole: its histories and definitions; key issues and points of debate; theories and methods; ethnomusicologists and their work; activities in which ethnomusicologists engage (including musical ethnography, analysis, and public education); and ethnomusicology's relations with other disciplines focused on the study of music, people, culture, and society. It also will offer resources for future research and teaching. As an overall introduction to the field, the course provides a background for more specialized courses in ethnographic research, theory, intellectual history, applied ethnomusicology, public education, and world areas.

E522 is required for ethnomusicology graduate students in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and is open to other students in FOLK and other departments. It counts as a core course for students pursuing the Ph.D. minor in Ethnomusicology.

Folk-E533 Applied Ethnomusicology
Instructor: Rebecca Dirksen
T 12:30-3:00pm
Course # 30750

Location: Classroom Office Building 272

This graduate seminar will investigate the histories and trajectories of applied ethnomusicology, while preparing students to conceptualize and develop their own work in the sub-field. As a class, we will first map the wide-ranging definitions of applied, advocacy, activist, engaged, and public sector work and trace the connections to other disciplines, including public folklore and applied anthropology. Discussions will then focus on research approaches, tools, and methodologies and associated theoretical discussions taking place within applied ethnomusicology circles, before considering selected domains of application currently at the forefront of applied scholarship: ethnomusicology for (1) the environment, (2) medicine, (3) poverty and development, and (4) post-conflict and post-disaster recovery situations. Depending on time and interest, other issues considered during the semester may include cultural policy and intangible cultural heritage (ICH); debates surrounding traditional knowledge and indigenous cultural and intellectual property (ICIP); land and property rights; refugee affairs and human rights; matters of gender and sexuality; and cultural responses to various articulations of violence, including structural violence and “slow violence.”

Folk-F537 Folklore and the Ethnography of Heath and Illness
Instructor: Diane Goldstein
W 1:30-4:00pm
Course # 33987
Location: Classroom Office Building Room 272
Fulfills: Form

This course will investigate the field of folklore and health systems from an ethnographic and phenomenological perspective. The focus will be on cross-cultural issues in health care including: lay health belief and biomedical belief models; negotiation and trans-cultural health care; applications and systems theory; contrasting definitions of what constitutes health, illness, reportable symptoms and incapacity; notion of disease processes and etiology; religious and moral convictions that influence responses to illness and treatment; and expectations of the sick role and care giver role; all presented through the discussion of specific traditional medical practices commonly found in Western society. Crucial to this approach will be an examination of traditional health systems as expressions of world-view. Issues which will be discussed include: what constitutes sickness and health; what makes folk medical practitioners "folk" and what makes them "medical"; what are the inherent biases or problems in terminology and health models; what are the relationships of various medical practitioners to clients and community; what is the relationship between a given folk medical tradition and orthodox medicine; and what are the legal implications of each system. Crossing all traditions, including Western orthodoxy, we will examine the physical, social, and cultural risks and benefits of health belief and practice.

Folk-F625 Making American Roots Music
Instructor: Jennie Gubner
W 6:00-8:30pm
Course # 33453
Location: Classroom Office Building Room 203
Fulfills: Area

Do you sing or play a little fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass, dulcimer, autoharp or other old-time or bluegrass instrument? In this performance seminar we will come together one evening a week to learn about these traditions while bringing them to life through our instruments and voices in an ensemble format. By reading biographies of artists, watching films, playing music, having discussions, and exploring archival materials, we will immerse ourselves in the people, places, sounds and cultural forces that have shaped the rich history of old-time, bluegrass, folk, and other types of American roots music. To be comfortable in this course you do not need to be an advanced player but should be able to play basic chords and/or melodies on your instrument of choice. Please contact the professor for any further inquiries. 

Folk-F722 Cultural Heritage and Tourism
Instructor: Sue Tuohy
R 8:30-11:00am
Course # 10603

Location: Classroom Office Building Room 102
Fulfills: Theory or Form

This graduate seminar is designed for those interested in research, teaching, and/or engaged practice in the display and performance of “culture”. We will focus on sites, discourses, and policies of tourism and cultural heritage projects.  Such projects have become pervasive throughout the world. Some people celebrate them as vehicles to accomplish goals such as economic development, cultural preservation, strengthening group identity, and fostering cross-cultural understanding; and others criticize them as manipulative tools of the state, inauthentic commodities of creative and cultural industries, and harmful misrepresentations.

We will explore such debates in scholarly and public discourse. And we will read about theories and methods for analyzing tourism and heritage (“tangible” and “intangible”) projects, including the ways they exhibit, preserve, and interpret selective aspects of expressive culture and the arts.  We also will study these issues as they are exemplified in case studies and applied projects. Approximately 1/3 of the class will be devoted to individual projects, providing ample opportunity to explore resources related to an area or locale, research question, and/or topic.

Folk-F730 Museums & Material Culture
Instructor: Pravina Shukla
M 2:30-5:00pm
Course # 30748
Location: Classroom Office Building Room 272
Fulfills: Theory

This class analyzes the complex relationship between human beings and the material world they inhabit and create, in order to better comprehend the institution of the museum.  An understanding of material culture helps us view how makers, users and viewers relate to objects in homes, commercial establishments and eventually, in museums.  One of the principle aims of this course is to look at the museology of everyday life, in other words, how the general museum principles of collection, preservation and exhibition are found in all the environments we occupy.
We will of course focus the class on the museum itself, looking at museums as institutions in a process of continual negotiation of different objectives: object collection and research, object preservation, exhibition, education, and entertainment.  Through readings and lectures, we will be introduced to different kinds of museums, including art, ethnographic, historic, as well as the museums of particular interest to folklorists, namely outdoor museums, folk art museums, and folk festivals. The aim of this course is three-fold: to read and discuss critically the literature on material culture and museology, to analyze local museum exhibitions, and to produce a creative proposal of an exhibition. The assignments for the class include museum visits and exhibition reviews, as well as a final project consisting of an exhibition proposal, complete with sample labels, exhibit walk-through, list of all the objects, photos and other multi-media supporting materials, as well as related public programs and educational materials.