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Spring 2015 Graduate Course Offerings

Folk-F517 History of Folklore Study
Instructor: Greg Schrempp
T 4:00-6:30pm
Location: 501 N Park Ave
Course # 26093

This will be a course in the intellectual history of the study of folklore. The goal will be to contextualize folkloristic concerns within the major theoretical currents that have shaped the social sciences and humanities broadly in the nineteenth, twentieth, and early twenty-first centuries (including social evolutionism, diffusionism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, formalism, performance theory, and postmodernism). The readings will be classic works that reflect such currents. We will approach the readings both in terms of the intellectual assumptions belonging to milieux in which they arose, and with an eye towards determining what aspects of them might be brought forward and made useful to our present-day endeavors.

The reading load will be heavy. Students will make at least one oral presentation on a course reading, and will write two analytical essays (selected from assigned topics) focusing on course readings.

Folk-F523 Fieldwork in Ethnomusicology
Instructor: Ruth Stone
M 1:00-3:30pm
Location: 510 N Fess Ave
Course # 17959

This course is an in-depth introduction into the various theories and methods of ethnographic field research. Throughout the semester we will actively interrogate what it means to “do” ethnography, as both a specific type of qualitative research and (perhaps more appropriately) a final written product that results from such research endeavors.  Assigned readings for this course will introduce issues of ethnographic theory and methodology, research ethics, project design, writing and representation, and provide many examples of how field work has been historically conceptualized in the fields of ethnomusicology, anthropology, and folklore. However, the primary focus of this class will be the actual “doing” of ethnographic fieldwork.  Through various practical exercises and hands-on applied research activities, we will learn various methods of field research relevant to the students’ individual research interests (taking field notes, participant observation, interviewing techniques, mapping social spaces, and other techniques and issues as they emerge from collaborative inquiry). In addition to full participation in course lectures and discussions, students will be expected to complete several small-scale field exercises in preparation for a more in-depth ethnographic research project.  While open to graduate students in all fields interested in qualitative research methods, this course is a core course in the graduate ethnomusicology curriculum.  This section also fulfills one the core course requirements for Ph.D. minors in ethnomusicology and for School of Music cognates.

Folk-F523 Fieldwork in Folklore
Instructor: John McDowell
M 4:00-6:30pm
Location: 501 N Park Ave
Course # 21610

“A little experience gained in the field is likely to be more important for the collector than even the most stimulating and suggestive book theory.”
Hamish Henderson, in Kenneth Goldstein’s A Guide for Fieldworkers in Folklore

The purpose of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to undertake a sustained field investigation, as per Henderson’s admonition, but equally, to reflect on that experience each step of the way. Hence, we will situate this gathering of folklore in the context of folkloristics as a process of understanding and communication. Post-modern critiques have raised queries that challenge the very possibility of legitimate field investigation. In F523, we will take into account these healthy correctives, but emerge, I hope, with a conviction that field research is not only possible but actually exciting and rewarding, and with an appreciation for how fieldwork fits into the larger design of being a folklorist.

Folk-F532 Public Folklore
Instructor: Jon Kay
W 9:30am-12:00pm
Location: Mathers Museum M2 110
Course # 30421
Fulfills: Form or Theory

From curating exhibitions and producing events to creating documentary films and hosting school residencies, many folklore and ethnomusicology graduates make their careers outside of the academy. This course introduces students to the history, methods, and theories that underpin these disciplinary practices and explores the various public sectors where folklorists and ethnomusicologists find work. Students will participate in hands-on exercises that will familiarize them with grant writing, exhibition design, and festival production. Our course will culminate with planning, promoting, and presenting a small folklife event at Brown County State Park on April 25, 2015; all students are required to participate in this group project. 

Folk-F545 Folklore Genres
Instructor: Diane Goldstein
R 12:00-2:30pm
Location: 501 N Park Ave
Course # 32388

Fulfills: Form or Theory

During the late 19th and early 20th century the formulation of classification systems for folklore was considered a prerequisite to any progress in scientific research.  A coherent classification system was thought to establish features, forms and subjects as criteria for organization.  Over time paradigms concerning classification evolved to be understood more dynamically as sometimes hybrid, blurred, emic or “ethnic” and emergent.  This class will explore the structure content and features of folklore genres, the concept and problem of genre itself, and the move away from rigid classification systems to a greater understanding of folklore as practiced, performed, created, subverted and parodied.   Community and performer notions of genre will be contrasted to the (primarily Western, white, male) “analytic” genres of yesteryear. 

Folk-F600 Cultural Diversity in China
Instructor: Sue Tuohy
TR 4:00-5:15pm
Location: Woodburn Hall 007
Course # 30427
Fulfills: Area or Theory

Meets with Folk-F305. This course introduces students to the cultural and human diversity in contemporary China. We will explore the multiple meanings of being “Chinese” and how those are expressed through discourse and the arts. Among the questions to be addressed are: What is China? Who are Chinese? What is Chinese culture (and who says)? Class topics will cover different forms of identity, from ethnic, class, gender, generational, regional, and linguistic to rural and urban and local and national. Many class sessions will emphasize artistic and expressive forms (such as music, film, festivals, verbal genres, foodways, tourism) and the roles they play in representing people and place.

The course will begin with a basic introduction to Chinese geography, language, history, political organization, and social institutions--all of which help to explain both unity and diversity in China today. Although we will focus on modern China, issues will be contextualized in relation to Chinese history and interactions beyond the national borders.

The course also will introduce theories and methods from folklore and ethnomusicology that can be put to use in our analysis of discourse and performance. Related cultural, linguistic, and heritage policies will be discussed. Graded components will include class preparation and participation, written assignments, quizzes, and a midterm and/or final exam.

The graduate section of the class will require additional assignments; the type and focus of this additional work will be determined after consultation with the graduate students in the course. There also will be at least a few additional meetings for the graduate section.

This course is cross-listed in EALC (and counts toward the EALC major).

Folk-F600 Japanese Folklore & Folkloristics
Instructor: Michael Foster
W 4:00-6:30pm
Location: 501 N Park Ave
Course # 31115
Fulfills: Area or Theory

This seminar focuses on the folklore of Japan and the academic discipline of Japanese folkloristics (minzokugaku). Students will be introduced to primary texts (in translation) within a range of narrative genres including myth, legend, folktale, and military epics. We will also consider customary genres such as festival, ritual and belief, as well as the material culture and philosophy of the so-called mingei or “folk art” movement.

While exploring these folkloric materials, we will also examine the origins and development of the discipline of folkloristics in Japan. We will consider theoretical and methodological issues, and explore the discourses of nation, identity, tradition, and nostalgia that led to the discovery of the “folk” in the early twentieth century. Throughout the course we will pay attention to critical questions about changing religious and cultural life, and about the relationship of folklore to modernity, colonialism, nationalism, militarism, urbanization, tourism, and the invention of tradition.

Finally, we will also consider the contemporary postion of Japanese folklore. How has folklore come to be configured nostalgically? How is it associated with tourism and “intangible cultural heritage”? What happens to the notion of “Japanese folklore” in a global economy?

*Please note: No background in Japanese language, history, or culture is required for this course. Although the focus is Japan, the course is designed to provide comparative perspective—in terms of content, history, and theory—for students whose work may center on other cultures and communities.

Folk-E607 Music in African Life
Instructor: Ruth Stone
MW 11:15am-12:30pm
Location: 800 N Indiana Ave
Course # 30357

Meets with Folk-E302. An extraordinary diversity of cultural and musical expression exists in Africa.  This course surveys that diversity, focusing on ways Africans create, perform, think about and use music in their lives.  We study select regional styles of music in Africa while attending to translocal, transnational, and global cultural and musical exchanges in which Africans participate.  We explore traditional and popular musics in relationship to social and historical contexts, music’s profound interlinkages with other arts, performers’ roles, musical instruments, aesthetics, music and politics, music and religion, music and identity, and other issues central to the scholarship of music in Africa. Students are required to complete a midterm exam that includes listening and essay questions, as well as a paper on a topic to be chosen in consultation with the instructor, and three one-page papers.

Folk-F638 Musics of Coastal Peru
Instructor: Javier León
M 7:00-9:30pm
Location: 800 N Indiana Ave
Course # 32390
(Contact for course authorization)

This performance-based course introduces students to African-derived, creole, and European derived folk and vernacular musical traditions from Coastal Peru.  In the process students will learn the important role that performance has in building ethnic and regional identity, transmitting specific forms of cultural knowledge, and negotiating issues of race and social class.  Emphasis will be given to the development of aural skills, learning the repertoire by ear, and the use of local performance practice techniques.  Through a series of in-class discussions, assigned readings, and a group research project, students will also learn about the connections that exist between the music that they are learning to perform and the complex socio-cultural history of the Peruvian Coast.   Note: This course has a performance component.  While no formal musical training is required (knowing Western musical notation or theory), students should have some basic experience singing or performing a musical instrument in order to add the course.  Students interested in the course should contact Professor Leon ( so that they can take informal basic musical skills assessment before adding the course.

Folk-E714 Paradigms of Ethnomusicology
Instructor: David McDonald
T 12:30-3:00pm
Location: 501 N Park Ave
Course # 30364

This graduate seminar is designed to provide the student with a working knowledge of the intellectual history, major theoretical orientations, and analytical techniques that have shaped the study and practice of ethnomusicology throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.  Throughout the semester we will explore the theoretical foundations of humanities-based inquiry and social theory, seeking a better understanding of how intellectual trends and discussions have been employed in the service of ethnomusicological and anthropological research.

In addition to full participation in course lectures and discussions, students will be expected to complete several small-scale writing exercises in preparation for a more in-depth comprehensive project.  While open to graduate students in all fields interested in social theory, this is a core course in the graduate ethnomusicology curriculum.  This section also fulfills one the core course requirements for Ph.D. minors in ethnomusicology and for School of Music cognates.  

Folk-F722 Tourism, Heritage, Performance
Instructor: Sue Tuohy
T 9:30am-12:00pm
Location: 501 N Park Ave
Course # 25332
Fulfills: Form or Theory

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 projects, including the ways they exhibit, preserve, and interpret selective aspects of expressive culture and the arts.  We will study these issues: 1) through a set of interdisciplinary theoretical writings; and 2) as they are exemplified in case studies. Among the goals of the course are to learn about what our colleagues in other fields or areas have to offer to us as well as to consider strategies for framing our research for practitioners and scholars in other fields.

Part of the semester; class members will work together in peer groups on a mini-fieldwork project and on their research 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 through an annotated bibliography, a short literature review, a proposal, presentation, and substantive research project.

Counts as a required course for the Social and Cultural Theory track in the Ethnomusicology curriculum.

Folk-F731 Curatorship
Instructor: Jason Jackson
F 9:30am-12:00pm
Location: Mathers Museum M2 110
Course # 30548
Fulfills: Form or Theory

What do curators do? What hands-on skills should a graduate student acquire in order to prepare for a career working in museums or archives? How do the theoretical debates within various humanities and social science disciplines connect to the practical work that curators and other museum or archive professionals pursue? Complimenting several IU Bloomington courses concerned with exhibitions, Curatorship is a graduate seminar aimed at concurrently teaching fundamental skills basic to curatorial work and exploring the ways that theoretical, ethical, and methodological problems are worked out in the day-to-day work of museums of art, ethnography, archaeology, and history, as well as in the kinds of archives and media repositories that serve a range of humanities and social science disciplines.  Held at the Mathers Museum on the Indiana University-Bloomington campus, the course will include hands on activities, seminar discussion, and original research opportunities. While exhibitions will come up in the course of seminar meetings, the focus of the class are all of the other areas relevant to professional practice in museums, particularly those domains related to the larger place of systematic collections in museum practice. These span a range of topics from donation and purchase to collections care, research and deaccession. Such matters as the problem of authenticity and the role of museums in art markets will be taken up in the context of the practical challenges (and pleasures) of curatorial work. Along with practical curatorial skills of wide relevance, the course will explore issues of common concern not only for museums, but also for related kinds of archives, including ethnographic sound archives, archaeological repositories, and folklore collections.