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Undergraduate Course Offerings

Fall 2014 Undergraduate Courses

New 2nd 8-weeks course:
Folk-F252 Latinos & Hip Hop Culture

MW 11:15am-1:30pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 36026

This course begins to organize and debate Latino participation, invention, intention, and appropriation of hip hop culture inside and outside of the United States.

Latino communities in the United States are diverse and it is important for us to explore the processes through which Latino youth negotiate origin myths, migration, nationalism, identity, globalization, imitation, appropriation, and how they use art and music in their everyday lives to construct their role in this music scene. We will study the cultural manifestation of hip hop from a variety of perspectives: African America, the Diaspora, and the concepts of mestizaje and “triangulation of cultures” that compound many Latino identities.

The course is limited to 25 students and the format is split between lecture and round-table discussion of assigned readings. We will focus on issues related to hip hop & Latinidad and delve into the theoretical notions and application of “performance” as “informance.”

Most importantly, the course is not about music appreciation; rather we will investigate the ways Latino youth create art, music and subcultures of hip hop.

Coll-C103 Music, Identity, & Social Life
MW 1:25-2:15pm +discussion section
Course # 16275

This course introduces students to the various ways in which music is performed, consumed, and conceptualized in various cultures around the world.  Specifically, we will be looking at the ways in which music making reflects and contributes to community building and collaborative citizenship modeling.  We will be using our many cross-cultural case studies as a springboard for further discussion on local, national, and global issues.  At the heart of these discussions, however, will be an investigation into the role of expressive culture in developing and sustaining community action initiatives.  Our meetings will take many forms, extending beyond the classroom to include panel discussions, film screenings, cultural activities, and performances on campus and in the local community.  In these activities we will develop a vocabulary for discussing musical and cultural values, utilizing the diverse resources of the University and the local Bloomington community.  Ultimately, the goal of this class is to better understand musical  performance as a powerful tool of social action and participation in local, national, and global communities.

Folk-F101 Introduction to Folklore
MW 11:15am-12:05pm +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 8432

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.

Folk-F101 Introduction to Folklore
TR 9:30-10:45am
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 32982

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.

Folk-F111 World Music & Culture
TR 11:15am-12:05pm +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H, World Cultures
Course # 8438

The primary aim of the course is to introduce students to the musical practices of selected culture areas from various parts of the globe. We will listen to music analytically as well as examine the social and cultural significance that music and music making have for those who perform, listen, or otherwise engage with it. We will also learn about the role that music has in defining different types of identity (social, regional, religious, cultural, etc.), the development of different types of music both as a result of internal continuity and due to interactions with other cultural groups, and the relationship of music to alternate ways of looking at the world.

Folk-F111 World Music & Culture
MW 2:30-3:20pm +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H, World Cultures
Course # 32983

The primary aim of the course is to introduce students to the musical practices of selected culture areas from various parts of the globe. We will listen to music analytically as well as examine the social and cultural significance that music and music making have for those who perform, listen, or otherwise engage with it. We will also learn about the role that music has in defining different types of identity (social, regional, religious, cultural, etc.), the development of different types of music both as a result of internal continuity and due to interactions with other cultural groups, and the relationship of music to alternate ways of looking at the world.

Folk-E112 Black Music of Two Worlds
TR 1:00-2:15pm
CASE A&H, GCC; GenEd A&H, World Cultures
Course # 32987

An exploration of the relationships among musics of West and Central African people and their descendants in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean.  Emphasis placed on the conceptual and aesthetic continuities between musical expression in Old and New World contexts—a uniformity which exists because of a shared African cultural ancestry. 

Folk-E112 Black Music of Two Worlds
TR 9:30-10:45am
CASE A&H, GCC; GenEd A&H, World Cultures
Course # 35212

An exploration of the relationships among musics of West and Central African people and their descendants in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean.  Emphasis placed on the conceptual and aesthetic continuities between musical expression in Old and New World contexts—a uniformity which exists because of a shared African cultural ancestry. 

Folk-F131 Folklore in the United States
MW 9:05-9:55am +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 17246

People from all over the world call the United States home. Some arrived centuries ago, others arrived a few years ago. Along with ambition and family, all of them bring with them their expressive culture.
 
This class looks at contemporary cultural expressions in the United States by focusing on folklore, defined as creativity in everyday life. Through lectures, videos, slides, audio recordings and a few guest lectures, we explore folklore in the U.S. now, for example, by studying urban legends, personal narratives, tattoos, and car art. We understand the present by looking at the past, seeing European, African, Native American, and Asian influences on the architecture, folktales, food, and body art of the United States.
 
Students in the class will engage in two field projects, collecting folklore around them, analyzing folklore within their own social circles.

Folk-F225 Forms of Commemoration
Topic: Shrines and Memorials
TR 4:00-5:15pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 33760

The site of the Boston marathon bombing in April 2013 was overflowing within a few hours with flags, running shoes, marathon medal s and Redsox paraphernalia. No matter how uncommon the tragedy, such spontaneous responses to death and disaster are common. Leaving flowers, candles, teddy bears, hearts, or cards on sites where people have died a violent death has become a popular practice since the 1990s in the Western world but follows on much older remembrance practices with similar features. Sometimes called “spontaneous shrines,” this popular form of commemoration for the tragically deceased is culturally, spiritually and politically meaningful in ways that require attention. This course explores community traditions related to the creation, meaning, uses and aesthetics of commemorative forms including shrines, memorials, roadside crosses, grave decorations and other informal modes of remembrance.

Folk-F252 Global Pop Music
MW 4:00-5:15pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 17858

Congolese rumba. Irish punk. Jewish hip hop. Korean metal. People around the world have created a rich and fascinating array of popular music styles. What do these musics sound like, and why? How might we analyze popular musics in order to better understand musicians, motives, intentions, and creative processes? What roles do these musical styles play in movements for social change? In revolutions?  As markers of generational, ethnic, racial, religious, gender, and other identities?  How do meanings associated with popular musics change over time?  What roles do economics, globalization, transnational trends, and the music industry (including the 'world music' industry) play in shaping sound and culture? This course will compare and contrast particular popular musics and explore what the study of these musics can reveal to us about the people who create and use them.

Folk-F252 Urban Legend
MW 12:20-1:10pm +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 19777

Stories of Kentucky fried rats, poodles in a microwave, kidneys stolen for the human organ black market, and bizarre gang initiations, are examples of the popular narrative tradition of “urban legend”. Often macabre, fantastic, horrific and sometimes hilarious, urban legends are modern adaptations of much older stories told in daily discourse, and depicted in television, film and novels. This course explores the defining features of urban legend, their cultural history, themes and their role as cultural commentary, their cultural fascination and impact, and their popularity on the internet, in the news and in popular culture.

Folk-F252 Latinos & Hip Hop Culture
MW 11:15am-12:30pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 17542

This section was cancelled and turned into a 2nd 8-weeks course, listed at the top of this page.

Folk-F253 Monsters & the Monstrous
MW 9:30-10:45am
CASE S&H; GenEd S&H
Course # 30716

Monsters have haunted human culture for as long as history has been recorded. They embody our fears and fantasies, populate our stories and rituals and beliefs, and even infiltrate our dreams. While they play a role in ancient mythologies, they are also very much part of contemporary culture as well—from urban legends to films to anime and games. This course explores conceptions of the monstrous in the folklore of different cultures. We will consider monsters from a theoretical standpoint, beginning with the question What is a monster? and investigating the ways they can represent otherness and difference, reflect fears of the natural world, challenge our understanding of natural history and science, and articulate values and moral concerns. While exploring the monstrous as a broad conceptual category, we will also examine specific examples of monsters from folklore around the world. Wherever and whenever monsters proliferate, they mean something. They speak of the people who tell of them, and of the particular times and places in which they thrive.

Folk-F253 Foodways in America
TR 1:00-2:15pm
CASE S&H; GenEd S&H
Course # 30709

This is a College of Arts & Sciences Themester course. Food expresses culture. Any Hoosier kitchen serves a pork tenderloin sandwich. Southern Creoles pride themselves on how many crawfish tails they can peel in under a minute; Texan chili masters can handle any amount of spicy heat; everyone knows the “best” crabcakes come from Maryland, and you haven’t even tried BBQ unless you’ve been to Memphis, TN!

Foodways refers to the folkloristic study of food. From baked turkey on Thanksgiving and hard-boiled eggs on Easter to Cajun Gumbo on Mardi Gras and wrapped Tamales on Christmas Eve, American Foodways are as ubiquitous as they are diverse. This course attends to both the widespread foodways associated with American festivities like birthdays, the 4th of July, and baseball and geographically and culturally specific foodways like a mess of Appalachian mustard greens or the choice between Chicago- or New York-style pizza. Taken as a whole, foodways in the United States reflect the Nation’s complicated mixture of simultaneously separate and intertwined aesthetic and cultural traditions.  

Folk-E295 Survey of Hip Hop
MW 2:30-3:45pm
CASE A&H, DUS; GenEd A&H
Course # 13917

Class meets for lecture online twice a week - students must login during class times. This course examines rap music and hip hop culture as artistic and sociological phenomena with emphasis on historical, cultural, economic, and political contexts. Discussions will include the co-existence of various hip hop styles, their appropriation by the music industry, and controversies resulting from the exploitation of hip hop music and culture as a commodity for national and global consumption. Class meets two times on campus, for the midterm (scheduled Saturday, October 11th, 10:00 am) and final exams (TBD).

If you have not been in an Adobe Connect class room before and are working from home, at minimum, do the first item (Test your computer) before the first class session and download the plug-in. If you use a campus cluster computer, those computers are Adobe compatible but you still have to upload Flash to optimize the class best. Note 1: The classroom does not fully support iPhones or Ipads at present time but does work well with Droid. Note 2: Students should never use Safari or Chrome browswers with OnCourse - they are not supported browsers. Firefox is recommended. .

Folk-F301 Ugandan Music & Dance Ensemble
MW 9:30-10:45am
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 20027

Class will have a $50 course fee. This course introduces students to Ugandan musical and dance traditions through a combination of applied music making and discussions.  Specifically, students will learn to perform selected practices (songs, dances, instruments) from Uganda. Students will be expected to participate as both performers and researchers, gaining proficiency in performing this repertoire of musical/dance traditions as well as learning their relationships with larger patterns of Ugandan social and cultural behavior.  In addition, students will be required to read literature on other Ugandan performance traditions not represented in the course repertoire. The aim here is such that your knowledge of this nation’s musical/dance practices is not limited to those we learn and practice in class meetings. The instructor of this course learned Ugandan performance traditions by means of oral transmission and demonstration, and hence that is the way they will be taught in this course.

Folk-F301 Music & Social Problems in Africa
TR 4:00-5:15pm
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 20265

This course aims to explore the different ways in which musical and dance traditions have been deployed to address the various social, political, and economic problems that affect communities in Africa. The course is informed by the following questions: In what ways can music be effective in helping people in Africa tackle some of their pressing problems? Why has music become a viable medium through which different issues are contested or championed in Africa? What popular or indigenous musical practices are selected and why those specific practices? Among other things, this course will highlight the many ways in which music is pivotal in the efforts of government ministries, religious groups, and developmental organizations in providing solutions to various challenges in Africa. The course will also include a series of practical workshops in which students will learn how to perform Ugandan dance/musical traditions. These workshops will give students some practical experience of some of the musical traditions that Africans use to combat different issues.

Folk-F330 Roma (Gypsy) History & Culture
TR 1:00-2:15pm
CASE S&H
Course # 30729

How have the Roma been depicted by majority society? How have they used expressive culture to re-shape their identity? This course explores the history and culture of Europe's largest minority, commonly known in English as "Gypsies," more properly referred to as Roma, Sinti or Gitano. Since arriving in Europe in the thirteenth century, they have been enslaved, hunted down, imprisoned, and generally reviled; at the same time, they have fascinated members of the majority, and writers, artists, and composers have exploited the exotic flavoring they find in the image of "Gypsiness." Roma musicians have also made themselves indispensable to folk and popular music practices around the European continent. In the last few decades, even as the human rights situation for Roma has deteriorated, a growing elite is forging an international pan-Roma movement - and representing itself artistically through music and film. We will survey both how this "mysterious" group has been represented, and how they have responded creatively to these representations.

Folk-F351 Folklore of the South
TR 11:15am-12:30pm
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 31301

Folk and popular traditions of the South United States. Topics include the social base and prominent genres of Southern American folklore, folklife, folk music, and folk style.

Folk-F351 Folklore of Student Life
TR 4:00-5:15pm
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 18381

Folklore is all about the traditions we inherit, create, re-create, and enjoy as members of our social circles. The goal of this class is come to a deeper appreciation of student folklore as a centerpiece of the IU experience. As we discuss in class the defining features of folklore, students will help identify the categories of lore to be researched and help think about the best ways to present this material online. Student teams will take charge of different kinds of folklore, be it legends and other tales, songs and other performances, rites and rituals, games and play, art and craft objects, and whatever else catches our attention. The final product is intended to be an attractive and informative resource on student folklore.

Folk-F351 American Vernacular Music
MW 1:00-2:15pm
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 33610

This course will examine a wealth of North American musical communities and styles. These include bluegrass, tex-mex, blues, polka, string band, shapenote, cajun, zydeco, mariachi, klezmer, gospel and steelband music.  In addition, we will explore issues of ethnicity, style, revival, and commercialization. The goals of the course are threefold: to develop a familiarity with the diversity of American regional and ethnic musics, to understand the history of stylistic borrowing and innovation that has created these musics, and to examine the roles these musics play in the lives of the people who make it.  No musical background is necessary.

Folk-F357 American Jewish Popular Music
MW 1:00-2:15pm
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 30736

Jewish Studies students register for section # 31178; e-mail clipsonw@indiana.edu for authorization.

How does a small minority population create its own “popular music”? In this course, we will explore the many ways American Jews have addressed the idea of popular music over the last century. Through a combination of listening, reading, analysis and discussion, we will examine how American Jewish communities have adapted popular music styles, built up music stars, and created music labels and production companies.

Folk-F364 Children's Folklore
TR 1:00-2:15pm
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 19342

This course will focus on the informal processes through which children negotiate childhood and as a means of understanding how children use folklore in their everyday lives to construct the status quo as well as resist it. This course requires that you do some fieldwork with children, emphasizing experience and service learning. Service-learning combines the service ethic of volunteerism with critical thinking skills and academic knowledge. The final paper will combine library research with the service learning participation (a.k.a. 1-2 hours fieldwork + community volunteerism) at Highland Park Elementary School and Girls, Inc. in Bloomington.

Folk-F401 Methods & Theories
MW 11:15am-12:30pm
CASE S&H
Course # 16204 (FOLK majors and minors only. E-mail mmelhous@indiana.edu to obtain online authorization.)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to principle theories and methods in the two fields composing our department, Folklore and Ethnomusicology. Folklorists and ethnomusicologists study the meanings of expressive forms in the everyday lives of individuals and their roles in society. Our two fields share a common focus on forms of artistic performance and expressive culture. Our scholarship also demonstrates a shared interest in the study of people and their artistic productions. Our research aims to contribute to the understanding of social processes, artistic practices, and human creativity.

Folk-F420 Death & Expressive Culture
TR 2:30-3:45 pm
CASE A&H
Course # 19343

This course explores community traditions related to the creation, meaning, uses and aesthetics of expressive culture surrounding death. Different types of expressions are used in different cultures around the world, such as shrines, parades, memorials, cemeteries, etc, and this course explores the meanings, significance, and valuation of those expressions.

Folk-F497 Advanced Seminar
MW 4:00-5:15pm
CASE S&H
Course # 11198 (Priority is given to FOLK majors and minors. E-mail mmelhous@indiana.edu to obtain online authorization.)

This is the capstone seminar for majors in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology (other students should contact the instructor for approval to enroll in the course).  The course provides an opportunity for students: 1) to consolidate and build upon knowledge learned through undergraduate coursework and experiences; 2) to apply that knowledge in a sustained project of significant intellectual and/or practical value to be completed this semester; and 3) to prepare for their futures.

Students will complete a common core of readings on topics such as basic concepts in folklore/ethnomusicology and techniques for research, writing, and other modes of presentation.  The bulk of the semester's work, however, will be specific to each student's individual project and needs.  Students also will complete a portfolio of their work to date, with an eye toward future educational and career plans.  Class members will meet together in a seminar setting to discuss projects, portfolios, resumes, and relevant theories and methods. And they will work in collaboration to support and improve upon their work.

As in all classes, the course will help students to continue to refine skills in communication, research, critical thinking, and scholarship--including research methods, conceptualization, evaluation and use of relevant sources, and writing.  With an emphasis on the work of synthesis and reflection, the primary aim for F497 is for students to emerge from this course--and from their experience in the department and at IU--feeling competent in their chosen field(s) and confident that the knowledge they have acquired can be transformed into worthwhile endeavors in the near and distant future.

Crosslisted Course:

CLLC-L210 Madness & Contemporary Legends
MW 12:20-1:35pm
GenEd A&H
Course # 14105

Madness and its associated terms – mental illness, insanity, and lunacy, to name a few – connote mental instability, behavioral abnormality, and a failure to conform to societal norms. Madness has had a long and troubling history, often inspiring fear, debate, art, creativity, and social change. In this course we will examine madness through the folkloristic genre of contemporary legends. As a narrative vehicle for individual and cultural expression, contemporary legends communicate common fears and anxieties, values, and criticisms.

Criminally insane madmen, murdering mothers, crazy ghosts, legend tripping, supernatural tourism, and the relationship between legends and popular culture are examples of the topics we will examine throughout the semester. By considering such legends and legend performances within their cultural and historical contexts, we will analyze and work to understand what these narratives reflect and negotiate about cultural views and perceptions of madness.