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Fall 2015 Undergraduate Course Offerings

Folk-F101 Introduction to Folklore
Instructor: Michael Dylan Foster
MW 11:15am-12:05pm +discussion section
Course # 4004

Lecture Location: Ballantine Hall 013

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. 

Folk-F101 Introduction to Folklore
Instructor: Robert Dobler
TR 10:10-11:00am +discussion section
Course # 14919

Lecture Location: 800 N Indiana Ave

Folklore is alive and 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.

Folk-F111 World Music & Culture
Instructor: Rebecca Dirksen
TR 11:15am-12:05pm +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H, World Cultures
Course # 4010

Lecture Location: Morrison Hall 007

This introductory survey course engages students in a broad overview of selected musical cultures from around the world, focusing on examples from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Whenever possible, we will consider music-making locally, in and around Bloomington. Organized around case studies and broad themes, this course will explore the ways in which the musical traditions presented are shaped by and give shape to the social and cultural environments from which they come. Since different musical styles have different structures and meanings, we will learn new ways of listening to understand with greater clarity the significance that music and music making have for those who perform, listen, and otherwise engage with it. Mindfully listening to music means not just learning to hear characteristics of sound, but also learning to analyze and interpret different cultural approaches to music making and enjoyment.

Folk-F111 World Music & Culture
Instructor: Alisha Lola Jones
MW 2:30-3:20pm +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H, World Cultures
Course # 14920

Lecture Location: Radio/TV 245

This course is designed to provide students with the tools to engage various forms of musical expression as social practice across diverse locations, media, and societies. A primary goal is to problematize “world music” as a homogenous category by considering its meaning in social, economic, political and creative spheres of music as social life. We will re-consider the ways in which this category can incorporate numerous musical experiences so as not to regulate such practices to a realm for “the other” or “foreign.” This course will explore the work of key figures within ethnomusicology and the manner with which they analyze music in the social lives of the people with which they work. Throughout the quarter, students are expected to critically think about the participatory, presentational, and political components of music making; to listen to sonic elements that distinguish musical genres from one another; to articulate thoughtfully the ways in which musical activities construct identity; and to write persuasively about the role of music in social life.

Folk-F131 Folklore in the United States
Instructor: Pravina Shukla
MW 12:20-1:10pm +discussion section
Course # 11834

Lecture Location: Woodburn Hall 101

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.

Folk-F141 Urban Legend
Instructor: Robert Dobler
MW 1:25-2:15pm +discussion section
Course # 31305

Lecture Location: Education 1120

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-F225 Forms of Commemoration: Shrines, Memorials, & Dark Tourism
Instructor: Robert Dobler
MW 2:30-3:45pm
Course # 15302

Location: Woodburn Hall 005

Visiting sites of violent death--from Ground Zero and Columbine to roadside collisions--and leaving flowers, candles, teddy bears, hearts, or cards has become a popular practice over the last few decades. These spontaneous responses to death and disaster are culturally, spiritually, and politically meaningful in ways that require attention. Situating these behaviors and practices at the intersections of folk and popular culture, and of pilgrimage and dark tourism, this course explores community traditions related to the creation, meaning, uses, and aesthetics of commemorative forms and rituals including the creation of shrines, memorials, roadside crosses, commemorative tattoos, virtual memorials, and other informal modes of remembrance.

Folk-F252 Work as Art: Occupational Folklore in the United States
College Themester Course
Instructor: Jon Kay
TR 1:00-2:15pm
Course # 12319

Location: Mathers Museum Gallery (M2 110)

From cowboys and coalminers to midwives and farm workers this course delves into diverse occupational cultures in the United States. Through sayings, stories and songs, workers forge a shared identity with others in their specific trade or occupation. By producing handmade objects, they display their talents and express their pride in mastering their craft. Using special phrases and words they expertly communicate with other workers, while keeping the uninitiated in the dark. Through the everyday performance of their occupational identities, they express specific job-related skills and values.

This course explores the aesthetics of labor in America through the lens of its work traditions. While the course surveys the history of occupational folklore within distinct groups and networks of workers, it also presents the theoretical and methodological framework of public folklore. Students will conduct ethnographic fieldwork with local working groups and learn to identify and collect examples of that group’s occupational folklore. As a culmination to the class, students will produce an exhibition poster about a worker and their occupational traditions and investigate ways to translate their research into a resource for the work group and/or community. Through this course, students will gain a thorough understanding of the disciplinary history of folklorist studying work and labor culture and the methods public scholars use to identify, document, and present their findings.

Folk-F253 Foodways in America
Instructor: Brandon Barker
MW 9:30-10:45am
Course # 14298

Location: Jordan Hall 440

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-F253 Music & Disaster
Instructor: Rebecca Dirksen
TR 1:00-2:15pm
Course # 14303

This course will interrogate the diverse roles of music in the context of disaster, broadly defined. After considering examples of disaster songs throughout global history, class conversation will turn toward the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. We will use these three points of focus to prod several angles of the music + disaster equation. First, music will be positioned as an innate response to trauma, in that song has been used for survival, hope and healing. Next, we will consider music-related humanitarian efforts and current inclinations to capitalize on catastrophe, as evidenced by the phenomenon of benefit concerts, musical telethons and “disaster tracks”—all used to crowd-source funds for survivors. In addition, we will look at how music has been employed as a tool for “re-memorying” lost locations and (re)defining cultural spaces, just as it has been used to encourage the return of tourists to impacted locales and boost devastated economies.  

Folk-E295 Survey of Hip Hop
Instructor: Fernando Orejuela
MW 2:30-3:45pm
Course # 8992

ABOVE CLASS is taught as a web-based course only, using BREEZE (Adobe Connect).

Above class MEETS IN A VIRTUAL CLASSROOM ON THE INTERNET FOR LECTURE 2 TIMES PER WEEK and meets on campus 2 times for the Midterm and Final Exams. The Midterm is scheduled for Saturday, October 10th, 1:00-2:15 pm in Woodburn Hall 100. The Final TBA.

Above class students must be enrolled at IUB in order to add this course. Course materials will be available on OnCourse the day before our first meeting.

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 have to upload Flash everytime to optimize the class best.

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.

Fernando Orejuela’s Rap and Hip Hop Culture (2015) will be our main textbook and articles will be made available to you in Canvas throughout the semester.

NOTE 1: The classroom does not FULLY support iPhone or iPads at present time but does work well with Droid.

NOTE 2: Students should avoid Safari and Chrome– they are not IU supported browsers. I recommend Firefox for the virtual classroom and Canvas.

Folk-F301 Music in African Film
Instructor: Ruth Stone
MW 9:30-10:45am
Course # 36192
Location: Woodburn Hall 002

Films that portray Africa—whether created by American, European, or African filmmakers—weave their powerful spell across globally linked communities.  These films are created by a range of individuals who bring broadly differing perspectives to the task.  Hollywood filmmakers begin from the context of a tradition that promulgated the Tarzan movies. African filmmakers start from the history of colonialism that forms a strong backdrop for their images and plots.  The differing perspectives influence the richly varied images that are presented and apprehended about Africa. Music threads its way through the fabric of these films, interacting with what is seen on the screen. This course will bring the audio dimension to the fore in order to analyze what kinds of sounds are selected, what implications exist for those selections, and how some of those sound tracks have been or might be interpreted.  The films to be screened will range from large scale Hollywood to local African productions.

Folk-E303 Zimbabwean Mbira Performance
Instructor: David McDonald
MW 11:15am-12:30pm
Course # 30921

Location: 800 N Indiana Ave

Contact for course authorization. Course will have a $250 instrument purchase fee.

This course introduces students to Zimbabwean music and performance through a combination of applied music making and lectures/discussions. Students will learn to play the Mbira Dvavadzimu, a 22 keyed lamellophone indigenous to the Shona people but popularized around the world via worldbeat performers such as Thomas Mapfumo and Oliver Mtukudzi.  Focusing on the Mbira, students will trace the development of Zimbabwean music from Shona spirit possession ceremonies (Bira) to the international stage, investigating issues of cosmology, nationalism, and globalization. Students will be expected to participate as both performers and researchers, gaining proficiency in performing this repertory of music as well as learning its relationships with larger patterns of social and cultural behavior.  While no musical experience is necessary, enthusiasm and the willingness to sing, dance, and play music is a must. 

Folk-F312 Irish Folklore
Instructor: Ray Cashman
TR 11:15am-12:30pm
Course # 30960

Location: 800 N Indiana Ave

This course introduces the popular beliefs, vernacular customs, material culture, and especially, oral traditions of Ireland.  Topics include supernatural legends of ghosts and fairies, folktales and heroic tales, traditional customs at wakes and holy wells, seasonal drama including mumming, folk history in song and story, and vernacular forms of political expression such as annual commemorative parades and public murals.

Although much of Irish folklore has roots in the far distant past, we will focus on those traditions documented from the 19th through 21st centuries—a period during which folklore inspired an Irish literary revival and served the nation-building project of a newly independent republic. We will conclude with an investigation of the politics of culture and identity in contemporary Northern Ireland where the legacy of British colonialism remains most pronounced.

Assignments include a midterm exam, final paper, and a transcription project in which students take materials collected by the Irish Folklore Commission in the 1930s and make them digitally accessible for scholars and the general public.

Folk-F315 Musics of the Andean Countries
Instructor: Javier León
TR 4:00-5:15pm
Course # 30329

Location: Cedar Hall C116

This course is intended to be both a survey of the musics of the large variety of cultural, social and ethnic groups that populate the countries of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia as well as the different social, political, cultural, religious, and historical processes that have come to inform them.  Despite the use of the term Andean, the course will go beyond the study of folk, traditional, and popular musical practices of Amerindian origin in the highland regions of the above mention countries.  Throughout the semester we will also look that the cross-cultural influences between these practices and those of European, African, Amazonian and Asian origin both within the highland regions as well as in the Pacific coastal regions of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia, the Atlantic coastal region of Colombia, the Bolivian and Colombian plains, and the Ecuadorian and Bolivian rainforest.

Folk-F351 Folklore of the South
Instructor: Brandon Barker
MW 4:00-5:15pm

Course # 14704

The Blues? Grits and collard greens? A Texas two-step? Mardi Gras? Country music? Barbecue? Twangy accents? Key Lime Pie? Evangelicalism? The Mason-Dixon line? What makes the South southern? The South, nicknamed Dixieland, is frequently defined as the 11 states of the North American southeast—stretching from Maryland down to the Florida Keys and out to western Texas. This course surveys a range of folkloric traditions practiced in these southern states, including folk speech, festival celebrations, foodways, folk music, folk religion, and others. Considered together, the folk traditions from disparate geographic and cultural spaces of the broadly defined South present a rich, complex picture of Dixie that allows us to question our Southern assumptions.

Folk-F351 American Vernacular Music
Instructor: Brandon Barker
MW 1:00-2:15pm
Course # 15229

Music thrives in America. Alongside mainstream popular genres like country music, hip-hop, and rock, North American musical diversity abounds. This course examines a wealth of vernacular musics, including bluegrass, tex-mex, blues, polka, string band, stepping, cajun, zydeco, mariachi, jazz, and gospel.  We will also explore the intersection of music and ethnic, geographic, religious, linguistic, and commercial diversity. The goals of the course are threefold: to develop a familiarity with the expressions 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-F356 Latino Folklore
Instructor: Mintzi Martinez-Rivera
MW 2:30-3:45pm
Course # 12116

Location: Swain East 010

Latino communities in the United States are as culturally rich and diverse as their countries of origin. The United States, moreover, provides a platform for the proliferation, transformation, and adaptation of cultural practices. Therefore, the study of Latino folklore in the United States offers an amazing opportunity to analyze how communities are maintained even when they are in constant fluctuation, and how cultural expressions play a central part in the continuity and transformation of community.

This course cannot be inclusive of all US Latinos, but we will study a wide array of cultural manifestations—oral traditions, music, festivals, dance, material culture, healing and spirituality—while also paying attention to wider debates concerning migration, gender, nationalism, and identity.  The course will begin with an overview of the study of folklore and of Latino Studies. The remainder of the course will be divided into five main themes—migration, gender, nationalism, and identity and the interrelation between them—and how different cultural practices and traditional expressive forms help express, negotiate, transform, and maintain Latino communities in the United States.

Folk-F364 Children's Folklore
Instructor: Fernando Orejuela
TR 2:30-3:45pm
Course # 13258

Location: Ballantine Hall 335

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 10-week service learning lab (a.k.a. 1-2 hours fieldwork + community volunteerism) with our partners at the Boys and Girls Clubs, and Girls, Inc. in Bloomington.

Folk-F377 Popular Culture & Politics in the Middle East
Instructor: David McDonald
MW 1:00-2:15pm

Course # 30338

Location: Student Building 220

This undergraduate/graduate course will examine the dynamics of popular culture and mass media throughout the Middle East (including Turkey, Israel, and Iran) and North Africa.  Although performative arts, mass media, and popular culture have often been deemed as epiphenomenal in Middle Eastern studies, this course proceeds from the idea that popular culture and performance are in fact foundational means for negotiating power and resistance, social interaction, and identity. Through our readings, lectures, discussions, and various written assignments students will confront the many ways in which popular culture has had a formative and foundational impact upon conceptions of identity in the Middle East.  Our readings will build upon fundamental anthropological understandings of social groups, the linkages of culture and agency, and the various forms of power and resistance articulated through expressive and material culture.  Various case studies will explore Egyptian soap operas, Iraqi comic books, Turkish heavy metal, Arab pop music, Israeli and Palestinian cinema, Algerian love songs, and the impact these media have had on contemporary understandings of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and globalization in the Middle East.

Folk-F401 Methods & Theories
Instructor: Fernando Orejuela
MW 11:15am-12:30pm
Course # 11004

Location: 501 N Park Ave

FOLK majors and minors only. E-mail 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.

We will engage in discussions on the following: (1) examining the convergences and divergences of the two fields; (2) their histories and current research paradigms; (3) basic concepts such as community, tradition, genre, performance; (4) research methods; and (5) the issues associated with presenting/representing people in the public setting.

Required textbooks:
1. Bauman, Richard (ed.). 1992. Folklore, Cultural Performances, and Popular Entertainments: A Communications-Centered Handbook. New York: Oxford University Press.
2. Ruth Stone. 2007. Theory for Ethnomusicology. New York: Prentice Hall.

Folk-F404 Digital Ethnomusicology & Folklore
Instructor: Ruth Stone
T 1:00-3:30pm
Course # 30347

Location: IDAH Conference Room, Wells Library E171

This course focuses on the technology of the digital arts and humanities that have provided substantive breakthroughs in how data in ethnomusicology and folklore can be recorded, analyzed, presented, and preserved.  Students will explore issues associated with a number of areas, including but not limited to “big data,” blogging, digital video and audio data recording and preservation, video annotation and segmentation for analysis and teaching, and website development.  Class exercises and projects will provide the opportunity for exploring techniques relevant to the digital arts and humanities.

Explore digital technology tools in the arts and humanities— and their possibilities in ethnomusicology and folklore

No previous computing experience required.

Folk-F497 Advanced Seminar
Instructor: Sue Tuohy
TR 11:15am-12:30pm
Course # 6540

Location: 501 N Park Ave

Priority is given to FOLK majors. Authorization is required for this course-contact for 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.

Cross-Listed Courses

CLLC-L210 Isolated Artistic Geniuses
GenEd S&H
Course #