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Spring 2015 Undergraduate Course Offerings

Folk-F101 Introduction to Folklore
Instructor: Brandon Barker
MW 2:30-3:20pm +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 17946

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
Instructor: Robert Dobler
TR 2:30-3:20pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 31096

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: Javier León
MW 1:25-2:15pm +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H, World Cultures
Course # 17952

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
Instructor: Rebecca Dirksen
TR 11:15am-12:05pm +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H, World Cultures
Course # 31100

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.

This course serves as an introduction to ethnomusicology, a discipline that draws on and interacts with several other fields, including historical musicology, anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies. Overall, F-111 World Music and Culture aims to explore music as an important form of human expression and as a meaningful aspect of daily life.

Folk-F131 Folklore in the United States
Instructor: Joshua Caffery
MW 12:20-1:10pm +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 31108

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 cultural expression 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. in the past and in the present, by studying urban legends, traditional musical culture, personal narratives, tattoos, and much more. 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-F235 Folklore & Literature
Instructor: Joshua Caffery
MW 2:30-3:45pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 32392

In this class, we look closely at the various ways in which folklore and literature intersect. The course draws on a broad array of literary texts, from Classical tale anthologies, Elizabethan plays and Romantic poetry, to pulp horror, science fiction and the fantasy novel, paying particular heed to how authors rely on folklore to construct believable imaginary worlds. At the same time, we look closely at various genres of folklore—such as folksongs, myths, and legends—with an eye toward understanding the techniques and structures they share with written literature. 

Folk-F252 Global Pop Music
2nd 8 Week Course
Instructor: Daniel Reed
MW 1:00-3:15pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 27855

Congolese rumba. Irish punk. Jewish hip hop. Indian disco. 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? Structured thematically, 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 African Popular Music
Instructor: Allan Mugishagwe
TR 4:00-5:15pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 27858

This course has been cancelled.

Folk-F252 Youth Sub-cultures & Music Scenes
Instructor: Fernando Orejuela
MW 1:00-2:15pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 30371

This course will focus on the informal processes through which young people negotiate “childhood,” “tweens,” “teenager,” and “youth” and as a means of understanding how they use music in their everyday lives to construct a status quo as well as resist the dominant adult culture. The course explores the musical cultures of youth as a continuum of social processes, created within the context of real, imagined, and historical communities. The course is not about music appreciation; rather we will investigate the ways youth create music, subcultures of musicking, and social movements aimed at changing attitudes and behaviors.

Folk-F253 Mythology & Culture
Instructor: Greg Schrempp
MW 4:00-5:15pm
CASE S&H; GenEd S&H
Course # 24548

Class for Hutton Honors students and FOLK majors only. FOLK preparatory majors or Folk minors interested in the class contact gschremp@indiana.edu for possible authorization.

The term “mythology” carries a number of meanings, including ancient stories associated with rituals, potent symbols, and images with an uncanny power to stick in our minds and shape our worldviews.  In many usages, “mythology” also carries the connotation of the temporally, spatially, and/or geographically distant.  In this course, we will look at examples of such “distant” mythologies, including stories, rituals, and symbols embraced by the ancient Greeks, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans (who, though spatially proximate, are regarded by many Americans as culturally distant).

Some scholars, however, think that it is too confining, if not prejudicial, to limit the concept of “myth” to such distant societies and cultures.  In the second part of the course, we will consider the idea that mythology is to be found in many forms of modern mass-culture, such as film, television, advertising, and popular iconography.  Throughout, we will consider the ways in which mythology intersects with culture more broadly and the ways it functions within society.

Anthropologists Bronislaw Malinowski’s “Myth in Primitive Psychology” will be the focal work for the first half of the course; literary and culture critic Roland Barthes’ “Mythologies” for the second.

Readings will be supplemented with visual materials.  The workload for this class will be average.  Grades will be based on participation, an in-class presentation, two short essays, and a concluding essay to be written during the final exam period.

Folk-F253 Folklore & Disaster
Instructor: Robert Dobler
MW 4:00-5:15pm
CASE S&H; GenEd S&H
Course # 30388

The folklore that emerges in the wake of disaster can tell us much about how we as individuals and as members of folk groups experience large-scale tragedy and trauma, and how we both reaffirm and critique the values, beliefs, and traditions of our surrounding communities through expressive behavior. In this course we will explore folk responses to a variety of disasters, ranging from the naturally occurring phenomena of hurricanes and earthquakes to human-caused and mass-mediated catastrophes like Chernobyl, the Challenger explosion, and the attack on the World Trade Center. We will examine a range of folkloric texts and practices, from ballads and cycles of “sick” jokes, to spontaneous shrines and contemporary legends, considering how each contributes to a particular worldview.

Folk-F256 The Supernatural & Folklore
Instructor: Robert Dobler
MW 11:15am-12:05pm +discussion section
CASE A&H, GCC; GenEd A&H
Course # 26072

Ghosts, vampires, werewolves and other supernatural beings are immensely popular and appear in contemporary novels, video games, films, and other media. Belief in the supernatural is explored in television shows that detail the exploits of “ghost hunters” or probe the possibility of extraterrestrial encounters. Statistics gathered by Gallop Poll indicate that an extremely large percentage of North Americans not only believe in the supernatural, but in fact, believe that they themselves have had a supernatural or paranormal experience. “Evidence” of the supernatural is, in this sense, all around us. What do people find so compelling about the supernatural? And why, as folklorists, should we concern ourselves with the study of supernatural tradition? This course examines the many forms of supernatural belief traditions that people express through traditional genres and through popular media. A key concept is the issue of belief: in this case, the conviction that experiences of the supernatural are genuine, and have important implications about life after death, the existence of spirits, magic, and related topics. Through specific case studies, we will explore the forms supernatural tradition and belief take in everyday life, and develop models for understanding how supernatural belief relates to other aspects of worldview and culture.

Folk-E295 Survey of Hip Hop
Instructor: Fernando Orejuela
TR 2:30-3:45pm
CASE A&H, DUS; GenEd A&H
Course # 22819

Class meets for lecture online twice a week - students must login during class times. Meets with AAAD-A295. 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, March 7th, 10:00 am) and final exams (TBD). I repeat, the midterm exam is on a Saturday.

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 PC-based tablets. 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
Instructor: Allan Mugishagwe
TR 9:30-10:45am
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 29313

This course has been cancelled.

Folk-F301 Ugandan Music & Dance Ensemble
Instructor: Allan Mugishagwe
MW 4:00-5:15pm
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 27865

This course has been cancelled.

Folk-E302 Music in African Life
Instructor: Ruth Stone
MW 11:15am-12:30pm
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 30350

Meets with Folk-E607. 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-F305 Cultural Diversity in China
Instructor: Sue Tuohy
TR 4:00-5:15pm
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 30395, 33309

FOLK majors, EALC majors, and Chinese Flagship students register for section # 33309 by e-mailing tuohys@indiana.edu first for authorization. Non-FOLK majors, Non-EALC majors, and non-Chinese Flagship students register for section # 30395.

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.

There are no prerequisites. At the undergraduate level, this course fulfills College (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry credit and College (CASE) Global Civilization & Culture credit. The course is cross-listed in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at both undergraduate and graduate levels (in other words, it may be used to count toward EALC credit).

Folk-F315 Musics of Coastal Peru
Instructor: Javier León
M 7:00-9:30pm
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 26024
(Contact jfleon@indiana.edu 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 (jfleon@indiana.edu) so that they can take informal basic musical skills assessment before adding the course.

Folk-F315 Caribbean Carnival! Musical Perspectives on Play and Power
Instructor: Rebecca Dirksen
MW 9:30-10:45am
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 30402

Carnival celebrations are central to Caribbean life, and music is vital to the carnival experience. This course will tour the Caribbean basin by pairing ethnographic texts about music with audio and visual records of the festivities, providing an introduction to the diverse performances and politics of carnival traditions. To understand what’s at the heart of all of this “revelry,” “disorder,” and “vagabondage,” we will become acquainted with influential theories by Mikhail Bakhtin and Victor Turner as we consider carnivalesque behavior along a broad spectrum of acts of play and power.

Folk-F351 Folklore of the South
Instructor: Joshua Caffery
TR 1:00-2:15pm
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 30402

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-F354 From Juke Joint to Choir Loft
Instructor: Mellonee Burnim
TR 9:30-10:45am
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 26081

Meets with AAAD-A399. From slavery to the present, debates have raged among scholars and practitioners concerning the lines of demarcation between sacred and secular forms of African American music. Whether it was slaves who danced their Christianity in the invisible church or the multi- platinum-selling gospel artist Kirk Franklin whose recordings are just as likely to surface on Billboard’s r&b chart as on its list of top gospel, or Richard Penniman, (better known as ‘Little Richard”) who three-times renounced a career in popular music to perform gospel instead, the history of African American music is replete with artists and repertoire which challenge conventional Judeo-Christian musical and aesthetic values. Utilizing an ethnomusicological perspective, which foregrounds the significance of culture in the formation and expression of musical values, this course will explore those inter- and intra-cultural dynamics which define the sacred/secular continuum in African American musics.

Folk-F356 Latino Youth & Urban Folklore
Instructor: Mintzi Martinez-Rivera
MW 2:30-3:45pm
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 25643

Meets with LATS-L 398. Through this course we will question two wide spread stereotypes: (1) that young people tend to reject and eventually forget their culture, and (2) that folklore does not exist in urban settings. On the contrary by studying graffiti, lowriding, gangs, surfers, quebradores, among other cultural manifestations, we will study different folklore traditions performed by young people in urban settings in order to demonstrate the active participation of young people in creating, negotiating, transforming the culture and community where they live.

This course will be inclusive of the diverse traditions of US Latinos, and will allow the study of a wide array of cultural manifestations—oral traditions, music, festivals, dance, material culture, healing and spirituality. We will also pay attention to important issues such as migration, gender, nationality, and individual and group identity. The course will begin with an overview and major themes in the field of Folklore and of Latino Studies. The remainder of the course will be divided into five sections—migration, gender, nationality, and identity and the interrelation between them. The goal of the class is to explore how young urban Latino men and women through different cultural practices and traditional-expressive forms help to negotiate, transform, and maintain Latino communities in the United States.

Folk-F359 Exploring Jewish Identity Today
Instructor: Judah Cohen
MW 9:30-10:45am
CASE S&H, DUS
Course # 30409

Meets with JSTU-J359. When people describe what they believe, do, create, or experience as "Jewish," what do they mean? Using multiple perspectives and multiple forms of media, we will explore how different communities--from orthodox Jews to evangelical Christians--incorporate senses of Judaism into their cultural, religious, racial, ethnic, and artistic identities. Credit given for only one of J359 or FOLK-F 359.

This class will have four parts: In Part I, we will look at the question of identity from a theoretical perspective, both in a general sense and a Jewish sense. From there, we will look at how Jews define themselves in a communal sense. Part II will consist of explorations of several accepted (more or less) movements of Judaism, as well as a brief glimpse of the Jewish communal structures in New York City. In Part III, we shift perspective from communal to artistic expression: literary, visual, theatrical, musical, choreographic, and so forth. What does it mean to create "Jewish"-themed art, and how do its creators make it meaningful to the larger community? Part IV presents a set of difficult and potentially troubling case studies of communities that incorporate Judaism within starkly different environments. Though generally seen to be outside of mainstream Judaism (including by the communities themselves), their views of Jewish identity represent important perspectives constantly in dialogue with those who view themselves as central to Jewish life.

Folk-F364 Children's Folklore
Instructor: Brandon Barker
TR 11:15am-12:30pm
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 26082

Everyone’s played patty-cake, and who doesn’t enjoy a good game of hop-scotch? But, do you remember playing Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board? Do you know what actually is grosser than gross? From the games of the playground to the secret, scary play that happens behind closed doors, this course will examine the full range of children’s folklore.

Folk-F401 Methods & Theories
Instructor: Fernando Orejuela
MW 11:15am-12:30pm
CASE S&H
Course # 21899
(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.

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 Humor in Use
Meets 2nd 8-weeks only
Instructor: Susan Seizer
MW 2:30-4:30pm
M 7:15-10:15pm (film screening)
CASE A&H
Course # 32386

Folk-F420 American Country Music
Instructor: Brandon Barker
MW 1:00-2:15pm
CASE A&H
Course # 27872

Jimmie Rodgers, Gene Autry, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Blake Shelton, and Miranda Lambert. American Country Music's ability to create superstar performers for the better part of a century is undeniable. This course will survey Country Music's major performers and important historical moments while also considering the genre's folk roots in Appalachian music, southern blues music, and southwestern swing.

Cross-Listed Courses

CLLC-L210 Rock Stars with a Cause
Instructor: Nathan Gibson
MWF 12:20-1:10pm
GenEd S&H
Course # 30956

Music in popular culture does not merely reflect modern society, but it can, and often does, create social change. In this course we will study influential songwriters of the twentieth century, from a plethora of genres and locales, whose songs have given voice to the disenfranchised in confrontational, deliberative, and pragmatic ways. These broadly-defined protest/activist songs will be examined in relation to the U.S. labor movement, the fight for civil rights, women’s liberation, gay rights, both patriotic and anti-war movements, environmental awareness, anti-bullying, and other important social and political conflict around the world. Equal parts cultural/lyrical analysis and creative writing, this course is also designed to improve your songwriting skills, with an emphasis on creating socially conscious music. A background in music or performance is not required, but we will address song composition not only from a lyrical standpoint (meaning, metaphor, narrative, etc.), but also melody creation, chord patterns, various song structures, and prosody.