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Spring 2018 Undergraduate Course Offerings

Folk-F101 Introduction to Folklore
Instructor: Jeana Jorgensen
MW 11:15am-12:05pm +discussion section
Lecture Course # 2735

Lecture Location: Jordan Hall 124

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: Jennie Gubner
TR 10:10-11am +discussion section
Lecture Course # 2741
Lecture Location: Ballantine Hall 013

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 semester, 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-F121 World Arts & Cultures
Instructor: Pravina Shukla
MW 12:20-1:10pm +discussion section
Lecture Course # 11135
Lecture Location: Woodburn Hall 101

This course will explore traditional arts, looking at different mediums of artistic expression, and at a variety of cultural contexts around the world and within the United States. Each week we will travel to a different region of the world where artistic expression – as material culture -- enables people to present themselves as members of groups and as individuals. Throughout the semester, we will seek to understand the myriad ways in which the arts are fundamental to human existence, used as a vehicle for the expression of faith, culture, aesthetics, and community. Class topics will include festivals and celebrations, pottery, food, tattoos and body art, textile arts, and costumes.

Folk-E151 Global Pop Music
Instructor: Alisha Jones
MW 1:25-2:15pm +discussion section
Lecture Course # 11614
Lecture Location: Woodburn Hall 101

Go-go music in Washington, DC. Isicathamiya in South Africa. Reggaeton in Panama. Samoan Hip Hip in Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY. Capoeira in Brazil. Musicians around the world have created a fascinating array of popular styles that circulate African-derived cultural products and practices. What do these musics sound like, and why? What roles do these musical styles play in movements for social change? With an emphasis on musics of the African diaspora, this course is designed thematically to provide students with the tools to engage various forms of popular musical expression as social practice across diverse locations, media, and societies. Throughout the semester, students are expected to listen to sonic features of musical genres; to articulate thoughtfully the ways in which musical activities construct identity; and to write persuasively about the role of pop musics in social life. Fulfills COLL Arts and Humanities.

Folk-F230 Music in Social Movements
Instructor: Sue Tuohy
TR 11:15am-12:30pm
Course # 31030
Location: Ballantine Hall 217

How and why do people use music in movements that aim to change the world and our minds, behaviors, and lives?  The word 'movement' has at least two senses: 1) in the physical sense--movement as organized, collective action and, often, involving the movement of bodies; and 2) in the emotional sense of "moving."  These two senses combine in movements intent on mobilizing people for change and arousing people to action. This course focuses on music in social movements, including how people use music to represent and organize people; the role of music in creating groups and disseminating messages; and the idea of music as an agent of social change. We will study human rights, environmental, political, and cultural movements in different parts of the world. The course emphasizes the study of the arts in human life and in cross-cultural approaches to the study of expressive culture. Students will learn methods for analyzing musical and social performance and discourse.

Folk-F252 Music & Memory: Studying Music & Alzheimer's through Film
Instructor: Jennie Gubner
TR 2:30-3:45pm
Course # 10372
Location: Classroom Office Building 102

In this interdisciplinary, hands-on course, we will explore the relationship between music, memory, and the brain through fieldwork, filmmaking, and service work in the local Bloomington community. As a class, we will create personalized iPod playlists for individuals suffering from dementia and Alzheimers, working directly with individuals and their families to find songs that target positive memories from their life stories. In order to raise awareness about the positive effects music can have as an alternative form of therapy, we will produce short filmed ethnographies of these encounters, learning basic techniques of filming and editing along the way. Through fieldwork, filmmaking, and seminar style in-class discussion, students will learn to think critically about the growing fields of medical ethnomusicology, applied research, and digital and multimodal approaches to studying and documenting culture.

Folk-F253 Music, Community, Sustainability
Instructor: Sue Tuohy
TR 2:30-3:45pm
Course # 31155
Location: Ballantine Hall 217

This course focuses on the relations between music and the sustainability and vitality of people and the communities and environments in which we live.  Among the topics we will explore are:
how people use music to express their worldviews and ideas about the communities, places, and
environments; activists and projects that aim to raise awareness of critical issues related to the
preservation of bio-cultural diversity; movements intended to change society and people’s minds and behaviors; music and community healing, social justice, and strategies to meet the challenges of rapid social-cultural transformations, development, and environmental disasters;
environmental film, ecotourism, and “green” music festivals; insights and methods for studying
communities and the environment from ethnomusicology, ecomusicology, and sound ecology.
We will explore these issues through case studies of arts, places, and communities from different parts of the world, including Bloomington.

2nd 8 Weeks Course
Folk-F253 Stories, Art, and Aging

Instructor: Jon Kay
TR 2:30-4:45pm
Course # 36039
Location: Mathers Museum 110

From the cradle to the grave, folklore can be seen as an adaptive strategy for successfully navigating life’s various stages: childhood, puberty, marriage, retirement, etc. While American folklore scholarship has given much attention to the folklore of children, scholars rarely focus on the traditional cultural expressions of older adults as an adaptive strategy to the lifecycle. From stories and crafts to music and ritual, this course explores the creative lives of older adults and how folklore supports them through their later years. Employing folkloristic methods and theories, and engaging with gerontology scholarship, students will learn about the narrative and art-making life review practices of older adults and how folklore supports positive aging. Students will work with local seniors to document their creative practices and to record their life stories. This engaging course is filled with documentary films and visiting artists, which aims to expand our understanding of folklore and the expressive lives of elders. 

Folk-F256 The Supernatural & Folklore
Instructor: Diane Goldstein
TR 11:15am-12:05pm +discussion section
Lecture Course # 8694
Lecture Location: Woodburn Hall 101

Statistics gathered by Gallop Poll together with a variety of other scientific and public opinion surveys indicate that an extremely large percentage of the American and Canadian population not only believe in the supernatural, but in fact, believe that they themselves have had a supernatural or paranormal experience. While most social science disciplines consider supernatural belief to be either historical or marginal, it would seem that a substantial proportion of the North American population, of all ages and social classes, share in these traditions. By examining patterns of belief and the features of supernatural folklore, this course will attempt to understand the nature of surviving and declining tradition. The course will focus on the features of supernatural traditions; explanatory frameworks and their internal logic; means of developing and maintaining belief; functions and structures of belief traditions; and relationships between traditions of belief.

Folk-E295 Survey of Hip Hop
Instructor: Fernando Orejuela
MW 2:30-3:45pm
Course # 6688

ABOVE CLASS is taught in real time as a web-conferencing course only.

Above class MEETS IN A VIRTUAL CLASSROOM ON THE INTERNET FOR LECTURE 2 TIMES PER WEEK. The exams will be online using EXAMITY, an online proctoring APP.  If you are unable to use the EXAMITY APP we will schedule a campus exam site for the Midterm and Final Exams. The alternative face-to-face Midterm is scheduled on Saturday afternoon at the end of the 6th week of the semester. The Final TBA.

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

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:  Students should avoid Safari, which is not a browser supported by IU. I recommend Chrome or Firefox for the virtual classroom and for uploading assignments in Canvas.

Folk-F312 Irish Folklore
Instructor: Ray Cashman
TR 11:15am-12:30pm
Course # 31396
Location: Classroom Office Building 203

Above class meets with Folk-F635

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-F316 Caribbean Arts & Cultures
Instructor: Rebecca Dirksen
TR 1-2:15pm
Course # 31031
Location: Classroom Office Building 203

Above class meets with Folk-F804

This course will consider the collisions of cultures, ideologies, histories, sounds, and daily experiences that lead to cacophonous but meaningful conversations about humanity’s uses of the environment. Our discussions will touch on geophysical history and politics, colonialist legacies, varied effects of globalization, and models of consumption and neo-capitalism that have all made perceptible marks on the Earth. This foundation will support our evaluation of attempts to change the world’s trajectory for the better, ranging from the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Accord to local, community-led responses that are surprisingly often grounded in sound, music, and art. Our study media will be expressive culture, including literature, film, visual arts, dance, traditional healing practices, and, especially, music. Our sites of exploration will include Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Taíno and Maroon communities from across the Antilles.

Folk-F330 Folklore and the Environment
Instructor: John McDowell
MW 4-5:15pm
Course # 13552
Location: Classroom Office Building 203

We will examine the intimate relationship between folklore and the environment, following the perception that folklore shapes the landscape even as the landscape shapes folklore. The main emphasis of the course is on the presence of folklore at the crux of ecological change, where communities try to make sense of challenges to their environments. The effects of global warming, problems deriving from resource extraction, and other contemporary trends, are placing native, indigenous, urban, and local communities at risk. In such times of trouble, people often draw on traditional expressive resources – story, song, dance, arts and crafts, often in festive, ceremonial, or ritual events – to make sense of threats to the environment and to resist their harmful effects. To get at the power of tradition in these circumstances, we will appreciate folklore as a community-based artistic resource with a special capacity to arouse emotion and shape both attitude and action.

Folk-F330 Latino Gangs and Cartels: Crime, Culture, and Social Networks
Instructor: Eric Morales
MW 4-5:15pm
Course # 14006
Location: Woodburn Hall 005

This class will unpack the realities facing Latino gang members, from adolescent street gangs to international drug cartels. Rather than see gangs solely as sources of crime and violence, we will approach street gangs as alternative social structures that counter the alienation and marginalization resultant from issues of economic and social disparities. In the process, we will provide a holistic understanding of street life, looking at markers of expressive traditions, (tattoos, clothing, lowrider cars, folk religion), as well as a history of systemic social inequities (school to prison pipeline, racial segregation, barriers to education and employment). Throughout the semester, we will problematize issues of immigration, masculinity & femininity, sexuality, stereotypes, gentrification, and ethnicity. Our discussions of the causes, functions, and rituals of gang culture will be informed with perspectives provided from Folklore, Anthropology, Latino Studies, and Critical Race Theory. While Latino gang culture, primarily West and East Coast, is the focus, we will cover social concerns that affect numerous disenfranchised populations.

Folk-F351 Bluegrass, Folk & Old-Time Lab:
A Roots Music Ensemble/Seminar
Instructor: Jennie Gubner
W 6:00-8:30pm
Course # 13565

Location: Hoagy Carmichael Room, Morrison Hall 006

Above class meets with Folk-F625

In this hands-on, experiential seminar we come together one evening a week to learn about bluegrass, folk and old-time traditions while bringing them to life in an ensemble format. By discussing biographies of artists, watching films, playing music, and song hunting within seldom-heard field recordings in the IU Archives of Traditional Music, we immerse ourselves in the lives of some of the people and places, sounds, politics, and cultural forces that have shaped narratives of roots music in the United States. To be comfortable in this course you do not need to be and advanced player but should be able to play basic chords and/or melodies on your instrument of choice, (violin, guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass, dulcimer, autoharp, voice, or other stringed instrument). Most of the song learning is done by ear, so sight reading skills are not necessary. Please contact the professor for any further inquiries at No authorization required.

Folk-F404 Landscape, Space, and Place
Instructor: Steve Stuempfle
MW 2:30-3:45pm
Course # 31032
Location: Classroom Office Building 102

This course will examine concepts of “landscape,” “space,” and “place” as developed in the fields of folkloristics, cultural geography, and cultural anthropology. Following a theoretical discussion of how space is socially organized and social life is spatially organized, we will explore diverse ways in which people construct landscapes and places, stage artistic performances within them, and communicate about them. Our main topics will include forms of folk/vernacular architecture; rituals and festivals; and toponyms (place names), folksongs, and legends—with case studies drawn from around the world. Students will carry out semester-long field research projects in the Bloomington area. Our overarching goal will be to develop competence in observing and documenting places, analyzing their components, and elucidating their significance through written reports and multimedia presentations.

Folk-F401 Methods & Theories
Instructor: Fernando Orejuela
MW 11:15am-12:30pm
Course # 5935
(FOLK majors and minors only. E-mail to obtain online authorization.)
Location: Classroom Office Building 272

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.

Folk-F499 Honors Thesis

Requires permission of the department. Contact Undergraduate Academic Advisor Krystie Herndon at for details on our honors program. Contact for registration authorization.

Folk-X402 Traditional Arts Indiana Practicum
Instructor: Jon Kay

Designed as a practicum for students to work collaboratively in applying the methods and approaches of folklore studies to public needs and public programs. Students will engage in a variety of outreach projects linking the university to the larger community in the areas of public arts and culture and cultural documentation.Practica require prior agreement and must be arranged with supervising museum personnel and the course instructor (Faculty of Record), Professor Jon Kay, Director of Traditional Arts Indiana, May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 6 credit hours in X402. Students interested in arranging practica with TAI should visit

Folk-X476 Museum Practicum in Folklore
Instructor: Jason Jackson

The Museum Practicum in Folklore (1-3 cr.) provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on work experience in museums while earning academic credit through Indiana University's Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. Practica require prior agreement and must be arranged with supervising museum personnel and the course instructor (Faculty of Record), Professor Jason Jackson, Director of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Students interested in arranging practica at the Mathers Museum should visit

Folk-X477 Practicum in Folklore and Ethnomusicology

Must have prior arrangement with and consent of the faculty member(s) supervising work. Obtain course contract form and on-line authorization from department. Supervised work in public programs such as arts agencies, historical commissions, and archives, including those housed at IU. Relevant readings and written report required. May be repeated for up to 6 credit hours in FOLK-X477.

Folk-X490 Individual Study in Folklore and Ethnomusicology

Must have prior arrangement with and consent of the faculty member(s) supervising research. May include fieldwork or library research components. Obtain course contract form and on-line authorization from department. Relevant readings and written report required. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours in X490.

Cross-Listed Courses

Coll-C103 Youth Sub-cultures & Music
Instructor: Fernando Orejuela
TR 1:25-2:15pm
Course # 13573

Location: Global & International Studies 1128

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.