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Undergraduate Course Offerings

Summer 2014 Undergraduate Courses (in order of summer session)

Folk-F360 Indiana Folklore
First 4 Weeks
Daily 10:20am-12:30pm
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 8653

This course explores the folklore and traditional arts of Indiana. We begin with a survey of the oral traditions of our state. From local legends and ghost stories to jokes and personal experience narratives, we probe how the stories reflect and shape their everyday lives of Hoosiers. Second, we study handmade objects and their makers in Indiana. From gravestones and quilts to buildings and musical instruments, artifacts provide a lens for understanding the identities and creative lives of people and the communities to which they belong. This course is specifically designed to familiarize students with the research methods and skills needed for studying vernacular culture in Indiana and beyond.

Folk-F101 Introduction to Folklore
First 6 Weeks
Daily 11:00am-12:15pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 8652

This course will introduce students to the concept of folklore, understood broadly as artistic communication in small groups. Folklore is not something that only the folk do; it is present in our day-to-day interactions, regardless of the group(s) to which we belong. It is also not a body of outdated traditions: Though folklore connects people to their past, it is a central part of life in the present, and is at the heart of all cultures including our own throughout the world. Rather, folklore is the whole range of expressive actions, products, and performances that we are all engaged in every day. Folklore is very much a part of all of our lives, and understanding the different ways in which people use folklore can help us understand more about one another and ourselves.

Folk-E295 Survey of Hip Hop
First 6 Weeks
Daily 12:45-2:00pm
CASE A&H, DUS; GenEd A&H
Course # 10839

This course examines hip hop music and culture as an artistic and social phenomenon with emphasis on historical, cultural, economic, and political contexts. Discussions will include the co-existence of various hip hop styles, their relationship to the music industry and American popular culture, and controversies resulting from the utilization of hip hop music and culture as a commodity for national and global consumption. Most importantly, it is not meant to be a music appreciation class.

Folk-F111 World Music & Culture
Second 6 Weeks
Daily 11:00am-12:15pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H, World Cultures
Course # 11324

From answering our cell phones to turning on our iPods to going out to eat, music seems omnipresent in our daily habits. But, are these musical sounds simply passive blips in our existence? And what of world music? Is world music merely a generic category for the retail of a specific type of recorded music? In this class, we explore how we perform and consume music in relationship to the ways by which we understand our lives. The teacher and students will explore music and its relationship to culture: the foundation of the discipline of ethnomusicology. By learning a basic musicological vocabulary and by exploring the practices and sounds of a variety of musical cultures from around the world, students will learn to think and write critically about music in terms of style, purpose, and effect. Specifically, the class will examine music and its connections to the larger issues of place, tradition, religion, politics, modes of consumption, and the digital era. By learning to examine music as a cultural practice, we will be better positioned to analyze how we make meaning in our own lives in relationship to the performance and consumption of music.

Folk-F131 Folklore in the United States
Second 6 Weeks
Daily 12:45-2:00pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 11927

People from all over the world call the United States of America home. Some arrived centuries ago, others arrived only a few years ago. But what does it mean to be American? Throughout the semester we will examine a broad range of expressive culture, and discuss how these expressions relate to who “we” are, regionally and ethnically. We will work to understand what folklore is, what folklore does, and why folklore is so important for analyzing and thinking about culture and human interaction within the United States. Through lectures, videos, slides, audio recordings and a few guest lectures, we will explore contemporary folklore in the U.S., for example, by studying urban legends, personal narratives, tattoos, and car art. We can also understand the present by looking at the past, seeing global influences on the folktales, food, and body art of the United States. Students will engage many of these ideas on a deeper level by pursuing their own folklore project using the fieldwork techniques taught in class. The goal of this class is not only to provide students with a survey of U.S. folklore materials but also to have students understand how folklore plays a role in their own daily lives.

Folk-E388 Motown
Second 6 Weeks
MTWR 11:30am-1:20pm
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 11322

This course surveys the development of Motown Record Corporation during the period in which company founder Berry Gordy was owner. While placing emphasis on the Detroit years (1959-1972), the course also surveys the post-Detroit period (1972-1988). Through lecture, demonstration, and audio-visual experience, the course seeks to illuminate: 1) the relationship between the music and the context in which it was produced, and 2) the significance of Motown to the history and culture of America. The course explores issues related to the people, musical works, creative processes, business practices, events, communication media, technology, and sociocultural factors that contributed to Motown's identity as a unique artistic, commercial, and cultural phenomenon.