Folklore & Folklife
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Center for Folklore and Ethnography
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For more information about Folklore and Folklife,at UPenn, contact Professor Dan Ben-Amos at dbamos@sas.upenn.edu.

For assistance with the Folklore and Folklife website, contact Linda Lee at lindalee@sas.upenn.edu.
 

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FOLK 213 601 Folklore and Literature

D. Samper
Lecturer: Thursday 5:30-9:40 PM

Contact: dsamper@sas.upenn.edu

This course regards the field of literature and folklore as one world: a single domain comprising innumerable, diverse systems. Whether people use writing or not, they compose and perform stories, rhymes, and plays. Why then are literature and folklore regarded as separate? One set of questions asked in the course focuses on the genres, performance, publication, and artists of several societies, both literate and non-literate. Another set of questions examines the ways that well-known literary artists use folklore and thus take part in folk tradition. In cross-cultural perspective, the course analyzes how literary canons are formed and reinforced. how literary judgments are made by audiences and critics, and whether the concepts of Western criticism can be applied to the verbal art of non-Western peoples. Along with literary texts, reading include critical and folkloristic commentary and anthropological information on the nature of the poetic, the role of the artist, and the social constraints on literary production and performance.

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