Folklore & Folklife
Logan Hall
Center for Folklore and Ethnography
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Undergraduate Minor
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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 009 301 Vernacular Art and Artists

Michael Murray
Lecture: Tuesday and Thursday 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Requirements: Fulfills the writing requirement
Contact: mlmurray@sas.upenn.edu

Critics and scholars tend toward a definition of "art" as something removed and elevated from ordinary life by the genius and individuality of its makers. These novel creations represent one kind of aesthetic but it is certainly not the only one. What are we to make of the aesthetic productions of everyday people that are no less "artistic?" Consider for a moment the mastery exhibited in an heirloom quilt the careful decoration of a yard for Halloween or the dioramas used by a veteran to memorialize battles fought. In this course we examine the aesthetic characteristics community inspirations and the social and political impulses of everyday vernacular artists and their work in all media. Our class will be a writing workshop in which we practice the art of college writing. Students will regularly share their ideas and writings with classmates. Assignments will consist of short essays based on readings discussions and fieldtrips as well as longer essays based on research.

 
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