Courses

Spring 1998 Courses

FOLK 296 401 Ethnic Humor
Lecture: Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-12:00 (Dan Ben-Amos) TOWN 309
Cross-listed with AFAM 296, AMES 290, COML 296

Humor is, among other things, a socially and ethnically bound form of communication. On the one hand it functions to enhance group cohesion, on the other hand it represents the prejudices and stereotypes of inter-ethnic relations, and often manifests covert aggression. This course will explore the theory and research methods of ethnic humor. Specific case studies will involve American ethnic groups such as African-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Jews, Polish-Americans, Swedish-Americans, and others. Students will be engaged in the study of the particular ethnic mosaic of Philadelphia. Students will be involved in field-work projects that will bring them into contact with an ethnic group of their choice. The last part of the course term will be devoted to research presentation and critique by students.


FOLK 531 401 Prose Narrative
Seminar: Tuesday 2:00-4:00 (Dan Ben-Amos) MRKT 372
Cross-listed with COML 560

Fulfills Distribution I: Society The topics of discussion in the course are the following: the nature of narrative, narrative taxonomy and terminology, performance in storytelling events, the transformation of historical experience into narrative, the construction of symbolic reality, the psycho-social interpretation of folktales, the search for minimal units, the historic-geographic method in folktale studies, the folktale in history and the history of folktale research.


Fall 1998 Courses

FOLK 229 401 Myth in Society
Lecture: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00-12:00
Room: TBA
Cross-listed with: COML 357
Fulfills Distribution III: Arts & Letters

In this course we will explore the mythologies of selected peoples in the Ancient Near East, Africa, Asia, and Native North and South America and examine how the gods function in the life and belief of each society.
The study of mythological texts will be accompanied, as much as possible, by illustrative slides that will show the images of these deities in art and ritual.


FOLK 296 401 Ethnic Humor
Lecture: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:00-1:00
Room: TBA
Cross-listed with: AFAM 296, AMES 290, COML 296

Humor is, among other things, a socially and ethnically bound form of communication. On the one hand it functions to enhance group cohesion, on the other hand it represents the prejudices and stereotypes of inter-ethnic relations, and often manifests covert aggression.
This course will explore the theory and research methods of ethnic humor. Specific case studies will involve American ethnic groups such as African-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Jews, Polish-Americans, Swedish-Americans, and others. Students will actively engage in the study of the particular ethnic mosaic of Philadelphia.
Students will be involved in field-work projects that will bring them into contact with an ethnic group of their choice. The last part of the course term will be devoted to research presentation and critique by students.

FOLK 606 401 History of Folklore Studies
Seminar: Wednesday 2:00-4:00
Room: 371, 3440 Market Street
Cross-listed with: COML 760, HSSC 680
*Permission needed from Department*

This course is a survey of the theoretical basis and the historical development of research in international and American folkloristics.


Fall 2000 Courses

FOLK 280 401 Jewish Folklore
Lecture: Tuesday, Thursday 9:00-10:30
General Requirement II: History and Tradition
Cross-listed with: AMES 243, COML 283, JWST 260, RELS 221

The Jews are among the few nations and ethnic groups whose oral tradition occurs in literary and religious texts dating back more than two thousand years. This tradition changed and diversified over the years in terms of the migrations of Jews into different countries and the historical, social, and cultural changes that these countries underwent. The course attempts to capture the historical and ethnic diversity of Jewish folklore in a variety of oral literary forms. A basic book of Hasidic legends from the 18th century will serve as a key text to explore problems in Jewish folklore relating to both ,earlier and later periods.


FOLK 606 401 History of Folklore Studies
Seminar: Tuesday 11:00-1:00
Cross-listed with: COML 760, HSSC 680

This course serves as a survey of the theoretical basis and historical development of research in international and American folkloristics.

 



Spring 2001 Courses

FOLK 355 401 Readings in Jewish Folklore
Seminar: Wednesday: 2:00-5:00; Williams 302
Cross-listed with AMES 358

For the last forty five years folklorists in Israel have been recording and transcribing folktales told by Jews
who came to Israel from many countries. In this course we will read - in Hebrew and English translation -
tales that were submitted to the Israel Folktale Archives. We will try to interpret them by employing
comparative, historical, literary and cultural analyses.

 

FOLK 629 401 Theories of Myth
https://courseweb.upenn.edu/courses/FOLK629-401-2001A/
Seminar: Tuesday 12:00-2:00; Van Pelt Library, Weigle Teaching Seminar Room, 4th Floor
Cross-listed with AMES 656, COML 662, RELS 605
Undergraduates Need Permission

Theories of myth are the center of modern and post-modern, structural and post-structural thought. Myth has
served as a vehicle and a metaphor for the formulation of a broad range of modern theories. In this course
we will examine the theoretical foundations of these approaches to myth focusing on early thinkers such as
Vico, and concluding with modern twentieth century scholars in several disciplines that make myth the
central idea of their studies.

 

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