Folklore & Folklife
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Center for Folklore and Ethnography
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Undergraduate Minor
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FOLK 650 301 Folklore and Critical Regionalism

Mary Hufford
Seminar: Wednesday 12:00-2:00


In tandem with global political and economic restructuring, and the related unsettling of national and local identities, scholarship on place has burgeoned. Recently, scholars from multiple disciplines have called for a shift from identity-centered approaches to the study of place and region to amore critical assessment of how the encounter of the local with "the larger than local" is articulated (Shuman, 1993). "Critical regionalism," a term hailing from architectural theory, names an effort to "frame a dialogue between localized dimensionality and the imperatives of international architecture"(Frampton, 1981). One way of framing this dialogue is to examine the imaginaries that span disjunctive places "twinned" through those larger than local processes, imaginaries that regionalize from within (Herr, 1996). What’re the foundations for such a project in folkloristic, and what is the role of ethnography in cultivating critical regionalism? To get at such questions, we will examine selected regional ethnographies and place-based folklore programs. Work for the course will include 1) evaluating a regional ethnography and a public program in light of critical regionalist theory and 2)developing, with a partner or group, a proposal for a multi-site kethnography anchored partly in the mid-Atlantic region.

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