Folklore & Folklife Course and Room Roster for Spring 2001

Course information is subject to change.

FOLK 009 301 Worlds Within the City
Brian Gregory
Seminar: Monday, Wednesday 3:00-4:30; Williams 421
Fulfills The College Writing Requirement

This course extends the classroom to include the diverse neighborhoods and places of Philadelphia and its suburbs. Students will have the opportunity to explore--through class fieldtrips and individual research projects--forgotten corners and everyday landscapes. From the mirrored murals of South Street to the decaying hull of long-abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary, from neighborhood Irish pubs to corner schoolyards where pick-up basketball games are played, students will learn how writing can be used to effectively convey the often elusive "sense of place" that marks human inhabitation of a particular spot on the map. The class will be conducted in a writing workshop format. In addition to conferences and written responses from the instructor, students will form a community of readers for the writing of their peers. Writing assignments will include journal writing in response to class readings and discussions; ethnographic "field reports" recording observations of chosen locales; and a final writing project, developed in consultation with the instructor, in some way documenting a particular urban or suburban space. Students will be introduced to principles of urban ethnography, developing skills of observation, interviewing, and documenting. This ethnographic approach allows students to put into practice the oft-invoked truism to "write what you know" by giving writers a concrete approach for translating personal experience in the world into written form. In the course of the semester students will develop a portfolio of ethnographic-based writing in which, based on individual writing goals, students can approach a variety of writing genres.
Contact: Brian D. Gregory

FOLK 009 302 Writing About Spaces
Veronica Aplenc
Seminar: Monday, Wednesday: 3:00-4:30; Williams 315
Fulfills The College Writing Requirement

Embodied Memory/History in the Urban Landscape: McDonalds or Independence Hall? Do you believe your local McDonald's plays a significant role in your city's history? In the same way as other buildings, or less? The contemporary North American landscape contains many markers of our collective identity, some designated so intentionally and some not. Through examining local historic sites, including both traditional and not-so-traditional ones, we will examine the ways in which our nation incorporates history into public spaces as an embodiment of our collective sense of identity, with attention to how we interact with this history. Our discussions will help us interrogate the ways in which our nation understands its past and reinterprets it through local cultural expressions as a means of better understanding our own conceptions of society and culture. In parallel with our disciplinary focus of analyzing the built environment and related cultural phenomena, we will also sharpen our ability to write clear and persuasive arguments. The main class requirements will take the form of brief responses to the readings and three medium-length papers. Other requirements will include readings on diverse topics; active class participation; several short fieldtrips and the taking of field notes; visual analysis of architectural sites, written and oral; and conferences with the instructor.
Contact: Veronica Aplenc

FOLK 022 401 World Music and Culture
Lecture: Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00-11:00; Music Building 302
Cross-listed with: MUSC 022
Fulfills General Requirements III: Arts & Letters

This course draws on repertories of various societies from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas to examine relations between aesthetic productions and social processes. We investigate musical sounds, cultural logics informing those sounds, and social strategies of performance. Topics may include indigenous music theories, music and social organization, symbolic expressions and musical meaning, gender, religion, and social change.
Contact: Music Department - 215-898-7544

FOLK 022 402 World Music and Culture
Professor Carol Ann Muller
Lecture: Tuesday, Thursday: 12:00-1:30; Music Annex 210
Contact: Carol A. Muller;215-898-4985 or 898-7544
Requirements, Descriptions and Cross-listings are same as above.

FOLK 022 403 World Music and Culture
Lecture: Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 12:00-1:00; Music Building 302
Requirements, Descriptions and Cross-listings are same as above.
Contact: Music Department - 215-898-7544

FOLK 022 601 World Music and Culture
Rose Theresa
Lecture: Thursday: 4:30-7:10; Music Annex 210
Requirements, Descriptions and Cross-listings are same as above.
Contact: Music Department - 215-898-7544

FOLK 029 401 Women and Religion
Dr. Alexandra Griswold
Lecture: Tuesday, Thursday: 3:00-4:30; Williams 318
Cross-listed with: RELS 005, WSTD 109
Fulfills General Requirement I: Society

An introduction to the role of women in major religious traditions, focusing on the relationship between religion and culture. Attention to views of women in sacred texts and to recent feminist responses will be given.
Contact: Alexandra F. Griswold

FOLK 075 401 Jazz: Style and History
Professor Guthrie Ramsey
Lecture: Tuesday, Thursday: 3:00-4:30; Music Annex 210
Cross-listed with MUSC 075
Fulfills Distribution III: Arts and Letters

Exploration of the family of musical idioms called jazz. Attention will be given to issues of style, to selected musicians, and to the social, cultural, and scholarly issues raised by its study.
Contact: Guthrie Ramsey;215-898-7573

FOLK 101 601 Introduction to Folklore
Dr. Lars B. Jenner
Lecture: Monday: 6:30-9:10; Logan 493
Fulfills General Requirement II: History & Tradition

Folklore is the culture of everyday life. From tales of Johnny Appleseed to jokes about Monica Lewinsky, from cowboy songs to the kentucky fried rat, from hooked rugs to the Mummers, we will explore the discipline as defined by what people say, what people make, and what people do with their bodies. Investigating the terms "folk" and "lore" through history, the course will track the expansion of folklore study from traditional verbal genres (proverbs, folktales, tall tales, fables, legends, ballads, epics, jokes, riddles, etc.) to include, among other things, festivals and popular entertainment, tourism and heritage sites, contemporary belief, and alternative health systems. The course will provide you with critical tools to dissect and interpret how we participate ourselves in artistic cultural expression in various folk groups today.
Contact: Dr. Lars B. Jenner

FOLK 154 401 The Image of Childhood in Literature: The Construction and Reconstruction of Early Memories in Israeli and Jewish Writings
Dr. Nili Gold
Lecture: Tuesday, Thursday: 1:30-3:00; Kelly Writers' House 202
Cross-listed with: AMES 154, COML 282, JWST 154
The course examines literary representations of childhood memories and their validity. Special attention will be given to issues such as the perception of the "other" in childhood; gender; early sexual counters; Oedipal conflicts and the attachment to the land. Tensions between reality and fiction and the point of view of the adult and the child will be discussed. Textual analysis will greatly rely on psychoanalytic and gender theories.
Contact: Dr. Nili Gold; 215-898-7466

FOLK 201 001 American Folklore
Leonard Norman Primiano
Lecture: Monday, Wednesday: 11:00 - 12:00; Stitler B26
Fulfills General Requirement in History and Tradition

FOLK 201 201 Friday 11:00-12:00; Williams 306 - Johanna Jacobsen
FOLK 201 202 Friday 11:00-12:00; Williams 319 - Shannon Geary

This course will examine American expressive culture through an exploration of narrative; music; dance; drama; public events; material arts and architecture; religion; medicine; politics; foodways; ways of speaking; and customs surrounding and celebrating work, leisure, childhood, family, aging, individuality, and community. In other words, we will be studying the 99% of American life that often goes unnoticed by other college courses! Special topics featured in 2001: tattooing, piercing, branding and other forms of contemporary body art; women's home altars; and the African-based North American religion called "Vodou."
Contact: Dr. Leonard Norman Primiano;610-902-8330

FOLK 230 401 Approaches to Narrative
Professor Regina Bendix
Lecture: Tuesday, Thursday: 1:30-3:00; Logan 392
Cross-listed with ANTH 238, COML 275
Fulfills General Requirement III: Arts & Letters
Fulfills 1/2 College Writing Requirement

Storytelling is a fundamental process in all human communities, fulfilling a variety of social, psychological and aesthetic needs. This course explores a wide spectrum of narrative forms (such as myths, legends, tales, jokes, etc.) in traditional settings as well as in new media. The course also surveys approaches to the study of narrative in folkloristics and related fields, and students learn to identify and work with some of the major theoretical approaches brought to the cultural study of narrative.
Contact:Professor Regina Bendix; 215-898-5826

FOLK 270 601 Folklore and Sexuality
Dr. David S. Azzolina
Lecture: Tuesday: 6:30-9:10; Logan 392
Cross-listed with WSTD 270

Sexuality is usually thought of as being biological or social, divided into categories of natural and unnatural. What often gets missed are its creative and communicative aspects. Examining the constructed social elements of sexuality requires attention to be paid to folklore in groups, between individuals and on the larger platform of popular technological media. The most interesting locations for exploration are those places where borderlands or margins occur between genders, orientations, and other cultural categories.
Contact: Dr. David S. Azzolina; 215-898-5322

FOLK 290 601 Ethnicity and Migration
Debra Lattanzi Shutika
Seminar: Wednesday: 6:30-9:10; Logan 392
Cross-listed with SOCI 231, URBS 266, WSTD 256
Fulfills Distribution I: Society

Immigration is a popular topic in late twentieth-century America. On nearly a daily basis, it is not uncommon to read media accounts of politicians seeking to limit immigration numbers, particularly with calls to close the "porous" border between the U.S. and Mexico. Man Americans feels that our economy cannot sustain the current influx of low-skilled immigrants, and worry that immigrants compete (or steal) jobs from native workers. Contemporary immigration patterns in the U.S. have fundamentally changed since the classical era of immigration at the beginning of the century. Although numerous studies have demonstrated that the above mentioned fears are not supported by research, America's current apprehensions regarding immigration are more likely based on a realization that in light of current immigration, the face of American ethnicity is likely to be radically altered in coming years. This course will review the historical basis for the concepts of ethnicity and migration in the social sciences, focusing on folklore's position on these topics and the folkloristic approach to vernacular culture, with particular emphasis on the formation of transnational identities. We will also consider the function of the concepts of ethnicity and migration outside academe, in popular media (film, newspapers, and the web),novels, and public discourse. We will investigate the invention of the ethnic "other" and the ongoing negotiation of foreignness and social group membership.
Contact: Debra Lattanzi Shutika; 215-573-9619

FOLK 355 401 Readings in Jewish Folklore
Professor Dan Ben-Amos
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.
Contact: Professor Dan Ben-Amos; 215-898-5857

FOLK 502 401 Fieldwork Theory
Seminar: Monday: 10:00-12:00; Williams 633
Professor Regina Bendix
Cross-listed with ANTH 506, WSTD 502
Undergraduates Need Permission

"Fieldwork" is the term folklorists and scholars in related fields use to describe the process by which they arrive at their discipline's subject matter. This includes everything from the pragmatic issues of collecting and documenting materials to the complex relations involved when people study people. Readings, short writing assignments, and class discussions will probe this spectrum of concerns comprehensively. Brief exercises are planned to experience different aspects of fieldwork. On this background of theory and practice, students will work toward designing a fieldwork based project and draft a funding proposal.
Contact:Professor Regina Bendix; 215-898-5826

FOLK 503 401 Issues in Folklore Theory
Professor Roger D. Abrahams
Seminar: Tuesday: 10:00-12:00; Williams 633
Cross-listed with ENGL 503
Undergraduates Need Permission

An introduction to folklore for graduate students, concentrating upon certain key issues in the theory and history of the discipline.
Contact: Professor Roger D. Abrahams;215-898-5685 or 898-5145

FOLK 512 640 Spirituality ... & Health

Course Cancelled

Professor David J. Hufford
Seminar: Wednesday: 4:30-7:10; Williams 421
Cross-listed with RELS 503
Undergraduates Need Permission

Although many have attributed modern medicine's success to its liberation from the ancient association of healing with religion, recent research has shown that spirituality (the personal aspect of the sacred) and relgion (the institutional forms of spiritual belief and practice) are powerful influences in health decision-making and that most American patients want spiritual matters discussed with their medical care. Additional research has documented effects of spiritual belief and relgious practice on physical and mental health, ranging from general effects of religiosity on overall health and longevity to double-blind studies of intercessory prayer. At the same time critics argue that the research is flawed and that clinical involvement in religious matters is unethical. This topic, once marginal, now appears in the pages of major medical journals and has drawn the attention of the National Institutes of Health. This course will examine a variety of spiritual traditions in realtion to health, including major world religions and those groups with highly specific health teachings such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science and shamanic traditions. Competing points of view will be considered in ethical, medical and cultural terms.
Contact: Professor David J. Hufford; 610-566-8592

FOLK 533 401 Folk and Unorthodox Health Systems
Professor David J. Hufford
Seminar: Wednesday: 12:00-2:00; Logan 337
Cross-listed with RELS 505
Undergraduates Need Permisson

In 1997, 42% of Americans used "complementary & alternative medicine (CAM) at least once and spent over $20 billion out of pocket in the process. Since 1993 the National Institute of Health has had an office, now a national center, devoted to CAM. Very few of the CAM practices getting headlines today are new, and many are very old. A debate rages in medical circles over whether the growing interest in CAM is a blessing or a curse. And patients are largely on their own in making decisions about herbs, energy healing, body work, or spiritual practices for health. This course offers students the opportunity to critically examine representative alternative/folk health beliefs and practices and their cultural position in American society. The philosophical and theoretical premises behind these health systems will be analyzed and compared to the premises of conventional, Western medicine and to one another. This will include a description and discussion of current models for understanding health behavior.
Contact: Professor David J. Hufford;610-566-8592

FOLK 544 401 Art, Artists and Society
Professor Larry Gross
Lecture: Monday 3:00-6:00; Annenberg 108
Cross-listed with COML 572, COMM 544
Undergraduates Need Permission
Permission Needed from Department

Communicational, social, and psychological approaches to the study of the creation and appreciation of aesthetic objects and events. Artistic processes and products viewed in terms of cultural and historical definitions of the nature of art and the role of the artist.
Contact: Professor Larry Gross; 215-898-5620

FOLK 547 640 Seminar: Ireland and the UK
Dr. Margaret Kruesi
Seminar: Tuesday: 5:30-8:10; Nursing Education Building 121
Undergraduates Need Permission

We will study the cultures of Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales from the perspectives of anthropology/ethnology, literature, and popular culture. Topics include contemporary re-inventions of the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon past; national identity--troubles on the borders; post-colonialism; and the world-wide Irish diaspora (especially to North America, England, and Australia). Among other issues, we will explore problems of language loss, retention, and revival; the theme of exile and the experience of immigration in memoirs, literature, and folksong; and the marketing of culture for the tourist trade.
Contact: Dr. Margaret Kruesi; 215-898-0876

FOLK 575 401 Environmental Imaginaries
Dr. Mary Hufford
Seminar: Thursday 12:00-2:00; Williams 723
Cross-listed with ENGL 584, ENVS 575, HSSC 575
Undergraduates Need Permission Behind struggles over resource use and patterns of development are collective fictions that relate us to our material surroundings. "Environmental imaginaries" refers to the competing discourses that arrange society around processes of development and change. This course will heighten your awareness of the poetics and politics of competing imaginaries and get you thinking about practical implications for scholarship, planning, and citizenship. What are the narratives that enable the separation of "culture" from "environment," the private from the commons, life space from economic space? How are these narratives grounded in such diverse sites as Appalachian strip mines, national forests, and Sea World; and in such practices as nature talks, protest rallies, and permit hearings? Drawing on theories of worldmaking, and on case studies of culture and environment, we will explore the cultural aspects of environmental policy, the potential of ethnographic fieldwork as a strategy for community-based planning, and the legislative and institutional toeholds for defending the commons on cultural grounds. Coursework will include keeping a journal in which you relate course readings to a current environmental issue of your choice, making an in-class presentation, and a final paper.
Contact: Dr. Mary Hufford

FOLK 603 640 Food, Culture, & Society
Profs. Regina Bendix and Janet S. Theophano
Seminar: Monday: 5:30-8:10; Logan 392
Cross-listed with ANTH 601, RELS 603
Undergraduates Need Permission

Behind a simple proverb like "You are what you eat" lies a great deal of food for thought. Human beings have always elaborated on the biological necessity of eating, and this course will explore the myriad ways in which people work, think, and communicate with food. The course will survey the major approaches from folklore, anthropology and related fields toward the role of food, cookery, feasting and fasting in culture. Among the topics to be addressed are gender roles and differences in foodways, the significance of food in historical transformations, the transmission of foodways in writing and publishing, the relationship of foodways to ethnicity and region, the intimate connection between food and belief, and foodways in the global market place. Short exercises and a term project will provide students with opportunities to research and write about foodways from different angles.
Contact: Prof. Regina Bendix; 215-898-5826
Contact: Dr. Janet S. Theophano ; 215-898-5389

FOLK 605 401 Anthropology of Music
Professor Carol Ann Muller
Seminar: Tuesday: 2:00-5:00; Van Pelt Libary, MASeminar
Cross-listed with MUSC 605

This seminar in ethnomusicology examines music from a cultural perspective. We investigate theoretical and methodological issues that arise when music is situated within an ethnographic context. Theories from anthropology and folklore are studied as they have been applied in ethnomusicology, including structural-functionalism, structuralism, symbolic anthropology, and performance theory. Topics include music and social structure; ritual and performance; social change and historical process; class, ethnic identity, and gender. Case studies from around the globe enrich this exploration of music in culture.
Contact: Professor Carol Ann Muller; 215-898-4985

FOLK 620 402 Feminist Theories
Professor Ann Farnsworth-Alvear
Professor Kathleen Brown
Seminar: Tuesday: 2:00-5:00; Moore Building 223
Cross-listed with HIST 620
Undergraduates Need Permission

This course gives students the opportunity to engage with the most significant theoretical influences upon feminist thought and historical scholarship in the last 35 years. Foucault, Bourdieu, Rubin, Butler, and Freud are just some of the theorists we will discuss. We will also incorporate recent works in feminist film theory and queer theory. Our focus is twofold: working collectively through difficult theory that is too daunting to tackle alone, and exploring possible applications of feminist theory for feminist politics and historical studies of women, gender and sexuality. Approximately half of our course reading will be devoted to work designated as "theory" and the other half to recent applications by historians.
Contact: Professor Ann Farnsworth-Alvear; 215-898-5704
Professor Kathleen Brown; 215-898-5281

FOLK 629 401 Theories of Myth
Professor Dan Ben-Amos
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.
Contact: Professor Dan Ben-Amos; 215-898-5857

FOLK 639 401 Issues in Cultural Studies
Professor Barbie Zelizer
Lecture: Monday:1:00-3:00; Annenberg 318
Cross-listed with COMM 639

This course tracks the different theoretical appropriations of "culture" and examines how the meanings we attach to it depend on the perspectives through which we define it. The course first addresses perspectives on culture suggested by anthropology, sociology, communication, and aesthetics, and then considers the tensions across academic disciplines that have produced what is commonly known as "cultural studies." The course is predicated on the importance of becoming cultural critics versed in alternative ways of naming cultural problems, issues, and texts. The course aims not to lend closure to competing notions of culture but to illustrate the diversity suggested by different approaches.
Contact: Professor Barbie Zelizer; 215-898-4964

FOLK 706 401 Culture/Power/Identities
Professor Kathleen Hall
Lecture: Tuesday: 12:00-2:00; 3440 Market Street, 484
Cross-listed with EDUC 706, URBS 706

This course will introduce students to a conceptual language and the theoretical tools to analyze the complex dynamics of racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, and class differences. The students will critically examine the interrelationships between culture, power, and identities through the recent contributions in cultural studies, critical pedagogy and post-structuralist theory and will explore the usefulness of these ideas for improving their own work as researchers and as practitioners.
Contact: Professor Kathleen Hall; 215-573-9612

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