FOLK 407 640 Nationalism and Folklore in a World
Seminar: Thursday, 5:30-8:10 pm
The title of the course reflects its dual goals: on the one hand,
we wish to explore how folklore and folklore research, especially
in Europe, have been connected historically to a territory language,
and national belonging. Toward this end, we will examine various
attempts to find in national wisdom evidence of ancient origin,
glorious history, and cultural uniqueness. On the other hand,
we want to understand the process of establishing a national folklore.
We will examine various cultural expressions and/or inventions
of the national "us" perspective. Specifically, we will
explore the roles of notions such as 'tradition" and authenticity
in elevating elements of an ethnic group's folklore to the favored
status of national folklore. In this context, we will consider
what account for the endurance of some nationalistic representations
as opposed to others in a world that is constantly changing. We
will us the Balkan Slavic countries (Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia
and Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina) as
case studies, though students will be expected to bring their
own ethnic/national background and experience to the class discussions.
Reading will be from both contemporary and historical sources,
and will concern both practical problems and theoretical issues.
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