Folklore & Folklife
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For more information about Folklore and Folklife,at UPenn, contact Professor Dan Ben-Amos at

For assistance with the Folklore and Folklife website, contact Linda Lee at

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Financial Support, Fellowships and Grants

As of fiscal year 2001-02, the graduate school has changed its fellowship procedures. The preference is to award a select number of multi-year funding packages. Students who are not awarded such a package should seek financial aid outside the program. Consult the following website: Student Financial Services

Students applying for the M.A. degree are not considered for funding.

The program is alloted a limited number of 4 year fellowships (William Penn Fellowship). This fellowship offers one year of full funding (4 courses per semester plus stipend), two years of in service funding (3 courses per semester plus service as a teaching or research assistant), and a final year of full funding. Teaching or research duties vary, depending on the course or faculty member a student is assigned to. The time commitment per week is approximately 15 hours per week. The stipend is set by the Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences in May of each year.

Funding beyond the Program

Teaching assistantships as well as research positions are occasionally made available by other programs and programs, and we encourage students to inquire about opportunities in program/programs that may interest them.

Writing Across The University (WATU)

From outside the program, we normally can expect additional support in the form of course units and stipend from the University Writing Program. WATU is a program designed to extend the teaching of writing beyond the confines of the English program, over disciplinary boundaries, throughout the university. Through the struggle to write clearly students can come to understand the content of their courses better, and hone their own thought processes and styles of argument. There are several employment possibilities with Writing Across the University:

1) as a specially trained teaching assistant

2) as a writing consultant assigned to a course (in our Program or in a related discipline

3) as a Writing Center consultant. Stipends for these positions vary with the size of the class.

WATU Teaching Assistantships. In return for a stipend which supplements their salaries, teaching assistants attend training sessions and accept responsibility for integrating the teaching of writing with their teaching of the discipline, ensuring that students write informally as well as formally on a regular basis, and supervise the students writing processes.

WATU Writing Consultants. In some cases professors/instructors want to affiliate a course but no teaching assistant is assigned by the graduate program. In these instances, WATU will support a writing consultant. Although the role varies from course to course, typically a consultant will work with the professor to design appropriate writing requirements for the course, help develop writing assignments, read and evaluate student drafts and meet with students individually to discuss their writing.

Writing Center Consultants. At times there are positions available at the Writing Center. The Writing Center staff consists of approximately ten graduate students in various disciplines, many of them also WATU fellows. They advise graduate students and faculty as well as undergraduates (pay is approx. $12.00/hr. or salary depending on length of employment).

WATU Training. In return for their stipends from WATU, writing fellows participate in a day-long orientation each semester as well as a series of seminars, group meetings and lectures. THIS TRAINING IS IMPORTANT AND USEFUL. You MUST attend the training session if you want to work as a WATU consultant.

Chimicles Fellowship

Students who have completed their course work may be nominated for Chimicles Fellowships for the teaching of writing; these allow a student to teach his/her own course of the Writing about Folklore variety, they pay dissertation tuition and a stipend at the same level as TA-ships.


Graderships are available through the English Program, and usually involve grading two sets of papers, or one set of papers plus the midterm and final. Usually the courses involved are survey courses with enrollments of up to 100 students. With large enrollments, two graders may split a class.

Dr. David Espey, Director of the Freshman English Program, who hires graders, can be contacted at 407 Bennett Hall or 215-898-7360. Graderships pay approximately $10/hour, up to a maximum of $2,000 a semester. Hours are estimated rather than tabulated, and such an estimation includes reading time and class time as well as grading time. The grader, instructor and Dr. Espey agree on a set amount at the beginning of the semester, which can be dispersed on a monthly or biweekly basis. **For spring graderships, see Dr. Espey in December, and have a vitae prepared.

College of General Studies (CGS) Courses

In September, syllabi for proposed CGS courses for the following academic year (Fall and Spring terms) are solicited. A list of courses for which instructors are sought is supplied when the call for proposals goes out. These courses are offered through the College of General Studies and generally meet in the evening. Any student who has completed his or her course work and has no Incompletes may submit a course proposal. The proposals are reviewed by the faculty, who select a limited number of courses to be taught the following year.

While students might prefer to propose courses in their specialized fields of interest, there is a specific demand for more general, introductory classes and the courses selected will be based mainly on the requirements of the CGS folklore program or the Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) program. These general introductory classes provide excellent experience for academics-to-be. GCS pay rates are determined annually. Applicants should inquire about the current rates when submitting proposals.

Creating Your Own Employment Opportunity

If you have been assigned through our program as a TA, you may suggest to the professor that he/she affiliate the class with WATU. If you have no TA assignment but know of an undergraduate class with which you would like to work, contact the professor and discuss the possibility of a WATU affiliation. You may be able to negotiate a WATU Consultant position for yourself. Be sure to start the process the semester before the class is to be held so that the professor can start the affiliation process. The course must be affiliated - IN ADVANCE - don't wait until the last moment!

If you have writing skills and knowledge of other disciplines conventions, you may want to submit a writing sample along with your résumé to the director of WATU; occasionally there are openings for trained WATU fellows in other university programs and your name can be placed on file.


You may create your own tutoring enterprise by advertising on your own, or you may want to contact The Tutoring and Learning Resource Center, 3828 Locust Walk, Suite 109, 215-898-8596, Bernadine Abad, Director. Sources may also exist in other programs and programs; in the past, students have often discovered these options on their own initiative, based on special interests and skills in, for example, language or area studies research.

Nota bene: In allocating the program's support positions and in recommending students to extra-departmental funding options, the faculty will closely examine a students course record and general performance. Incompletes generally disqualify students from financial support.

If you have questions regarding specific funding options and what they are currently worth, or about any special needs you might have, please do not hesitate to notify the graduate chair; The Graduate Chair for the 2001-2002 academic year is Dan Ben-Amos, who can be reached by e-mail at

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