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Folklore and the Supernatural

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Subject Area: 

Course Number: 

FOLK 406 601


Secondary Program: 

Course Description: 

Beliefs in the supernatural have not diminished appreciably in modern cultures, in spite of many predictions that they would do so. Recent public opinion surveys indicate that many Americans hold supernatural beliefs or have had experiences they believe to be supernatural. This course will introduce key concepts in the study of culture and the supernatural. We will examine traditional beliefs about supernatural beings, supernatural realms, and humans who interact with these, as well as the historical development of Western ideas of “the supernatural” itself. The goals of this course are to: gain an introduction to critical concepts, approaches, and methods in the study of culture and the supernatural; enhance understanding of human diversity through the study of cross-cultural examples of supernatural folklore; and develop an understanding of the ways in which various genres of folklore have been used as vehicles for the expression of human relationships to the supernatural. Some areas we may consider include witchcraft, ghosts, vampires, fairies, UFOs, supernatural assault, Neopaganism, saints healing, legend tripping, and dark tourism. And there will be room for students to explore other areas of interest.  

Registration for Current LPS Students

Current Penn Students visit Penn InTouch.

Dates and deadlines

For important registration dates and deadlines, see the Academic Calendar.

Permit Queries for Undergraduate Courses

This table provides you with information on the LPS policies for course registration and quotas for our courses. Please be advised that course enrollments are in flux during the drop/add period. We will update this web page daily if any changes in course status occur. Students who have been closed out of classes by quotas or who are attempting to register for classes that are full are advised to register for backup courses, to continue to try to register for their preferred courses and to check this page regularly for any course updates.

If sections are closed, students will not be able to register. If the course appears open, but you are told you cannot register, no permits will be granted as the remaining seats have been reserved for LPS students. Please check the course’s crosslisting to see if a seat might be available in another section. If you have further questions please contact:

Fall 2020 Course Registration and Permit Queries

Download Excel File

(updated 04/14/20)

Dates & Deadlines

DeadlinesFor important registration dates and deadlines, see the LPS Academic Calendar.

Penn LPS

The lifelong learning division of Penn Arts & Sciences

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326