Sense of Place is a field of folklore scholarship that examines the relationship between material culture (i.e., homes, mementos, souvenirs, furniture) on the human perception of everyday experience. We all know when we feel that we are in place or at home; similarly, most Americans have had to struggle with feeling ill at ease after moving from one city to another or when traveling abroad. Sense of place scholarship considers how the material world influences human experiences and shape our perceptions of the world around us.,
This course will examine sense of place as it pertains to the development of social relations and community identity. We will consider how sense of place is shaped in fiction, and will read novels and short stories where place is privileged over plot and character development. We’ll also explore ethnographic studies of communities where sense of place is grounded in a mythical/historical past and is actively promoted by community members. Many of our readings explore how the tensions between memory and modernity are played out in the construction of the sense of place. Thus we will consider collective and individual memory, viewed not only as recollections of past traditions and experiences, but as a means of actively engaging the contemporary, and by extension situating place in the landscape of modernity's paradoxes and contradictions.
For full syllabus go to folklore.gmu.edu to “related sites” or https://gmufolklorestudies.pbworks.com
Explores advanced folklore and folklife topics such as bodylore, sense of place, festival, folk drama, and folk narrative studies.
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits when topic is different.