Folklore
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Other Concentrations

Folklore Studies Concentration

This concentration explores the processes of tradition that move through multiple expressive forms, such as folktales, folk beliefs, folk medicine, folk art, folksong, and literature. A discipline based on ethnographic fieldwork, folklore offers students a chance to work in communities and collect living traditional materials that are critical to human identity and values. Interdisciplinary by nature, folklore thrives on local particularities and compelling global connections. Internships in the many Washington, D.C., metropolitan area folklore organizations are central to students’ experiences.

This course of study prepares students for careers in cultural agencies, governmental organizations, and teaching institutions, and advanced study in the humanities.

Degree Requirements (Catalog Year 2016-2017)

Students pursuing this degree must successfully complete 36 credits of graduate course work in one of the concentrations below. Students must submit a curriculum worksheet that has been approved by their faculty adviser and the director. 

Courses applied to the degree are subject to the following restrictions: a maximum of 6 credits may be earned through independent study or directed readings and research courses; a maximum of 6 credits may be taken through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area; a maximum of 15 credits may be transfer credits; a maximum of 6 of the transfer credits may be from other accredited institutions.

Transfer credits include credits taken before first enrolling as an admitted degree-seeking student (at another institution, in another Mason graduate program, or in Mason nondegree status) or credits taken at another institution after admission to the degree program through study abroad or study elsewhere (which requires prior written approval of the director and the dean). Additional information may be found in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

All students complete their work in the program with a project or thesis. Students are required to take MAIS 796 - MAIS ProSeminar (1 credit), MAIS 797 - Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal (1 credit), and either MAIS 798 - Interdisciplinary Studies Project (1-4 credits) or MAIS 799 - Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (3-4 credits). Students electing to complete the concentration in community college teaching with a thesis will complete 38 credits.

◊ Concentration in Folklore Studies (FLKS)

This concentration explores the processes of tradition that move through multiple expressive forms, such as folktales, folk beliefs, folk medicine, folk art, folksong, and literature. A discipline based on ethnographic fieldwork, folklore offers students a chance to work in communities and collect living traditional materials that are critical to human identity and values. Interdisciplinary by nature, folklore thrives on local particularities and compelling global connections. Internships in the many Washington, D.C., metropolitan area folklore organizations are central to students’ experiences. This course of study prepares students for careers in cultural agencies, governmental organizations, teaching institutions, and advanced study in the humanities.

Students pursuing this concentration must complete at least 6 credits of courses from outside the English Department.

One required course of proseminar (1 credit)

MAIS 796 - MAIS ProSeminar

Six core courses (18 credits)

Special topics in folklore (9 credits) chosen from:

Courses may be repeated.

ENGH 590 - Topics in Folk Narrative

ENGH 591 - Topics in Folklore Studies

ENGH 681 - Advanced Topics in Folklore Studies

ENGH 798 - Directed Reading and Research (take 3 credits)

Pathways in folklore scholarship (3 credits)

ENGH 681 - Advanced Topics in Folklore Studies (when topic is Pathways to Folklore Scholarship)

Internship in folklore (3 credits)

ENGH 604 - Internship in Folklore (take 3 credits)

Research methodology course (3 credits) chosen from:

ENGH 701 - Research in English Studies

HIST 610 - The Study and Writing of History

SOCI 634 - Qualitative Research Methods

Specialization (9 credits)

Students choose an area of specialization which must be approved by a faculty advisor.  Specialization topics include public folklore (museums, archives, arts and humanities councils, and nonprofit organizations); folklore (ethnicity and immigration); folklore and literature; folklore and the teaching of writing and literature; folklore and history; and folklore and conflict resolution. Students can also opt for open specialization, with courses chosen in consultation with advisor. Possibilities include folklore and editing, applied storytelling, folklore and mythology, folklore and art history, folklore and gender studies, and folklore and communication.

One to two elective courses (3 to 6 credits)

Electives require the prior written approval of a faculty advisor. Student who elect to do a 1 credit project take 6 elective credits. Students who do a 4 credit thesis take 3 elective credits.

Proposal (1 credit)

MAIS 797 - Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal

Project (1 credit) or thesis (4 credits)

MAIS 798 - Interdisciplinary Studies Project  (take 1 credit)

 or

MAIS 799 - Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)

Total: 36 credits

Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

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