College of Humanities and Social Sciences


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 2014-2015)

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 Credits: 1

Six core courses (18 credits)

Special topics in folklore (9 credits) chosen from:

Courses may be repeated.
ENGH 590 - Topics in Folk Narrative Credits: 3
ENGH 591 - Topics in Folklore Studies Credits: 3
ENGH 681 - Advanced Topics in Folklore Studies Credits: 3
ENGH 798 - Directed Reading and Research Credits: 1-6 (take 3 credits)

Pathways in folklore scholarship (3 credits)

ENGH 681 - Advanced Topics in Folklore Studies Credits: 3 (when topic is Pathways to Folklore Scholarship)

Internship in folklore

ENGH 604 - Internship in Folklore Credits: 1-6 (take 3 courses)

Research methodology course (3 credits) chosen from:

ENGH 701 - Research in English Studies Credits: 3
HIST 610 - The Study and Writing of History Credits: 3
SOCI 634 - Qualitative Research Methods Credits: 3

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 also can 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. Students  who elect to do a 1 credit project take 6 credits. Students who do a 4 credit thesis take 3 elective credits.

Proposal (1 credit)

MAIS 797 - Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal Credits: 1

Project (1 credits) or thesis (4 credits)

MAIS 798 - Interdisciplinary Studies Project Credits: 1-5 (take 1 credit) or MAIS 799 - Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis Credits: 1-5 (take 4 credits)

Total: 36 Credits

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

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