ENGH 315: Folklore and Folklife

ENGH 315-001: Folklore and Folklife
(Fall 2020)

12:00 PM to 01:15 PM MW


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Section Information for Fall 2020

This course equips students with the tools to identify, document and analyze folklore’s role in our everyday lives. Rather than simply a checklist of cultural artifacts or genres – stories, customs, handcrafts – we explore how folklore operates as an unofficial body of cultural knowledge and aesthetic practices, and as a communicative process that incorporates both continuity and creativity. This frees us from the notion that “the folk” are always situated elsewhere or in the past, by shifting our attention to the artistry and agency of those who perform and share folklore in specific contexts for specific purposes. We investigate, for example, how folklore adapts to changes in technology, and how it intersects in often unexpected ways with popular and elite cultures. We consider how folklore serves not only to create, maintain and express senses of identity among groups, but also to communicate social difference, tensions and resistance.

ENGH 315 001 is a distance-learning section taught synchronously. Students should expect to be online during the scheduled course meetings.

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Topics include folktales, personal narratives, legends, proverbs, jokes, folk songs, folk art and craft, and folk architecture. Considers ethnicity, community, family, festival, folklore in literature, and oral history. Discusses traditions in students' own lives. Limited to three attempts.
Mason Core: Arts
Recommended Prerequisite: Satisfaction of University requirements in 100-level English and in Mason Core literature.
Schedule Type: Lecture

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