AMCULT 219 - Survey of American Folklore
Section: 001
Term: FA 2009
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course is a survey of the unofficial culture that has helped shape the American experience, with special emphasis on oral literature, conventional belief, and traditional lifeways. Together we examine various forms of folklore: from the tales of witches and devils that preoccupied the 17th century to the urban legends of "vanishing hitchhikers" of today. The course will feature special sections on dance, material culture, and folk music — especially the emergence of the blues as a musical force. This course helps us understand what it is to be "American" and how we define that status through our traditions and beliefs.

Intended audience: Undergraduates in general.

Course Requirements: 3 quizzes (essay), final essay exam, collection project (1500-word essay, collection items, transcriptions, etc.)

Class Format: Students are expected to attend two 1.5 hour lecture sessions each week.

This course bridges many areas of American Culture offerings and draws them together through the common threads of belief, custom, tradition, and ritual. It introduces students to the broad field of folklore that encompasses philology, anthropology, literary studies, and the humanities in general. The collection component is especially valuable to American Culture students since it introduces students to fieldwork methodology and asks them to produce a collection that will be accessioned into the American Culture Folklore and Oral History Archives. LSA undergraduates gain a valuable insight into the ways in which our cultural and ethnic backgrounds not only differ, but are brought together with many of the same traditions and customs. Folklore, as a universal phenomenon is a perfect topic to address issues of diversity and our mutual commonalities.

AMCULT 219 - Survey of American Folklore
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0393972232
The study of American folklore : an introduction, Author: Jan Harold Brunvand., Publisher: Norton 4th ed. 1998
ISBN: 0874216117
Living folklore : an introduction to the study of people and their traditions, Author: Martha C. Sims, Martine Stephens., Publisher: Utah State University Press 2005
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