All societies have dynamic genres of folklore: expressive culture such as verbal art, song and dance, festivals and games, culinary traditions, material culture and customary knowledge ("informal learning"). It thrives in public and private spheres, permeates daily life as well as special occasions, and has never been limited to the “folk.” This course provides a general introduction to the theories, concepts and methodologies used in studying folklore within the discipline of anthropology. We will study the forms and characteristics of folklore, especially oral knowledge and narrative, to understand its role as historical artifact, window into culture, and as communicative process. Illustrations will come primarily from America’s many cultures — Native, regional and popular. Students will learn to analyze their own folklore traditions as well as those of others and apply folklore methods in an original, class research project.