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February 12, 2014

UO Global Seminar in South India

UO Global Seminar in South India, “Tibetan Buddhism in India” has students from Folklore, Ethnic Studies, Sociology, and Anthropology studying Tibetan and Kannadiga cultures in Karnataka State

Ten to fifteen students take four courses in folklore, sociology, philosophy, and religious studies. This Global Seminar, sponsored and administered by UO’s Office of International Affairs, is offered every other year:

Students commenced the winter term with an intensive course on folk culture in the Folk traditions of South India.


December 11, 2013

Major or Minor in Folklore

The Professional Folklorist

Folklorists work in the public and private sector as educators, museum workers, festival planners, cultural consultants, intercultural communication specialists, writers, scholars, arts administrators, archivists, and librarians.

Students of folklore learn:

  • About diverse cultural, regional, religious, occupational, and familial communities in the United States and abroad
  • How traditions enrich and express dynamics of human behavior throughout the world
  • Historical, cultural, social, and psychological dimensions of folklore forms
  • How to critically analyze cultural expression
  • How to do original research in local communities


If interested in the Major or Minor, contact:

Prof. Lisa Gilman


Office: Folklore Program, 118 PLC

August 22, 2013

Recent Faculty News

Folklore core faculty member Doug Blandy has been appointed Vice Provost of Academic Affairs. He has also partnered with professor emerita Kristin Congdon of the University of Central Florida to lead the re-launch of ChinaVine ( Traditional and contemporary Chinese art and culture is finding life on the Internet, thanks to a collaborartion to preserve China’s culutral heritage for a new generation. The project is a team effort among the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of Oregon (UO), Shandong University of Art and Design, Beijing Normal University and other partners in the USA and China. Through ChinaVine, the group is sharing Chinese customs, art, and folk culture using modern technology. (more…)


February 2012

Room 142 in the Music building is a typical classroom—chairs, podium, and projector—the perfect venue for lectures. But on Monday nights from seven to nine, it undergoes a magical transformation into a world of fast-paced Balkan folk music. This is Dr. Mark Levy’s Balkan Folk Music Ensemble, a two-credit class open to musicians of all types and talents. Dr. Levy is an ethnomusicologist and teaches in the School of Music and Dance.

“Why does Bulgarian music have so many notes? There’s a good punch line on that,” Dr. Levy asks during a break in the music, and then launches into an explanation on ornamentation.

“It gets fast. Just do what you can,” he adds, and demonstrates the difference between a simple riff and riff played with ornamentation.

When he asks the students to copy him, the room erupts into a euphonious outbreak of guitars, violas, violins, clarinets, and other wind instruments. A wide variety of musicians (from beanie-wearing, long haired, undergrads with electric guitars to clean-cut, preppily-dressed grad students) are joined together in a circle. (more…)


Whatever Happened to Zulay? An Otavaleña’s Journey

In this interview, Sharon Sherman, Professor Emerita of the Folklore Program and English Department, tells us about her new film:Whatever Happened to Zulay: An Otavaleña’s Journey. The film will be screened April 12, 2012, at 7 PM in 115 Lawrence Hall.

Tell us about the film.

It’s hard to summarize. Whatever Happened to Zulay is a film that brings the story of Zulay up to the present. A film was made about her twenty years ago by Jorge Preloran.  The current film includes the original filmmakers and Zulay reuniting in her home in Quinchuqui, Ecuador. Whenever Preloran showed his film, people always asked him: “what happened to Zulay? What did she do with her life?”

She had gone back and forth many times (from Los Angeles to Ecuador) and endured criticism from her community.  She had to make a decision about where she would live. LA had greater opportunities for making a living, but Ecuador had her family, the land that she loved, and participatory celebrations…she did ultimately go back to Ecuador. (more…)