The following represents the range of courses available to students in Folklore Studies at the University of Oregon. In addition to FLR classes, our affiliated professors offer a number of approved courses covering a variety of topics in folklore. For schedules, please click on the links to the right.
Folklore Core Faculty Courses
FLR 199 Alternative Cultures (4). This course surveys the methods and theories used by researchers studying cultural groups and expressive forms interpreted as “alternatives” to dominant societal norms or commercial mass culture. Topics of study include subcultures, countercultures, alternative religious movements, urban folk art, outsider art, and oppositional forms of vernacular culture. We will consider these expressions within historical contexts, explore their broader societal influences and legacies, and examine how alternative cultures, both real and imagined, are commodified and incorporated into commercial and popular culture. Wojcik
FLR 199 The Bible as Folklore (4-5). This course will bring together readings of the Bible in the Judeo-Christian tradition in connection with apt mythological, folkloristic, and traditional contexts, concepts, and meanings. We will read sections of the Bible that have continuing presence in Western culture and literature, exploring how these are shaped by oral traditions and how they carry ongoing symbolic and narrative meaning. In addition to reading key narrative, lyrical, prophetic, and epistolary sections of the King James English bible, we will take a folkloristic approach in studying these accounts—contextualizing them both in relation to modes of oral creation and dissemination, and in connection with parallels to and adaptations of biblical stories in other cultural forms and traditions. Dugaw
FLR 199 Talking to Monsters: Monsters, Folklore and Cultural Politics (4). This course critically engages with folk and pop-cultural representations of the “monstrous Other,” including such examples as the undead, the fantastic (for example, trolls), and the proper monster. Examining films and works of literature as well as readings from folklore, history, anthropology, and cultural studies, the course approaches the notion of the “monstrous” from a critical perspective informed by an understanding of historical, cultural, and political forces that contribute to the “monsterization” of the Other. We will also interrogate the concepts of the monstrous and the Other in relation to each other, examining from multiple perspectives the human need for monsters that lurk around the edges of our world. Adkins, Wojcik
FLR 199 Car Cultures (4). In this course we will learn about the history of the automotive industry and U.S. public policy toward the industry, examine some of the many environmental issues surrounding cars, and study car design and customizing as vernacular art traditions. Sayre.
FLR 225 Voices of Africa (4). Novels, music, dance, dress, paintings, films, and cartoons serve as a primary sources from which to learn about the diversity and vivacity of contemporary African peoples. Gilman.
FLR 235 Folklore and the Supernatural (4). Introduces the study of beliefs about the supernatural by examining diverse approaches to the description and analysis of belief traditions and religious cultures. Topics include apparitions, miracles, prophecy, apocalyptic cults, magic, angels, pilgrimage, vampires, UFOs, zombies, possession states, and supernatural assault. Wojcik
FLR 255 Folklore and US Popular Culture (4). Introduces students to the theories and methods used in the study of folklore and popular culture; examines a diversity of approaches to the description and analysis of “common culture,” including popular narratives, legends, rituals, ethnic and gender stereotypes, carnivalesque events, fan cultures, subcultures, DIY, and the commodification of youth culture. Special focus on the ways that folklore and popular culture reflect and shape dominant ideologies, and how people may use mass cultural products to create new, personal, and sometimes subversive meanings. Wojcik.
FLR 370 Folklore and Sexuality (4). Folklore forms are both reflexive and constitutive of social realities. Studying folklore as it occurs in day-to-day life therefore yields insight into contemporary realities. In this course, intersections between folklore and sexuality will provide an entry point for examining contemporary social issues relating to sexuality, including sexual identities, courting practices, sexism, pride, violence, body image issues, and resistance. Gilman.
FLR 407/507 Video Fieldwork (5). Various theoretical approaches, conceptual issues, research strategies, and techniques used for folklore fieldwork will be examined as a framework for analyzing how folklore video is created. Topics for discussion will include proposal preparation and design, initiating fieldwork and establishing rapport, reflexivity, observation and interview techniques, and ethical problems. The course will suggest ways to gather and interpret data, understand the fieldwork endeavor, and present the results in digital format.
FLR 410/510 Religion and Ecology (4). Politics, religion, spirituality, environmentalism, and science are being combined in radical and fascinating ways as we struggle to make sense of our place in the cosmos at a time of rampant ecological threats and degradation. This course will survey sources of green religiosity globally, the new religious forms that have arisen as part of nature-based religiosity, and the spiritualization of environmental activism. We will chart the rise of green religion and look beyond traditional definitions of religion and spirituality, paying close attention to the cultural manifestation and expression of these new forms. Baumann, Wojcik.
FLR 410/510 Food, Festival, Celebration (4). This highly interactive and participatory course looks at the ways in which identity is situated, created, and transformed in the performance of food traditions. Foodways includes the traditions surrounding the production, creation, consumption, and ways we think about food as a cultural construct. We’ll explore performance, community, creativity, and innovation with regard to foodways. We will also consider how foodways provides a window into other cultures and our own, providing insight into cultural symbols, aesthetics, and world view. This class will involve eating (!), discussion, presentation, some ethnographic interviews, short exercises (ethnography of a dish, what’s in your refrigerator/cabinet), and a longer final paper. Saltzman
FLR 410/510 Magic, Myth, and Religion (4). Magic as folk belief and practice, myth as sacred expression, and the intersections of religion and mythology. We will explore the functions of myth and the folklore forms that express sacred belief (narratives, rituals, and celebrations), and examine the leading theories of mythology today in cross-cultural perspective. Wojcik
FLR 410/510 Ritual, Festival, and Revolution (4). This course will examine the ways in which traditional dramatic forms such as quêtings (house visits), carnival, and parades contribute to the structure and process of protests and revolutionary moments. We will explore forms of public enactment and social critique such as mummers’ plays, the Boston Tea Party, and the Slug Queen Parade. While the primary focus will be on European cultures, particularly British, there will be some examples from the Americas and Africa. This course will incorporate a mixture of lecture, discussion, and student presentations and will require short essays and a final paper. Saltzman.
FLR 411/511 Folklore and Religion (4). Examines the research questions and theoretical models used by folklorists and other scholars in the study of vernacular religion and popular spirituality. We will examine religion and spirituality as it is “lived,” focusing primarily on beliefs and practices that are informally learned and generally unsanctioned by institutional doctrines and authorities. The course is organized to reflect particular topics and areas of research that have preoccupied folklorists, and we will explore the issues and perspectives that have informed their studies. The role of folklore in peoples religious lives will be explored through the analysis of narratives, rituals, beliefs, customs, celebrations, pilgrimages, trance states, and numinous experiences. Wojcik.
FLR 412/512 Folklore of Subcultures (4). Surveys the research methods and theories used by folklorists and other cultural theorists in the study of subcultures within historical context. Approaches to the description and analysis of the style, rituals, beliefs, narratives, argot, humor, festivals, and body adornment associated with various subcultures will be examined. The course focuses on the expressive culture of ethnic, religious, youth, bohemian, and leisure-oriented groups, with particular attention paid to the ways that folklore serves as the basis for subcultural identity and communication, and the extent to which subcultural expressive behavior challenges or reinforces dominant values and systems of meaning. Wojcik.
FLR 413/513 Folk Art and Material Culture (4). Explores current and longstanding issues in the study of “folk” or vernacular art, including terminological distinctions, research methods, and current theoretical orientations in addition to conventional studies of traditional arts and material culture. We will examine topics that expand or challenge notions of folk art, such as informal art environments, subcultural expressive behavior, recycled objects and art, body adornment, automobile decoration, murals and graffiti, prison art, self-taught artists, outsider art, and visionary art. Wojcik.
FLR 416/516 African Folklore (4). This course investigates a variety of expressive forms practiced by different groups of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa. We will examine the folklore (oral narratives, songs, popular music, dance, and tourist art) of specific groups to explore issues of aesthetics, identity, politics, gender, class, and globalization. Gilman.
FLR 418/518 Folklore and Gender (4). Folklore forms are used to establish and sustain normative gender and sexual practices in addition to providing avenues for resistance and construction of alternate frameworks for living. In this course, students will use theories from folklore, feminism, and gender studies to analyze expressive forms that are used to create and celebrate various manifestations of gender identities contribute to gender conflict, as well as those that are used to contest gender oppression (e,g, sexism and homophobia). Gilman.
FLR 483/583 Folklore and Mythology of the British Isles (4). This course traces ethnicity, cultural interaction, and forms of folkloristic expression in the British Isles and Ireland. Britain and Ireland possess a complex cultural history. Beginning with the prehistoric Celts, we will trace interactions and identities of historically documented base cultures in the region, especially as their cultural legacies have endured. The course focuses on (1) deep structures of myth, belief, and worldview from the past; and (2) persisting traditions and cultural practices. We will examine such forms of folklore as myths, stories, material culture, worship, ritual, belief, music, song, dance, drama, and custom. We will consider British folklore up to the present day in the context of community & individual values and arts.Dugaw.
FLR 484/584 Folklore in the U.S. (4). Introduces students to the methods, research questions, and theoretical orientations used in the study of American folklore and vernacular culture. The course is organized to reflect particular topics and areas of research that have preoccupied American folklorists, such as the relationship of folklore to historical periods, cultural experiences, social identities, gender and ethnicity. We will survey the folk groups and folklore genres that American folklorists have singled out for special attention, and consider the changing conceptions of “folk” and “lore” underlying their research. Throughout the course we will examine the ways that legends, beliefs, rituals, jokes, speech, festivals, folk art, and material culture relate to a diversity of social groups in the United States. Students will learn how to recognize and appreciate folklore in their daily lives, and be given the tools and opportunity to document and interpret it. Gilman, Wojcik.
FLR 485/585 Film and Folklore(4). Film and Folklore (4). The developmental use of film by folklorists. Folklore genres, theories, and fieldwork methods as related to filmmakers’ techniques. Analysis includes documentary and ethno documentary film. Mortensen, Wojcik
FLR 486/586 African-American Folklore (4). Analysis of African American customs, language, beliefs, sayings, and tales expressed through oral tradition.
FLR 491/591 Anglo-American Ballad and Folk Song (4) Study of popular ballads in the Anglo-American tradition—styles, origins, forms, content, and dissemination. History and influence of popular media. Dugaw.
FLR 503 Thesis (l-6R). P/N only
FLR 601 Research: [Topic] (l-6R). P/N only
FLR 604 Internship: [Topic] (l-6R).
FLR 605 Reading and Conference: [Topic] (l-6R).
FLR 606 Field Studies: [Topic] (l-6R).
FLR 607 Seminar: [Topic] (l-6R).
FLR 608 Workshop: [Topic] (l-6R).
FLR 609 Terminal Project (l-6R).
FLR 610 Experimental Course: [Topic] (1-5R).
FLR 684 Folklore Fieldwork (5) This course introduces students to ethnographic fieldwork in folklore by integrating research practice with methodological and theoretical readings. Topics include identifying a subject of study, developing appropriate research strategies, initiating fieldwork, establishing rapport, reflexivity, representation, and uses for technology. Each student will conceptualize and execute a fieldwork project while developing practical skills in proposal writing, observation, interviewing, analysis, documentation, and presentation. Gilman.
FLR 681 History of Folklore Theory and Research (5)). Examines nature of scholarly inquiry, research questions, and techniques. Historic orientation with emphasis on ideological development of folkloristics from its beginnings to the present. Dugaw, Gilman, Wojcik.
Other undergraduate and graduate courses with related subject matter-including approved Reading and Conference (405, 605), Seminar (407/507, 607), and Experimental Course (410/510, 610) may be applied to folklore certificate programs by arrangement with the instructors and the Folklore Program director.
Folklore Courses in the Arts and Administration Program
AAD 410/510 Public Folklore and Cultural Programming. In this course we will explore the intellectual history as well as the practice of public (or applied) folklore. Readings, guest speakers, and focused discussions will illuminate a range of options available to folklorists beyond the traditional academic domain. Exercises in project development (conceptualization, proposal writing, fieldwork plan) will provide opportunities to make initial forays into public folklore, or to workshop an idea you have kicking around. While this will not necessarily be a “how-to” class, we will identify and discuss the kinds of skills that public folklorists bring to (and sometimes lean on) various long and short-term projects. Fenn.
Folklore Courses in the Anthropology Department
ANTH 315 Gender, Folklore, Inequality. Cross-cultural exploration of the artistic and expressive realm of women’s lives. Topics include life-cycle rituals, religion, healing, verbal arts, crafts, and music. Silverman.
ANTH 326 Caribbean Societies. Explores the legacy of processes that formed Caribbean culture–migration, slavery, and trade–in religious, popular, and scholarly contexts. Scher.
ANTH 411/511 Politics, Ethnicity, Nationalism. Explores relationships between ethnicity, politics, and nationalism from historical and anthropological perspectives. Addresses the way nationalism and ethnic identity construct and reproduce each other. Scher.
ANTH 419/519 Performance, Politics and Folklore. Aesthetic, political, economic, and social dimensions of cultural performances examined in museums, heritage displays, folklore festivals, community celebrations, and tourist destinations. Silverman.
ANTH 429/529 Jewish Folklore and Ethnology. Traditional Expressive culture of East European Jews; includes narrative, proverbs, jokes, folk beliefs, rituals, holidays, food, customs, music, gender, and immigrant folklore in the United states. Silverman.
ANTH 430/530 Balkan Folklore and Society: Focusing on ethnicity, gender, politics, and folklore, this class explores current conflicts in the Balkans and the role of symbols, the state, and nationalism. Silverman.
ANTH 439/539 Feminism and Ethnography. Uses current literature to explore the relationship between feminism, postmodernism, and ethnography. Investigates reflexivity, subjectivity, multiple voicings, and the politics of fieldwork, and the text. Silverman.
ANTH 493/593 Anthropology and Popular Culture. Offers insight into the conditions of the reproduction of social relations through the analysis of film, sport, television, advertising, folklore, fashion, and festivals. Scher.
ANTH 683 Anthopological Linguistics. Explores linguistic relativity, language, cognition and social practice, distinctiveness of human language, role of reference in linguistic structures, and the creation of social and cultural forms. Scher.
Folklore Courses in the English Department
ENG 482/582 Studies in Mythology. Survey of comparative mythologies of many cultures through time, with attention to world views, theoretical schools of interpretation, and myth in literature. Wojcik.
ENG 487/587 American Popular Literature and Culture. Surveys cultural aesthetics reflected in historical romances, dime novels, detective fiction, westerns, and new journalism as expressions of popular and folk culture and the American experience.
ENG 680 Folklore: [Topic]. Intensive study of selected topics in folklore. Recent offerings include Topics in Folk Art, Film and Folklore Fieldwork. Dugaw, Gilman, Wojcik.
Index of Folklore-Related Courses by Department
The following list presents courses that may be of interest to students in the Folklore Program. Students are encouraged to explore additional folklore-related courses at the University of Oregon in these and other departments.
Ancient Cities (ANTH 310)
Caribbean Archaeology (ANTH 310)
Environmental Archaeology (ANTH 310)
Human Beauty (ANTH 310)
Near East/Egyptian Architecture (ANTH 310)
Native North Americans (ANTH 320)
The Americas: Indigenous Perspectives (ANTH 325)
Archaeology of Ancient Cities (ANTH 347)
Culture and Psychology (ANTH 413/513)
Field Methods in Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 417)
Culture, Illness, and Healing (ANTH 420/520)
Anthropology of Gender (ANTH 421/521)
Native South Americans (ANTH 434/534)
Approaches to the Symbolic (ANTH 435/535)
Vernacular Building (ARCH 434/534)
Critical Approaches to Art-Historical Study (ARH 300)
Museology (ARH 411/511)
Art and Human Values (AAD 250)
Arts Program Theory (AAD422/522)
Conference Management (AAD 424/524)
Museum Education (AAD 429/529)
Youth Arts Curriculum and Methods (AAD 430/530)
Art in Society (AAD 450/550)
Community cultural Development (AAD 451/551)
Arts Administration (AAD 460/560)
Cultural Policy in Art (AAD 462/562)
Marketing the Arts (AAD 465/565)
Cultural Administration (AAD 612)
Perspectives on Asian Studies: [Topic] (ASIA 611)
Issues in Asian Studies: [Topic] (ASIA 612)
Introduction to Chinese Film (CHN 151)
Introduction to Chinese Popular Culture (CHN 152)
Gender and Sexuality in Traditional Chinese Literature (CHN 350)
Gender and Sexuality in Modern Chinese Literature (CHN 351)
Self and Society in Traditional Chinese Literature (CHN 380)
Chinese Film and Theory (CHN 452/552)
Gender and Sexuality in Antiquity (CLAS 314)
Comparative Comics (COLT 370)
Dance and Folk Culture (DAN 301)
Traditional Culture Africa (DAN 301)
China: A Cultural Odyssey (EALL 210)
Japan: A Cultural Odyssey (EALL 211)
Women Writer’s Cultures: [Topic] (ENG 315)
Comparative Ethnic American Literatures (ENG 364)
Apocalypse Now & Then (ENG 410)
The Age of Beowulf (ENG 423)
Race and Representaton in Film: [Topic] (ENG 488/588)
Feminist Film Criticism (ENG 496/596)
Feminist Literary Theory (ENG 497/597)
Women of Color: Issues and Concerns (ES 330)
Racial Formation and Performance (ES 340)
Race and Ethnicity and the Law: [Topic] (ES 452/552)
History of Native American Education (ES 456/556)
Theories of Race and Ethnicity (ES 498)
Geography of Globalization (GEOG 342)
Culture, Society, and Place (GEOG 343)
Political Geography (GROG 441)
Urban Geography (GEOG 442/542)
Culture, Ethnicity, and Nationalism (GEOG 445/545)
Geography of Religion (GEOG 446)
North American Cultural Landscapes (GEOG 471/571)
German Cinema: History, Theory, Practice (GER 355)
German Fairy Tales (GER 356) The German fairy tale in historical, cross-cultural, and theoretical context, from the Brothers Grimm and romantic tales to adaptations by Tchaikovsky and Sendak. Ostmeier.
German Culture and Society: [Topic] (GER 440/540)
African American History (HIST 250, 251)
Precolonial Africa (HIST 325)
Colonial and Postcolonial Africa (HIST 326)
The American West (HIST 466/566, 467/567)
American Indian History (HIST 469/569)
American Environmental History: [Topic] (HIST 473/573)
Latin America’s Indian Peoples (HIST 482/582)
Medicine and Society in Premodern Japan (HIST 491/591)
Japanese Popular Culture (HIST 499)
Building Construction History (AAAP 410/510)
Introduction to Historic Preservation (AAAP 411/511)
Fundamentals of Historic Preservation (AAAP 413/516)
Historic Survey and Inventory Methodology (451/551)
Food in Chinese Culture (HUM 399)
Africa Today (INTL 345)
Gender and International Development (INTL 421)
World Value Systems (INTL 430)
Childhood in Cross-Cultural Perspective (INTL 433/533)
Cross-Cultural Communication (INTL 431/531)
Indigenous Cultural Survival (INTL 432/532)
Comparative “Tribalisms” (INTL 447/547)
Gender in Japanese Literature and Film (JPN 407/507)
Tokyo Cyberpunk (JPN 410/510)
Introduction to Communications Studies (J314)
Women, Minorities, and Media (J320)
Television Field Production (J 331)
Communication Theory and Criticism (J 388)
International Communication (J 396)
Issues in Communication Studies: [Topic] (J 412/512)
Communication Studies Capstone (J 413)
Survey of the Documentary (J 416/516)
Communication and Democracy (J 418/518)
Documentary Television Production (J 421/521)
Communication Ethics: [Topic] (J 496/596)
Qualitative Research Methods (J 641)
Cultural Approaches to Communication (J 648)
American Jewish Cultures (JDST 330)
Contemporary American Landscape (LA 375)
Special Studies: Language Issues in International Studies (LING 399)
Popular Musics in the African Diaspora (MUS 200/522)
Popular Musics in a Global Context (MUS 250)
Celtic Music (MUS 357)
Music in World Cultures (MUS 358)
Music of the Americas (MUS 359)
Hip-Hop Music: History, Culture, Aesthetics (MUS 360)
East European Folk Ensemble (MUS 390/690)
Celtic Ensemble (MUS 394/694)
Interface Between Oral & Written American Music (MUS 407/507)
Seminar on Local Music Fieldwork (MUS 407/507)
Introduction to Ethnomusicology (MUS 451/551)
Musical Instruments of the World (MUS 452/552)
Folk Music of the Balkans (MUS 453/553)
Music of India (MUS 454/554)
Art and the State (PS 301)
Chinese Religions (REL 302)
Japanese Religions (REL 303)
Sex/Gender Christianity (REL 426)
Survey of Spanish American Literature (SPAN 318, 319)
Hispanic Culture and Civilization (SPAN 361, 363)
US Latino Literature (SPAN 328)
Revolution & Development in Mexico (SPAN 490/590)
Testamonia in Latin America (SPAN 623)
Vikings through the Icelandic Sagas (SCAN 259)
Cinematic Traditions in Scandinavia (SCAN 315)
Emergence of Nordic Cultures and Society (SCAN 340)
Scandinavian Mythology (SCAN 352)
Introduction to Social Psychology (SOC 328)
Race, Class, and Ethnic Groups (SOC 345)
Sociology of Race Relations (SOC 445/545)
Sociology of Religion (SOC 461/561)
Systems of War and Peace (SOC 464)
Multicultural Theater (TA 472/572)
Feminist Perspectives: Identity, Race, Culture (WGS 321)
Women’s Literature, Art, and Society (WGS 352)
Techno-Sex and Cyborg Babies (WGS 415/515)
Advanced Feminist Theory: [Topic] (WGS 415/515)
Lesbian and Gay Studies: [Topic] (WGS 422/522)
Global Feminisms (WGS 431/531)