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Check Out These Summer Folklore Courses !!


Introduction to Folklore w/ Dr. John Baumann

FLR 250 CRN 40895   7/24 – 8/20

FLR 250 CRN 40896   8/21 – 9/17

This course explores how people use creative forms to bring meaning to their day-to-day lives and negotiate their identities and relationships with other people. We will examine varied types of folklore forms and folklore groups, the meanings they have for the people who create them, how they function, and relationships between folklore and social issues. In addition to learning about folklore, students will develop critical thinking and research skills and work to present their thoughts through clear and rational writing.

Magic in the Middle Ages w/ Dr. Martha Bayless

FLR 236 CRN 40894   8/21 – 9/17

This course is an examination of the period often considered the most “magical,” the Middle Ages. Looking at the practices of medieval western Europe, particularly Britain, we will examine how medieval culture defined magic, what they hoped to achieve by practicing (or forbidding) magic, and how magic provides an insight into the medieval understanding of how the universe worked. Along the way we will investigate the medieval origins of two modern American holidays, Hallowe’en and Christmas. The course will also cover medieval witches, as well as elves, fairies, and other small beings. We will also examine the role of magic in fiction – the origin of modern fantasy and superhero stories – and reflect on what that suggests about our relationship to the world. Finally, we will look at some of the modern legacies of medieval thought about magic, from modern practices such as throwing coins in fountains to “new religions” such as Wicca and neopaganism. The study of medieval magic will allow us to understand the role of magic in both the medieval and the modern world and give us the tools to give informed opinions about modern controversies.

Anthropology & Aliens w/ Dr. Philip Scher

ANTH 119 CRN 40140  8/21 – 9/17

This class explores how anthropology and science fiction (or, more broadly, Speculative Fiction) have been linked together historically as each explores ideas about culture and society. Thematic questions addressed in the class include: what is an alien? What is “the human”? Could SF be possible without anthropology? The class investigates this convergence of interest through the analysis of SF in print, film, television etc. In addition, using science fiction, we will explore how fundamental concepts in anthropology such as linguistic and cultural relativism, national and cultural identity, class, the ethics of first contact; gender, marriage, and kinship; law, morality; religion; race and embodiment; politics, violence, and war; medicine, healing, and consciousness; and the environment have entered into the ways in which we routinely think about the possibility of extraterrestrial life and the way in which we think about culture on our own planet.

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