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May 29, 2018

Folklore Student Association Meeting

The Folklore Student Association will meet in the Lorenzo West Resource Room (PLC 461) Wednesday, May 30th at 6pm.

We will be discussing Japanese folklore and material culture.

The meeting will feature presentations by Folklore & Public Culture students:

Brandon Schmidt will talk about belief and practice as it emerges around the supernatural Yokai of Japanese folklore.

Sam Bilotta will then lead a discussion of localized traditional arts throughout Japan.

This will be followed by a celebration of the year’s accomplishments and preliminary planning for Fall 2018 initiatives.

We’re hosting a Potluck for our last meeting of the academic year, so bring a favorite snack or dish. If you’re short on time and/or funds, just bring your love of folklore.  Soft drinks will be provided.

All are welcome, so come with a friend and we’ll see you there!

May 10, 2018

DEMA African Ensemble

“Healing the World Rhythm by Rhythm”

Friday, May 18, Saturday, May 19, 8 p.m.

Dougherty Dance Theatre, Gerlinger Annex
$12 General Admission
Free for UO Students with valid ID

April 30, 2018

Folklore Major/Minor Advising

Registration for Summer and Fall terms will begin shortly. Undergrads are invited to a drop-in advising session on Friday, May 4 in Lorenzo West Resource Room, 461 PLC between 2 and 4 PM. We welcome new majors and minors!

April 13, 2018

Check Out These Summer Folklore Courses

Summer is coming, and the UO Folklore Program is offering great courses for undergraduates.

Summer Session 6/25-7/22

ANTH 119 Anthropology & Aliens w/ Prof. Philip Scher (WEB)
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.


 FLR 255 Folklore & US Popular Culture w/Prof. Daniel Wojcik
This Arts and Letters group satisfying course introduces students to the theories and methods used in the study of folklore and popular culture. Students will examine a diversity of approaches to the description and analysis of culture, including popular genres and phenomena such as folk narratives, legends, rituals, ethnic and gender stereotypes, cultural performances, subcultures, body politics, and the commodification of youth culture. Special focus will be given to issues of gender, identity and ethnicity, and to the ways that folklore and popular culture reflect or challenge dominant ideologies. The course requires that students engage in major issues of the discipline through the analysis of popular and expressive culture in relation to broader U.S. social contexts.

Summer Session 7/23-8/19

FLR 250 Introduction to Folklore w/ Prof. Daniel Wojcik
This course introduces students to the research questions, theoretical orientations, and fieldwork methods used to study folklore, and therefore satisfies the Arts and Letters group requirements. Students will examine concepts that are central to folkloristic inquiry, survey the social groups and folklore genres that have preoccupied folklorists, investigate the meanings and functions of folklore, and explore relationships between folklore and social issues. The course provides an overview of research methods and theories of culture, and explores topics such as narrative, genre, identity, gender, race, and ethnicity as these apply to everyday life, and the meanings of cultural heritage and expression in cross-cultural perspectives. Students will develop critical thinking and research skills, as well as their abilities to communicate orally and in writing, and will be given the tools and opportunity to document and analyze folkloric expression through interviews, fieldwork, and a research paper.

Summer Session 8/20-9/16

FLR 236 Medieval Magic w/ Prof. Martha Bayless (WEB)
This course is an examination of the period often considered the most “magical” historical period, the Middle Ages, and a look at what magic consisted of, meant, and reflected in the period. 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, the ways in which magic reflects the medieval understanding of the universe, and how an exploration of magic led to the beginnings of modern science. Along the way we will investigate the medieval origins of two sometimes controversial modern American holidays, Hallowe’en and Christmas. 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 legacies of medieval thought about magic, from modern practices such as throwing coins in fountains to “new religions” such as Wicca and neo-paganism. 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.

April 9, 2018

Programs Manager Sought for the Western Folklife Center


The Western Folklife Center seeks a Programs Manager. This is an excellent opportunity for a creative person to add their signature to nationally recognized programs such as the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, as well as ongoing and new programs. Candidates should have a B.A. in folklife studies, ethnomusicology, cultural anthropology, or related fields and have a minimum of two years’ experience in event and program management. Excellent verbal, writing, editing and computer skills are required. Candidates should be able to manage budgets and contribute to grant writing and reporting. Interest and skills in fieldwork, program curation, media, digital storytelling and exhibit production are a plus. For a complete job description go to:

Deadline April 27, 2018.

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