ARH 311 Taboos, Tales, and Tailgating: Introduction to American Folklore Studies

Folk traditions permeate the expressive life of Americans of all backgrounds, both those with long histories on this continent and those more recently arrived, reflecting and shaping their notions of history, identity and place, among other things. This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts, orientations and objectives of folkloristics or the study of folklore and folklife, with a special emphasis on material culture, aka “folk art.” Readings, class lectures, videos, student projects, and off-campus visits will demonstrate various ways individuals and groups utilize traditional expressive behaviors, highlighting the dynamic presence of folklore in everyday experience.