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Graduate Course Offerings

Fall 2013 Graduate Course Offerings

Folk-F516 Folklore Theory in Practice
W 1:00-3:30 pm
Course # 2917

This course is a graduate seminar that introduces students to the field of folklore studies (folkloristics). Students will encounter the major theories and methods that have been developed in folkloristics for the study of expressive forms and vernacular cultures in social and historical context. To pursue such inquiry requires grappling with the key debates and social contexts that have shaped the study of folklore. Important case studies from the literature of folkloristics will be examined, appreciated, critiqued and contextualized. Students will become familiar with a range of approaches to the study of expressive culture in four broad generic areas: (1) verbal folklore, (2) material culture, (3) composite and performance genres, and (4) customary knowledge and practice. Folkloristics will be situated within a wider constellation of disciplines and interdisciplinary projects concerned with the human condition and we will begin to wrestle with the distinctive roles that folklorists might play in the contemporary world.

Folk-E522 The Study of Ethnomusicology
W 9:00-11:30 am
Course # 8637

Intended for graduate students specializing in the field, this course is designed as an introduction to ethnomusicology as an academic discipline. Its primary goal is to give students a good sense of the various aspects of the field as a whole: its histories and definitions; key issues and points of debate; theories and methods; ethnomusicologists and their work; activities in which ethnomusicologists engage (including musical ethnography, analysis, and public education); and ethnomusicology's relations with other disciplines focused on the study of music, people, culture, and society. It also will offer resources for future research and teaching. As an overall introduction to the various aspects of the field, the course provides a background for more specialized courses in fieldwork, theory, intellectual history, transcription and analysis, and world areas.

E522 is required for ethnomusicology graduate students in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and is open to other students in FOLK and other departments. It counts as a core course for students pursuing the Ph.D. minor in Ethnomusicology and as a theory course in FOLK.

Folk-F525 Readings in Ethnography
T 4:00-6:30 pm
Course # 29626

This course broadly considers “ethnography” as an expressive genre of vital significance within the study of folklore. By reading examples of ethnographic writing from a range of historical periods in conjunction with relevant theoretical works, we will explore the history, form, and function of this mode of critical discourse. Throughout the course we will ask questions about narrative style, the presentation of the “self,” representations of the “other,” the dynamics of outsider versus insider, and the relationship of “facts” to “interpretation.” We will consider texts as products of particular historical and cultural contexts and also as resources for contemporary academic interpretation. While primary focus will be on scholarly ethnographies, one objective of the course is to explore innovative and creative ways of writing about cultures; we will think about how fiction, dairies, travel literature, journalism and biography fit (or do not fit) within the ethnographic project. Throughout the course we will be attentive to theoretical issues of context, cultural essentialism, and the roles of language, narrative and self-reflexivity in ethnographic expression.

Folk-F528 Advanced Fieldwork
T 11:45 am-2:15 pm
Course # 29629

This course is designed to meet two, interlinked goals: 1. to provide graduate students with additional experience conducting fieldwork; and 2. to focus on the art of writing ethnography.  The course will focus on the writing process associated with fieldwork--fieldnotes, field recording documentation, indexes, transcriptions, etc.—and analyze the relationship between these components and the construction of a final, publishable ethnography. In select cases we will compare the processes of noteworthy scholars by examining unpublished materials from the Archives of Traditional Music that predate published ethnographies. Additionally, we will analyze different modes of representation, from more conventional ethnographies to experimental approaches.  The course will link the theoretical aspects of ethnographic writing with practical assignments in which students will conduct fieldwork and experiment with various approaches to write-up. Readings come from ethnomusicology, folklore, anthropology and related fields.  Prerequisite: F523 or permission.

Folk-F540 Folk Art
M 1:00-3:30 pm
Course # 29633

What is folk art? Both words – “folk” and “art” --- are rich with significance, essential to any understanding of culture and human experience.

Moving from American examples to wider international considerations, this class will begin by examining folk art in the American museum and public sector. Then we will analyze European and Asian interpretations before turning to close study of certain media of folk art: textiles, ceramics, and paintings. At the end we will look at the lives and works of contemporary creative individuals.

Folk-F600 Cultural Diversity in China
TR 2:30-3:45 pm
Course # 11692

This course introduces students to cultural and human diversity in contemporary China. Class topics will cover diverse forms of human affiliations, from ethnic, class, gender, gender, generational, regional, and linguistic to rural and urban and local and national. Although we will focus on modern China, and particularly the PRC, issues will be contextualized in relation to Chinese history and interactions beyond the borders of China. We will explore the multiple meanings of Chineseness as well as concepts and expressions of individual and group identities. Among the broad questions to be addressed are: What is China? Who are Chinese? What is Chinese culture (and who says)?

Many class sessions will emphasize artistic and expressive forms (music, material culture, film, verbal genres, and tourism) and the roles they play in shaping and representing identities. Related cultural, linguistic, and heritage policies will be discussed. The course also will introduce theories and methods from Folklore and Ethnomusicology that can be put to use in our analysis of human diversity, representations, and performance. Graded components will include class preparation and participation, written assignments, quizzes, and a midterm and/or final exam.

The graduate section of the class will require additional assignments; the type and focus of this additional work will be determined after consultation with the graduate students in the course. There also will be at least a few additional meetings for the graduate section.

This course is cross-listed in EALC (and counts toward the EALC major).

Folk-F722 Activism, Engagement, & Critical Ethnography
T 9:00-11:30 am
Course # 8638

This graduate seminar is an in-depth investigation into the field of critical ethnography.  Throughout the semester we will explore the theoretical, methodological, and applied aspects of qualitative research, seeking a better understanding of how ethnographic approaches may be mobilized for policy change, the creation of emancipatory knowledge, and the pursuit of social justice.  In this seminar we will chart out the development of critical, indigenous, and anti-oppressive methodologies in ethnographic research. In so doing we will ask: what does it mean to critique structures of injustice? How might we better understand and address positionality, difference, and dialogue in our work? What are the ethics of intervention? And how might rigorous academic inquiry serve the immediate political, material, and cultural needs of our interlocutors?
 Assigned readings for this course will introduce foundational issues of critical ethnographic research: methods, ethics, project design, writing, representation, and application. Our readings will draw from diverse fields of inquiry, emphasizing Marxist, feminist, queer, and performative theoretical orientations. In addition, we will consult case studies detailing how activist ethnographers have situated their work in the fields of ethnomusicology, anthropology, and folklore. However, the primary focus of this seminar will be the applied and public practice aspects of field research. Through various practical exercises and hands-on applied research activities, we will develop a conceptual vocabulary for thinking about activism and engagement in our work.

 In addition to full participation in course seminars and discussions, students will be expected to complete several small-scale field/research exercises in preparation for a more in-depth comprehensive project.  This research project may take many forms, including an ethnographic paper, presentation, or theoretical analysis.  While open to graduate students in all fields interested in qualitative research methods, this course is designed to articulate with the “Public Practice” curriculum in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.

Folk-F750 Performance: Ethnopoetics
M 4:30-7:00 pm
Course # 29637

This course explores the workings of the world’s ethnic poetry, that is, its measured and allusive language existing outside the boundaries of literary canons. We sample widely in a domain sometimes called oral poetry, oral literature, or folk poetry, referencing a range of speech play and verbal art traditions. We seek to appreciate the mastery exhibited by wordsmiths operating in a variety of settings, from the conversational to the commemorative, and their synergetic interaction with audiences for these performances. Central to our inquiry are key issues surrounding the concept of the text – the relationship between a text and its social and cultural context, between a text and its source performance -- and the best practices for creating textual representations of spoken, chanted, and sung performances. But the larger issue motivating this field of study is to examine the role of the underlying poetic impulse in constituting, confirming, refining, and challenging social alignments and conventions.

Folk-F801 Teaching Folklore/Ethnomusicology
R 9:00-11:30 am
Course # 2919

This course will address both practical and theoretical issues arising in the teaching of Folklore and Ethnomusicology with the objective of preparing students for a career that might include teaching as a primary or secondary focus. It fulfills the teaching course requirement for AIs in Folklore and Ethnomusicology, but all interested students are welcome to enroll.

Folk-F804 Heritage & Cultural Property
R 1:00-3:30 pm
Course # 29640

At the turn of the twenty-first century, cultural forms, practices and knowledge are increasingly valued, both locally and globally, for their perceived ability to act as resources that can lead to economic development.  In this environment, having access to and being able to invoke one’s cultural heritage in ways that are at least partly compatible with Western intellectual property systems, international cultural policy, and discourses about human and cultural rights, has become a viable strategy with which different types of local communities, culture brokers, and nation states have tried to respond to new challenges and opportunities.  The resulting complex web of interaction—particularly in reference to how heritage is defined and who exactly has the right to claim ownership over that heritage—has become an area of special concern for a number of folklorists, ethnomusicologist and anthropologists.  This seminar will examine some of the central debates regarding the various uses and strategic deployments of the concept of heritage and how these intersect with the progressive neoliberal reconceptualization of culture as a collection of goods, skills and services that must be properly managed if one is to capitalize on its economic potential. To this end, the course will explore a series of interrelated issues including a) tanglible and intanglible cultural heritage initiatives and their effect on local communities, b) the global marketing and trade of “ethnic” or “traditional” art and music, c) cultural ownership and the ability of communities to use culture as an invocation of their cultural rights, and d) the role of archives, the academy and ethnography in both informing and contesting particular definitions and uses of heritage.

Folk-F804 Folklore & the Body
W 5:00-7:30 pm
Course # 32991

The study of folklore is the study of human minds in the context of tradition, art, and communication, but folkloristics is also the study of human bodies within these same contexts. Since at least the 1980s, folklorists have examined their observational fieldwork and ethnographic data sets for insights into the nature of human embodiment. This course will examine the body as an intricate, ubiquitous component of several genres of folklore, including narrative, music, play, and medicine.

Course Listings, Spring Semester 2013

Folklore Courses Ethnomusicology Courses
F517 History of Folklore Study
F523 Fieldwork in Folklore
F617 Arabian Nights: East & West
F635 The Roma Through History, Music & Film
F731 Curatorship
F738 Middle East & Arab Mythology
F755 Performing Nationalism

F510 Multimedia in Ethnomusicology
F523 Fieldwork in Ethnomusicology
F600 The Arts & Social Transformation: Asia
F609 Ghanaian Music, Drumming, & Dance
F625 American Vernacular Music
F638 South American Performance & Culture: South American Protest Music
E714 Paradigms of Ethnomusicology
F722 Music, (Im)migration & Diaspora

Common Courses
F800 Research in Folklore/Ethnomusicology
F802 Traditional Arts Indiana
F803 Practicum in Folklore/Ethnomusicology
F850 Thesis/Research/Dissertation Credits
G901 Advanced Research (PhD Candidates only)