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Web Schedule Fall 2018

Revision Date: 15-May-18

HUM-2030-VO01X - American Folklore

Synonym: 176875
Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Accelerated Section: This course has special meeting dates and times. See comments below or consult VSC Web Services - Search for Sections in the VSC portal for specific dates and times. If you have any questions call the site office offering the course.
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-04-2018 to 10-22-2018
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-13-2018 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 10-02-2018 - Refund Policy
Faculty: Martha Lance | View Faculty Credentials
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration
This section meets the following General Education Requirement(s):
Human Expression
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Browse the Moodle Site for this class.

Course Description:

An exploration of how the traditional and popular beliefs and practices of North American cultures have developed over time and what their interpretation reveals about social identity, relationships, and change. Studies verbal, material, musical, and ritual folkways as expressive and artistic forms in everyday life.

Essential Objectives:

1. Define folklore and its development as a specific field of study, and identify key theoretical concepts in the discipline and the role that folklore plays as a tool for understanding the everyday beliefs and experiences of different cultural and ethnic groups within the United States.
2. Describe the major genres and explore various topics included in the study of folklore including stories, urban legends, songs, games, jokes, riddles, superstitions, magic, rituals, holidays, dances, proverbs, foodways, folk art, and folk medicine.
3. Identify and compare major symbols and themes found in American folk traditions, relate these to particular social contexts, and describe how these have changed over time.
4. Compare and contrast the origins, development, and process of transmission of differing groups' folk traditions.
5. Analyze and present a specific folktale, song, ritual, or other folklore form in performance.
6. Describe aesthetic, literary, and social theories of folklore and the methodologies that have been applied to the discipline, including fieldwork, recording, and transcription.
7. Identify, collect, document and analyze local folk materials including stories, songs, photographs, and objects.

Additional Instructor Pre-Assignments/Notes/Comments:

 Folklore is present in each of our lives and connects us with tradition, family and community. This course will examine who the “folk” in folklore are and the genres where we might find evidence of their activities and beliefs.  We often think folklore scholars collect quaint folktales and songs and record “odd” behaviors.  While, certainly “traditional” cultures are worthy of study and analysis, folklorists today also examine contemporary beliefs and actions.  Since the term ‘folk lore’ was coined by Englishman, William Thoms, in 1846, the field continued to evolve and expand to include modern themes and subjects; indeed, in a section of this course, for example,  we will look at how the internet changes how we transmit jokes and stories to wider audiences. We will rely on our understanding of culture to orient our thinking about the centrality of the human experience and to the techniques and theories of the field of Folklore as we explore diverse groups both here in Vermont and abroad who share a commonality of experience and belief.

This course will be an exploration of Folklore with an emphasis on your own personal experiences. Projects will include ethnographic research and hands-on projects that encourage you to examine where folklore and folklife is present in your own life.

Required text (Available as hardcover and Ebook)

Lynne S. McNeill, Folklore Rules: A Fun, Quick and Useful Introduction to the Field of Academic Folklore Studies. (Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado, 2013).

Course Objectives:

-          define what folklore is based on our overview of the discipline

-          Identify examples of folklore in your  own life

-          Explain concepts of culture and understand where you might find evidence for it

Topical Outline

What is Folklore?

Who are the Folk?

How do Folklorists do their work? 

Selected genres we will explore include:

-          Music

-          Urban Legends

-          Body Art

-          Jokes and proverbs

-          Folktales and Stories

-          Material Culture and Objects

-          Food and Foodways

-          Holidays and rituals


Fall 2018 textbook data will be available on June 4. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be for this course only. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks.

The last day to use a Financial Aid advance to purchase textbooks is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.

Contact Faculty:

Email: Martha Lance
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Samantha Boymer

Please note: In order to receive accommodations for disabilities in this course, students must make an appointment to see the Americans with Disabilities Coordinator in their site and bring documentation with them.

Academic Honesty: CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.

Course description details subject to change. Please refer to this document frequently.

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