What are the roots of hip-hop's masterful rhymes and tongue-tripping flow? This seminar explores hip-hop's poetic prehistory, looking to the rhyming and oral poetics that have long defined African American experience. In so doing, we'll uncover hidden histories of everyday eloquence and explore spoken/sung poetry's role in marking cultural identity. Honors version available.
Special topics course. Content will vary each semester.
Theories and examples of how Caribbean people live, act, and see themselves within various cultural, social, economic, and political contexts across time. Attention to North American views of the Caribbean.
An introduction to the study of creativity and aesthetic expression in everyday life, considering both traditional genres and contemporary innovations in the material, verbal, and musical arts.
A study of selected past geographies of the United States with emphasis on the significant geographic changes in population, cultural, and economic conditions through time. Previously offered as FOLK/GEOG 454. (GHA)
A study of fairy tales as historical artifacts that reveal the concerns of their times and places, as narrative structures capable of remarkable transformation, and as artistic performances drawing upon the expressive resources of multiple media, intended to challenge conventional presuppositions about the genre.
This cross-cultural study of art focuses on the forms, images, and meanings of paintings, drawings, and carvings produced by the Diyin Dine'é (Navajo), the Dogon (Mali, West Africa), and the Haida, Kwagiutl, Tlingit, and Tshimshian (northwest coast of North America).
A journey into hidden worlds of southern meaning, exploring the region from the experiential lens of African Americans and the South's indigenous peoples, as a way of rethinking the question, "What does it mean to be a Southerner?" Students will explore focused issues each semester through intensive, group-based field work projects.
Permission of the instructor. An introduction to the diversity of African American beliefs, experiences, and expressions from the colonial era to the present. Exploration will be both historical and thematic.
In this Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) class, students will explore the legacy of racial terrorism in North Carolina. Students will search archival sources to discover the family histories of lynching victims, tracing those families to the present, interviewing their descendants, and working with communities to build public awareness of - and perhaps public memorials to - the victims of racial violence.
Explores the historical arc and study of food in America and how culinary cultures reflect regional, national, and global narratives, challenges, and identities. As an intriguing lens on to the American experience, food reveals how race, class, gender, and place are entwined in cuisine, food economies, and interactions.
This seminar examines Jewish stories, humor, ritual, custom, belief, architecture, dress, and food as forms of creative expression that have complex relationships to Jewish experience, representation, identity, memory, and tradition. What makes these forms of folklore Jewish, how do source communities interpret them, and how do ethnographers document them? Previously offered as FOLK/JWST 505.
This course explores rituals, festivals, and public cultural performances as forms of complex, collective, embodied creative expression. As sites of popular celebration, conflict resolution, identity definition, and social exchange, they provide rich texts for folkloristic study. We consider how local and global forces both sustain and challenge these forms.
Religion studied anthropologically as a cultural, social, and psychological phenomenon in the works of classical and contemporary social thought. Honors version available.
The formation and transformation of values, identities, and expressive forms in Southeast Asia in response to forms of power. Emphasis on the impact of colonialism, the nation-state, and globalization.
Integration of data from ethnographic and archaeological research with pertinent historic information. Familiarization with a wide range of sources for ethnohistoric data and practice in obtaining and evaluating information. Pertinent theoretical concepts will be explored.
This course examines cultural understandings of health, illness, and medical systems from an anthropological perspective with a special focus on Western medicine.
Anthropological and historical studies of cultural constructions of bodily experience and subjectivity are reviewed, with emphasis on the genesis of the modern individual and cultural approaches to gender and sexuality.
What is the relationship between distinctive features of urban environments and the expressive forms found in those settings? This course explores the impact of the urban setting on folk traditions. We examine how people transform urban spaces into places of meaning through storytelling, festival, ritual, food, art, music, and dance.
Explores performance traditions in African American music, tracing development from African song through reels, blues, gospel, and contemporary vernacular expression. Focuses on continuity, creativity, and change within African American aesthetics. Previously offered as FOLK 610/AAAD 432.
What makes an object "Jewish"? This seminar examines how we think about, animate, repurpose, and display "Jewish" objects in the public realm, cultural institutions, religious spaces, and the home. We consider how makers and users negotiate objects' various meanings within the domains of prayer, performance, entertainment, and exhibition. The class curates a final group exhibition of Jewish material culture based on original fieldwork.
Study of cultural variation in styles of speaking applied to collection of ethnographic data. Talk as responsive social action and its role in the constitution of ethnic and gender identities.
Oral storytelling may seem old-fashioned, but we tell true (or possibly true) stories every day. We will study personal narratives (about our own experiences) and legends (about improbable, intriguing events), exploring the techniques and structures that make them effective communication tools and the influence of different contexts and audiences.
Seminar will explore the unique worlds of Southern material culture and how "artifacts" from barns to biscuits provide insight about the changing social and cultural history of the American South.
Topics vary from semester to semester.
Research at sites that vary.
Permission of the department. Topic varies depending on the instructor.
An examination of Babylonian, Canaanite, Egyptian, Hittite, and Sumerian texts from the prebiblical era, focusing on representative myths, epics, sagas, songs, proverbs, prophecies, and hymns. Honors version available.
Examines the culturally and historically variable ways in which individuals constitute themselves as cis- or transgendered subjects, drawing upon extant expressive resources, modifying them, and expanding options available to others. Performance of self as the product of esthetically marked or unmarked, everyday actions.
An introduction to material folk culture, exploring the meanings that people bring to traditional arts and the artful creations with which they surround themselves (e.g., architecture, clothing, altars, tools, food).
Course considers how Southern writers employ folklore genres such as folk tales, sermons, and music and how such genres provide structure for literary forms like the novel and the short story.
This course combines readings and field work in oral history with the study of performance as a means of interpreting and conveying oral history texts. Honors version available.
Explores the history of music in the American South from its roots to 20th-century musical forms, revealing how music serves as a window on the region's history and culture.
An issue-oriented study of Southern folklore, exploring the ways that vernacular artistic expression (from barns and barbecue to gospel and well-told tales) come to define both community and region.
Introduces students to the uses of interviews in historical research. Questions of ethics, interpretation, and the construction of memory will be explored, and interviewing skills will be developed through field work.
Intensive study and practice of the core research methods of cultural and social anthropology.
Permission of the instructor. Exercises (including field work) in learning to read the primary modes of public action in religious traditions, e.g., sermons, testimonies, rituals, and prayers.
Topic varies from semester to semester.
Permission of the instructor. For honors candidates. Ethnographic and/or library research and analysis of the gathered materials, leading to a draft of an honors thesis.
Writing of an honors thesis based on independent research conducted in FOLK 691H. Open only to senior honors candidates who work under the direction of a faculty member.
A graduate seminar addressing theory and praxis in public sector cultural work. Focusing on public folklore, this course explores broad issues of representation, cultural politics, and cultural tourism.
This seminar focuses on methods of ethnography and fieldwork ethics. Performance as theory and practice informs methodological inquiries as well as the analysis of specific ethnographic texts and case studies.
This course focuses on performance-related issues in the emergent field of cultural studies.
An advanced graduate seminar, this course will address recent developments and problems in performance theory. It will consider cross- and multidisciplinary approaches to performance as sites for consideration and debate.
A systematic overview of the major issues and theoretical perspectives that have informed the study of folklore historically and that are emerging in contemporary scholarship.
A field-based exploration of the pragmatic, ethical, and theoretical dimensions of ethnographic research, addressing issues of experience, aesthetics, authority, and worldview through the lens of cultural encounter. Field research required.
Graduate seminar exploring selected topics in the theory and practice of Folklore.
An irregularly offered graduate seminar exploring selected topics in the theory and practice of folklore.
Permission of the instructor. Independent reading programs for graduate students.
Permission of the instructor. Topics and credit hours vary according to the needs and interests of the individual student and the professor supervising the research project.
Research in a special field under the direction of staff members.