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Undergraduate Course Offerings

Fall 2013 Undergraduate Courses

Folk-F101 Introduction to Folklore
MW 3:35-4:25 pm +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 2903

Folklore is alive. It inspires the choices we make every day: how we communicate, what foods we eat, what games we play, what stories we tell, how we interpret the world around us. Folklore reflects our values, our prejudices, our fears, and our desires. The practices, beliefs, and objects that constitute folklore are so intrinsic to our daily lives that they are often overlooked in other disciplines that study human culture, but every culture has folklore and we are all part of the folk.
 
In this course we will consider the role folklore plays in the lives of people around the world and examine a variety of traditional genres, including myth, legend, folktale, joke, gesture, ritual and craft, and we will also explore the way folklore informs our own contemporary lives, from Internet sites and tattooing to urban legends and fraternity/sorority initiation rites.

Folk-F111 World Music & Culture
MW 12:20-1:10 pm +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H, World Cultures
Course # 2909

This course examines a variety of musical traditions from across the globe. Taught from an ethnomusicological perspective, music is explored as complex cultural expression, intensely invested with social, artistic, economic and political meanings. This course seeks to advance knowledge of not only what happens in musical performance, but why. More than mere entertainment, or simply notes on a printed page, music comes alive through an understanding of the people who create and express it.

Folk-E112 Black Music of Two Worlds
MWF 9:05-9:55 am
CASE A&H, GCC; GenEd A&H, World Cultures
Course # 29571

An exploration of the relationships among musics of West and Central African people and their descendants in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean.  Emphasis placed on the conceptual and aesthetic continuities between musical expression in Old and New World contexts—a uniformity which exists because of a shared African cultural ancestry. 

Folk-F131 Folklore in the United States
MW 11:15 am-12:05 pm +discussion section
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 13015

People from all over the world call the United States home. Some arrived centuries ago, others arrived a few years ago. Along with ambition and family, all of them bring with them their expressive culture. This class looks at contemporary cultural expressions in the United States by focusing on folklore, defined as creativity in everyday life. Through lectures, videos, slides, audio recordings and a few guest lectures, we explore folklore in the U.S. now, for example, by studying urban legends, personal narratives, tattoos, and car art. We understand the present by looking at the past, seeing European, African, Native American, and Asian influences on the architecture, folktales, food, and body art of the United States.

Folk-F131 Folklore in the United States
TR 4:00-5:15 pm (no discussion section)
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 33975

People from all over the world call the United States home. Some arrived centuries ago, others arrived a few years ago. Along with ambition and family, all of them bring with them their expressive culture. This class looks at contemporary cultural expressions in the United States by focusing on folklore, defined as creativity in everyday life. Through lectures, videos, slides, audio recordings and a few guest lectures, we explore folklore in the U.S. now, for example, by studying urban legends, personal narratives, tattoos, and car art. We understand the present by looking at the past, seeing European, African, Native American, and Asian influences on the architecture, folktales, food, and body art of the United States.

Folk-F210 Myth, Legend, & Popular Science
MW 4:00-5:15 pm
CASE S&H; GenEd S&H
Course # 11438

Myths are colorful stories that tell about the origins of the cosmos and about the deeds of larger-than-life characters. Myths are often set in ancient times or said to be "timeless." Legends tell of more recent and/or contemporary events that are memorable or startling and carry practical warnings or lessons. While plausible, legends often are not wholeheartedly believed. Popular science is a contemporary literary genre in which qualified scientists explain recent findings (e.g., from astronomy, cognitive science, or genetics) in terms that are broadly accessible and appealing. In this course we will compare these three genres, asking about the ways in which they converge and diverge, and about the features of each that might lead us to believe or discount their claims.

Folk-F225 Forms of Commemoration
MW 2:30-3:45 pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 29592

The site of the Boston marathon bombing in April 2013 was overflowing within a few hours with flags, running shoes, marathon medal s and Redsox paraphernalia.  No matter how uncommon the tragedy, such spontaneous responses to death and disaster are common.  Leaving flowers, candles, teddy bears, hearts, or cards on sites where people have died a violent death has become a popular practice since the 1990s in the Western world but follows on much older remembrance practices with similar features. Sometimes called “spontaneous shrines,” this popular form of commemoratation for the tragically deceased is culturally, spiritually and politically meaningful in ways that require attention.  This course explores community traditions related to the creation, meaning, uses and aesthetics of commemorative forms including shrines, memorials, roadside crosses, grave decorations and other informal modes of remembrance.

Folk-F252 Urban Legend
MW 9:05-9:55 am +discussion
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 33166

Stories of Kentucky fried rats, poodles in a microwave, kidneys stolen for the human organ black market, and bizarre gang initiations, are examples of the popular narrative tradition of “urban legend”. Often macabre, fantastic, horrific and sometimes hilarious, urban legends are modern adaptations of much older stories told in daily discourse, and depicted in television, film and novels. This course explores the defining features of urban legend, their cultural history, themes and their role as cultural commentary, their cultural fascination and impact, and their popularity on the internet, in the news and in popular culture.

Folk-F252 Musical Theater & Ethnic Representation
MW 9:30-10:45 am
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 13490

In this course, we will look at the representation of Jews and African-Americans on the musical theater stage.  Focusing on major works such as Shuffle Along, The Wiz, Fiddler on the Roof and The Producers, we will explore what it means for each group to represent itself and to be represented through the conventions of musical theater.

Folk-F252 The Cultural Work of Music in East Africa
TR 4:00-5:15 pm
CASE A&H; GenEd A&H
Course # 14020

This course will explore the multiple ways in which music and dance impact and influence the social, economic, and political experiences of people in East Africa. Through critical analysis of topics ranging from widespread poverty and the HIV-AIDS epidemic to genocide and political upheaval, students will develop an understanding of the multilayered roles and significance attributed to music in various East African contexts.

Folk-E295 Survey of Hip Hop
TR 2:30-3:45 pm
CASE A&H, DUS; GenEd A&H
Course # 8729

Class meets online twice a week - students must login during class times. This course examines rap music and hip hop culture as artistic and sociological phenomena with emphasis on historical, cultural, economic, and political contexts. Discussions will include the co-existence of various hip hop styles, their appropriation by the music industry, and controversies resulting from the exploitation of hip hop music and culture as a commodity for national and global consumption. Class meets two times on campus, for the midterm (scheduled Saturday, October 12th, 10:00 am) and final exams (TBD).

Folk-E297 Popular Music of Black America
MW 2:30-3:45 pm
CASE A&H, DUS; GenEd A&H
Course # 34128

Learn about the social and cultural history of Black popular music from the 1940s to the present. Did you know that today's popular styles are rooted in past traditions? TLC, En Vogue, Destiny's Child, Boyz to Men, and Jodeci are contemporary versions of the 60s Motown groups; Miguel, Usher, and Beyonce are contemporary versions of 70s R&B singers; Hip-hop is the foundation for much of today's popular music; Electronic dance music is making a comeback with Rihanna and Chris Brown; The neo-soul of Maxwell and Jill Scott comes from 1970s soul; Soul of James Brown is the by-product of the Black Power Movement; West Coast hip hop of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog is indebted to funk; and Rock 'n' Roll is Rhythm and Blues.

Folk-F301 Ghanaian Music, Drumming, & Dance
M 7:00-9:30 pm
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 10124

This course is an introduction to African performing arts. Students will be introduced to practical African drumming and dancing as well as learn the performance aspects of these musical genres. The class material will focus mainly on Ghanaian drumming, gyil (xylophone music) and some musical traditions of West Africa. With emphasis on hands-on experience in drumming, singing and dancing, students will also learn the history and social contexts in which these performance genres are organized. There will be a short lecture/discussion at the end of each session on the musical traditions covered in class. Students will be evaluated on how actively they participate in class and their understanding of the performance aspects of the various genres. There will be a performance at the end of the semester and students are required to be part of the performance. Previous music and dance experience is welcome but not required. All materials will be taught orally and through demonstrations. This course requires a $50 instrument rental fee, charged through the Bursar.

Folk-F301 Ugandan Music & Dance Ensemble
MW 11:15am-12:30 pm
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 33506

The East African country of Uganda has over forty different cultural groups, each with its own distinct musical heritage. Students in this performance ensemble will learn drumming, xylophone, singing and dance traditions representative of a broad range of Ugandan traditions. The semester will culminate with a public performance during which students will showcase what they have learned. There are no musical prerequisites for this course. This course requires a $50 instrument rental fee, charged through the Bursar.

Folk-F301 Ugandan Music & Dance Ensemble
TR 9:30-10:45 am
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 34130

The East African country of Uganda has over forty different cultural groups, each with its own distinct musical heritage. Students in this performance ensemble will learn drumming, xylophone, singing and dance traditions representative of a broad range of Ugandan traditions. The semester will culminate with a public performance during which students will showcase what they have learned. There are no musical prerequisites for this course. This course requires a $50 instrument rental fee, charged through the Bursar.

Folk-F305 Cultural Diversity in China
TR 2:30-3:45 pm
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 10669 (This section for FOLK and EALC majors and minors and Chinese Flagship students only. Permission can be requested from instructor by emailing tuohys@indiana.edu.)
Course # 11923 (This section is for non-FOLK and EALC majors and minors and non-Chinese Flagship students. No permission required to register.)

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)?

Folk-F307 Islam Among the Folk
TR 1:00-2:15 pm
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 32557

This course offers an examination of folk and popular religious and quasi religious ideologies, practices, and related manifestations in Middle Eastern Moslem-Arab and related societies.

Folk-F312 European Folk Musics
TR 2:30-3:45 pm
CASE A&H, GCC
Course # 29608

This course will examine a wide variety of European musical communities, nations, and styles, from Hungary, Finland, and Bulgaria in the east to England and Ireland in the west, as well as some musics of two important transnational communities, Jews and Roma (Gypsies). The course has three goals: to become familiar with some of the diverse national and regional musics of Europe and the ways they can be studied; to examine the roles these musics play in the lives of the people who make them; and to understand the interplay between innovation and preservation that has changed them over time. No musical background is necessary.

Folk-F351 American Vernacular Music
TR 9:30-10:45 am
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 29674

This course will examine a wealth of North American musical communities and styles. These include bluegrass, tex-mex, blues, polka, string band, shapenote, cajun, zydeco, mariachi, klezmer, gospel and steelband music.  In addition, we will explore issues of ethnicity, style, revival, and commercialization. The goals of the course are threefold: to develop a familiarity with the diversity of American regional and ethnic musics, to understand the history of stylistic borrowing and innovation that has created these musics, and to examine the roles these musics play in the lives of the people who make it.  No musical background is necessary.

Folk-F356 Latino Folklore
TR 2:30-3:45 pm
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 13627

This course cannot be inclusive of all US Latinos, but we will study a wide array of cultural manifestations—oral traditions, music, festivals, dance, material culture, healing and spirituality—while also paying attention to wider debates concerning migration, gender, nationalism, and identity. The course will begin with an overview of the study of folklore and of Latino Studies. The remainder of the course will be divided into five main themes—migration, gender, nationalism, and identity and the interrelation between them—and how different cultural practices and traditional expressive forms help express, negotiate, transform, and maintain Latino communities in the United States.

Folk-F358 Music in Judaism
MW 2:30-3:45 pm
CASE A&H
Course # 29617

In this course, we will explore the variety of ways people have used music to describe, inscribe, symbolize and editorialize the Jewish experience: from biblical times, to cantorial music, to Israeli popular music, American Jewish hip-hop and beyond.  Although we will cover much of our material in chronological order, this course offers more than just a survey of “Jewish music history.”  Rather, music will serve as our window into questions of religious, ethnic, national and historical identity from biblical times to the present. A basic familiarity with Judaism, music history, and/or musical terminology is helpful for the course, but by no means required. All translations will be provided, and all musical analysis will be taught and explained thoroughly.

Folk-F364 Children's Folklore
MW 4:00-5:15 pm
CASE A&H, DUS
Course # 32558

This course will focus on the informal processes through which children negotiate childhood and as a means of understanding how children use folklore in their everyday lives to construct the status quo as well as resist it. This course requires that you do some fieldwork with children, emphasizing experience and service learning. Service-learning combines the service ethic of volunteerism with critical thinking skills and academic knowledge. The final paper will combine library research with the service learning participation (a.k.a. 1-2 hours fieldwork + community volunteerism) at Highland Park Elementary School and Girls, Inc in Bloomington.

Folk-F401 Methods & Theories
TR 11:15 am-12:30 pm
CASE S&H
Course # 11439 (priority is given to FOLK majors and minors. E-mail mmelhous@indiana.edu to obtain online authorization.)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to principle theories and methods in the two fields composing our department, Folklore and Ethnomusicology. Folklorists and ethnomusicologists study the meanings of expressive forms in the everyday lives of individuals and their roles in society. Our two fields share a common focus on forms of artistic performance and expressive culture. Our scholarship also demonstrates a shared interest in the study of people and their artistic productions. Our research aims to contribute to the understanding of social processes, artistic practices, and human creativity.

Folk-F404 Folklore & the Body
TR 2:30-3:45 pm
CASE A&H
Course # 29622

Culture shapes our bodies. From what we eat and the ways we groom to the games we play and the ways we move, our bodies exist within given traditions. This course will explore the ways that folklore partially constitutes what the body is and what the body does.

Folk-F497 Advanced Seminar
TR 9:30-10:45 am
CASE S&H
Course # 5799 (Priority is given to FOLK majors and minors. E-mail mmelhous@indiana.edu to obtain online authorization.)

As in all classes, the course will help students to continue to refine skills in communication, research, critical thinking, and scholarship--including research methods, conceptualization, evaluation and use of relevant sources, and writing.  With an emphasis on the work of synthesis and reflection, the primary aim for F497 is for students to emerge from this course--and from their experience in the department and at IU--feeling competent in their chosen field(s) and confident that the knowledge they have acquired can be transformed into worthwhile endeavors in the near and distant future.


Course Listings, Spring Semester 2013

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Spring 2013
Undergraduate
Course Description
Booklet

F101 Introduction to Folklore
F111 World Music & Culture
F121 World Arts & Cultures
F205 Folklore in Video & Film
F253 Mythology & Culture
F256 Folklore & the Supernatural
E295 Survey of Hip Hop
E297 Popular Music of Black America
F301 Ghanaian Music, Drumming, & Dance
E302 Music in African Life
F307 Arabian Nights: East & West
F307 Middle Eastern & Arab Mythology
F312 Roma (Gypsy) History & Culture
F315 Caribbean Arts & Cultures
F315 South American Performance & Culture
F330 Living Jerusalem: Ethnography and Bridge Blogging in Disputed Territory
F351 American Vernacular Music
F354 Divas of Black Music
F356 Latino Youth & Urban Folklore
F358 The Jewish Folktale
F364 Children's Folklore
F400 Individual Study
F401 Methods & Theories
F402 Traditional Arts Indiana
F403 Practicum
F405 Studying Ethnomusicology
F410 Multimedia in Ethnomusicology
E496 African American Religious Music

Recommended Electives:
C103 Music, War, & Peace