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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Spring 2006

ANT 392P • Intro to Graduate Folklore

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29355 W
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
EPS 1.130KA

Course Description

This course critically examines the origins and development of the disciplinary activity of "folklore" in four broad historical phases. The first deals with the mid-nineteenth century Anglo-Germanic beginnings of such focused inquiry principally in nineteenth century England and its relationship to issues of class and ethno-nationalism. The second takes up folklore scholarship in the late nineteenth and through the mid-twentieth centuries in several distinct strands - the historic-geographic method; functionalism; literary regionalism; Freudian psychoanalysis. The next phase, that I call the socio-linguistic turn, places us in the period roughly from the early 1970s to the near present. We then close with a consideration of the current state of folklore in relation to new intellectual formations such as critical Marxism, post-colonial theory, reflexive anthropology, and cultural studies. These will be the primary sites for reading and critical discussion. Throughout, I will ask us to historicize persistently so as to gain understanding of the manner in which these schools and tendencies are themselves forms of cultural activity occurring in particular historical circumstances. Finally, as a central, illustrating, illuminating and often-ignored case in the history of folklore, we will turn periodically to what the Mexican-American, Communist intellectual of the 1930s, Emma Tenayuca, called the Mexican Question in the Southwest, as a way of grounding our theoretical discussions in one specific and continuous cultural tradition.


Charles Briggs, Competence in Performance: The Creativity of Tradition in Mexicano Verbal Art Simon Bronner, American Folklore Studies: An Intellectual History Richard Flores, Los Pastores: History and Performance in the Mexican Shepherd's Play of South Texas José E. Limïn, Dancing with the Devil: Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican-American South Texas Américo Paredes, "With His Pistol in His Hand": A Border Ballad and Its Hero. George Stocking, Victorian Anthropology We will also have a course reader.


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