Table of contents general Information 3 Undergraduate Distributions 5 Undergraduate Courses 6 Graduate Courses 24 Cross-listed Courses 39 Helpful Links 40 Notes 41 The Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology

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General Information 3
Undergraduate Distributions 5

Undergraduate Courses 6
Graduate Courses 24
Cross-listed Courses 39
Helpful Links 40
Notes 41
The Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology courses range from introductory courses for undergraduate students to specialized courses for graduate majors. The program offers students the opportunity to explore topics such as: the role of verbal and material arts and music in human life; the relationship of tradition and change in society; cross-cultural analysis; multiculturalism; verbal and material arts and music in specific world areas; and ethnographic research. Courses are listed in Indiana University's On-line Course Descriptions Program on the World Wide Web.
The Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology home page address is: . Please refer to the end of this booklet for a listing of other useful websites.
What is Folklore?

People throughout the world use tradition in their daily lives and in times of crisis, celebration, and change. Folklore explores the dynamics of tradition and creativity in societies, past and present. Folklorists examine processes of individual creativity and of communication in diverse social and cultural settings.

What is Ethnomusicology?

While it is entertaining, music is also serious business--political, social, religious, artistic and economic. Ethnomusicologists study music of all types cross culturally and analyze the role of music in human life.

Folklore & Ethnomusicology at IU

The IU undergraduate program reflects the breadth of folklore/ethno study and its links to the arts, area studies, and other disciplines. Departmental courses offer analyses of verbal and musical performance, specific regions, human diversity and worldview, research methods and fieldwork, and the relevance of folklore/ethno study to understanding one's own society and the societies of other regions and periods. There are opportunities for direct student-faculty contact through collaborative research projects, readings courses, and internships. Courses are open to students from any department or school and many fulfill Arts and Humanities and Culture Studies requirements.

Undergraduate Degrees

Undergraduates may earn a B.A. degree in Folklore/Ethno. Students may also combine the study of Folklore/Ethno with related disciplines by pursuing a double major or a minor. Students considering a major or minor in the department are encouraged to meet with the Undergraduate Advisor prior to registration. For undergraduate requirements and guidelines, please consult the College Bulletin on the College of Arts & Sciences homepage.

For advice and information on undergraduate programs, please contact the Interim Director of Undergraduate Studies:
Dr. Pravina Shukla

Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology

or Krystie Herndon

Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Graduate Courses

Graduate courses include classes on theory and method as well as courses on specific world areas or issues. Using theories from the humanities and social sciences, topics are often approached from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Graduate Degrees

The Department offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in folklore and a minor in folklore. Students wishing to specialize in ethnomusicology may earn an M.A. or Ph.D. with a concentration in ethnomusicology. (Graduate students in other departments and schools may pursue a minor in ethnomusicology; contact the Director of the Ethnomusicology Program, Dr. Portia Maultsby, for information).

Contact the Folklore/Ethno Director of Graduate Studies for further information and applications:
Dr. Greg Schrempp

Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology



or Chris Roush

Graduate Recorder





A & H – Arts and Humanities

S & H – Social and Historical

CSA – Cultural Studies List A

CSB – Cultural Studies List B

TFR – Topics Qualified Course

IW – Intensive Writing Course
F101 Introduction to Folklore A & H

F111 World Music & Cultures A & H

F121 World Arts & Cultures S & H

F131 Folklore in the United States A & H

F205 Folklore in Video & Film A & H, TFR

F252 Musical Theater & Ethnic Representation A & H

F253 Music & Black Identity in Latin America S & H

F253 Mythology & Culture S & H

F295 Survey of Hip-Hop A & H, CSA

F301 Music in African Life A & H, CSA

F301 Ghanaian Performance & Culture A & H, CSA

F307 Middle Eastern Ballads & Narrative Poetry A & H, CSA

F312 Roma (Gypsy) History & Culture A & H, CSB

F312 Topics in Central Eurasian Studies A & H, CSB

F315 South American Performance & Culture A & H, CSA

F359 Exploring Jewish Identity Today S & H, CSA

F364 Children’s Folklore A & H, CSA

F400 Individual Study in Folklore

F401 Theories & Methods S & H

F403 Practicum in Folklore/Ethnomusicology

F420 Folk Stories A & H, IW

F494 Transcription & Analysis S & H

E103 Youth Music Scenes

For course locations, please check the Schedule of Classes:

F101 Introduction to Folklore (3 crs)

Course # 7372 10:10A-11:00A MW M. Foster

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. We will 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 computer games and tattooing to urban legends and fraternity/sorority initiation rites.
Throughout the class we will consider different theories of folklore and think critically about the historical development of folkloristics and its relationship to issues of identity, class, ethnicity, and nationalism. Students will also have a chance to venture into the field to collect and analyze folklore themselves.

Fulfills COLL Arts & Humanities

F111 World Music and Cultures (3 crs)

Course # 7378   02:30P-3:20P     MW D. McDonald

This course is designed to introduce the student to the various ways in which music is performed, consumed, and conceptualized in various cultures around the world.  In this class we will study indigenous, popular, and classical art musics from an ethnomusicological perspective, highlighting the relationships between music and other domains of social life such as race, religion/cosmology, language, gender, politics, and culture. Ultimately, the goal of this class is to present a cross section of the world’s music cultures so as to better familiarize the student with music and musical performance from a cross-cultural perspective.

Fulfills COLL Arts & Humanities

F121 World Arts & Cultures (3 crs)

Course # 13913   11:15A-12:30P     MW K. Duffy

Surveying the customary arts of the world's peoples offers a critical and historical means for evaluating and comprehending the human condition in the modern world. This course explores how culture is made manifest, especially in such media as landscapes, architecture, material culture, and expressive and collective performances. A sampling of world arts, it also provides an introduction to folklife studies.
Fulfills COLL Social & Historical

F131 Introduction to Folklore in the U.S. (3 crs)

Course # 7385   03:35P-04:25P     MW P. Shukla

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 US 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.


Students in the class will engage in two field projects, collecting folklore around them, analyzing the stories, jokes, body art, and home decoration within their own social circles.

Fulfills COLL Arts & Humanities

F205 Folklore in Video & Film (3 crs)

Course # 7392   09:30A-10:45A     TR J. Johnson

William Thoms conceived the term Folk Lore in 1846 to name the new discipline centered around the study of tradition. Since the advent of modern media and the World Wide Web, a more standardizing influence has evolved upon folk belief and other kinds of folklore. The new and related discipline of Popular Culture was developed to analyze the standardizing effects on these forms. The difference between folklore and popular culture is sometimes very difficult to determine, if such a distinction can really be made at all. Topics that interest scholars both in folklore and popular culture now appear regularly on film and video. This course will deal with a number of issues of folk belief and worldview reinforced, debated, propagated, and spread by film, video, the web, cinema, television, VCR, and DVD players in modern America. Moreover, the course will explore ways of critically viewing and examining folklore and popular culture in video and film. In spite of the powerful influence of science on contemporary worldview, many people still cling to beliefs others consider illogical and unreasonable. Tools for critical thinking will be explored in readings and discussions. A major goal of this class will be to assist students to develop skills for thinking critically about a wide variety of folk belief common in our times.
As this course has progressed from one semester to the next, students themselves have chosen over half the topics potentially covered in the course. From this list, students choose 10 topics to be thoroughly investigated during the semester in both videos and class debates.
Those topics include:

AIDS Conspiracy Theories Martin Luther King Assassination

Alien Abductions Conspiracy Theories

Ark of the Covenant Marilyn Monroe Assassination

Atlantis Conspiracy Theories

Bermuda Triangle Moon Landing Hoax Conspiracy Theories

Bigfoot Near Death Experience

Chupacabra 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

Crop Circles Nostradamus Prophesies

Doomsday Prophecies Philadelphia Experiment

Exorcism Princess Diana Assassination Conspiracy

Garden of Eden Theories

Ghosts Psychics

Holy Grail (cup) Roswell UFO Crash

Holy Grail (Da Vinci Code) Search for Holy Relics

Human Cloning Search for Noah’s Ark

JFK Assassination Conspiracy Theories Shroud of Turin

Jack the Ripper Spontaneous Human Combustion

Lincoln Assassination Conspiracy Theories Stigmata

Loch Ness (and other Lake Monsters) UFOs

Lost Tribes of Israel Yeti (Abominable Snowman)

If the Truth is out there, perhaps you will find it in this course.

Fulfills COLL Arts & Humanities, TFR

F252 Musical Theater & Ethnic Representation: Jews and African Americans (3 crs)

Course # 26870   01:00P-02:15P     TR J. Cohen

Meets with another section of F252.
Above section for Jewish Studies students only. Please contact Carolyn Lipson-Walker,, for authorization.
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.
Fulfills COLL Arts & Humanities

F252 Musical Theater & Ethnic Representation: Jews and African Americans (3 crs)

Course # 12094   01:00P-02:15P     TR J. Cohen

Meets with another section of F252.
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.

Fulfills COLL Arts & Humanities

F253 Music & Black Identity in Latin America (3 crs)

Course # 27069   02:30P-03:45P     MW J. León

What makes particular musics in Latin American and the Caribbean sound African?  Does that heritage reside in the music and dance or with those who practice them?  Do other cultural influences make these musical practices less African?  What have been the contributions of people of African descent the development of Latin American and Caribbean music?  This course will explore the answers to these questions through a series of case studies from Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay.  Along the way we will examine the primary ways in which musicians, listeners and scholars writing about music have come to think about the relationship between the concepts of blackness, diasporic identity, and music-making.

Fulfills COLL Social & Historical

F253 Mythology & Culture (3 crs)

Course # 27070   02:30P-03:45P     MW G. Schrempp

The term “mythology” carries a number of meanings, including ancient stories associated with rituals, potent symbols, and images with an uncanny power to stick in our minds and shape our worldviews. In many usages, “mythology” also carries the connotation of the temporally, spatially, and/or geographically distant. In this course, we will look at examples of such “distant” mythologies, including stories, rituals, and symbols embraced by the ancient Greeks, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans (who, though spatially proximate, are regarded by many Americans as culturally distant).
Some scholars, however, think that it is too confining, if not prejudicial, to limit the concept of “myth” to such distant societies and cultures. In the second part of the course, we will consider the idea that mythology is to be found in many forms of modern mass-culture, such as film, television, advertising, and popular iconography. Throughout, we will consider the ways in which mythology intersects with culture more broadly and the ways it functions within society.
Anthropologists Bronislaw Malinowski’s Myth in Primitive Psychology will be the focal work for the first half of the course; literary and culture critic Roland Barthes’ Mythologies for the second. Readings will be supplemented with visual materials. The workload for this class will be moderate to heavy. Grades will be based on participation, several short essays, and a concluding essay to be written during the final exam period.
Open to Honors students and Folklore and Ethnomusicology majors (who should obtain enrollment authorization from the Honors Division).

F295 Survey of Hip-Hop (3 crs)

Course # 27078   04:00P-06:30P MW F. Orejuela

Above class is a 2nd 8-weeks only course.
ABOVE CLASS is taught as a web-based course only, using BREEZE.
Above class meets with AAAD-A295.
Only meets 2 times on campus for the Midterm and Final Exams.
Above class students must be enrolled at IUB in order to add this course. Course materials will be available on OnCourse the day before our first meeting.
If you have not been in a BREEZE class room before and are working from home, you may wish to go to the following website at:
At minimum, do the first item (Test your computer) before the first class session. If you use a campus cluster computer, those computers are Breeze compatible.
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 will meet 2 times on campus for the midterm and the final exams.
Fulfills COAS Arts & Humanities, CSA

F301 Music in African Life (3 crs)

Course # 11408   11:15A-12:30P     TR D. Reed

An extraordinary diversity of cultural and musical expression exists in Africa. This course will survey that diversity, focusing on ways Africans create, perform, think about and use music in their lives.

We will study select regional styles of music in Africa while attending to translocal, transnational, and global cultural and musical exchanges in which Africans participate. We will explore traditional and popular musics in relationship to social and historical contexts, music’s profound interlinkages with other arts, performers’ roles, musical instruments, aesthetics, music and politics, music and religion, music and identity, and other issues central to the scholarship of music in Africa.   Students will be required to complete a midterm exam that includes listening and essay questions, as well as a paper on a topic to be chosen in consultation with the instructor.

Fulfills COLL Arts & Humanities, CSA

F301 Ghanaian Performance & Culture (3 crs)

Course # 27075   07:00P-09:30P     M K. Brown

Above course requires permission of the instructor. Contact
The Ghanaian Music Performance and Culture Course will perform traditional Ghanaian music using voices and traditional instruments including drums, xylophones, flutes, bells, rattles, and gourds. The ensemble performs music reflecting a variety of Ghanaian musical occasions and situations in various groups of the country with emphasis on its relation to individual cultures, its structure and performance.
The class will be divided into two sections. First section begins with warm-up exercises to condition the body by developing strength, aerobic stamina, coordination, flexibility, and rhythmic awareness. Second section will focus on learning Ghanaian traditional dances and songs, as well as their historical and cultural contexts. Students work closely with the instructor to gain understanding of the relationship between the master drummer and dancers.
Attire/Personal Belongings for Class:

Please dress in flexible clothes that enable you to move freely (sweats, dance attire, or yoga clothes). No excessive jewelry. Long hair should be pulled back and securely fastened. Use bath rooms to change into dance clothes. No bags or street shoes are allowed in the studio. NO CELL PHONES. They must be turned off and out of sight prior to entering the classroom.


  • To expose students to a variety of Ghanaian dance forms and the social and political fabric in which they are enmeshed

  • To heighten students’ sensitivity to cross-cultural differences

  • To develop students’ observational, descriptive, and analytical skills as they pertain specifically to dance

Classroom and Studio Etiquette:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the class structure by arriving in the studio or classroom prepared for class and allowing for sufficient time to transition

  • Be respectful of your peers, instructor, and guests at all times

  • Receive and apply feedback and correction in a respectful manner

  • Work safely and effectively in class and allow others to do so

  • Apply focus and concentration

  • If for some reason you are unable to dance, please inform the instructor before class begins

  • In the event of an injury alert the instructor immediately

  • No street shoes, gum, beverages or food are allowed in the studios - plastic water bottles are permitted

Fulfills COLL Arts & Humanities, CSA

F307 Middle Eastern Ballad & Narrative Poetry (3 crs)

Course # 7393   02:30P-03:45P TR H. El-Shamy

Above class meets with Folk-F617.
This course deals with narrative folk poetry in Middle Eastern Arab communities. The genres of this category of expressive folk culture are compared to corresponding Euro-American counterparts (e.g., the English and Scottish ballad, epics, etc.).


I. Introduction: The Folk Narrative and its Forms in the Era of Mass communications:

            Key Concepts Associated with Genres and Tale Typology, Factors involved in Typological and Genre Studies (e.g., (Form, Contents, Narrator's Intent, Media of dissemination, etc.) (elaborated in pt. V, below)

The poet, balladeer, bard, etc. as culture broker and agent of change.


II. Narrative Folk Poetry:

            Epic, "Epic-romance" (sîrah), Ballad. The form, structure and contents.


III. Thematic Characteristics of the Ballad: Non-Religious and Religious

            The Family: the Traditional Structure of Sentiments; Romantic Lovers; Nationalistic Themes in the Modern State; Societal events--representation of community ideals (the Conduct of the Native-urbanite: 'Real-man', and Other Aspects of the Good Man); Humorous Ballads


IV. Religious Ballads (and Epics?)

            Prophets; Other Prophets and the Virgin; The Prophet's Companions; Arch-saints and Saints; Christian "Martyrs" and Saints.


V. Structural and Stylistic Characteristics

            Impersonal presentation, concentration on one episode, "Leaping and lingering," Beginning "in medias res," "Repetition," (eg., "Climax of relatives," "Speech and action"), etc.


VI. Theories of ballad origins: Minstrel Theory, Broken-down Epic, Broken-down Romance, Communal Origin, Communal Re-creation, Formulaic Improvisation


VII. Conclusions.


Two take-home exams

One term paper
Fulfills COLL Arts & Humanities, CSA

F312 Roma (Gypsy) History & Culture (3 crs)

Course # 14550   02:30P-03:45P TR L. Hooker

Meets with FOLK-F 635, CEUS-U 320 and U520.
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