Folklore

University of California, Berkeley

Overview

The Folklore Program trains intellectual leaders in folkloristics for the twenty-first century. The program seeks to provide a deep, critical, and theoretically-informed reading of folklore scholarship from the seventeenth century through the present. Students are urged to develop a particular field of expertise in folkloristics. At the same time, graduate students are advised to develop a strong grounding in another discipline or a multidisciplinary perspective, such as race and ethnic studies, performance studies, science studies, rhetoric, narrative theory, ethnomusicology, materiality, women's and queer theory, or others in order to bring new perspectives into folkloristics work.

The program is truly international in scope, seeking to challenge the Eurocentric roots of folkloristics by bringing in critiques and alternatives from outside the Euro-American orbit, particularly through study with leading folklorists from around the world who come to Berkeley each year as visiting faculty members.

Undergraduate Program

There is no undergraduate program in Folklore, but relevant courses are available in Anthropology, Art History, Italian, Music, Scandinavian, Slavic, Spanish and Portuguese, and other departments.

Graduate Programs

Folklore: MA, Designated Emphasis (DE)

Visit Program Website

Courses

Folklore

FOLKLOR C261 Theories of Narrative 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2012, Spring 2011, Summer 2006 10 Week Session, Spring 2006
This course examines a broad range of theories that elucidate the formal, structural, and contextual properties of narratives in relation to gestures, the body, and emotion; imagination and fantasy; memory and the senses; space and time. It focuses on narratives at work, on the move, in action as they emerge from the matrix of the everyday preeminently, storytelling in conversation--as key to folk genres--the
folktale, the legend, the epic, the myth.
Theories of Narrative: Read More [+]

FOLKLOR C262A Theories of Traditionality and Modernity 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
This seminar explores the emergence of notions of tradition and modernity and their reproduction in Eurocentric epistemologies and political formations. It uses work by such authors as Anderson, Butler, Chakrabarty, Clifford, Derrida, Foucault, Latour, Mignolo, Pateman, and Poovey to critically reread foundational works published between the 17th century and the present--along with philosophical texts with which they are in dialogue--in terms of
how they are imbricated within and help produce traditionalities and modernities.
Theories of Traditionality and Modernity: Read More [+]

FOLKLOR C262B Theories of Traditionality and Modernity 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
This seminar explores the emergence of notions of tradition and modernity and their reproduction in Eurocentric epistemologies and political formations. It uses work by such authors as Anderson, Butler, Chakrabarty, Clifford, Derrida, Foucault, Latour, Mignolo, Pateman, and Poovey to critically reread foundational works published between the 17th century and the present--along with philosophical texts with which they are in dialogue--in terms
of how they are imbricated within and help produce traditionalities and modernities.
Theories of Traditionality and Modernity: Read More [+]

FOLKLOR 298 Readings in Folklore 3 - 6 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016

Readings in Folklore: Read More [+]

FOLKLOR 299 Directed Research 3 - 6 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016

Directed Research: Read More [+]

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Ronelle Alexander, Professor. Slavic languages & literatures, Balkan Slavic dialectology, Balkan linguistics, language contact, oral tradition, Parry-Lord theory of oral composition, South Slavic epic singers, issues of language and identity.
Research Profile

Stanley H. Brandes, Professor. Cultural anthropology, ritual and religion, food and drink, alcohol use, visual anthropology, Mediterranean Europe, Latin America, Spain, Mexico.
Research Profile

Charles L. Briggs, Professor. Linguistic and medical anthropology, social theory, modernity, citizenship and the state, race, and violence.

Benjamin Brinner, Professor. Indonesia, Java, Bali, Israel, musical memory, situated musical cognition, musical interaction, improvisation, gamelan, music and oral narrative.
Research Profile

Mia Fuller, Associate Professor. Anthropology, Italy, fascism, urban design, architecture, Italian colonialism.
Research Profile

Ronald Hendel, Professor. Textual criticism, Hebrew bible, ancient Near Eastern religion and mythology, Northwest Semitic linguistics.
Research Profile

Margaretta M. Lovell, Professor. Architecture, design, American art.
Research Profile

Tamara C. Roberts, Assistant Professor.

Candace Slater, Professor. Spanish, Portuguese.
Research Profile

Laurie Wilkie, Professor. Anthropology, historical archaeology, oral history, material culture and ethnic identity, family and gender relations; North America, Northern California, Caribbean. Bahamas, African consumerism, creolization, multi-ethnic community.
Research Profile

Visiting Faculty

Galit Hasan-Roken, Visiting Professor.

Diarmuid O'Giollain, Visiting Professor.

Emeritus Faculty

John Lindow, Professor Emeritus. Old Norse-Icelandic literature, Scandinavian folklore, Finno-Ugric folklore, Pre-Christian religion of the North, Scandinavian mythology.
Research Profile

Daniel Melia, Professor Emeritus. Rhetoric, oral literature, Celtic studies, Celtic languages (Welsh, Irish), folklore, medieval history and literature.

Contact Information

Folklore Program

232 Kroeber Hall

Phone: 510-642-3406

Visit Program Website

Program Chair

Charles Briggs, PhD (Department of Anthropology)

cbriggs@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Ned Garrett

232 Kroeber Hall

Phone: 510-642-3406

ned@berkeley.edu

Back to Top