ENG 239 American Folklore (3 credits)

This course investigates types of folklore found in the United States, including aspects such as definition, classification, origin, variation, and function in contemporary culture. It explores how traditions (oral, customary, and material folklore) develop within any group of people who share a common interest, experience or background, whether it be race, ethnicity, region, occupation, class, family, age, gender, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, special interest, etc. Through readings, films, and discussion focused on examples of diverse groups, students will learn how the lore of a group both expresses and shapes the experience, concerns, and values of the group. Students will collect, classify, analyze, and share the traditions of their own groups as well. Learning to recognize the dynamics of folklore within their own groups, students will gain the skills necessary to understand and respect the traditions of groups other than their own. Prerequisites: ENG 103 and ENG 104.