Office of the Registrar
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (2019/2020)
15.7 Folklore

Folklore 1000 is the prerequisite for all other courses in Folklore, except Folklore 1050, Folklore 1060, and those courses cross-listed with other Departments.

A tentative list of upcoming Folklore course offerings can be found at

Folklore courses are designated by FOLK.


Introduction to Folklore

explores the role of tradition in communication, art and society. Reading assignments and audiovisual material will emphasize the use of folklore in context. Students will analyse traditions in their own lives through special assignments.

CR: the former FOLK 2000


Critical Reading and Writing in Newfoundland and Labrador Studies

emphasizes learning about how to identify, critically read, and analyze a variety of texts that explore the culture and traditions of everyday life in Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition, special attention will be given to the stages of the writing process, from prewriting exercises to drafts and revisions. All sections of this course follow CRW guidelines available at


Folklore and Culture

is an introduction to traditional expressive behaviour as cultural experience. Readings and lectures will explore the various meanings of “culture” from interdisciplinary perspectives and link them to areas of folklore such as children's folklore, material culture, and occupational folklife.

PR: while there is no prerequisite for this course, students should note that they will need to take Folklore 1000 (or the former 2000) before they can advance to other courses


Folklore Research Methods

introduces the resources, tools and methods that folklorists use for primary and secondary research, including interviewing and participant observation.

PR: it is strongly recommended that majors and minors take this course before taking 3000 and 4000 level courses


Newfoundland Society and Culture

(same as Sociology 2230, the former Sociology/Anthropology 2230, and the former Anthropology 2230) focuses on the social and cultural aspects of contemporary island Newfoundland.

CR: Sociology 2230, the former Sociology/Anthropology 2230, the former Anthropology 2230

UL: not applicable towards the Major or Minor in Anthropology


Newfoundland and Labrador Folklore

(same as the former Anthropology 2300) is a survey of the full range of folklore in the province, with an emphasis on community and regional identity.

CR: the former Anthropology 2300, the former FOLK 3420

UL: not applicable towards the Major or Minor in Anthropology


Folklife Studies

examines the interweaving of traditional elements in the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of various cultures. These may include holiday customs, rites of passage, folk religion, home remedies, clothing, food and art.

CR: the former FOLK 3500


Oral Literature From Around the World

(same as the former Anthropology 2500) focuses on the analysis of folk literature - narrative, poetry and song, drama, and speech from around the world - through textual, comparative and contextual methods. Special attention is given to traveling motifs that cross geographical boundaries and adapt to global contexts. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

CR: the former Anthropology 2500, the former English 3400, the former FOLK 3400, the former Sociology/Anthropology 3400


Ethnography of the University

allows students to develop their skills in cultural documentation as they record and analyze Memorial University of Newfoundland’s unofficial culture. Course material covers ethnographic practices and issues as well as the dynamics and history of campus life.


Folklore and Tourism: Foodways, Music, and Ritual

examines the role of folklore and folklorists in the global tourism industry. Students will study local practices of foodways, music, and ritual that are being refigured for tourist consumption in Newfoundland and Labrador, and beyond.


Art, Architecture and Medieval Life

(same as Archaeology 3001, History 3020, and Medieval Studies 3001) is an examination of the development of medieval art and architecture and of the ways in which they mirror various aspects of life in the Middle Ages. This course will include a discussion of art and architecture in the countryside, in the town, in the castle, in the cathedral and in the cloister.

CR: Archaeology 3001, History 3020, and Medieval Studies 3001

PR: it is recommended, but not obligatory, that students should have successfully completed one of the following courses: Archaeology 2480, FOLK 1000 or the former 2000, History 2320/Medieval Studies 2001, History 2330/Medieval Studies 2002, Medieval Studies 1000 or the former 2000.


Fictional Worlds: The Folktale

is a study of fictional folk narratives told worldwide. Students may be asked to read, collect, and/or analyze folktales in order to highlight the significance and function of oral fictional folk narratives as they are performed and understood in various contexts worldwide. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

CR: the former FOLK 4200


Music, Song and Tradition

(same as Music 3017) introduces students to a wide range of traditional song. Students will hear and discuss local, regional and international examples. Ability to read music or familiarity with music theory not required.

CR: Music 3017, the former FOLK 2430


Song Worlds: The Ballad

examines traditional balladry (including subgenres such as tragic, comic, romantic, religious, and medieval ballads) in the contexts of global transmission, function, performance, and aesthetics. Differences in dealing with written literature and the literature of tradition will also be addressed. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

CR: the former FOLK 4445


Vernacular Drama

is a survey of traditional drama and its study with an emphasis on North America and Great Britain from social function, performance, and aesthetic perspectives.


Folklore of the Body

examines how the body is socially constructed and how it is represented through folklore genres from narrative, to material culture and custom. It considers how culture is both inscribed on the body and how it is bodily performed.

CR: the former FOLK 3611


Sex/Folklore/Power and Globalization

is 1) an introduction to the many ways that sexual identities are displayed, developed, and categorized through informal and everyday cultural performances, i.e., folklore; 2) a study of how such performances in both local and international settings relate to various folklore genres, including folk language and narrative, music/song/ballad, material culture/space, and festival/ritual and continue to evolve through globalization; and 3) an examination of how social power structures are (de)constructed and negotiated through folk processes involving sexuality/sexual identities. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at


Language and Play

examines the role of play in the folklore of children and adults with particular attention to games, rhymes, proverbs and other small genres of wordplay.


Folklore and Literature

(same as English 3460) examines the interrelationships among folklore forms and literary genres, the influence of oral traditions on written literatures, and consider the theoretical issues raised by these interrelationships. The primary emphasis is on the interpretation of literature from the perspective of folk tradition.

CR: English 3460, the former English 4450, the former FOLK 4450

3601-3640 (Excluding 3606, 3612 and 3618)

Special Topic in Folklore

will have topics to be studied announced by the Department.


Supernatural Folklore

focuses on the ethnography of belief systems. Students examine patterns of belief and the features of supernatural folklore.


Urban Legend and the Media

provides an introduction to the study of one of the most rapidly expanding and exciting areas of folk narrative research, focusing on the main features and themes of urban legends. It examines how, when, where and why stories of this type are communicated via and bound up with a variety of media.


Jazz and Blues: The Roots of Popular Music

(same as Music 3018) is an overview of blues and jazz as traditional musical forms. Lectures and listening will illustrate the development of regional music cultures and generic styles. To better understand the shift of blues and jazz from regional to global performance contexts, the course will examine the effects of changing transmissional media, from predominantly sensory media through contemporary media technologies. A term paper concerning musical style will entail library research and aural analysis.

CR: Music 3018


Artifacts from North American Contexts 1600-1900

(same as Archaeology 3650) provides students with practical experience in the analytical methods used to identify, date and interpret artifacts from 1600-1900 contexts in North America. Detailed discussions on manufacture, technology, form and function provide the necessary background for a better understanding of concepts relating to artifact identification, provenance, dating techniques, and other current issues. Practical, hands-on exercises will help reinforce weekly topics and teach students the fundamentals required to interpret artifact assemblages from the historic period.

CR: Archaeology 3650, the former Anthropology 3683


Museums and Historic Sites

- inactive course.


Special Topics in Folklore: Harlow

is available only as part of the Harlow Campus semester.


Folk Custom

provides an introduction to the study of calendar, seasonal, occupational, and life-cycle customs, focusing on their analysis as symbolic behaviour.

CR: the former FOLK 3600



focuses on dietary practices in a variety of regional traditions, considering both historical and contemporary approaches to the supply, storage, preparation and serving of food. The whole range of cookery and food habits - from the acquisition of raw materials to the allocation of portions - will be addressed from both theoretical and applied perspectives.


Material Culture

(same as Archaeology 3850) is an introduction to the study of material culture and the question of why objects are important to us. Using folklore and interdisciplinary approaches, we will look at objects as cultural products, question the influence of objects on behaviours, and address the role of objects in historical and ethnographic research.

CR: Archaeology 3850


Vernacular Architecture

same as Archaeology 3860 and History 3860) is a historical survey of vernacular architectural forms in various regions of North America, with attention to Newfoundland and Labrador materials. Issues discussed include the relationship of house form and culture, the concepts of antecedents, diffusion, innovation and evolution of building forms and technologies, and the siting of buildings in the landscape. Dwelling houses, outbuildings, churches and industrial vernacular architecture will be included.

CR: Archaeology 3860, History 3860


An Introduction to the History of Western Architecture Since the Renaissance

- inactive course.


Traditions of Work

concerns the development and role of tradition in occupational groups and work settings. Verbal and non-verbal codes including narratives, joking relationships, pranks, material culture, and labour force will be examined in a variety of contexts.


Folklore, Education and Community

familiarizes students with the function of Folklore in the educational process. Emphasis will be on cultural transmission and cultural learning inside and outside the K-12 classroom.


Folklore and Popular Culture

is an introduction to the study of popular culture, the folk/popular continuum, and the role of folklore in media such as film, television, music, and art.

CR: the former FOLK 2400


Gender and Traditional Culture

is an introduction to the ways in which gender shapes and/or is shaped by traditional culture. Readings and lectures will explore the significance of gender for folklore collection and preservation, examine representations of gender in folklore forms, and analyse creations of gendered traditions.


Cultural Resource Management

(same as Archaeology 4015 and Geography 4015) is a study of cultural resource management: the definition and recognition of cultural resources, the application of policy in managing cultural resources, and the identification and consideration of contemporary issues in cultural resource management.

CR: Archaeology 4015, Geography 4015

OR: three hours of seminar per week


History and Memory

- inactive course.


Studies in Newfoundland and Labrador Folklore

studies rural and urban Newfoundland and Labrador with specific reference to a culture in transition. Folklore is examined as one of the channels through which a people maintain, change and adapt various cultural patterns.

CR: the former FOLK 3421

PR: FOLK 2300 or permission of the instructor


Traditional Culture of French-Newfoundlanders

- inactive course.


Folklore of France

- inactive course.


French Folklore in the New World

- inactive course.


Music and Culture

(same as the former Anthropology 4440, Music 4040, and the former Music 4440) examines traditional music as an aspect of human behaviour in Western and non-European cultures. Examination of the functions and uses of music; folk-popular-art music distinctions; and the relation of style to content. Outside reading, class exercises and individual reports will be required.

CR: the former Anthropology 4440, Music 4040, the former Music 4440

PR: completion of at least 24 credit hours of university course work

UL: not applicable towards the Major or Minor in Anthropology


Folk Religion

(same as Religious Studies 4460) examines how established global religions and new forms of spirituality manifest themselves and are religion as it is "lived" on a daily basis in a variety of local contexts worldwide. It focuses primarily on forms of belief and spirituality that are informally expressed. Drawing upon various cultural contexts, the course addresses such notions as space and time; metaphysical powers; religious material culture, music, and verbal art; and the role and power of the holy person. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

CR: Religious Studies 4460, the former FOLK 4240


Spaces and Places

tackles the question of how globalization and modernity influence our attachments to locality, community, and region; how folklore has contributed to social constructions of place; how folklore is used to turn physical space into cultural place; how folklore must change to meet the needs of today’s global and virtual worlds. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at


Oral History

(same as History 4480) examines the narratives of everyday people who tell their life experiences. This course focuses on the collection and analysis of oral narratives and how they can be used to illuminate the past. It considers the power of these narratives to shape constructions of the present and future for both narrators and audiences.

CR: History 4480


Special Topic in Folklore

will have topics to be studied announced by the Department.


Special Research in Folklore

will be determined by the Department.


Directed Reading Course

will be offered as determined by the Department.


Documents Management

(same as History 4810) is an introduction to the management of records and documents, both official and private.

CR: History 4810


Folklore in the Community Context

- inactive course.


Honours Comprehensive Examination

may be written or oral, or a combination of both.


Honours Essay

is required as part of the Honours program.

AR = Attendance requirement; CH = Credit hours are 3 unless otherwise noted; CO = Co-requisite(s); CR = Credit can be retained for only one course from the set(s) consisting of the course being described and the course(s) listed; LC = Lecture hours per week are 3 unless otherwise noted; LH = Laboratory hours per week; OR = Other requirements of the course such as tutorials, practical sessions, or seminars; PR = Prerequisite(s); UL = Usage limitation(s).