44.17 Folklore





The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Folklore is offered by part-time and full-time study and is primarily a research Degree. The program normally requires extensive fieldwork research in Newfoundland and/or the Maritimes.

Integral to the teaching of the Department of Folklore is the work of the Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive.

44.17.1 Program of Study

  1. An applicant for admission to the Ph.D. program in Folklore must hold an M.A. Degree in Folklore, or its equivalent as determined by the Head of the Department and the Dean, with an average grade in M.A. courses of not less than 80%.

  2. All Ph.D. students in the Folklore program must complete at least 18 credit hours in program graduate courses which shall include Folklore 7000. Students will normally be free to choose graduate courses of interest to them in Folklore or related disciplines, though it will be a primary responsibility of their committees to ensure that any serious deficiencies are made good. At the end of the second semester the program and further status of the student will be reviewed.

  3. Second Language Requirements:

    1. All Ph.D. students are required to demonstrate an adequate reading knowledge of a second language - normally a common, modern language.

    2. Reading knowledge is defined as a minimum 'B' grade in a second-year language course taken within the previous five years, or performance satisfactory to the Department in an arranged reading proficiency test.

    3. The selection of a second language can be based on the student's research requirements.

    4. The selection of a second language must be made in consultation with the student's faculty advisor or Supervisor. Confirmation that the choice is acceptable must be obtained from the Department.

    5. The language requirement must normally be fulfilled before a student takes the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination.

  4. Comprehensive Examination for the Ph.D.:

    1. The Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination shall be administered in accordance with General Regulations, Ph.D. and Psy.D. Comprehensive Examination. Students will prepare for three examinations by undertaking supervised readings in three fields decided by the Comprehensive Examinations Committee. The basic principle is to integrate knowledge within specific areas of folklore and folklife scholarship. The examination normally will be written with the format to be determined by the Comprehensive Examination Committee in consultation with the student. Assessment will be based on the examination of three papers each of one week duration or three open book examinations each of eight hour duration. The Committee will recommend to the Dean of Graduate Studies a grade of PAS (pass), REX (re-examination), or FAL (fail).

    2. Examination normally will take place only upon the completion of the second language requirements and no earlier than the end of the first year after admission to candidacy but no later than one year after the completion of the program courses. The examination normally will be scheduled in the second semester following the student’s completion of courses.

  5. Ph.D. Thesis:

    1. The student will normally submit a thesis proposal based on the student's own interests no later than the end of the semester following the completion of comprehensive examinations. The thesis proposal will include a working title, names of preferred Supervisor and two other Committee members, statement of topic, plan of research, statement of methodological and theoretical approach, a brief review of the literature and a preliminary bibliography. The proposal will be circulated to the Department for critical evaluation on the basis of which the student will be informed, within one month, by the Supervisor, of its acceptance, rejection, or acceptance with recommended changes.

    2. The thesis shall give evidence of the student's ability to carry out independent and original research, develop the necessary theoretical and methodological framework and present the findings in a scholarly manner.

44.17.2 Courses

A selection of the following graduate courses will be offered to meet the requirements of students, normally after consultation with the Head of the Department or the Graduate Studies Administrator, and as far as the resources of the Department will allow. Courses are structured according to the categories of: Theories and Methods, Issues, Form and Performance, Special Topics, Regional, National and International Heritage, Social Identities, Public and Applied Folklore, Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Ph.D.

Theories and Methods

  • 6010 Survey of Folklore Genres and Processes
  • 6020 Field and Research Methods
  • 6030 Folklore Theories
  • 6040 Feminist Theories: Perspectives and Issues
  • 6080 Vernacular Theories
  • 6090 Ethnology


  • 6050 Issues in Folkloristics
  • 6060 Foundations of Performance Studies
  • 6070 Issues in Folklife

Form and Performance

  • 6100 Song and Music
  • 6120 Ballad
  • 6130 Folk Music Canons and Documentary Sound Recordings
  • 6200 Folktale
  • 6210 Legend
  • 6220 Personal Experience Narrative
  • 6250 Language and Play
  • 6260 Ethnography of Communications
  • 6300 Ethnography of Belief
  • 6310 Health Systems
  • 6350 Custom
  • 6360 Traditional Drama
  • 6370 Ritual, Festival and Public Display
  • 6400 Material Culture
  • 6410 Vernacular Architecture
  • 6420 Art and the Artifact
  • 6430 Food and Culture
  • 6720 Folklore and Literature

Special Topics

  • 6511-29 Special Topics in Folklore
  • 6550 Special Research in Folklore
  • 6551 Indigenous Expressive Cultures in Cross-Cultural Encounter
  • 6552-69 Special Research in Folklore
  • 6570-79 Reading Course in Folklore

Regional, National and International Heritage

  • 6600 Folklore of Newfoundland
  • 6610 Folklore of Canada
  • 6620 Folklore of the United States
  • 6630 Folklore of the British Isles
  • 6640 Traditional Culture of Scotland
  • 6650 Culture and Traditions of Ireland
  • 6660 Folklore of the Francophone Regions
  • 6690 International Folklore

Social Identities

  • 6510 Occupational Folklife
  • 6730 Folklore and Gender
  • 6770 The Global and the Local
  • 6780 Ethnicities

Public and Applied Folklore

  • 6380 Perspectives on Cultural Tourism
  • 6740 Public Sector Folklore
  • 6760 Archiving
  • 6790 Museums: Perspectives and Practices
  • 6800 Applied Folklore

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

  • 6700 Folklore and Culture
  • 6710 Oral Tradition and Oral History
  • 6750 Popular Culture: Theory and Debate


  • 7000 Advanced Folkloristics I
  • 7100 Advanced Folkloristics II Research and Ethnography

Credit may not be obtained for both 6010 and the former 6110; 6020 and the former 6111; 6030 and the former 6112; 6100 and the former 6430; 6120 and the former 6445; 6300 and the former 6230; 6350 and the former 6230; 6400 and the former 6501; 6720 and the former 6460.

The information on this site has been extracted from the Official 2023-2024 University Calendar. While every reasonable effort has been made to duplicate the information contained in the official University Calendar, if there are differences, the official Memorial University of Newfoundland Calendar will be considered the final and accurate authority.

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