and Professor: J. Attebery (English)
Folklore is the part of our culture that we
learn in informal, personal interactions with people we meet regularly.
The many genres of folklore include the verbal arts, such as epic,
ballad, folksong, folktale, legend, myth, joke, tall tale, riddle, and
proverb. Folklore also includes customary and material forms, such as
calendar customs, games, dances, foodways, modes of dress, folk
architecture, and crafts such as chair making, blacksmithing, and the
many forms of fabric art. People learn and share folklore within groups
that have a common ethnic, religious, occupational, or other basis.
Folklorists with a literary orientation tend to focus on genres, the
ways in which they are learned, the ways they change in transmission,
the ways they are performed, and their cultural and historical
contexts. They may focus on textual questions, studying folk aesthetics
and connotation and the relationships between folklore genres and
literature. Folklorists with an anthropological orientation tend to
study the variety of genres within a single culture, examining the
interrelationships and functions of folk forms within the cultural
group. The Program in Folklore at Idaho State University draws on both
of these orientations to provide students with a well-rounded course of
Experience in folklore benefits students interested in continuing to
graduate programs in folklore, history, anthropology, English, American
studies, and sociology. Knowledge of folklore is helpful, too, in
public history, museum, and oral history programs. Folklore courses
enhance the knowledge of both elementary and secondary teachers and of
those planning to do social work or work in health-related professions.
Minor in Folklore
The program in folklore offers a minor designed to augment American
Studies, Anthropology, English, History, Sociology, and other majors.
The program’s required course, ANTH/ENGL 2212, introduces
students to the study of folklore genres, folklore fieldwork, and types
of folk groups. Upper-division courses provide students with more
focused study of folklore issues and genres, the history of folklore
scholarship, particular folk cultures, and the interrelationship of
genres within those cultures. The program also provides opportunities
for study of ethnographic and material culture fieldwork techniques.
Specialized courses include material culture, American Indian verbal
and material arts, and courses in the relationships between folklore
and literature, including fantasy literature.
The minor in folklore consists of 18 credits, as follows:
ANTH/ENGL 2212 Introduction to Folklore/Oral Tradition 3 cr
Choose 15 credits from:
ANTH 3301 Introduction to Shoshoni Folklore 3 cr
ANTH 4404 Material Culture Analysis 3 cr
ANTH 4449 Methods and Techniques of Ethnographic Field Research 3 cr
ANTH 4452 American Indian Verbal Arts 3 cr
ANTH 4472 Native American Arts 3 cr
ANTH/ENGL 4490 Topics in Folklore 3 cr
ENGL 4492 Folklore and Literature 3 cr