The minor in folklore and popular culture provides an academic foundation for students interested in the many genres in the field including folktales, myths, legends, proverbs, jokes, games, folk medicine, and folk and indigenous musical traditions, from around the world. Through interdisciplinary course work, students will learn techniques of collecting, analyzing and interpreting the traditional expressive culture of diverse groups. Students will analyze the interrelationships of folklore and national, regional and ethnic identities. After becoming acquainted with methods of interpreting different forms of folklore, students will see how value systems are reflected in the data, so that students understand the ideological underpinnings of group formation, group identity, conflict and strategies for resolution. By focusing on the individual, informal culture, and the tension between the individual and myriad groups to which they belong, folklore provides yet another window into understanding how individuals function in complex societies. Since the field is historically grounded and culturally comparative, folklore provides important perspectives on the human condition.
For the minor in folklore and popular culture, students must complete five courses, as distributed below.