Major I: E-Folklore, Ethnic & Women's Literature

Folklore/Ethnic/Women’s Literature courses focus on works  in Folklore, ethnic American writing, and writing by women.

16085

Novels written by the Brontë sisters—Jane Eyre and Villette by Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1818-1848), and Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë (1820-1849)—have remained a significant part of... (read more)

16458

In the decades leading up to the Civil War, it was illegal for slaves to learn how to read or write. It was illegal for them to testify in court, except against each other or to confess a crime. In the North, free African Americans often did not fare much better: there they were susceptible to... (read more)

17023

Warren, Joyce Pualani

Liminal Form(s): Ethnic American Short Fiction

This course will examine Ethnic American short fiction, paying particular attention to the ways its structure and content uphold and contest literary, corporeal, and national form(s).... (read more)

40804

Clevinger, Kara

Who is the American “I”? Rugged individualism has long been central to American identity and culture, but what perspectives and possibilities are excluded from the “I” crafted by male writers like Benjamin Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, and Ernest Hemingway? In our course we... (read more)

42251

Clevinger, Kara

The novel as a newer literary genre was a powerful, even potentially dangerous force in the newly-formed American nation. One 1838 critic declared that “the object of novelists in general appears to be to seize the public mind, and hold it with a sort of enchantment.” What captivated and... (read more)

42252

Gazaille, Brian

This class explores how black women writers of the twentieth century have taken up the themes of time, memory, and identity. These writers often conceived of literature as a project of memory and recovery, a place, as Ntzoake Shange puts it in Sassafrass, Cypress, & Indigo, for... (read more)

42419

Casimir, Ulrick

Focusing primarily on American/Hollywood filmmaking from the late 1960s through today, this course looks closely at the representation and function of African-Americans and women in film. Using both mainstream and independent films as our primary texts, we will explore how African-Americans and... (read more)

32040

Upton, Corbett

Credited with inaugurating the Harlem Renaissance and inspiring the Negrítude movement, Claude McKay is best known as America’s most important protest sonneteer. McKay’s storied literary career documents the life of a black expatriate modern and his sense of the Black Atlantic experience during... (read more)

35969

Warren, Joyce Pualani

This course will examine Native women’s fiction, paying particular attention to the ways its form and content uphold and contest terms like “feminism,” “fiction,” and “native.” The central concern of this course is Native women’s textual representations of their bodies and voices, both physical... (read more)

35970

Whalan, Mark

African American Authors of the Harlem Renaissance

This course will examine the work of three major African American authors: Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes. These three did much to set the tone of the flourishing of black literary culture after World World One known... (read more)

35996

Wojcik, Daniel

Examines the research questions and theoretical models used by folklorists and other scholars in the study of vernacular religion and popular spirituality. We will examine religion and spirituality as it is “lived,” focusing primarily on beliefs and practices that are informally learned and... (read more)

36001

Brown, Kirby

There is perhaps no image more widely recognized yet more grossly misunderstood in American popular culture than the “Indian.” Across a variety of discursive forms, “the Indian” has been represented as everything from an irredeemable savage and an impediment to progress to an idealized figure of... (read more)

26844

Wheeler, Elizabeth (Betsy)

One could say that most comics are about the human body, in all its variations, exaggerations, erotics, poses, powers, and vulnerabilities. This course looks at the human body in contemporary comics with particular attention to disability and gender. We’ll read 4 comics genres: anime, memoir,... (read more)

27212

Dugaw, Dianne

The complex cultural history of Great Britain and Ireland is the focus of this course. We study folk and popular traditions that are current or have been collected in this region, particularly noting how these influence art, literature, history, and socio-political institutions as well as... (read more)

27607

Fickle, Tara

Asian American Comics

The growing acceptance of comics and graphic novels as “serious” literature owes much to the genre’s embrace as a powerful vehicle for memory, especially by minority writers seeking to showcase “non-normative” accounts of American life: the experiences of being gay,... (read more)

12464

Dugaw, Dianne

This course brings together readings of the Bible in the Judeo-Christian tradition with apt mythological, folkloristic, and traditional contexts, concepts, theories, and meanings. We will read sections of the Bible that have continuing presence in Western culture and literature, exploring how... (read more)

16310

Sayre, Gordon

In this course we study car collecting and customizing as vernacular art traditions, and survey of some of the astonishing range of human behaviors around cars and trucks. To better understand cars we also will learn of the history of the automotive industry, environmental issues arising from... (read more)

16311

Dugaw, Dianne

This course brings together readings of the Bible in the Judeo-Christian tradition with apt mythological, folkloristic, and traditional contexts, concepts, theories, and meanings. We will read sections of the Bible that have continuing presence in Western culture and literature, exploring how... (read more)