Fall 2011 Course Descriptions

Folklore 160AC
Forms of Folklore
TuTh 330-5P
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes

Folklore shapes social identities and notions of community. Attributing “traditional” forms of communication—such as legends, myths, proverbs, riddles, folksongs, rituals, and festivals—to country people, peasants, the working class, or ethnic others enabled members of dominant social groups to distance themselves from the premodern world for three centuries. But it turns out that folklore is woven into the fabric of our daily lives. This course focuses on how all of us construct notions of difference—racial, ethnic, gender, sexuality, class, and nation—through folklore. By examining how a wide range of genres are used in both enforcing social boundaries and hierarchies and challenging the “official” discourses and institutions that attempt to shape us, the study of folklore forms and analytic approaches provide tools for understanding our world and attempting to transform it. Thus, the course explores critical multiculturalism in the United States and elsewhere both in terms of content that deals with African American, Asian American, Latino/a, Native American, and various European American communities and by thinking about how understandings and practices of race and racism are produced, patrolled, and resisted. The course project turns each student into a contributor to the field of folklore by collecting traditional knowledge from his or her milieu and placing it in the Berkeley Folklore Archives.

Folklore C262A
Theories of Traditionality and Modernity
W 11-2P
15 2224 PIEDMNT
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes

This seminar explores the emergence of notions of tradition and modernity and their reproduction in Eurocentric epistemologies and political formations. We will consider the implications of these concepts for differentiations among high and low,  local and global, oral and written, etc.  Readings will include Anderson, Bourdieu, Butler, Canclini, Chakrabarty, Clifford, Derrida, Foucault, Herder, Latour, Mignolo, Pateman, Poovey and Vico.  We will critically reread foundational works published between the 17th century (especially German Romanticists) and the present--along with philosophical texts with which they are in dialogue--in terms of how they are imbricated within and help produce traditionalities and modernities.

Also listed as Anthropology C262A.

Anthropology 121AC
American Material Culture
TuTh 930-11A
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes

Learn to work with historical artifacts from the stage of recovery through the stages of analysis and interpretation. The focus is on the analysis of materials (i.e., ceramic, glass, metal, bone, shell artifacts) recovered from historic sites. Skills acquired include how to identify, date, record, illustrate, photograph, catalog, and interpret historical archaeological materials through a combination of lectures, lab exercises, and a research paper.

Music 26AC
Music in American Culture
TuTh 11-1230P
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes
Two perspectives are developed: 1) diverse music of groups in America, and 2) American music as a unique phenomenon. Groups considered are African, Asian, European, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American. Lectures and musical examples are organized by topics such as music of socio-economic subgroups within large groups, survival of culture, pan-ethnicity, religious and concert music, and the folk-popular music continuum.
Music 134B
Music of Japan
TuTh 1230-2P
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes
Traditional classical music of Japan: Shinto ritual music, the imperial court orchestral music and dance, biwa and shakuhachi forms, chamber music for shamisen and koto, theatrical genres of kabuki and noh. Reading in music and pertinent Japanese literature in translation.
Music 200C
Introduction to Music Scholarship III: Ethnomusicology
W 9-12P
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes
Introduction to issues and methods in ethnomusicology, from the perspectives of both the social sciences and music. Presentation of results in written and oral forms.
Music 241P
Readings in American Musical Cultures
Th 2-5P
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes
Study of selected American musical cultures in relation to issues and theories pertinent to them.
Rhetoric 230
The Mysteries of St. Patrick
Th 2-5P
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes

St. Patrick has developed an apparent solidity in reference works. Encyclopedias,
Wikipedia, and a virtual library of biographies and studies make his life seem as well-
documented as that of St. Augustine or Louis the XIVth. Reference works confidently
give birth and death dates, usually without even a question mark, and report that Patrick
studied in Gaul, that his given name was Sucellus, and that he arrived in Ireland on his
mission in 432 CE, along with many similar biographical details. Virtually all this
biographical information is spurious.

Although Patrick left two actual documents, one of which he declares to have been
written “by his own hand,” and is the subject of a virtual library of studies and
biographies, he remains strangely elusive. The purpose of this seminar is to examine
Patrick’s life and works from as wide a variety of perspectives as possible: rhetorical,
historical, linguistic, hagiographic, folkloric, and critical, to name a few.

Starting with the actual Patrician documents, the Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus and
the Confessio, the seminar will examine both the historical Patrick and the legendary
Patrick. Students will be encouraged to pursue from a research perspective those aspects
of the Patrician tradition that interest them the most.

Requirements: 2 in-class reports and one 30-40 page seminar paper.

No prerequisites; no auditors—all students must be registered.

For non-Berkeley students, this course may be taken remotely via Skype or other media.

Celtic Studies 138
Irish Literature 700-1800
TuTh 930-11A

“In years I was then almost sixteen I was led to Ireland in captivity with so many thousands of men according to our deserts because we withdrew from God and did not keep watch over His precepts.” 

-St. Patrick's Confession (circa A.D. 420)

“CuChulainn attacked them and cut off their four heads from them and impaled a head of each man of them on a prong of the forked pole.  And CuChulainn sent the horses of that band back by the same road to meet the men of Ireland with their reins lying loose and the headless trunks red with gore and the bodies of the warriors dripping blood down onto the framework of the chariots.”

--The Cattle Raid of Cooley (circa A.D. 800)

These words of Saint Patrick and of one of the greatest surviving medieval epics represent two samples of early Irish literature.  Who wrote these words?  When?  What did they mean to the people who spoke, wrote and heard them?  How did they survive the last 1500 years?  Learn about the real Ireland in Celtic Studies 138.  Learn whether the Irish really saved civilization and whether they listened to druids.  Amaze your friends.

Prerequisite:  None.  Course and readings in English

Written Assignments:
4 Quizzes in class

1 in-class group report

1 3-hour Final Examination.

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