Spring 2009 Course Descriptions

Folklore C262B
Theories of Traditionality and Modernity
Th 9-12P
221 Kroeber
Young, K G
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes

Different aspects of culture change at different rates. We, as folklorists, have traditionally been interested in the bits that change slowly, that hold out against the perceived rhythms of modernity and that thereby display an edge, a marked difference between themselves and the felt fluidity of the present. We occupy the present as instability and experience stability as the past. Folk objects and events are not, of course, static; they are asynchronous. For that reason we perceive them as repositories of the past, as if in them, by them, time could be held still. Our interest in difference, in archaism, in resistance and holding out, has distracted us from following folklore dissecting out into the matrix of the ordinary, fast folklore, folklore cutting to the quick. Traditional genres of folklore myths, legends, and folktales; proverbs, riddles, and metaphors; folksongs, folkdances, and folk rituals positioned to keep culture in place, can also act as little insurrections against the order of things, creating new spaces of stability and instability as they move. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to trace out the aesthetic ecology of a piece of folklore as it moves between place and space; strategy and tactics; past, present, and future.

Readings: Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Destination Culture; Richard Wollheim, Art and its Objects; Lucy Lippard, The Lure of the Local; Yi-Fu Tuan, Topophilia; Jack Katz, How Emotions Work; Kathleen Stewart, Ordinary Affects; Sigrid Norris, Analyzing Multimodal Interaction; Richard Shusterman, Body Consciousness; Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, The Primacy of Movement; David Howes, ed., Empire of the Senses.

Folklore 298
Readings in Folklore
Briggs, C L
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes
Folklore 299
Directed Research
Briggs, C L
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes
Anthropology 162
Alternative Medicine: Skepticism, Alterity, and Epistemology
Tu/Th 11:30-1:00
ARF Seminar Room, 2251 College Building
Young, K G
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes

Alternative medical practices have altered the American medical landscape. The epistemologies of the body underlying alternative medicine fall outside the orthodox biomedical paradigm. For that reason, alternative medical practices incur skepticism from orthodox practitioners as well as uninitiated participants. In consequence, the rhetoric of such practices is both pedagogical and persuasive, designed at once to teach the practice to its participants and to deflect skepticism about it. Unorthodox medicine is orthodox medicine's counterdiscourse. Practitioners and participants find themselves obliged to inhabit spaces of alterity. This course will examine alternative medical epistemologies both in their own terms and as critiques of orthodox medicine.

Readings: Thomas Csordas, Body/Meaning/Healing; Drew Leder, The Absent Body; Arthur Frank, The Wounded Storyteller; G. Thomas Couser, Recovering Bodies; Deepak Chopra, Quantum Healing; Bill Moyers, Healing and the Mind. A class reader will also be required.

Music 179
Music and Oral Narrative
M 2-5 P
Brinner, B

This upper division seminar for music majors will study the integration of music, speech, movement, and other elements in oral storytelling traditions. The primary focus of the course will be Javanese shadow play (wayang kulit), culminating in documentation and analysis of the wayang performance at U.C. Berkeley on April 25, 2009 in comparison to previous performances. Other types of shadow play and storytelling traditions from Southeast Asia and the Middle East will also be discussed. Student may choose topics from other parts of the world for their research projects. Prior experience playing gamelan is desirable but not required.

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