*Michael O. Jones, Craftsman of the Cumberlands. NK2715.J57,1989
Henry Kauffman, Pennsylvania Dutch American Folk Art. NK835.P4K3,1964
Henry Mercer, Ancient Carpenters Tools. TH5618.M4,1968
Merrimack Valley Textile Museum, Homespun to Factory Made. TS1614.M4,1977
Allen Noble, Wood, Brick and Stone (U.S. folk architecture). 2 vols. NA703.N6,1984
Ian Quimby & Scott Swank, eds., Perspectives on American Folk Art. NK805.P47,1980b
**Lore Rogers & Caleb Scribner, “The Peavey Cant-Dog.” Required, ONLINE
Robert Shaw, America’s Traditional Crafts. Fol.NK805.A1S53,1993
Nancy Sweezy, Raised in Clay: The Southern Pottery Tradition. TP798.S94,1984
**Robert Teske, “What Is Folk Art?” (from El Palacio). Required, ONLINE
Dell Upton & John Vlach, eds., Common Places: Readings in American Vernacular Architecture NA705.C58,1986
John Vlach & Simon Bronner, eds., Folk Art and Art Worlds. NK805.W35,1983
Anna Wadsworth, ed., Missing Pieces: Georgia Folk Art. Required, NK835.G4M57 (2 copies)
**Don Yoder, ed., American Folklife. GR105.A6; pp. 3-13 Required, ONLINE
Charles Zug, Turners and Burners (N.C. folk pottery). NK4025.N8Z82,1986
*may be checked out for 7 days; **online password: h09ak7B
COURSE OBJECTIVES: Viewing American society, from preindustrial to postmodern times, through the lens of material folk culture (folk craft, art, and architecture), the tangible expressions of regional identity and cultural continuity. This is an ideas (not “how-to-do-it”) course, the most conceptual in the Folklore Curriculum of the Department of English.
(This syllabus provides a general plan for the course; deviations may be necessary.)
Lecture and Discussion Topics Part I: THE APPROACH (Concepts and Methodology)
1. The Folklife Studies Movement: origins and influences.
READ: Yoder, “Folklife Studies in American Scholarship,” pp. 3-13 ONLINE (suggest beginning Vlach, Afro-American, although assigned later)
2. What Makes an Object Folk or Not? A recipe for folk artifacts; distinctions
and interaction between folk and popular cultures and impact of the Industrial Revolution, with corn knives, husking pins, and Peaveys as case studies.
3. The Folk Art Controversy: contrasting the folklorist’s and art world’s
approaches to folk art; art, craft, and aesthetics of folk and non-folk.
READ: Glassie, Pattern, pp. 28-33; Teske ONLINE; Burrison, “Georgia Decoy Maker Ernie Mills” ONLINE; Wadsworth. Also suggest Vlach & Bronner, pp. 1-50; Rumford in Quimby & Swank, pp. 3-53; Glassie, Spirit
*MIDTERM EXAM (take-home; due date to be announced)
4. Documenting Material Folk Culture.
READ: Roberts, “Fieldwork: Recording Material Culture” in Dorson, pp. 431-44; those doing a field-based documentation project as a term paper should also read Glassie, “William Houck,” and guidelines handout
5. Museums, Folk and Otherwise: issues of public exhibition.
READ: Jenkins, “The Use of Artifacts and Folk Art in the Folk Museum” in Dorson, pp. 497-516; suggest Burrison, Shaping Traditions, Introduction
Part II: THE STUFF (Selective Materialistic Description of Regional Cultures)
6. People on the Land: folk-cultural regions and settlement history,
especially the North (New England), Mid-Atlantic, and South.
READ: Glassie, Pattern, pp. 33-39; Vlach, Afro-American (complete)
7. Folk Architecture: the cultural landscape and its regional patterns.
READ: Glassie, Pattern, remainder; see Noble
8. Focus on a Craft: pottery, with emphasis on the southern stoneware tradition.
READ: see Guilland, Greer, Zug, Baldwin, Burrison, Sweezy
*FINAL EXAM: Monday, December 15, 4:15-6:45 p.m. (Finals schedule)
*NO CLASSES Mon., Sept. 1 (Labor Day Holiday); Wed., Nov. 5 (AFS); Mon. & Wed., Nov. 24 & 26 (Thanksgiving Holiday).
*TERM PAPER (optional for undergraduates, required for graduate students, counting ⅓ of final grade) due Monday, December 8 (last class).