Folk 4020/6020 america's folk crafts

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FALL 2014

Dr. John A. Burrison

25 Park Place, office 2315, ph. 404/413-5836, e-mail

Office Hours: MW 3-5:15 & by appointment

1. Henry Glassie, Pattern in the Material Folk Culture of the Eastern United States. University of Pennsylvania Press paperback, $26.50

2. John M. Vlach, The Afro-American Tradition in Decorative Arts (complementary text not much discussed in class but on final exam). University of Georgia Press paper, $32.95

John Burrison, From Mud to Jug (north GA folk pottery). U. of GA Press paper, $29.95

Michael Owen Jones, Craftsman of the Cumberlands. U. Press of KY paper, $25


(Library North Circulation desk; consult Instructions for Accessing Reserve Materials)
Cinda Baldwin, Great and Noble Jar (S.C. folk pottery). NK4364.B35,1993

John Burrison, Brothers in Clay: The Story of Georgia Folk Pottery. NK4025.G4B87,1983

**John Burrison, “Georgia Decoy Maker Ernie Mills,” in Cashman, Mould, & Shukla, eds., The Individual and Tradition, pp. 408-428 Required, ONLINE

John Burrison, Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South. TT23.5.G65,2000

Ralph T. Coe, Lost and Found Traditions: Native American Art 1965-85. E98.A7C53,1986

Richard Dorson, ed., Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction. GR65.D57

Allen Eaton, Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands. NK814.E2,1973

*Henry Glassie, Folk Housing in Middle Virginia (structural analysis). NA7235.V5G55

Henry Glassie, The Spirit of Folk Art. NK607.G5,1989

**Henry Glassie, “William Houck” (Adirondack basketmaker). ONLINE

Georgeanna Greer, American Stonewares. NK4360.G73

Harold Guilland, Early American Folk Pottery. NK4006.G8,1971

*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.

READ: Glassie, Pattern, pp. 1-28; Rogers & Scribner ONLINE; suggest Merrimack

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).

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