Unit–1 Folklore: Definition, Concept and Classification

  • Who is the Folk? – Concepts of Folklife and Folkloristics – Ethnicity – Family types – Natal, Conjugal, Nuclear, Extended (Generational and Polyandrous) – Types of relationships in Family – direct, shared, sexual and descent – Functions of Family -Kinship Terminology: Types of Kinship, Role of Kinship – Social Categories and Social Organization in the creation, transmission and sustenance of Folklore / Folklife.
  • Conceptual shift from ‘Popular Antiquities’ to ‘Folklore’ – Genres and Functions of Folklore: Ethnic Genres and Analytical Categories – Classification of Folklore: Verbal, Nonverbal and Intermediary Genres – Genre Theory: Alan Dundes, Richard Dorson, Ben Amos, Richard Bauman, Roger Abrahams – Functions of Folklore: William Bascom, Louri Honko – Characteristics of Folklore.

Unit–2 Historiography of Folkloristics

  • Folk, from ‘Savage’ to ‘Imagined Group’ – Folklore as Data and Folklore as Study – Oracy Vs. Literacy – Classical Vs. Folk – Emergence of Folklore as an Academic Discipline – Folklore Studies in Abroad – Folklore Studies in India – Subaltern Studies – Tribal Studies – Diaspora Studies – Green Studies.

Unit–3 Folk Literature

  • Definition and Epistemology of Folk Literature Fields of Folk Literature: Myths, Epics, Legends, Folk Tales, Folk Songs, Proverbs, Riddles, Tongue Twisters, Speech Acts – Verbal Art in Performances (Theatre, Dance Drama, Medicinal Chants, Verbose in Play Genres, etc.) – Literary Devices – Ethnic Slurs, Rumor, Personal Narratives – Oral History.

Unit–4 Theories of Folklore – Diachronic Approaches

  • Evolutionary Theories – Concept of Evolution – Unilinear and Multilinear Approaches – E.B. Tylor, George Mudrock, Lewis Morgan, James Frazer – Myth-Ritual Theory – Solar Mythology or Comparative Philology.
  • Devolutionary Theories – Concept of Devolution – Types of Devolutionary Theories – Marxists and Elitists.
  • Diffusion Theories (Monogenesis) – Concept of Diffusion – Indianist Theory or Benfy’s Migration Theory – Egyptians School and Finnish School or Historical-Geographic Method.
  • Diffusion Theories (Polygenesis) – Psychic Unity – Convergence Vs. Parallelism Theories – Romantic Nationalism and its Manifestations.

Unit–5 Theories of Folklore – Synchronic Approaches

  • Structural Approaches – Basic concepts – Syntagmatic Structuralism – Concepts of Ferdinand de Saussure and Theory of Vladimir Propp –– Application of Proppian Model to Folklore – Paradigmatic Structuralism – Concepts of Roman Jacobson and Theory of Claude Levi-Strauss – Application of Straussian Model to Folklore.
  • Functional Approaches – Basic Concepts – Social Functionalists: Bronislaw Malinowski, Radcliffe-Brown, Emile Durkheim – Symbolic Functionalists: Clifford Geertz, Victor Turner.
  • Psychological Approaches – Psychoanalysis – Basic Concepts – Sigmund Freud – Freud’s Theoretical applications to Folklore – Analytical Psychology – Basic Concepts – Carl J. Jung – Jung’s Theoretical Applications to Folklore – Jacques Lacan’s Theory.
  • Contextual Approaches – Basic Concepts – Verbal Art as Performance – Linguistic and Communicative Models of Roman Jacobson – Oral Formulaic Theory or Parry-Lord Theory – Lauri Honko’s concept of ‘Multiforms’.
  • Poststructural and Postmodern Approaches – Meaning and Tenets of Post-structuralism, New Hermeneutics, Text, Textuality, Textual Analysis – Paul Ricoeur and Theories of Interpretation Historical Milieu of the Theories – Concept and Theory of Deconstruction – Derrida, Lacan, Foucault – Gender Theories and Approaches Gender and Genre – Feminism and Gender Perspectives – Queer Theory.
  • Semiotic Approaches – Semiotic Approach to Folk Culture Studies – Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles S. Pierce on Sign System and Culture – Perspectives on Discourse Analysis.

Unit–6 Folklife and Cultural Performances

  • Culture as Performance – Erving Goffman, Clifford Geertz, Milton Singer – Rites of Passage and Territorial Rites – Arnold van Gennep, Victor Turner – Performance Centered Approach – Roger D. Abrahams, Richard Bauman, Richard Schechner Dell Hymes’s Ethnography of Speaking Approach – Analysis of Folk Narratives.

Unit–7 Public Folklore and Mass Media

  • Basic Concepts – Folklore, Folklorism, Folklorismus, Folklorization, Applied Folklore, Public Folklore and Second Life of Folklore – Folklore in Public Sphere – Folklore and Communication – Folklore and New Media.

Unit–8 Folklore and Globalisation

  • Theories of Global Culture – Discourse on Modernity, Post-Modernity and Globalisation – Ideologues of Globalisation – Emergence of Populism.
  • Influence of Globalisation in Socio-cultural Life – Issues and Concepts of Identity – Glocal vs. Global, Homogeneity Vs. Heterogeneity and Hybridization – Changing Dimensions and domains of Folklore Genres and Folk Performances – Cultural Tourism – Neo-Folk Formations and Protest Movements – Challenges to Native Cultures – Bio-politics.

Unit–9 Indian Folk Cultural Practices

  • Genres of Folk Theatre – Narrative Enactments – Puppet Theatre – Dance Dramas – Musical Traditions and Life Style Patterns – Naming System and Onomastics – Occupational Folklore – Family Folklore – Folk Religious Practices – Pilgrimage and Ritual Practices – Fairs and Festivals – Folk Medicinal Practices – Folk Art and Craft – Folk Architecture – Folk Foodways and Culinary Practices – Folk Games – Dress and Clothing – Manners and Customs – Customary Law and Jurisprudence – Worldview – Regional Variations and Versions.

Unit–10 Fieldwork, Documentation and Archival Practices

  • Categorization of Fieldwork Operations: Pre-fieldwork, Fieldwork and Post-fieldwork – Notions of ‘field’ and ‘data’- Thick and Thin Data – Methods and Techniques Survey Method, Observation Method – Ethnographic Method – Postmodern Ethnographic Method – Dialogical and Discourse Methods – Focus Group Method – Documentation and Archival Practices – Preservation and Conservation of Tangible and Intangible Cultures – Fieldwork Ethics and Copyright Issues – Patent Rights.


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