This course studies
the folklore traditions maintained by immigrant and ethnic communities in the
Nordic and Baltic States. How are their ethnic culture and identity
related to cultural unity and diversity in their countries, and in the world? Theories of ethnic
folklore research and interpretations of traditions, particularly ideas proposed
by Nordic and Baltic scholars, will be evaluated and applied to the study of living folklore
traditions. Comparative examples will be found in communities of
European immigrants in North America.
- Learn about people and traditions:
- Learn the historical background of immigrant and
ethnic communities in the Nordic and Baltic
- Learn examples of folk traditions practiced or
remembered in these communities.
- Encounter theories and interpretations of ethnic
- Learn a variety of approaches to immigrant and ethnic
folklore, and some "classic" interpretations proposed over the
- Become an expert on one immigrant or ethnic group:
- Learn how to find and use research tools for the
study of immigrant and ethnic folklore (online databases, web archives,
- Experience folklore fieldwork: Make contact
with living people in the "field" to compile
information about folklore traditions in immigrant and ethnic
- Do ethnography: Document and interpret living folk
Quizzes and Class Participation: 25%
Final examination, 25%
research reports 25%
Final Research Report, 25%
Fredrik Barth, ed., Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The
Social Organization of Culture Difference.
Anna-Leena Siikala et al., Creating Diversities: Folklore,
Religion and the Politics of Heritage.
Unni Wikan, Generous Betrayal: Politics of Culture in the
New Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002).
Stern, Stephen and John
Cicala, Creative Ethnicity: Symbols and Strategies of Contemporary Ethnic
Additional reading assignments
as listed in the lecture schedule.