Future class

October 25, 2009

Those of you intersted in the digital culture aspects of our class may want to follow up next semester with this class:

ENG 5670
Topics in Folklore & Folklife:
Folklore & Digital Culture

Professor Janet Langlois

At first glance, traditional folk cultures and cyberspace seem to be in two separate universes. Yet contributors to a course text, Folklore and the Internet: Vernacular Expression in a Digital World (2009), make a case for recognizing the “folkloric qualities of the World Wide Web, e-mail, and related digital media.”  We will examine digital storytelling, fairy tales in hypertext and urban legends threaded through multiple websites. We will look at how dislocated peoples have made ritual use of cell phones, cyber cafes and blackberries to maintain social, religious and ethnic networks, and at how young adults have created virtual memorial shrines for each other on sites world wide. We will also examine virtual ethnography, the ways in which field researchers draw on new media technologies to exchange cultural knowledge. The Global Lives Project, for example, is a collaborative online video library made up of footage documenting the everyday lives of individuals not usually recorded.  We will draw on a growing body of scholarly literature pointing to how digital culture both shapes and is shaped by vernacular expression.  University of California at Berkeley’s online journal, Cultural Analysis: an Interdisciplinary Forum on Folklore and Popular Culture, is just now calling for papers on the intersection of shared virtual and actual social spaces.  Course requirements will include essay exams (40%), term projects (45%), and class participation (15%).


One comment

  1. This is exactly what I have become increasingly interested in since beginning this class. I wonder how many electives I have left.

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