Folklore and Mythology

Brief Description of Concentration

people dancingFolklore and Mythology is a liberal education in and of itself. The program encourages the study of any given community through its language and culture, offering an array of choices for drawing on a variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. To focus on the folklore and mythology of a community (at local, regional, national, or even trans-national levels) is to understand how that group or society defines itself through stories, music, food, folktales, legends, dramas, dance, rituals, beliefs, proverbs, epics, myths, customs, law codes, festival celebrations, “wisdom literature,” and many other forms of expressive culture and artistic communication. To study the folklore and mythology of any group is to discover how that group identifies itself in relation to others. 

Learning Objectives

Concentrators conduct independent research on the material, oral, written, or performed forms of folklore and mythology in their areas of specialization, which range greatly across time and space. Our students develop and practice folkloristic methods -- deep listening, observant participation, cross-cultural comparison, historical contextualization, collaborative interpretation, cultural documentation, empathetic engagement, and good storytelling -- in relationship to whichever communities most interest and enthrall them.

Gateway Courses

  • GENED 1079: Tradition, Performance, and Culture 

  • FOLKMYTH 106: The History of Witchcraft and Charm Magic

  • FOLKMYTH 111: Folklore of Food 

  • FOLKMYTH 130: The Folklore of Emergency: Change, Continuity, and Communal Creativity Amid Crisis

  • FOLKMYTH 150: Internet Folklore, Online Communities, and Digital Ethnography

  • FOLKMYTH 160: Scandinavian Folklore: Trolls, Trolldom and the Uses of Tradition 

  • FOLKMYTH 176: Tattoo: Histories and Practices

  • FOLKMYTH 172: Quilts and Quiltmaking

Alumni

https://folkmyth.fas.harvard.edu/alumni

 

Upcoming Advising Events

To find upcoming events for this concentration, visit: https://eas.fas.harvard.edu/calendar/upcoming
Contact naia_poyer@fas.harvard.edu and ask to be added to the EAS listserv and weekly newsletter list to keep up with concentration announcements and opportunities.