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. Some comparative examples will be found in communities of European immigrants in North America.
Student learning goals
Learn about people and traditions: Learn the historical background of immigrant and ethnic communities that are currently active in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Learn examples of folk traditions practiced or remembered in these communities.
Encounter theories and interpretations of ethnic identity: Learn a variety of approaches to immigrant and ethnic folklore, and some "classic" interpretations proposed over the past century.
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, published sources). Experience folklore fieldwork: Make contact with living people in the "field" to compile information about folklore traditions in immigrant and ethnic communities. Do ethnography: Document and interpret living folk traditions.