KENTUCKY, TENNESSEE & LOUISIANA
Immersion in the food, music, and folk art traditions of four southern cities. Feel the diverse history and heritage of the South with this unique program.
About the Program
At one time, the study of folklore focused mostly on groups of people living in rural areas and on traditions that were thought to reach far back in time. Over the course of the 20th century, those who study folklore (folklorists) expanded their fields of study. In a 1970 article in the Journal of American Folklore, folklorist Richard Dorson asked, "Is there a folk in the city?" The answer was a resounding "yes," and the study of "urban folklore" was born. Today folklorists recognize that, in fact we are all "folk" and we all have "lore." Not only do folklorists often study the folklore of people who live in cities, they also understand that folklore is emergent – it arises anew in new circumstances, most often with ties to existing traditions.
In this course, we will explore the emergent folklore of four cities in the American South, focusing on traditions for which these cities are famous as well as traditions that are lesser-known to outsiders. Our explorations will range from the history and traditions of African American neighborhoods in Bowling Green, to an emergent drumming tradition in Louisville, to folk art and music traditions of Nashville, to the ghost tourism, music, Mardi Gras traditions, and of course the food of New Orleans. In each case, we will be guided by local folklorists, experts in the folklore of their cities. In preparation for each trip, we will read and meet to discuss relevant texts on folklore as a perspective on particular aspects of culture as well texts specific to the cities we will visit and/or the traditions we will experience.
This program offers a unique design that combines classroom and excursions. Student will meet and discuss readings and have lectures related to folk. Each week the class will have group excursions to various sites. This will allow students to see and experience Urban Folklore firsthand.
- Acquire basic definitions of "folklore" and an understanding of the concept of folklore as emergent
- Understand how folklore emerges in contemporary American cities and how such "new" folklore can be understood in terms of traditional forms and structures
- Gain experiential and comparative knowledge of the urban folklore of four southern cities and how that folklore emerged
- Demonstrate, through both oral and written means, an understanding of the concepts of folklore as they apply the specific settings experienced in this course.
The Program Leaders may determine other eligibility requirements, but at a minimum, all applicants need to meet these requirements:
- Permission of instructor(s) is required
- Current WKU student eligible to register for WKU courses may apply. Students from outside WKU may participate as visiting students
- Students must be 18 years of age or older at time of departure (parent/guardian permission for anyone under 18 at time of departure)
- Students must be free of active disciplinary sanctions as verified by Judicial Affairs
- Graduate student in good standing (Graduate Catalog p.30) with express permission of faculty leader
- Students must complete all pre-departure orientations
- Full payment prior to departure is required.
Included in Base Package
- Undergraduate tuition for 3 credit hours ($1,090 value)
- One-night of accommodations in Nashville
- One-night of accommodations in Louisville
- Four-nights of accommodations in New Orleans
- Daily breakfast and most lunches and dinners during excursions
- Airport transfer in New Orleans
- Course-related ground transportation in New Orleans
- 3 day street car pass for New Orleans
- All tours and entrance fees listed under activities
- Round-trip flight between Nashville and New Orleans
Excluded from Base Package
- Transportation between your departure airport and your home
- Independent travel (non-program travel)
- Personal expenses such as laundry, phone service, and Internet access
- Tips for guides and drivers not included in program-related activity
- Travel cancellation/interruption insurance (Recommended)
- Meals & Services and beverages not mentioned in the program
- Baggage fees and costs associated with flight / program changes
Final program fee subject to change due to travel arrangements.
- This program combines on campus meetings with multiple excursions
- No excused absences will be given for excursions
Planned Schedule - (tentative)
Week 1 (Week of May 26)
In class orientation and discussion
Excursion: Bowling Green – Food and music traditions
Week 2 (Week of June 2)
Foodways, Folk art, and Nashville
Excursion: Nashville (overnight) – Food, folk art, music, history
Week 3 (Week of June 3)
In class discussion and readings – Louisville
Excursion: Louisville (overnight) – Food, music and Derby traditions
Week 4 (Week of June 16)
In class discussion and readings – New Orleans
Excursion: New Orleans (3 days, 4 nights) – Food and music traditions, ghost tourism, Mardi Gras traditions, vernacular architecture
Week 5 (Week of June 23)
Wrap up meetings
Folk Studies 371 - Urban Folklore
- Bowling Green, Kentucky
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Louisville, Kentucky
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Summer 2014
May 24, 2014 – June 4, 2014
$1,999 - 2,399
- Syllabus (tentative)
Western Kentucky University and its associates are not responsible for any loss due to theft, personal injury, flight or weather delays, negligence, or default of suppliers, or suppliers changing of itineraries. They and their associates are not responsible for any loss due to travel/flight delays or changes in travel plans due to Acts of Nature or other unforeseen circumstances, nor are we responsible for accidents and medical care. Tour services are furnished by independent contractors who are not agents or servants of Western Kentucky University. Refunds are not available for unused portions of the package.