Our courses focus on a diverse range of theoretical, methodological, and topical approaches to document, analyze, and interpret cultural forms and practices across the world. Engaging in both fieldwork-based ethnographic and archival research, our students learn to employ theoretical, historical, and practical approaches in their study of music, visual art, material culture, verbal art, cultural performance, and cosmological and mythological systems.

Highlighted courses

FOLK-F677: Popular Culture & Politics in the Middle East

This graduate seminar will examine the dynamics of popular culture and mass media throughout the Middle East (including Turkey, Israel, and Iran) and North Africa. Although performative arts, mass media, and popular culture are often considered epiphenomenal in Middle Eastern studies, this course proceeds from the idea that popular culture and performance arts are in fact foundational means for negotiating power and resistance, social interaction, and identity.

FOLK-F722: Sound Studies

In this course, we will examine recent sound studies literature on topics ranging from listening and the voice, recording technology, acoustic ecology, and non-human sounds. Focus will be on situating listening practices within historical and cultural environments, reconsidering the relationships between the senses, and deconstructing the ways that sound informs identity categories such as race, gender, and disability.