UNIVERSITY GRANTS COMMISSION
Subject: FOLK LITERATURE Code No: (71)
Unit–1 Folklore: Definition, Concept and Classification
Who are the Folk? – Concepts of Folklife and Folkloristics – Ethnicity – Family types
– Natal, Conjugal, Nuclear, Extended (Generational and Polyandrous) – Types of
relationships in Family – direct, shared, sexual and descent – Functions of Family –
Kinship Terminology: Types of Kinship, Role of Kinship – Social Categories and
Social Organization in the creation, transmission and sustenance of Folklore /
Conceptual shift from ‘Popular Antiquities’ to ‘Folklore’ – Genres and Functions of
Folklore: Ethnic Genres and Analytical Categories – Classification of Folklore:
Verbal, Nonverbal and Intermediary Genres – Genre Theory: Alan Dundes, Richard
Dorson, Ben Amos, Richard Bauman, Roger Abrahams – Functions of Folklore:
William Bascom, Louri Honko – Characteristics of Folklore.
Unit–2 Historiography of Folkloristics
Folk, from ‘Savage’ to ‘Imagined Group’ – Folklore as Data and Folklore as Study –
Oracy Vs. Literacy – Classical Vs. Folk – Emergence of Folklore as an Academic
Discipline – Folklore Studies in Abroad – Folklore Studies in India – Subaltern
Studies – Tribal Studies – Diaspora Studies – Green Studies.
Unit–3 Folk Literature
Definition and Epistemology of Folk Literature – Fields of Folk Literature: Myths,
Epics, Legends, Folk Tales, Folk Songs, Proverbs, Riddles, Tongue Twisters, Speech
Acts – Verbal Art in Performances (Theatre, Dance Drama, Medicinal Chants,
Verbose in Play Genres, etc.) – Literary Devices – Ethnic Slurs, Rumor, Personal
Narratives – Oral History.
Unit–4 Theories of Folklore – I : Diachronic Approaches
Evolutionary Theories – Concept of Evolution – Unilinear and Multilinear
Approaches – E.B. Tylor, George Mudrock, Lewis Morgan, James Frazer – MythRitual Theory – Solar Mythology or Comparative Philology.
Devolutionary Theories – Concept of Devolution – Types of Devolutionary Theories
– Marxists and Elitists.
Diffusion Theories (Monogenesis) – Concept of Diffusion – Indianist Theory or
Benfy’s Migration Theory – Egyptians School and Finnish School or HistoricalGeographic Method.
Diffusion Theories (Polygenesis) – Psychic Unity – Convergence Vs. Parallelism
Theories – Romantic Nationalism and its Manifestations.
Unit–5 Theories of Folklore – II : Synchronic Approaches
Structural Approaches – Basic concepts – Syntagmatic Structuralism – Concepts of
Ferdinand de Saussure and Theory of Vladimir Propp –– Application of Proppian
Model to Folklore – Paradigmatic Structuralism – Concepts of Roman Jacobson and
Theory of Claude Levi-Strauss – Application of Straussian Model to Folklore.
Functional Approaches – Basic Concepts – Social Functionalists: Bronislaw
Malinowski, Radcliffe-Brown, Emile Durkheim – Symbolic Functionalists: Clifford
Geertz, Victor Turner.
Psychological Approaches – Psychoanalysis – Basic Concepts – Sigmund Freud –
Freud’s Theoretical applications to Folklore – Analytical Psychology – Basic
Concepts – Carl J. Jung – Jung’s Theoretical Applications to Folklore – Jacques
Contextual Approaches – Basic Concepts – Verbal Art as Performance – Linguistic
and Communicative Models of Roman Jacobson – Oral Formulaic Theory or ParryLord Theory – Lauri Honko’s concept of ‘Multiforms’.
Poststructural and Postmodern Approaches – Meaning and Tenets of Poststructuralism, New Hermeneutics, Text, Textuality, Textual Analysis – Paul Ricoeur
and Theories of Interpretation – Historical Milieu of the Theories – Concept and
Theory of Deconstruction – Derrida, Lacan, Foucault – Gender Theories and
Approaches – Gender and Genre – Feminism and Gender Perspectives – Queer
Semiotic Approaches – Semiotic Approach to Folk Culture Studies – Ferdinand de
Saussure and Charles S. Pierce on Sign System and Culture – Perspectives on
Unit–6 Folklife and Cultural Performances
Culture as Performance – Erving Goffman, Clifford Geertz, Milton Singer – Rites of
Passage and Territorial Rites – Arnold van Gennep, Victor Turner – Performance
Centered Approach – Roger D. Abrahams, Richard Bauman, Richard Schechner –
Dell Hymes’s Ethnography of Speaking Approach – Analysis of Folk Narratives.
Unit–7 Public Folklore and Mass Media
Basic Concepts – Folklore, Folklorism, Folklorismus, Folklorization, Applied
Folklore, Public Folklore and Second Life of Folklore – Folklore in Public Sphere –
Folklore and Communication – Folklore and New Media.
Unit–8 Folklore and Globalisation
Theories of Global Culture – Discourse on Modernity, Post-Modernity and
Globalisation – Ideologues of Globalisation – Emergence of Populism.
Influence of Globalisation in Socio-cultural Life – Issues and Concepts of Identity –
Glocal vs. Global, Homogeneity Vs. Heterogeneity and Hybridization – Changing
Dimensions and domains of Folklore Genres and Folk Performances – Cultural
Tourism – Neo-Folk Formations and Protest Movements – Challenges to Native
Cultures – Bio-politics.
Unit–9 Indian Folk Cultural Practices
Genres of Folk Theatre – Narrative Enactments – Puppet Theatre – Dance Dramas –
Musical Traditions and Life Style Patterns – Naming System and Onomastics –
Occupational Folklore – Family Folklore – Folk Religious Practices – Pilgrimage and
Ritual Practices – Fairs and Festivals – Folk Medicinal Practices – Folk Art and Craft
– Folk Architecture – Folk Foodways and Culinary Practices – Folk Games – Dress
and Clothing – Manners and Customs – Customary Law and Jurisprudence –
Worldview – Regional Variations and Versions.
Unit–10 Fieldwork, Documentation and Archival Practices
Categorization of Fieldwork Operations: Pre-fieldwork, Fieldwork and Postfieldwork – Notions of ‘field’ and ‘data’- Thick and Thin Data – Methods and
Techniques – Survey Method, Observation Method – Ethnographic Method –
Postmodern Ethnographic Method – Dialogical and Discourse Methods – Focus
Group Method – Documentation and Archival Practices – Preservation and
Conservation of Tangible and Intangible Cultures – Fieldwork Ethics and Copyright
Issues – Patent Rights.