Modern Languages and Cultural Studies

Slavics and East European Studies course descriptions Winter 2017

SLAV 299: Slavic Folklore and Mythology

Winter 2017 | MWF 12:00-12:50
Instruction in English
The Slavs have a long tradition of documenting their folk traditions and rich material is available for study. The course will begin by looking at who the Slavs were and quickly proceed to an examination of their lore and beliefs. We will look at the ancient Slavic gods, folk creation myths, and beliefs in beings of the forest, field and the farm. Next we will look at classical folklore, the folktales, legends, and folk songs of the Slavic world. The examination of texts will be followed by a study of ritual, both the rituals associated with the calendar and the ones that mark the stages of a human life such as the wedding. Finally, we will look at the way that folklore has been used in literature, music, and film. Emphasis will be on the folklore of the East Slavs, meaning the Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians, but students are more than welcome to look at the West Slavs (Poles, Czechs, Slovaks) and their lore or the lore the Southern Slavs (Bulgarians, Croats, Serbs, Macedonians, Slovenes).