Skip Navigation

Folklore Minor

Students do not need to complete the Folklore Minor to take folklore classes, they also may simply take individual classes offered by the department.


University of Maine Interdisciplinary Folklore Minor

The University of Maine is uniquely situated to provide students with an interdisciplinary approach to understanding traditional beliefs, customs, and expressions. Not only does the University sit at the border of two countries, but it is rich in folklore from occupational groups such as loggers and fishermen, boat builders and mill workers, and hosts four Native American tribes as well as several immigrant communities. Moreover, the University of Maine is the home of the Maine Folklife Center—an internationally recognized collection of regional folklore with close ties to the American Folklife Center and Canadian folklore organizations.  Finally, there is a core group of faculty in multiple disciplines who include folklore in their curriculum providing a rich array of existing courses that provide the basis for the minor. While it is possible to complete a minor in anthropology alone, we encourage students to fulfill the course requirements from other disciplines as well.

Folklore focuses on the study of society, past or present, and uses a variety of methodologies drawn from the humanities and social sciences to understand them. To concentrate on a society’s folklore (at regional as well as national levels) is to understand its traditional self-definition through its myths, epics, ballads, folktales, legends, beliefs, and other cultural phenomena, including music, song, and dance. Studying a group’s folklore shows how it identifies itself in relation to other groups. Inherently interdisciplinary, the study of folklore and mythology often draws resources from several disciplines, while maintaining its own methodological lens.

Requirements: 18 credits (six 3-credit classes with 2.0 cumulative GPA)

1. Required Courses (9 credits):

ANT 221 – Introduction to Folklore

ANT 102 – Diversity of Cultures

ANT 425 – Oral History and Folklore: Fieldwork (now Interviewing Methods)

2. 6 credits must come from the following list:

ANT 426 – Native American Folklore

ANT 431 – Folklore, the Environment, and Public Policy

ANT 422 – Folklore of Maine and The Maritime Provinces

ANT 423 – Folksong

ANT 424 – Narrative

CMJ 106 – Oral communication of storytelling, prose and poetry

FAS 250 – The Acadian Experience

JST 203 – Jewish History and Culture Middle Ages to 1750

JST204 – Jewish History and Culture II: The Jews and Europe, 1750-1948

NAS 102 – Introduction to Wabanaki Culture

ENG 129 – African American Literature

ENG 442 – Native American Literature

ENG 229 and 429 Topics – Robin Hood, Arthurian Literature, Fairy Tales

ENG 131 – The Nature of Story

ENG 170 – Foundations in Literary Analysis

ENG 435 – The Bible and Near Eastern Literature

ENG 451 – Medieval English

WST 371 – Immigration, Women and Society

WST 235 – Franco American Women’s Experience

HTY 211 – Maine and the Sea

MES 101 – Introduction to Maine Studies

MES 201 – The Maine Coast

MES 498 – A Sense of Place: Maine and Regional Identity

MES 498 – Doing Nearby History and Folklore in the Classroom

MES 498 – Topics in Maine Studies

*Other courses require committee approval

(Pauleena MacDougall, Sarah Harlan-Haughey)

3. Students must complete either 1) a folklore-related senior project in their home major, 2) a mentored folklore senior project, 3) a for-credit internship in a folklore related field (using ANT 497 Independent study).


Classes taught by Pauleena MacDougall:

ANT 425 This course will introduce students to the theory and methodology of ethnographic and oral history fieldwork as it is practiced by social scientists and humanities researchers. (online class)

Syllabus (PDF) ANT 425 Recorded Interviewing Techniques and Methods

ANT 426 Students will learn the anthropological approach to the study of folklore types and genres of the native peoples of North America with a special emphasis on Maine and the Maritimes.

Syllabus (PDF): ANT 426 Native American Folklore

ANT 431 Folklore, the Environment and Public Policy examines the interaction of humans with the environment from the perspective of folklore, and reviews its impact on public policy at the local, state, federal and international level.  (online class)

Syllabus (PDF): ANT 431 Folklore, the Environment, and Public Policy


Courses taught by Karen Miller:

ANT 221 Introduction to Folklore.  A survey of the different genres of folklore, its forms, uses, functions and modes of transmission. Emphasis on belief, custom and legend.  Satisfies the General Education Western Cultural Tradition and the Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives Requirements.  3 credits. (hybrid class)