Africana Studies Notes
Africana Studies Notes 0031
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This 16 page Class Notes was uploaded by Aileen Ryan on Friday January 16, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to 0031 at University of Pittsburgh taught by Michael Tillotson in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 153 views. For similar materials see AFRCNA in African Studies at University of Pittsburgh.
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Date Created: 01/16/15
Lecture 1 August 31 2015 What is Folklore Colloquial Definition rumors or old wives tales widely held beliefs 0 Often Quite Specific and often wrong 0 Belief in Romania that women shouldn39t sit on benches made of marble stone wet grass cold ground because their sexual organs could catch a cold and you will become infertile o Belief in Germany that if you don t make eye contact when you cheers you will have 7 years of bad sex Scholarly Definition include legends customs traditions beliefs that have been around for hundreds of years 0 Much more general relationship between that custom and the cultural context that created that o In America children are told to eat what is on their plate because other kids don t have food value food don t waste it Definition of folklore includes three criteria 0 Content traditional beliefs customs and legends Creation think of a folktale fairy tale urban legend no author created by a group of people 0 Transmission oral transmission people telling stories 0 Big change occurred in the transmission of folklore in the 15th century due to the printing press To be genuine folklore it needs to satisfy all three features Functions of Folklore Preserve and perpetuate cultural norms values from the past 0 Educate children Inculcate specific values 0 EX folklore as cautionary and morality tales 0 Explain natural phenomenon o Brought people together as a community DaumenlutscherquotSuckaThumb in Struwwepeter 1845 by Heinrich Hoffmann Told not to suck thumb mom leaves he sucks his thumbs so he loses them 0 Purpose is to educate children When children grow they start to make fun of folklore using irony satire and parody Folktales are not just for children 0 By laughing at Hitler Germans will somehow rebel against the Nazis Urban legends features of folklore remember the three criteria 0 Content 0 Creationauthor 0 Transmission 0 Need to pay attention to content creator and way story is transmitted in order for it to be considered folklore 0 We don t really believe urban legends even though they re told as true stories because some degree of them is plausible 0 Urban legends are usually transmitted orally 0 Purpose 0 Why circulate legends Just like folklore to teach a lesson so they don t do something 0 Feed offexample of urban legend about AIDS 0 Urban legends feed off basic fears Expressexample of urban legend about Chinese restaurants in USA 0 They express fear of cultures that we don t understand the unknown Project negative images of other cultures Folk Culture and Popular Culture Authentic folklore today 9 stories beliefs and customs that speak to us today relevant to us today Division between folk culture and popular culture not always clear cut Reciprocal influence Examples Disney perfect example of fold culture being turned into popular culture Happy Birthday to youquot we all sing it but don t know who wrote it What is IndoEuropean 0 Common background of several hundred languages and dialects in Europe and South Central and Western Asia 0 Common origin of European languages and Sanskrit old Indian language first pointed out by William Jones in 18th century 0 Proof 9 word mother in numerous languages 0 Word mother is very similar in different languages that are far apart geographically 0 Conclusion must have been one mutual language from which all other languages developed Age of IndoEuropean Folktales When were they recorded 0 AGE Really old but were recorded in the 18th19th century REVIEW 0 What is folklore Definitions and three criteria 0 What are its functions 0 What is the relationship between urban legends and folklore What is the relationship between folk culture and popular culture 0 What is ProtoIndoEuropean PIE o What are IndoEuropean folktales age recorded role Lecture 2 September 2 2015 Origins of Folklore Who made up these tales What function did they serve o How were they told o What types of tales were told Who made up these tales Similarity between stories in very different geographical regions 0 How do we explain this 0 Common human experience 0 Good stories are worth repeating 0 Migration travel 0 Difficulty folktale dissemination 9 outside of recorded literary tradition Told by gifted tellers Functions of Tales 0 Specific functions of tales o Explanatory 0 Traditional 0 Social 0 Generic quality 0 Tales changed when 0 Ex Cinderella 0 Function of tales changed with means of transmission oral vs written tales literary tales 0 Printing press 0 Differences in social class 0 Community vs isolation How were the stories told 0 When 0 Where 0 Who Why tell stories Spinning tales and test of a story Three folklore genres forms and their defining features 0 Fairy tale Cinderella magical fictional Legend historical background on the surface look deeper and realize its not true 0 EX Chicago Goat Jersey Devil 0 Tempted to believe at least parts of them 0 Myth generally involve some magic but they re more divine God or some saints intervening o EX Story of Creation Greek Mythology 0 Generally accepted as true Origins Tales bring order to chaos natural occurrences like the origin of a mountain lake etc not accurate scientific From older tradition creation myths 0 Basic point 0 Mixture of 0 Role of last sentence Origins Similarities Offer an explanation for large natural features but 0 Fear of 0 Nature is Mythical creatures 0 Role of ink to contemporary time of the reader Origin Differences Christian religion pagan beliefs 0 Caused by blank or blank Intervention of humans provides Miracles Tales Typically religion based Christian Jewish Paganpromote faith and teach morals 0 Based on 0 Purpose 0 Which genre legend fairy tale or myth Saint George and related legends 0 Legend because Dragonslayer lore Patron Saint of England 0 El Khudr El Khidre legends Folklore Traditions Curses Spinning o Miracles usually performed by 0 Miracles in folktales occur when 0 Spinning and women 0 Spinning anxiety Sleeping Beauty Frau Holle Brothers Grimm collected them 2 sisters and gold thread 0 Tales from o Collected by 0 Freya Frigga 0 Combination of fairy tale with imbues 0 Appropriate vs inappropriate behavior 0 Beauty vs ugliness 0 Role Lecture 3 September 9 2015 Fairies Beginnings of Folklore Scholarship 0 Jacob Grimm 17851863 and Wilhelm Grimm 17861859 0 Father died they weren t doing well moved in with an aunt and attended college 0 Found employment with King Jerome Kinder und Hausmalrchen Children s and Household Tales 1812 1815 0 Published first novel together Children s and Household Tales in order to make people aware what was quintessential German folklore Excerpt from the First Edition on powerpoint Introduction to collection of folktales yet a lot of talk about plantsseedsgrowing metaphor for hope 0 when tempest or misfortune sent from abovequot Napoleonic Cant criticize govt because they pay your salary but you want to show the world that there are authentic German tales bit of a paradox Grimms Tales 0 sources 9 Charles Perrault 0 changes from 1St to 2nd volume include 0 First volume published in 1812 0 Where were collective folktales from Collected the stories from their friends and they come from upper middle class not peasants They included lots of translations of French folklore adapted and translated French versions 0 2nd Volume came in 1850 and they worked differently for this version because they wanted it to be authentic folklore Many of the tales came from Dorothea Viehmann the widow of a village tailor 0 their research 0 The did academic research worked with volunteers and went to archives for evidence about the existence of folklore popularity 0 Volume 1 the fake ones is more popular and authentic wasn t 0 problems with their work Grimms Contributions 0 Positive Contributions 0 folk narrative and academic study no one payed attention to folklore before o methodological and theoretical statements definitions categories etc o sociopolitical potential strong belief that they have this potential 0 Negative Contributions 0 Trying to collect tales and reconstruct the past and they end up construct fiction 0 Fiction and not as old as we think Example of folktale collected by Brothers Grimm 0 We ve all talked about one tale collected by the brothers last Wednesday lectureFrau Holle Folklore Traditions continued from last time The Goem o What folklore genre and why 0 Legend because references to a place year 1512 historical context antisematic society 0 word golem o Shapeless mask human like creature formed out of clay not much intellect the role is to protect Jewish population 0 tradition of homunculus 0 Also a human like creature made out of clay formed by an alchemist variation of homunculus o Frankenstein 0 figure of Rabbi Loew o Elemental power doesn39t speak just follows orders magical numbers 0 Numbers have magical powers Fairies and Demons 0 Both are supernatural creatures animism is o Believed to be remnant of animistic beliefbeief that objects have a soul cat or a mountain can talk 0 differences between fairies and demons o Fairies benevolent towards people Initially there were good and bad fairies Originally meant enchantment Demons also supernatural creatures Term comes from Greek meaning person who has special powers that place that person between a God and a regular person 0 Understood to be fallen angels O 0 good or evil change over time 0 terms fairy and demon O O O O fayerie fatum Latin 0 daimon Greek Witches humans with control of supernatural power 0 source of powers 0 Born that way 0 Make a pact with evil spirit blackened figure goat etc 0 gender of a witch 0 Originally could be both malefemale but European tradition says they re women 0 relationship to Devil visibleinvisible shapeshifting travel at great speeds accompanied by a familiar 0 Demon or evil spirit that appears in body as an animal 0 group gatherings Witches Sabbath Walpurgisnacht German occurs on May 1st 0 Witches get together and perform rhymes Witch Hunts legally sanctioned in Medieval Times 0 proof of being a witch 0 Throw someone in the water if float theyre witch if not theyre innocent and die witch hunts and gender illustrate understanding of women as threat to 0 What can counter the power of witches 0 Prayer a cunning man that can counter powers EX talks to stove not wife 1450 craze to kill witches 1692 in Salem 0 Being a witch was considered a crime against the church 0 Thousands of women died in the trials Witch hunts and gender threat to men s roles Women were not trained but could help with medicalpersonal issues village healer Basically women have certain power over community that comes from perception that people have that it s magic 0 Don t think of women as being the victims because they had the power to perform exactly the same responsibilities that a doctor sanctioned by institutions could perform which makes you an outcast Vampires situated between fairytales and legends 0 Definition o Corpse that rises from grave draws human blood for nourishment 0 according to Christian tradition o Souls in pain like unbaptised excommunicated and were reincarnated as vampires 0 Most tales of vampires come from Eastern Europe Russia 0 Eastern European source Aleksandr Afanasyev 1826 1871 o Slavic counterpart of brothers Grimm o Molded authentic folklore into simple but literate style even cruder and darker 0 Published in 8 Volumes Sociohistorical reasons for vampire lore in Eastern Europe 0 Bubonic plague people who suffered from disease were buried before they were dead when body was exhumed they39re mouths were covered in blood improper decomposition shallow graves not many rules about burying bodies people eventually began to burn them Christianization in Eastern Europe was 0 belief in transubstantiation people believe when you go to church you actually eatdrink Christ Renaissance and Enlightenment had little effect Historical Vampire Figures Vlad Tepes Dracula 143114767 0 Who was he 0 Romanian Prince 0 How was he viewed 0 On one hand he s viewed as a national hero 0 On the other hand he s seen as a tyrant Elizabeth Bathory 15601614 0 Who was she 0 Hungarian countess 0 Of what was she accused o Accused of kidnappingkilling 640 peasant girls to be perpetually young by bathing in their blood Vaiations in our stories 0 The Coffin Lidquot The Two Corpsesquot and The Soldier and the Vampirequot 0 The Shroudquot and The Dog and the Corpsequot Fascination with vampires that goes far beyond folklore REVIEW 0 The Brothers Grimm and the beginning of folktale scholarship miracles tales Golem and homunculus fairies and demons witches vampires Lecture 4 September 14 2015 Precursors to the Brothers Grimm as collectors Italy 0 Giovanni Francsco Straparola 14801558 0 Le piacevoli notti The Pleasant Nights 15501553 0 Giambattista Basile 15751632 0 Pentamerone 16341636 0 Several of their tales were used in the brothers Grimm tales Their tales were meant for adults France 0 Charles Perrault 16281703 0 Histoires ou comptes du temps pass Stories and Tales of Past Times with Morals 1697 Wrote for the French court England 0 Thomas Percy o Relqiues of Anxient English Poetry 1765 0 James Macpherson 0 Poems of Ossian 1765 0 Less about collecting and more about creating 0 Celtic culture Germany 0 Johann Gottfried Herder o Fragments on the new German Literature Fragmente Uber die neue deutsche Literatur 176768 0 Voices of the Peoples in Songs Stimmen der voler in Liedern 1778 0 Concept of Volkspoesie poetry of the people Volkspoesie Means poetry of people 0 Only true poetry because Admired simplicity of folk poetry Awe of natural vitality that comes from poetry by the people Valued that this poetry was uncorrupted Only expression of genuine national German culture Herder criticized o Context in which he was writing and thinking at the time 0 German literature at the time because it lacked the true spitir of german culture and what Germany was about Fable fairytale legend myths Exists in almost every culture Fable 0 Protagonists Usually animals 0 The main character is an animal who speaks and behaves as if he were human 0 Truth 0 Convey truth as much as it is fiction some true values conveyed 0 Not historical truth moral truth 0 Function Very educational Situations from o Aspects of everyday life 0 Common things that happen to humans happen to animals 0 In contrast to fairy tale 0 Animals do not have magical powers like people 0 No enchantment in fables o In contrast to legend 0 Do not claim to portray and historical truth Why would you tell people about stories about animals Using animals as a literary device creates distance between reader and figure Distance allows people to read and appreciate the moral lesson Do not feel threatened by fable The disguise of animals creates the distance causing readers to closely identify with the moral lessons Collections 0 Aesop 6th century BC o Scholars believe there was a person who wrote down the texts in the 6th century 0 Hunchback Slave set free 0 Was very wise 0 Master was inspired by his wisdom why he was set free 0 Summaries by Babrius 0 Most of stories we read were written summaries by Babrius Panchatantra ca 300 AD assumed texts are much older 0 Bidpai supposed author 0 Sanskrit work from India 0 Classic fables animal characters 0 Intended for a prince Jataka Tales tales of Buddha 0 Buddha appears as a human elephant or lion 0 Humorous fables important aspect 0 Jean de La Fontaine 16211695 0 French collector O O O O o 240 fables in 12 books prolific o talks about the corruption in France Roots tales Different Cultures Similar Stories 0 Judgment Two Mothers One Child 0 Solomon IsraelPalestine Buddha India 0 Town Mouse CountryField Mouse 0 Aesop Greece Romania 0 The Man Who Became Rich Through a Dream The Peddler of Swaffham o 1001 Nights Arabia England Different Cultures Similar Stories Narrative similarities between geographically distinct stories tell us about 0 Communication intercultural because the tales travel 0 Cultural concerns same type of cultural concerns 0 Maternal image 0 City vs country Simplicity of the country vs complexity and danger of urban life 0 Urban life as a threat Why do these tales talk about cities as dangerous 0 Industrialization All men went to city so no one was there to farm in ruraareas The Wise Judge and Two Mothers Define true motherhood o Assert wisdom ofjudge Differences o Solomon s judge has much ore ambiguity and risk at work 0 Buddha knows who the real mother is o More life threatening danger in the Indian version of the tale 0 O O Forgiveness in the Indian version Solomon s story highlights wisdom in terms ofjustice o In the Indian story wisdom manifested as compassion The Town Mouse and the Country Field Mouse One mouse from Greece other from Romania 0 Similarities both value simplicity over and over 0 Differences 0 Greek version two mice are related 0 Romanian version mice are acquaintances 0 Danger internalexternal 0 Can t trust anyone Greek version 0 Mouse realized danger and is not killed 0 Country mouse nai39ve 0 Romanian version 0 Country mouse did not know what a cat is 0 City mouse tells country mice it was just sheep Opposition City vs Country 0 City clever luxunous dupHctous mistrustful o lazy 0 Country 0 naive 0 simple 0 honest o trusting o industrious Rich Country Dreamers similar structure as in mice tales o dualistic structure citycountry 9 foreigndomestic elements 0 foreign city is a hostile environment dangerous 0 countrymen imagination dedication good to have dreams 0 citymen coneit disillusionment violence 0 No violence in English version o ending 0 End of English version passages that highlight the faith of protagonist 0 Same plot that can be adapted Interpretations Mixed Messages 0 Tortoise that Refused to Leave Home Dog that went Abroad 0 Discuss the topic foreign or native o contradictory morals one fable talks about you can leave when the time is rightquot and the other says that leaving when times get tough is a bad idea 0 motivations not supposed to attach yourself to material things 0 Thumbthick 0 family story places pressure on having children economic blessing 0 Old Man with a Large Family 0 family story 0 central figure 0 psychological tales distortion of external reality 0 O O O REVIEW 0 precursors to the Brothers Grimm fables definition authorscollectors protagonists goals 0 Roots tales Family Home and Nation similarities and differences 0 sociohistorical circumstances reflected are LECTURE 5 September 16 2015 Four Origins of Folklore Inquiry 0 Origin 0 Form 0 Meaning 0 Style Origins Early Stages distribution and dissemination of folktales 0 Ask 2 simple questions Where do folktales come from Compare those from past and those from present Point of origin tells you who you are and how things have developed IndoEuropean theory believed European folktales are remnants of folktales that circulated among the IndoEuropean people More important figures you have to be aware of Brothers Grimm and Friedrich Max Miiller Methodology both compared studies of linguistics mythology folktales in order to emphasize similarities and differences solar mythologyquot idea that folktales actually derived from old myths that are based on natural phenomenon o Friedrich Max Miiller Believed in solar mythology because humans have always been fascinated by nature and over time some tales that use nature are preserved as myths Theodor Benfey 0 He was an orientalist and he believed that the origin of folktales is not IndoEuropean but India instead source of folktales was 0 Oral Transmission tales travelled to Europe via 3 avenues o In the later years there were a lot of translations of Indian tales Monogenesis folktales all have a single origin and then they travelled 0 not everyone believed in this 0 Polygenesis multiple origins for folktales Origins geographicalhistorical method Antti A Aarne 0 Major contribution came to us from Finland Goal 0 he wanted to reconstruct the history of particular tales because he wanted to come to original form of folktale 0 Methodology 0 collected all versions he could find of a given tale deconstruct their parts and analyze the distribution of that tale across time and space Premises o convinced of monogenesis of each tale not convinced that tales come from same origin convinced that the best tales travel the farthest because they are carried 0 basic units of a folktale o Motif smallest narrative element that is capable to persist in a tradition EX motif of the monster mother who loves her child wise judge 0 Type traditional tale that consists of many of these motifs which can be interlaced or exist independently which create a type EX Type would be the act judgment made by judge between 2 mothers AarneThompson Index 1910 Antti Aarne written 1928 Stith Thompson translated with additions 1960 republished 0 Classification system Animal tales Types 1299 Ordinary folktales 3001199 Jokes and Anecdotes 12001999 Formula Tales 20002399 0 Unclassified Tales 24002499 0 Index classifies and characterized many folktales based on motif and type Four Schools of Folklore Inquiry Discussed so far Origin 0 Now Form 0 Two Major Schools 0 Formalist 19205 0 Structuralist 1950519705 0 Important research question for scholars why do certain experiences presented have that particular narrative form in that text Formalism O O O O 0 Vladimir Propp Most important representative of this school 0 Russian folklorist most important work for us is Morphology of the Folktae 1928 translated English 1968 o Analyzed collection of Russian folktales did not believe in Arnott and Thompson s theory and could be improved 0 focused on the narrative structure format 0 looks at relationship between diff components of a tale relationship to each other and components to tale as a whole 0 Functions emphasis placed on the actions of a figure and how those actions are important for the development of that narrative o EX act of meeting the wolf in little red riding hood 0 31 possible functions 0 Don t need to have 31 to have a folktale but they must appear in sequential order sometimes appear in pairs such as action and consequence o EX Snow White and Sleeping Beauty pretty young girls who need to be saved by prince Different content but same functions Rules for Living 0 didactic tales o What morals do they teach awareness of limitations social context 0 Teach people about life s limitations through fables code of moral behavior 0 Examples from text don t be greedy don t trust flatterers don t be arrogant don t tell lies because no one will believe you Discussion The Problem with Morals I o unspecified or uncertain morals o The Frog and the Farrier o Miserly Moslem Priest and his Wife 0 neither texts have explicit morals because it s important to remember the texts were told to be entertaining don t always need an obvious value 0 original audience of texts may have gotten the moral of the text much quicker than it is today because society is changing multiple possible morals o The Talkative Tortoise don t be a chatterbox if god intended turtles to fly he would have given them wings o The Tortoise and the Hare don t show off don t slack off before task is done 0 The Dog and the Reflection beware of losing substance be happy with what you have 0 The Lion and the Mouse little friends may prove great be merciful or generous Regional REVIEW Memorable tales are not necesarrily ones with clear morals theyre the ones with good tales and stories Differences The Jackal and the Fleas India The Fox and the Fleas Scotland Androcles and the Lion Joseph Jacobs Of the Remembrance of Benefits Gesta Romanorum The GoldGiving Snake Panchatantra Of Good Advice Gesta Romanorum schools of folktale research 0 Origins 0 Form morals of folktales regional differencessimilarities of folktales
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