Folklore is the study of informally learned, traditional expressive culture and artistic communication. A primary emphasis in folklore studies is on tradition and the way tradition manifests in the modern world. Folklorists may analyze folktales, legends, jokes, personal experience narratives, proverbs, superstitions, festivals and celebrations, or yard art, dance, and costume. The Folklore Program at USU is sponsored by the English and History departments, and provides a flexible and interdisciplinary approach to study, small class sizes, and student-centered faculty. The faculty members affiliated with the program are well known in their field, and have a commitment to student learning and research.
The program provides unique opportunities for students in addition to regular coursework. Utah State University houses the Fife Folklore Archives a repository for the papers of the American Folklore Society, as well as other significant collections such as the G. Malcolm Laws Ballad Collection and the Wayland D. Hand Collection of American Popular Belief and Superstition. Students often work closely with the archives, conduct archival research, and to deposit their own research in the archive. Students also have access to FOLKLIST, an email list of jobs, internships, and announcements.The program has a solid record of placing graduates in jobs in state and national arts and humanities councils, museums, and state park services.
Each year, the Folklore Program hosts the Fife Folklore Conference and sponsors the Fife Folklore Honor Lecture during the spring semester. The conference is a week-long seminar offered to community members and students alike. The lecture is where students have the opportunity to meet internationally known figures.
Professor Lisa Gabbert