CEC319 : English Folklore & Literature

Convenor(s): Dr Malcolm Jones


Please note: This module may or may not run in any given semester. Please check with the tutor.

General Information

Geographically, the focus will be mainly European and - in the first instance - English. Chronologically, throughout the course - and somewhat against recent trends in folklore studies - the evidence of the historical record will be fully considered, both in its own right, and as it relates to the present, but neither will the contemporary lore with which we are all familiar be neglected. While it will be argued that almost all folklore is mediated through language, there will be an emphasis on certain oral set-forms, such as proverbs, rhymes and riddles, both past and present. Oral forms used to children (e.g. lullabies, 'nursery' rhymes, put-offs) as well as the linguistic forms used by children (e.g. insults and humorous catches), and their antiquity - where it can be properly demonstrated from the historical literary record - will be considered, as well as children's games. Various aspects of custom and belief, especially as exemplified in medieval and Renaissance 'classic' (and less classic) literature, will be investigated, as well as the various types of folk narrative (traditional folktales and legends, but also 'newer' urban/contemporary legends). The mummers' play and other forms of traditional drama will not be 'forgot'. Material aspects of folk culture will not be studied, except incidentally, but those interested in folklore as portrayed in art might consider CEC 235 Art & Tradition.


There will be two classes per week, the format of which will vary between formal lectures and informal (participatory) workshops. Individual consultation sessions will aim to guide students through the task of preparing a 5000-word research essay


To be finalised

Contact Details

Dr Malcolm Jones: 0114 222 0235


Information last changed: Thursday 07th of April 2016 :: 01:17:16 PM (BST)


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK