CEC183 : Introduction to Cultural Tradition and Folklore Studies

Convenor(s): Victoria Newton, Dr Sarah Carter


Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course Convenor.

General Information

The course begins with an overview of the different genres of folklore, folklife and cultural tradition. We will then look more specifically at some of the major categories of tradition, such as traditional language, traditional narrative, belief and custom, learning in more detail about topics such as childlore, folktales and supernatural belief.


Teaching is by lectures (2 hours per week). Attendance at lectures is compulsory. Students are also encouraged to meet with the course tutors in their office hours in order to discuss assessment topics.


Assessment comprises two pieces of work. One portfolio of collectanea (30%) and one essay/research project (70%).
Portfolio (6 collecting sheets + 1000 word reflection)
Each student will be required to assemble a portfolio of collectanea. It will comprise 6 items. Students should collect items from their own lives, documenting contemporary examples of folklore and tradition. Students should then interpret the material, identifying the genre (e.g. traditional language) and discussing the content and context. The aim of the assessment is to document and analyse contemporary living material generated during field research.
Essay/Research Project (3000 words)
Each student will be required to write an essay or do a research project (3000 words) on an aspect of folklore/cultural tradition which they find interesting. Examples of possible subjects might be: discussing definitions of ‘folklore’, the discussion of community and change in a certain tradition or folktale, discussion of living folklore found in mass media such as advertising or the internet, collecting and discussing personal experience narratives/superstitions/other aspects of belief, documenting and discussing traditions of Christmas, etc. The assessment is open to interpretation by the student and students are encouraged to explore and research any aspect of folklore which they find appealing. Students are invited to meet with the lecturers in their Office Hours to discuss assessments.

Contact Details

Please contact by e-mail


Information last changed: Monday 10th of August 2015 :: 12:39:38 PM (BST)


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