Folklore is a multidisciplinary field of study concerned with the documentation and analysis of verbal, customary, musical, material, and performance traditions, primarily as they are sustained, revived, modified, invented by artists, educators, entrepreneurs, activists, communities, and states. CLFS offers courses on folkloric forms, practitioners, performances, theory, methods, and public presentation, with an emphasis on cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches. Graduate students interested in folklore as an area of concentration typically major in CLFS while specializing in particular languages and culture areas.

Students interested in a doctoral minor in folklore may either select an Option A Folklore minor or develop an Option B distributed minor with coursework in folklore and at least one other program. Students choosing an Option A minor select an advisor from the CLFS faculty, in consultation with the chair of the department. Students are expected to achieve a B or better in four folklore courses at the 300 level or above. One course must be selected from the following courses in theory, history, or methodology of folklore: FOLKLORE/​L I S  490, FOLKLORE 510. Three additional courses may be selected from these and other courses at the 300 level or above.

Faculty: Professors Howard (chair, also Communication Arts), DuBois (also Scandinavian Studies), Dharwadker, Layoun, Leary (also Scandinavian Studies), Schenck; Associate Professors Gilmore (also Landscape Architecture), Livanos, Rosenblum (also Jewish Studies), Statkiewicz; Assistant Professors Fielder, Grunewald, Neyrat, Wells. Affiliate Faculty: Adler (German), Casid (Art History), De Ferrari (Spanish and Portuguese) Garlough (also Gender and Women's Studies), Goodkin (French and Italian), Guyer (English), Kern (East Asian Languages and Literature), Livorni (French and Italian), Longinovic (Slavic Languages and Literature), Rosenmeyer (Classics). International Affiliate Faculty: Ramalho de Sousa Santos (University of Coimbra, Portugal). See also Faculty on the department website.