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Lifelong Learning - Folklore and Disaster

February 13 to 27, 2023 at 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. EST
Hosted Virtually by IUAA

Three Mondays, February 13, 20, & 27

6:30–8 p.m. ET

Virtual class offered via Zoom*

$60 per person


Our world is connected now more than ever. In an instant, we can receive live updates on stories unfolding around the globe. News of protests, military occupations, and earthquakes reaches us within minutes. The news is often international, but the effects of disaster are always local. People use traditional forms of folklore to create a framework of normalcy in times of uncertainty. 

Folklore is the study of everyday life. But what happens in times of protracted conflict or crisis? What can the study of folklore—of unofficial culture—add to our understanding of disasters, both natural and social? 

This course will examine the ways in which people make sense out of rupture in the everyday. By looking at the social texts that people create and use to talk about their experiences in times of disaster, participants will examine the multiple ways people deal with and understand their local world. We will examine jokes, legends, memorials, and material culture about disaster to better understand the people who live through and remember times of conflict and crisis.  

*Please note: This course is a virtual learning opportunity held via the online platform, Zoom. The link needed to participate will be supplied via email prior to the first session.


About the Instructor:

Jesse Fivecoate is a doctoral candidate in the department of folklore and ethnomusicology at Indiana University. He has teaching experience in courses on folklore in the U.S., world arts and cultures, urban legends, and folklore and the supernatural. His dissertation research focuses on the use of ghost stories along the Northern Irish border as a way of remembering local history, political violence, and protracted conflict.