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Stories told in both sacred and secular contexts, along with festivals, foods, music, material objects, and other traditional art forms, continue to influence our lives. This interdisciplinary minor offers students tools to explore the compelling meanings within these seemingly simple, everyday cultural texts, and helps them become more aware of the ways these texts are used by individuals and institutions for various goals. Students study folklore and mythology by juxtaposing the multiple viewpoints of anthropology, art history, classical studies, literary studies, and religious studies.


Decaroli, Fraser (co-coordinator), Fuchs, Hoffman, Johnsen-Neshati, Lin, Mattusch (co-coordinator), Rutledge, Shiner, Lattanzi Shutika, Todd, Winkler


Eight credits of coursework must be unique to the minor and students must complete all coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.00. A course used to fulfill the 3 credits of literature required for Mason Core may not also be applied to the minor. To avoid duplication of courses, English majors who choose this minor may not select the English Department's folklore and mythology concentration.

For policies governing all minors, see AP.5.3.4 Minors.

Banner Code: FOLK

Minor Requirements

Total credits: minimum 18

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Core Courses

Select one course from the following:3
Symbols and Stories in Art (Mason Core)
Classical Mythology (Mason Core)
World Dance (Mason Core) (when the topic is Afro-Cuban dance)
The Human Religious Experience (Mason Core)
Religions of the West (Mason Core)
Religions of Asia (Mason Core)
Select four to five courses from the following:12-15
Historic Cemetery Survey
Qualitative Methods: Nonstatistical Approaches in Culture and Social Research
Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core)
Greek Art and Archaeology (Mason Core)
Roman Art and Archaeology (Mason Core)
Arts of India (Mason Core)
Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core)
Arts of China (Mason Core)
Arts of Japan (Mason Core)
Special Topics in the History of Art (when the topic is Medieval Irish art and culture)
RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art (when the topic is monuments and memory)
Greek and Roman Epic (Mason Core)
Greek and Roman Tragedy (Mason Core)
Topics in Classical Literature and Culture (when the topic is the Odyssey in film)
Folklore and Folklife
Topics in Myth and Literature
Topics in Folklore Studies
Folklore of the Spirit World
Folk Arts and Folk Artists
Ethnicity and Migration in Folklore
RS: Topics in Folklore Research (Mason Core)
Topics in Fiction (when the topic is literary fairy tales)
RS: Writing Ethnography (Mason Core)
Death and the Afterlife in World Religions
Total Credits15-18


Select at most one course of independent study or internship from the following:3
Summer fieldwork schools offered by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress or other institution approved by faculty and taken for credit
Independent Study
Art History Internships
Independent Study in Art History
Independent Study in Art History
Internship (when this is an approved internship in folklore)
Independent Study
Total Credits3