What Is Folklore?

Located between the disciplines of literature and anthropology, folklore is the study of traditional beliefs, stories, legends, songs, festivals, and arts of a given group. A primary emphasis in folklore studies is on tradition and the ways traditions manifest in the modern world. A second emphasis is on vernacular practices - that is, those artistic activities that are generated by people informally. Folklore students document, analyze, and interpret a variety of artistic traditions and in doing so become culturally competent, highly skilled culture brokers and adept communicators.

USU Folklore Program

The Folklore Program at Utah State University was founded over forty years ago. The Program offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees and provides a flexible, interdisciplinary approach to study, small class sizes, and close interaction between faculty and students. The Folklore Program is particularly strong in areas of legend, digital folklore, the supernatural, landscape, festival, and Jewish and Italian folklore. Faculty affiliated with the program are well known in their fields, have a strong program of research, and are committed to student learning. Students in the Folklore Program also have many opportunities to work closely with the Fife Folklore Archives.

Folklore News

Click here to find out the latest USU Folklore news!

Where does it lead?

Increasingly, businesses, marketing firms, departments of tourism, public programming agencies, and political organizations are learning how to deal with ever-increasing diversity. Studying folklore qualifies students to assist these agencies in relating to individuals and communities with varying backgrounds.

Folklorists are instrumental in planning exhibitions and festivals, both on corporate and public levels. In addition, they have been hired to report and make recommendations relating to urban planning, school curricula, teacher training programs, recreational programs, and community education.

Folklorists become academics, museum curators, archivists, historians, art council members, publishers, refugee officers, activists, nonprofit organizers, historic preservationists, and even documentary filmmakers.

Contact Information

Program Director

Lisa Gabbert

3200 Old Main Hill

Logan, UT 84322-3200

435.797.2721

folklore@usu.edu