Welcome to the University of Louisiana Folklore Studies website. This page is intended as an on-line brochure for those visitors interested in courses and concentrations offered through the Department of English. (Please note that it is also possible to pursue a folklore concentration in the Department of Modern Language's Francophone Studies program.)

In addition to this web site, we are also happy to communicate with interested individuals in other ways. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact the current chair of the Folklore Committee:

John Laudun
Folklore Studies
P.O. Box 44691 
University of Louisiana at Lafayette 
Lafayette, LA 70504
laudun (at) louisiana (dot) edu

Folklore Studies at University of Louisiana at Lafayette

The Departments of English and Modern Languages offer courses and concentrations in folklore studies for students who are pursuing degrees in English and Francophone Studies. In both departments, folklore is an integral component of the study of language, literature, and culture. The programs provide professional training in folklore leading to further graduate work as well as careers in teaching, research, and public-sector folklore. Students are encouraged to learn about the rich cultural heritage of southern Louisiana, though by no means limited geographically or culturally in their studies. All students are strongly urged to participate in professional activities through the Louisiana Folklore Society, the Folklore Section of the South Central Modern Language Association, the American Folklore Society, and other organizations. Students pursuing a concentration in Folklore may also count toward their degree some folklore-related courses in other departments. Of particular significance are the Archives of Acadian and Creole Folklore housed in Dupré Library, which contain some materials invaluable for the student of southern Louisiana cultures. Fieldwork and internships can lead to involvement with various festivals and cultural events as well as the Louisiana Folklife Program.

Degrees Offered:

  • The Department of English offers an M.A. with a Folklore concentration and a Ph.D. with Folklore as a major or minor concentration.
  • The Department of Modern Languages offers a Ph.D. in Francophone Studies with a minor concentration in Folklore.





Graduate Faculty in Folklore:
For a more detailed account of each of the faculty members below, please click on the name.

  • Barry Jean Ancelet (Professor of Modern Languages and Head of the Department): Cajun and Creole folklore and music, Francophone literature, public folklore.
  • Ray Brassieur (Assistant Professor of Anthropology): material folk culture, Cajun and Creole folklore.
  • Marcia Gaudet (Professor of English and Head of the Department): folklore and literature, Louisiana folklore, folk narrative.
  • John Laudun (Assistant Professor of English): folklore theory, narrative studies, folk art and material culture, African American studies.

Associated Faculty & Specializations:

  • Mathe Allain (Modern Languages): Magreb culture and literature, Louisiana studies.
  • Jim Anderson (English):Old English and Medieval studies.
  • Carl Brasseaux (History): Louisiana history and culture.
  • Robert Carriker (History): Public history.
  • Jacques Henry (Sociology and Anthropology): Louisiana culture.
  • Mark Honneger(English): sociolinguistics and second language acquisition.
  • Claiborne Rice (English): cognitive linguistics and corpus theory.
  • Patricia Rickels (Honors Program): folklore studies and African American literature.
  • Dominique Ryon (Modern Languages): linguistics.




Courses Offered

Department of English

  • English 332 Introduction to Folklore
  • English 335 Louisiana Folklore
  • English 432 American Folklore
  • English 440 Folklore and Literature
  • English 452 Sociolinguistics
  • English 480 Folklore Genres
  • English 449 Louisiana Folklore Fieldwork
  • English 450 History of Children’s Literature
  • English 499 Special Topics (e.g., Cajun and Creole Folklore)
  • English 531 Folklore in Culture (e.g., Material Culture, African American Folklore)
  • English 532 Festivals and Celebrations
  • English 632 Seminar in Folklore

Department of Modern Languages

  • French 301 Cajun French
  • French 340 Louisiana French Folklore and Folk Music
  • French 449 Louisiana Folklore Fieldwork
  • French 425 Francophone Oral Literature
  • French 492 Topics in Louisiana French Literature
  • French 522 Etudes socio- et ethno-linguistiques du monde francophone
  • French 575 Litterature et culture acadiennes

Associated Departments

  • Anthropology 201 Cultural Anthropology
  • Anthropology 386 North American Indians
  • Anthropology 450 Indians of Louisiana
  • Anthropology 491 Ethnography of Southwest Louisiana
  • Architecture 470 Issues in Canadian Architecture
  • Architecture 476 Louisiana Architecture
  • History 451 Public History
  • Humanities 300 Heroes and Outlaws
  • Music 360 Cajun and Zydeco Music

Research Opportunities

Someone once called Louisiana a “folklore land” and we do live in a state, and in a region of the state, where folklore not only abides happily but is the subject of a great deal of attention by scholars and citizens, tourists and natives. Field research opportunities are plentiful and often our students have found themselves working closely with the Louisiana Folklife Program or with more localized groups, such as museums, churches, and other community organizations, interested in preserving and/or presenting facets of the local culture. The university and especially the folklore faculty have a long history of active involvement in civic and community life and the relationship UL Lafayette has with its environs is something of which we are especially proud. 

About Our Students

At present there are thirty-two graduate students in English and Francophone Studies majoring or minoring in folklore. In addition, UL Lafayette folklore students have planned and produced a new component of Festivals Acadiens which featured Louisiana folklife of the Atchafalaya Wetlands region. Students who have graduated with a concentration in folklore as part of their curriculum have gone on to teach in universities and colleges throughout the U.S. as well as to work in the public sector. We are also happy to note that both the state and the university have made their commitment to folklore studies clear through the funding of fellowships, such as the Board of Regents Fellowship which carries a stipend of $14,000, and other scholarships so that most of our students are supported in some way.


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Document last revised March 1, 2004 .
Copyright © 2003 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette