Folk art pays testimony to the persistence and pervasiveness of human
creativity and aesthetic motivation. While it has been defined in numerous
ways, and often marginalized, it is central to human expression. Through
reading, discussion, visits with folk artists on-site and in class, and
multimedia formats, this course will survey the various definitions of folk
art,examine issues such as artistic canons, contexts of production and
interpretation, economics, connoisseurship, virtuosity, appropriation, and
politics, and explore the rich panoply of material folk art.