2012 Past Graduate Field School

Folklore 6020 Field and Research Methods (Keels Field School)
The Last Inshore Fisher Families of Keels: Buildings, Landscapes and Memory Twenty Years After the Cod Moratorium 


Under the direction of Dr. Gerald L. Pocius, the Folklore 6020 field school will introduce beginning graduate students to ethnographic documentation methods related to landscape, buildings, narratives, and place. The school will focus on one small Newfoundland community: Keels, Bonavista Bay. Twenty years ago, a moratorium on cod fishing was imposed throughout the province, resulting in a massive upheaval of daily life in rural communities. Increasingly, outmigration, coupled with a gentrification of coastal communities such as Keels, has altered the traditional cultural landscape of the region. This course will document the last two inshore fishing families in Keels, focusing on the everyday spaces of these fishers: their homes, work buildings, boats, and shoreline work area. Beyond actual documentation techniques, students will construct a picture of how fishing has influenced community spaces over generations, and how this landscape is now coping with very different values and pressures.

Dates: The field school begins in with an introductory class in St. John’s around September 6. On September 9th you will travel to Keels where the remainder of the three weeks will be spent learning field documentation techniques. You will return to St. John’s September 30th.


WEEK 1: Classes on interviewing, ethics, audio and visual recording techniques.
WEEK 2: Measuring and drawing buildings. Interviews with local residents.
WEEK 3: Students conducting their own interviews and research. Presentation to the community of the project.

Special guest lecturers will include John Mannion (MUN Geography) on Keels’ cultural landscape, Brian Ricks (Professional Photographer) on digital photography, Dale Jarvis (Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador) on audio recording. Tom Carter (University of Utah) will lead the week on building documentation. Guha Shankar (Americal Folklife Center) on digital fieldwork and archiving.

The Specifics

Requirements: This is a required course for all incoming graduate students. The other two required courses for Fall 2012 semester—Folklore 6010 and Folklore 6030—will begin during the week of October 1st, after the completion of the field school.

Leisure opportunities: The field school offers you a unique opportunity to experience life in rural Newfoundland. In your spare time you will be able to enjoy hiking, swimming, canoeing, sea kayaking, bird and whale watching, berry picking and possibly an outing to catch cod during the food fishery, all in a spectacular setting. Weekend excursions will be organized to communities such as Bonavista, Trinity, and Port Union to visit museums, heritage houses and other attractions.

Accommodation: You will share accommodation with other students in one of several homes that have been leased to us for the field school. Each house has a shower, but no internet, and likely no TV. There will be laundry facilities.

Food: You will be responsible for your own individual breakfast and lunch meals. You will take turns preparing agreed-upon communally shared supper meals in the local school and share in keeping the clean-up after meals. The foods available for local purchase are limited; these will form the basis for our evening meals. If you have any special dietary needs, you should advise us before leaving St John’s to determine what options are possible.

Phones and internet: It is important to know that in Keels cell phone coverage is sporadic at best, you likely will not have regular access to the internet, and there are no phones in the houses we will be using as residences. We will make arrangements to have limited phone/internet use through the local school.

Costs: There will be a program cost of approximately $800 per student payable to the Folklore Department Office on/or before the first day of classes. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A ONE TIME PAYMENT THAT IS IN ADDITION TO YOUR TUITION AND OTHER SEMSTER FEES. This program cost will cover your accommodations, travel to/from Keels, course supplies, and evening meals. YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR BUYING AND PREPARING YOUR BREAKFASTS AND LUNCHES. In the event that total costs amount to less than the program fee, any surplus will be reimbursed to you at the end of the field school.

Fall 2012 Documents
Field School Information Sheet
Field School Pre-registration Form (Deadline: May 15, 2012)