An academic approach to alcohol and the role of the adult beverage in our culture.
This series is specifically designed as an audio textbook for students in COMM 297FA The Folklore of Alcohol at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. It is required for all students enrolled in the course.
General listeners will also find it informative.
Each episode provides a basic overview of an alcoholic beverage, a broad history of its role in human civilization, and at least one representative story from the folk tradition.
The course description for The Folklore of Alcohol is as follows:
Alcohol—a substance once called “the world’s favorite drug” by a prominent doctor—has played and continues to play a significant role in virtually every human society in one manner or another. Alcoholic beverages have inspired some of the most fascinating and insightful creative works as well as some of the most horrific and destructive behaviors. They have driven or informed the development, continuation, and dismantling of numerous religious, political, and economic systems throughout time. They have marked the celebrations and rung the death knell of countless generations of individuals, communities, and civilizations. And through the course of history, they have signified, represented, raised, and addressed some of the most important questions at the heart of human experience. Put simply, the influence of alcoholic beverages upon humanity cannot be overstated.
This course examines these complex issues through the vast store of folklore inspired by and directed at alcohol and its cultural reach. “Folklore” means traditional expressive practices ranging from the verbal arts (such as stories and songs) to material culture (such as crafts and medicine) to customary activities (such as rituals and beliefs). The range of folklore herein is both global and ancient; that is, it concerns the entire history of alcohol, which in effect necessitates attention to the entire history of humanity. This course accordingly adopts a global perspective. Specific lectures will address cultural differences concerning alcohol in the negotiation of gender, race, class, ethnicity, religion, and political identity.
For further information on the course or Hair of the Dog, please contact Professor Stephen Olbrys Gencarella at firstname.lastname@example.org
In accordance with Massachusetts law and UMass policy, the proceeds from the purchase of this series will cover production and storage costs for the series and benefit arts programming on iCRV Radio, not Professor Gencarella.