Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

Why do fairy tales capture the attention of adults and children all over the world and endure in popular literary and cinematic forms?  What do they reveal to psychologists, biologists, historians, linguists, artists, anthropologists, and educators?  Do they politicize or de-politicize? socialize or subvert?  What is the postfeminist, postmodern response to the Brothers Grimm?  What do fairy tales convey about animal behavior, entomology, and cosmology?  How might the tales shape human limitations, moral values, and aspirations?

This course will explore the storytelling and re-telling of literary, cultural, and scientific stories from a comparative perspective, imagining their interpretations and how they may be re-told with an eye toward new understandings of human interrelationships, of a given sociohistorical moment, the culture of COA, and the larger culture. Students will read folklore and fairy tales, view several films, and discuss essays by writers such as Cristina Bacchilega, Bruno Bettelheim, Ruth Bottigheimer, Michel Butor, Italo Calvino, Robert Darnton, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Maria Tatar, and Jack Zipes.  Contemporary works by writers, visual artists, and musicians inspired by traditional tales will also be explored. Writers may include Margaret Atwood, A.S. Byatt, Angela Carter, Robert Coover, Michael Cunningham, Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, Naguib Mahfouz, Haruki Murakami, Helen Oyeyemi, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Francine Prose, and Anne Sexton.  Reflections may center on recurrent motifs and patterns; and social, sexual, moral, scientific and political content, with emphasis on race, gender, and class structure. 

Students will be evaluated on two short papers; one creative project that may be expressed in writing, visual art, music, or dance; and a final written assignment in any genre—poems, plays, fiction or nonfiction.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.