COMP 216
Folk and Fairy Tales in Literature and Beyond Fall 2017
Division I Writing Skills
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Class Details

From cannibalistic crones in sugary cottages to frogs who can be transformed with a kiss, the English term “folktale” covers a broad range of stories that been beloved and belittled, transmitted and transformed for hundreds of years in many cultures. This course will look broadly at folktales from different traditions, ranging from early China to medieval Europe and contemporary America. We will approach the folktale from a number of perspectives, including typological approaches; moral notions embedded in such tales; and the often porous borders between the natural and the supernatural, the animal and the human, and living and dead. We will consider the way normative gender and ethnic roles are portrayed and sometimes undermined. We will also consider the complex literary histories of folktales, looking at sources, the interplay of oral and written traditions, folktales as alternative histories, notions of authorship, and the ways stories transform in the course of transmission.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 12
Class#: 1886
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, two or three short written assignments during the semester, and a 9-10-page final paper (with opportunity for revision of the final paper)
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: comparative literature majors
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills

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