Spring 2021 catalog is now live!
To determine if a course is remote, hybrid, or in-person use the catalog search tool to narrow results. Otherwise, when browsing courses, the section indicates teaching mode:
R = Remote
H = Hybrid
0 = In-person
Teaching modes (remote, hybrid, in-person) are subject to change at any point. Please pay close attention when registering. Depending on the timing of a teaching mode change, faculty also may be in contact with students.
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.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
class participation, two or three short written assignments during the semester, and a 9- to 10-page final paper (with opportunity for revision of the final paper)
Comparative Literature majors
Students will write and receive written feedback addressing writing specifically on four written assignments over the course of the semester: one short analytic paper, a midterm analytic paper of ~5 pages, a tale, and a final paper (length will vary depending on the type of paper chosen). They will revise the midterm paper based on feedback from the instructor and, when feasible, a peer critique group, and will have the opportunity to submit a draft of the second longer paper for feedback.