Happy ever After? Reading fairy tales

Course Dates: 20/07/21 - 29/07/21
Time: 10:15 - 12:15
Location: Online
Tutors: 
This course will introduce and discuss a selection of fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Bluebeard. The evolution of fairy tales will be considered by reading different versions of these stories. We will think about key themes and issues, such as the rags to riches format, the role of the hero, the role of the heroine, the wicked stepmother, and deception. We will also think about how these tales were not just entertainment, but conveyed important social and pedagogical ideas.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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SKU
184459
Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £48.00

Course Code: HLT241

Tue+Thu, day, 20 Jul - 29 Jul '21

Duration: 4 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This online literature course will introduce us to both familiar and unfamiliar versions of some of these tales, and how they have evolved, depending upon their historical moment of production. Rather than perceiving them as simplistic stories for innocent readers, we will reflect upon how fairy tales were reformatted from adult oral folk tales to become suitable reading material for children. With that shift in target audience, often stories became focused upon the figure of the heroic male character while female characters were diminished in stature and even, at times, cast as “evil” figures. As author Angela Carter notes, the shift from oral to print culture ‘both preserves, and also inexorably changes, these stories’ (1990).

Tutor biography:
Fiona McCulloch is a Literature academic, specialising in Children’s Literature, Young Adult Fiction, Scottish Literature, Contemporary British Fiction, Women’s Writing, Victorian Literature, Twentieth-Century Literature, Cosmopolitanism, Posthumanism, and Ecocriticism. She was Lynn Wood Neag Distinguished Visiting Professor of British Literature at the University of Connecticut in 2015. As well as publishing several peer-reviewed journal articles, her books include Contemporary British Children’s Fiction and Cosmopolitanism (2017), Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary British Fiction: Imagined Identities (2012), Children’s Literature in Context (2011), and The Fictional Role of Childhood in Victorian and Early Twentieth-Century Children’s Literature (2004).

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

During this course, a range of classic and contemporary fairy tales will be read. Our online classes will discuss the tales by paying close attention to important issues and themes like characters, setting, authorship, narrative voice, endings, love, obedience/disobedience, power, and journeys or quests. Also, ideas of nation will be explored, as well as gender, social class relations and symbolism. We will discuss the differences and similarities between tales and consider which versions we think are more successful as fairy tales than others and why. In turn, we can think about which versions are most well-known and why that might be.

Reading and discussion will focus upon a selection of fairy tales, for example, Little Red Riding Hood; Cinderella; Snow White; Bluebeard; Jack the Giant Killer.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Have a knowledge of a range of classic fairy tales, both familiar and unfamiliar, as well as an awareness
of different versions of some of these tales.
Become actively engaged in critically reading fairy tales, so deepening your insight of them.
Understand the hybrid nature of fairy tales.
Have an understanding of how tales evolved
Have a knowledge of some major themes and issues within the tales.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

You will have an interest in literature, and a willingness to develop your critical enjoyment of fairy tales, but no previous skills or knowledge are required for this course. Some preparatory reading will be necessary before each class, and a willingness to participate in class discussions, while also listening and responding to the views of others is desirable.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

This online class will be held in 2 hr sessions twice a week over a two-week period. Each session will be divided into an interactive short lecture with power point, as well as large and small group workshops and discussion focussing on the texts in more detail. Class preparation in advance is reading the set texts and any supplementary reading provided for that session.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please purchase or borrow the following book:

Iona and Peter Opie, The Classic Fairy Tales (Oxford University Press, 1980 or 1992, but any other year will do). Opie’s book can be bought second-hand on, for instance, Amazon.co.uk or Abebooks.co.uk.

Any other material will be provided by the tutor.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Look for other literature courses at www.citylit.ac.uk/history, culture and writing/literature/fiction.

Fiona McCulloch

Fiona McCulloch is a Literature academic, specialising in Children’s Literature, Young Adult Fiction, Scottish Literature, Contemporary British Fiction, Women’s Writing, Victorian Literature, Twentieth-Century Literature, Cosmopolitanism, Posthumanism, and Ecocriticism. She was Lynn Wood Neag Distinguished Visiting Professor of British Literature at the University of Connecticut in 2015. As well as publishing several peer-reviewed journal articles, her books include Contemporary British Children’s Fiction and Cosmopolitanism (2017), Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary British Fiction: Imagined Identities (2012), Children’s Literature in Context (2011), and The Fictional Role of Childhood in Victorian and Early Twentieth-Century Children’s Literature (2004). She also writes poetry and is published in Northwords, Mechanics Institute Review Online, Lumpen, and Dreich (forthcoming).

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.