Fairy Tales and the Environmental Imagination
This course will offer a survey of fairy tales of diverse cultural traditions with a critical focus on how literature and storytelling play a decisive role in conceptualizing our interactions with nature and the nonhuman world. Topics include the role of the forest as a site of cultural memory; human-animal relations; and hybrid nature-cultures. Students will be introduced to a variety of critical perspectives on fairy tales, including textual studies, folklore studies, psychoanalysis, and ecofeminism. We will also look at how fairy tale studies are implicated in colonial practices and some recent attempts to decolonize the field. Readings are in English and include European tales collected by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, variations of classic tale “types” from Asia, Africa, and the Americas, Salish tales collected by Franz Boas, artistic fairy tales, as well as 20thcentury adaptations including Cristina Bacchilega’s Postmodern Fairy Tales and, of course, Disney film adaptations.
Texts and discussion are all in English.
Joint Sections: LIT 298 B (SLN 16648), ENGL 277A (SLN 14179)