The University of Newcastle, Australia
Fast facts Starts 1 April, 2020
Duration

3 weeks

Effort

2-3 hours per week

Cost

FREE - Certificate for US$49

Subject

Literature

About this course

On this course, you will look deeper into the enchanting and surprisingly dark themes of several well-known European fairy tales.

What were the authors thinking? What were the cultural and personal concerns that have shaped these stories? What are the readers being asked to believe?

By considering the historical context of fairy tales and examining the characters, styles, and plots, you will discover that the intended morals of the original stories may not be exactly what you first thought.

What topics will you cover?

  • Demonstrate close acquaintance with three famous fairy tales.
  • Explain the significance of cultural contexts in shaping fairy tales.
  • Interpret narratives at basic level

What you'll achieve

Week 1: Reading “Little Red Riding Hood”

To begin, we dive into an old classic and find out if fairy tales really are as timeless as many might claim.

Week 2: The Idea of Beauty

Another old classic shows up in the looking glass. This time, we look at the tale of “Beauty and the Beast.”

Week 3: The Enigma of "Blue Beard"

Finally, we think about the history of fairy tales in western Europe, and then study a very strange example.



Meet the instructors

Associate Professor Caroline Webb

Associate Professor Caroline Webb

Associate Professor Caroline Webb works at the University of Newcastle, Australia, where she specialises in English literature since 1900, especially fantasy literature.


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