Instructor: Susanna Moore
Description of Course Goals and CurriculumThe course is focused on the history of fairytales, legends, myths, and urban myths, and how the context of society’s fears influences these creations. The goals of the course include grasping an understanding of how fear is spread, how literature reflects the greater beliefs of a society and how a society reacts to such fear/ beliefs. The organization of the course involves reading literature that are grouped in certain categories by the authors or similarity in the literary elements. Students do not need a background or knowledge of particular readings, as they will learn how to analyze this genre of fiction and understand how it can be applicable to our society today.
Learning From Classroom InstructionThe course is broken down into weekly readings, where the professor will expect you to read certain short readings or a certain number of pages within a bigger reading. The assigned readings will have a particular theme that would relate to one another so that students would be able to tie the ideas together in the discussion during the seminar class. Each student is expected to actively participate and will be expected to complete at least two papers throughout the duration of the class. Each week there will be a few topics to write about and students will volunteer to write a paper about one of those topics and present it in the next class.
Learning For and From AssignmentsWhile completing the weekly readings, it’s important to keep a list of points to discuss during the class. These points can be related to the theme, literary elements or just commentary about the readings themselves. Additionally, the papers are important in understanding the overall theme for the week, so the student would have to be fully prepared to present. It’s important for students to develop the skills to summarize and analyze the reading in the bigger context of the time period.
External ResourcesIf a particular topic is confusing/unfamiliar, the professor encourages students to look online at other resources that may be helpful. In addition, the assigned book “The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales” by Bettelheim is useful for interpreting the fairytales encountered in class.
What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course SelectionStudents don’t need any particular knowledge or skills, but they should have an interest in reading fairytales, myths, legends, etc. This course is valuable in understanding how literature reflects the beliefs and fears of society throughout time. The course fulfills the LA distribution requirement and is very enjoyable for anyone with an interest.
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Wisdom of Crowds