M A I N * L I N K S

SUNY Fredonia
College of Arts and Sciences
ENGL 209: Novels and Tales
How to Do Things with Fairy Tales
Fall 2012
Sections 9 and 10: TTh 3:30-4:50, Houghton 112
Office: Fenton 265; M 10-12, 1-3, TTh 11-12, 2-3, W 1-3, and by appointment; 673-3856
E-mail: simon@fredonia.edu, brucesimon18@yahoo.com
Web Page: www.fredonia.edu/department/english/simon/
ANGEL Space: https://fredonia.sln.suny.edu/default.asp

About the Course Web Pages

This web site is designed to help you get as much out of this course as possible--you can use it to find out what assignments are due and when, how your work will be assessed, how to use the course ANGEL space, and how to use the world-wide web for research, among other things. Please get in the habit of checking back to these pages to keep track of changes to the syllabus (which will also be announced on ANGEL), as well as to surf the ever-expanding list of links to interesting web pages related to the course. And please contact me anytime (see above for my coordinates) if you have ideas about how to improve these pages or the course as a whole.

I. Course Description

Readings in world literature from ancient to contemporary. The course teaches analysis of varying narrative styles and approaches and the relationship of narrative to culture. These sections of ENGL 209 focus on the traditions, transformations, and re-visions of fairy tales, some of the earliest narrative forms to have wended their way from oral to written to print to screen to online media over the course of millennia of human storytelling. Attending to the meanings, purposes, and effects of the act--and art--of storytelling, we will consider how fairy tales and related narrative forms, genres, and media represent and affect our understandings of and responses to social reality, the self and others, and ethico-political issues.

ENGL 209 is a core course for students in the English and English Adolescence Education majors; it also satisfies Category 7 of the College Core Curriculum (CCC).

II. Rationale

In ENGL 209, as in most courses offered by the English Department, students from a range of majors, minors, and concentrations interact, and the goals of the professional programs are integrated with specific course goals. Achieving these goals (described in Section IV, below) will require us to foster academic skills and intellectual habits of reading closely and attentively, thinking critically and creatively, listening actively and carefully, speaking thoughtfully and purposefully, and writing clearly and engagingly--skills and habits of importance to everyone, including English Adolescence Education majors and other future teachers.

III. Textbooks. There are six books in the campus bookstore for you to purchase:

In addition, I have made certain required shorter works available to you on our course ANGEL site. See the Schedule of Assignments, Section VIIIA below, for specifics.

IV. Course Objectives and Outcomes

Courses in Category 7 of the CCC are designed to provide knowledge of the conventions and methods of at least one of the humanities, present general ideas and ethical principles basic to the humanities, and foster critical thinking and critical literacy. These sections of ENGL 209 set out to reach these goals by helping students (1) to appreciate and understand a variety of narratives and narrative strategies in world literature, with a special focus on fairy tales, (2) to appreciate and understand a variety of modes of analysis of narrative in general and fairy tales in particular, and (3) to appreciate and understand the act and art of storytelling in fairy tales and related narratives from different cultures and time periods. To achieve these goals, students will:

V. Instructional Methods and Activities

The methods used in the classroom will include lecture, in-class writing, guided discovery, open discussion, cooperative group work, and other learning-centered and critical thinking-oriented activities.

VI. Evaluation and Grade Assignment

Attendance/Preparation/Participation (15%). Regular attendance to and thoughtful participation in class are crucial to your enjoyment of and success in this course. If there is absolutely no way for you to avoid missing a class, you must contact me ahead of time or soon after your absence, preferably by email. Even more important than showing up on time, of course, is coming to class prepared and focused. I expect you to read what has been assigned for a given date at least once (and some texts preferably more than that!) by the time we begin to discuss it in class. This is a discussion rather than a lecture course, after all; although I will provide some context and background for our reading, the bulk of class time will be spent in small- or large-group discussions and activities. Since it's difficult to make good contributions to discussions about a text if you haven't read it carefully or thought about it extensively, how well you budget your time outside of class will to a large degree determine how well you do in this class in general and how well you do on this portion of your course grade in particular.

Your grade for this segment of the course will be based on a combination of your attendance, the quality of your participation in class and on the course ANGEL space (described below), and your preparation, effort, and improvement over the course of the semester. As there is no final exam in this course, think of my evaluation of your preparation/participation as a different but equally important method of assessing your overall performance in the course. Due to the importance of attendance and participation, more than two unexcused absences will hurt your preparation/participation grade and each non-emergency absence after the fourth will lower your final course grade by a full grade (e.g., with five absences a B+ will become a C+; with seven, it will become an F). Please see Section VIIIB, below, for definitions of excused and emergency absences.

Online Participation (15%). To supplement and prepare for our class discussions and activities, I have created a discussion forum on our course ANGEL space. You should use it to develop your writing and critical thinking skills, demonstrate your engagement with the course material, and consider and respond to others' ideas and interpretations. For instance, you can:

Over the course of the semester, I will keep track of the timing, amount, variety, and quality of your posts to the course discussion board, including the quality of the ensuing online discussions initiated by them; 0-4 posts will earn you a zero, 5-9 posts an F, 10-14 a D, 15-19 a C, 20-24 a B, and 25+ an A on this segment of your final grade. The quality of your online participation will also be factored into your preparation/participation grade (see above).

Critical Essays (40%). The assignment sheet and advice for the two 4-to-6-page critical essays can be found at www.fredonia.edu/department/english/simon/ft2/ce.htm.

Your grade for this segment of the course will be determined by the coherence and validity of your paper's arguments, the effectiveness of its structures in conveying your ideas and convincing your audience, and the quality of its prose (including grammar, syntax, and punctuation). Please be aware that you may choose to write a third critical essay to turn your lowest-graded essay into extra credit for the preparation/participation portion of your final grade.

Final Project (30%). The topic and format for your 7-to-10-page final project is open. Further information and advice on it can be found on the course web site at www.fredonia.edu/department/english/simon/ft2/fp.htm.

Your grade for this segment of the course will be based on the coherence and validity of the project's arguments, the effectiveness of its medium, structure, and form in conveying your ideas and convincing your audience, and the quality of its prose (including grammar, syntax, and punctuation) and any other relevant aesthetic or design properties.

B. Grading. All work during the semester will be graded on a letter basis (A=outstanding, B=good, C=average, D=bad, F=unacceptable) and converted into a number for purposes of calculating final grades. I use the following conversion system (the number in parentheses is the "typical" or "normal" conversion, but any number in the range may be assigned to a given letter grade):

A+=97-100 (98); A=93-96.99 (95); A-=90-92.99 (91); B+=87-89.99 (88); B=83-86.99 (85); B-=80-82.99 (81); C+=77-79.99 (78); C=73-76.99 (75); C-=70-72.99 (71); D+=67-69.99 (68); D=63-66.99 (65); D-=60-62.99 (61); F=0-59.99 (55)

Your final grade is determined by converting the weighted numerical average of the above assignments into a letter grade, according to the above scale.

C. Portfolio. English majors should be aware of the English Department's guidelines for ongoing portfolio submissions; it is highly recommended that a paper or other writing from this course be included in your portfolio.

VII. Bibliography.

A. Contemporary References

B. Classic References

C. Key Journals

VIII. Course Schedule and Policies

A. Tentative Course Schedule. The following course schedule is subject to revision--please refer here regularly for updates to this schedule to the course ANGEL space for announcements of changes.

T 8/28 welcome, introductions, overview, set-up
Th 8/30 Maria Tatar, "Introduction" (CFT ix-xviii); Martin Hallett and Barbara Karasek, "Preface-Introduction" (FFT 11-25); Kate Bernheimer, "Introduction" (MM xvii-xxiii); Gregory Maguire, "Drawing the Curtain" (MM xxv-xxxi)


T 9/4 Tatar, "Introduction: Snow White" (CFT 74-80); Giambattista Basile, "The Young Slave" (CFT 80-83 [also in FFT 293-296]); Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, "Snow White" (CFT 83-89 AND FFT 147-153 [different editions/translations]); "Lasair Gheug, the King of Ireland's Daughter" (CFT 90-96); Grimm, "Rapunzel" (FFT 154-156); David Roberts, "Rapunzel" (FFT Figure 14)
Th 9/6 Max Luthi, "The Fairy-Tale Hero: The Image of Man in the Fairy Tale" (FFT 315-323); Bruno Bettelheim, "The Struggle for Meaning" (FFT 323-335); Alison Lurie, "What Fairy Tales Tell Us" (FFT 359-367); Anne Sexton, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (CFT 96-100); Kim Addonizio, "Ever After" (MM 512-526); Lydia Millet, "Snow-White and Rose-Red" (MM 113-125); "'The Young Slave' (Basile) and 'Giant Story' (Scieszka and Smith)" (FFT 293, Figure 17); Sabrina Orah Mark, "My Brother Gary Made a Movie and This Is What Happened" (MM 361-365)

T 9/11 Hallett and Karasek, "Sleeping Beauty" (FFT 63-67, 302-303, Figures 8-9); Basile, "Sun, Moon, and Talia (Sole, Luna e Talia)" (FFT 67-70); "The Ninth Captain's Tale," from Arabian Nights (FFT 84-88); Charles Perrault, "The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood" (FFT 71-77); Grimm, "Brier Rose" (FFT 77-79); Wilfred Owen, "The Sleeping Beauty" (FFT 92-93); Italo Calvino, "The Neapolitan Soldier" (FFT 79-84); Gabriel Garcia Marquez, "Sleeping Beauty and the Airplane" (FFT 88-92)
Th 9/13 Karen Rowe, "The Female Voice in Folklore and Fairy Tale" (CFT 297-308); Marita Warner, "The Old Wives' Tale" (CFT 309-317); Rabih Alameddine, "A Kiss to Wake the Sleeper" (MM 411-422); Kathryn Davis, "Body-without-Soul" (MM 337-352)

T 9/18 Jane Yolen, Briar Rose, "Home"-Ch. 21 (1-136)
W 9/19 If you wish to attend the Maytum Convocation Lecture by Jean Kilbourne, "Deadly Persuasion: The Power of Advertising," for extra credit, free tickets must be reserved in advance at the ticket office or at http://www.fredonia.edu/president/inauguration/rsvp.asp--click on "All Other Guests" button for pop-up reservation window)
Th 9/20 Yolen, Briar Rose, Ch. 22-"Author's Note" (137-241); Terri Windling, "Introduction" (xi-xiv)


M 9/24 11:30 pm: deadline for submitting CRITICAL ESSAY I in the CE Drop Box on the course ANGEL space (attach as .rtf, .doc, .docx, or .pdf document, please).
T 9/25 Tatar, "Introduction: Cinderella" (CFT 101-107); Hallett and Karasek, "Cinderella" (FFT 94-97); Tatar, "Sex and Violence: The Hard Core of Fairy Tales" (CFT 364-373); Jack Zipes, "Breaking the Disney Spell" (CFT 332-352); Donald Haase, "Yours, Mine, or Ours? Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, and the Ownership of Fairy Tales" (CFT 353-364); Betsy Hearne, "Disney Revisited, Or, Jiminy Cricket, It's Musty Down Here!" (FFT 386-393); Perrault, "Donkeyskin" (CFT 109-116); Perrault, "Cinderella: Or the Little Glass Slipper" (FFT 97-102); Grimm, "Cinderella" (CFT 117-122); Joseph Jacobs, "Catskin" (CFT 122-125); Jacobs, "Cap o' Rushes" (FFT 108-111)
Th 9/27 Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson, from The Types of the Folktale (CFT 373-378); Vladimir Propp, "Folklore and Literature" and from Morphology of the Folktale (CFT 378-387); "The Story of the Black Cow" (CFT 125-127); Cyrus Macmillan, "The Indian Cinderella" (FFT 111-113); Lin Lan, "Cinderella" (CFT 127-131); Aleksandr Afanas'ev, "Vasilasa the Beautiful" (FFT 102-108); "Yeh-hsien" (CFT 107-108); "The Princess in the Suit of Leather" (CFT 131-137); Robert D. San Souci, "Little Gold Star: A Spanish American Cinderella Tale" (FFT 113-117)

T 10/2 Laura Tosi, "Did They Live Happily Ever After? Rewriting Fairy Tales for a Contemporary Audience" (FFT 367-386); Sexton, "Cinderella" (FFT 135-138); Tanith Lee, "When the Clock Strikes" (FFT 117-130); Sara Maitland, "The Wicked Stepmother's Lament" (FFT 130-135); Aimee Bender, "The Color Master" (MM 366-385); Stacey Richter, "A Case Study of Emergency Room Procedure and Risk Management by Hospital Staff Members in the Urban Facility" (MM 423-433); Kelly Link, "Catskin" (MM 270-298); Neil Gaiman, "Orange" (MM 434-442)
Th 10/4 Hiromi Ito, "I Am Anjuhimeko" (MM 472-494); Sandra Cisneros, "The Family of Little Feet" and "Chanclas"; Agnes Sam, "High Heels"; Edwidge Danticat, "Night Women" [the last three available in Lessons area on course ANGEL space]

T 10/9 Tatar, "Introduction: Hans Christian Andersen" (CFT 212-216); The Arabian Nights 260-302 [available in Lessons area on course ANGEL space]; Hans Christian Andersen, "The Little Mermaid" (CFT 216-232); Timothy Schaffert, "The Mermaid in the Tree" (MM 171-199); Katherine Vaz, "What the Conch Shell Sings When the Body Is Gone" (MM 200-220)

T 10/16 Tatar, "Introduction: Beauty and the Beast" (CFT 25-32); Hallett and Karasek, "Enchanted Bride(groom)" (FFT 169-171, 303-304, Figures 10-12, 18); Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, "Beauty and the Beast" (CFT 32-42 AND FFT 171-181 [different translations]); Madame la Comtesse d'Aulnoy, "The White Cat" (FFT 192-203); Giovanni Francesco Straparola, "The Pig King" (CFT 42-47); Grimm, "The Frog King, or Iron Heimlich" (CFT 47-50 AND FFT 189-191 [different editions/translations]); Asbjornsen and Moe, "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" (FFT 181-188); Claire Booss, "The Swan Maiden" (CFT 72-73); Afanas'ev, "The Frog Princess" (CFT 68-71); Royall Tyler, "Urashima the Fisherman" (CFT 66-68)
Th 10/18 Angela Carter, "The Tiger's Bride" (CFT 50-66); Marjorie Sandor, "The White Cat" (MM 386-389); Francesca Lia Block, "Psyche's Dark Night" (MM 443-459); Jim Shepard, "Pleasure Boating in Lituya Bay" (MM 316-336)

T 10/23 Patricia Grace, Potiki, Prologue-Part One (7-84)
Th 10/25 Grace, Potiki, Parts Two-Three (85-185)


T 10/30 Tatar, "Introduction: Little Red Riding Hood" (CFT 3-10); Hallett and Karasek, "Little Red Riding Hood" (FFT 27-31, 299-301, Figures 1-4); Robert Darnton, "Peasants Tell Tales: The Meaning of Mother Goose" (CFT 280-291); Zohar Shavit, "The Concept of Childhood and Children's Folktales: Test Case--'Little Red Riding Hood'" (CFT 317-332); Paul Delarue, "The Story of Grandmother" (CFT 10-11 AND FFT 32-33 [different translation]); Perrault, "Little Red Riding Hood" (CFT 11-13 AND FFT 33-35 [different translation]); Grimm, "Little Red Cap" (CFT 13-16 AND FFT 35-38 [different translation])
Th 11/1 Alan Dundes, "Fairy Tales from a Folkloristic Perspective" (FFT 335-342); Italo Calvino, "The False Grandmother" (CFT 17-19); Julius Lester, "The Death of Brer Wolf" (FFT 218-219); "The Chinese Red Riding Hoods" (FFT 38-40); Chiang Mi, "Goldflower and the Bear" (CFT 19-21); Patricia C. McKissack, "Flossie and the Fox" (FFT 41-44); 11:30 pm: deadline for submitting CRITICAL ESSAY II in the CE Drop Box on the course ANGEL space (attach as .rtf, .doc, .docx, or .pdf document, please)

T 11/6 Rowe, "Feminism and Fairy Tales" (FFT 342-358); Carter, "The Company of Wolves" (FFT 47-55); Block, "Wolf" (FFT 55-60); Nalo Hopkinson, "Riding the Red" [available in Lessons area on course ANGEL space]; Kellie Wells, "The Girl, the Wolf, the Crone" (MM 353-360)
Th 11/8 James Poniewozik, "The End of Fairy Tales? How Shrek and Friends Have Changed Children's Stories" (FFT 394-397); James Thurber, "The Little Girl and the Wolf" (CFT 16-17); Roald Dahl, "Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf" and "The Three Little Pigs" (CFT 21-24); "'The Story of the Three Little Pigs' (Jacobs) and 'The Three Little Pigs' (Garner)" (FFT 289-292); David McPhail, "Little Red Riding Hood" (FFT 45-46); Tim Seibles, "What Bugs Bunny Said to Red Riding Hood" (FFT 61-62)
F 11/9 FINAL PROJECT PROPOSAL due on discussion board by 11:30 pm.

T 11/13 Tatar, "Introduction: Hansel and Gretel" (CFT 179-184); Hallett and Karasek, "Hansel and Gretel" (FFT 301-302, Figures 5-7); Hallett and Karasek, "Growing Up (Is Hard to Do)" and "Brain Over Brawn (The Trickster)" (FFT 139-142, 204-206); Grimm, "Hansel and Gretel" (CFT 184-190 AND FFT 142-147 [different editions/translations]); Grimm, "The Juniper Tree" (CFT 190-197); Jacobs, "The Rose-Tree" (CFT 197-199); Perrault, "Little Thumbling" (CFT 199-206); "Pippety Pew" (CFT 207-209); Jacobs, "Molly Whuppie" (CFT 209-211 OR FFT211-214); Grimm, "The Brave Little Tailor" (FFT 206-211); Jacobs, "Jack and the Beanstalk" (FFT 156-161)
Th 11/15 Alissa Nutting, "The Brother and the Bird" (MM 30-41); Francine Prose, "Hansel and Gretel" (MM 42-58); Michael Mejia, "Coyote Takes Us Home" (MM 495-511); Michael Martone, "A Bucket of Warm Spit" (MM 254-269)


T 11/27 Tatar, "Introduction: Bluebeard" (CFT 138-144); Perrault, "Bluebeard" (CFT 144-148 AND FFT 223-226 [different translations]); Edmund Dulac, "Bluebeard" (FFT Figure 13); Grimm, "Fitcher's Bird" and "The Robber Bridegroom" (CFT 148-154); Jacobs, "Mr. Fox" (CFT 154-156); Grimm, "The Fisherman and His Wife" (FFT 229-234)
Th 11/29 John Updike, "Bluebeard in Ireland" (MM 394-410); Joyce Carol Oates, "Blue-Bearded Lover" (MM 390-393); Margaret Atwood, "Bluebeard's Egg" (CFT 156-178); Bernheimer, "Whitework" (MM 527-533); Rikki Ducornet, "Green Air" (MM 165-170); Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, "I'm Here" (MM 14-29); Lily Hoang, "The Story of the Mosquito" (MM 460-466)

T 12/4 Hallett and Karasek, "Villains" (FFT 220-221); Grimm, "Rumpelstiltskin" (FFT 227-229); Neil LaBute, "With Hair of Hand-Spun Gold" (MM 74-83); Kevin Brockmeier, "A Day in the Life of Half of Rumpelstiltskin" (MM 59-73); Jonathon Keats, "Ardour" (MM 8-13); Karen Brennan, "The Snow Queen" (MM 221-236); Naoko Awa, "First Day of Snow" (MM 467-471); Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, "The Erlking" (MM 126-138); Joy Williams, "Baba Iaga and the Pelican Child" (MM 1-7)
Th 12/6 Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Ch. 1-4 (1-75)

T 12/11 Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Ch. 5-8, About the Names. . . (76-142); online course evaluation (university-level)
Th 12/13 Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Ch. 9-12, About the Names. . . (143-216); written course evaluation (department-level)

M 12/17 4-6 pm: optional extra-credit session for FINAL PROJECT PRESENTATIONS (in regular classroom); 11:30 pm: deadline for submitting CRITICAL ESSAY III in the CE Drop Box on the course ANGEL space (attach as .rtf, .doc, .docx, or .pdf document, please).
F 12/21 FINAL PROJECT due by 11:30 pm in FP Drop Box on course ANGEL space

B. Class Policies

1. Attendance. As stated in Section VI above, barring emergencies each absence after the fourth will lower your final course grade by a full grade. Be aware that absences due to emergencies are the only absences that will not be counted toward your total for the semester. Emergencies include but are not limited to death in the family, hospitalization or serious illness, and natural disasters; scheduled and unavoidable school-sponsored events (games, meets, performances, etc.) are also counted as emergencies for the purpose of this attendance policy. Besides emergencies, the only other absences that won't affect your participation/preparation grade are excused absences. Please notify the instructor over email, in advance if possible and, if not, as soon after the absence as possible, if you wish an absence to be considered as an emergency or excused absence; the decision will be made at the instructor's discretion.

2. Online Participation. Please familiarize yourself with the college's Computer and Network Usage Policy in the University Catalog 2012-2013 and check with your instructor first before posting something to the course ANGEL space that is not directly related to the course.

3. Late Assignments. Online posts that are not well-timed with the course material and fail to spark other students' interest and responses will not count the same as well-timed posts or posts that do inspire further discussion. Late critical essays will not be accepted or graded. Only students who ask for an extension at least two days before the due date of any written project will be granted an extension.

4. Plagiarism and Academic Integrity. To plagiarize is "to steal and pass off as one's own the ideas or words of another" (Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary). SUNY Fredonia strongly condemns plagiarism and takes severe action against those who plagiarize. Disciplinary action may extend to suspension from privileges or expulsion from college. Please familiarize yourself with the college's Academic Integrity Policy in the University Catalog 2012-2013 and check with your instructor if you have any questions about it.

5. Students with Disabilities. If you have a documented disability, please contact our Office of Disability Support Services in the Learning Center at Reed Library.

6. Portable Electronic Devices. Please turn them off before you enter the class. If I see you using them while class is in session, I will hold onto them for you until we are done. I will consider requests to use laptops or other devices for notetaking purposes.

M A I N * L I N K S

ENGL 209: Novels and Tales, Fall 2012
Created: 8/29/12 11:18 pm
Last modified: 12/11/12 3:12 pm
Webmaster: Bruce Simon, Associate Professor of English, SUNY Fredonia
Feel free to explore earlier versions of Novels and Tales that I taught in Spring 2011, Fall 2010, and Spring 2010 that have influenced the shape of this course.