Folk and Fairytale
  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 42.0
Credit Value: 3.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Winter 2019
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): General Education Electives
Program Coordinator(s): N/A
Course Leader or Contact: Tamara Wasylenky
Version: 20190107_00
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: N/A

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
In this course, students investigate why fairy tales to which people are exposed as children are retained with such clarity even into adulthood. They examine the history and legacy of stories that have descended from anonymous oral tradition in multiple versions that span cultures. Students also examine original fairy tales written from as early as the second century to contemporary times, in the spirit of the tradition in which they were created. Through interactive lecture, discussion, films, seminars, and written assignments, students assess the interpretations of these magical stories, and draw conclusions about the beliefs, behaviours, and values they reinforce.

Program Context

General Education Electives Program Coordinator(s): N/A
This course is part of the General Education curriculum which is designed to contribute to the development of the students' consciousness of the diversity, complexity, and richness of the human experience; their ability to establish meaning through this consciousness; and as a result, their ability to contribute thoughtfully, creatively, and positively to the society in which they live and work. General Education courses strengthen students' generic skills, such as critical analysis, problem solving, and communication, in the context of an exploration of topics with broad-based personal and/or societal importance.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
By the end of this course, students will have demonstrated the ability to evaluate the content of new folk and fairy tales based on the cultural expectations of their classical models.
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Explain how aspects of folk and fairy tale transcend time and place and continue to provide insight into the human condition.
  2. Explore the cultural context in which these stories were first narrated in an oral tradition to be later recorded in a written tradition.
  3. Compare the diversity of styles and attitudes in the writers, compilers and illustrators of folk and fairy tale.
  4. Discuss the psychological interpretations of fairy tales, with specific reference to landmarks in the growth period between infancy and young adulthood.
  5. Critique folk and fairy tales from a variety of theoretical perspectives.
  6. Determine the success these timeless tales retain as signposts on the path to maturity within a cultural context that has continued to change.
  7. Investigate how artists' concepts, scale models and post-filming manipulation of images contribute to the creation of the secondary world in fantasy film.
  8. Examine the importance of justice, the representation of good and evil and the role of fate or destiny in establishing a credible secondary world.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: IN-CLASS
 Assignment 1 - Written analysis applying critical theory to a fairy tale20.0%
 Assignment 2 - Written analysis of a film or story10.0%
 Assignment 3 - Research analysis of a contemporary fairy tale25.0%
 Mid-Term Exam20.0%
 Final Exam25.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:
TEST AND ASSIGNMENT PROTOCOL To encourage behaviours that will help students to be successful in the workplace and to ensure that students receive credit for their individual work, the following rules apply to every course offered within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. 1. Students are responsible for staying abreast of test dates and times, as well as due dates and any special instructions for submitting assignments and projects as supplied to the class by the professor. 2. Students must write all tests at the specified times. Missed tests, in-class activities, assignments and presentations are awarded a mark of zero. If an extension or make-up opportunity is approved by the professor as outlined below, the mark of zero may be revised by subsequent performance. The penalty for late submission of written assignments is a loss of 10% per day for up to five business days (excluding weekends and statutory holidays), after which, a grade of zero is assigned. Business days include any day that the college is open for business, whether the student has scheduled classes that day or not. 3. Students, who miss a test or in-class activity or assignment or fail to submit an assignment on time due to exceptional circumstances, are required to notify their professor in advance of the class whenever possible. A make-up test may be supplied for students who provide an acceptable explanation of their absence and/or acceptable documentation explaining their absence (e.g., a medical certificate). All make-up tests are to be written at a time and place specified by the professor upon the student's return. Alternately, students may be given an opportunity to earn the associated marks by having a subsequent test count for the additional marks. Exceptional circumstances may result in a modification of due dates for assignments. 4. Unless otherwise specified, assignments and projects must be submitted at the beginning of class. 5. Students must complete every assignment as an individual effort unless, the professor specifies otherwise. 6. Since there may be instances of grade appeal or questions regarding the timely completion of assignments and/or extent of individual effort, etc., students are strongly advised to keep, and make available to their professor, if requested, a copy of all assignments and working notes until the course grade has been finalized. 7. There will be no resubmission of work unless this has been previously agreed to or suggested by the professor. 8. Students must submit all assignments in courses with practical lab and field components in order to pass the course.

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Essential Employability Skills
Essential Employability Skills emphasized in the course:

  • Communication Skills - Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken, visual form that fulfills the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.
  • Personal Skills - Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Show respect for the diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.
  • Information Management - Locate, select, organize and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.
  • Information Management Skills - Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving - Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.
  • Communication Skills - Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

General Education
This General Education course relates to the following themes as specified by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

  • Social and Cultural Understanding

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar
Students may apply to receive credit by demonstrating achievement of the course learning outcomes through previous relevant work/life experience, service, self-study and training on the job. This course is eligible for challenge through the following method(s):

  • Challenge Exam
  • Portfolio
  • Interview

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: In-Class
Professor: Multiple Professors
RequiredTextbookHaroun and the Sea of Stories, Salman Rushdie, Penguin Group
RequiredTextbookFolk and Fairy Tales, Martin Hallett and Barbara Karasek, Peterborough: Broadview Press, 5th edition, 2018

Applicable student group(s): General Education Elective
Course Details:


Unit 1 – Course Introduction

Folk and Fairy Tales: Conventions and Characteristics

Fairy Tale Origins

Readings: “Introduction,” in Hallett and Karasek



Unit 2 – Orality to Literacy: Folkloristic Perspectives

Folklore and the Fairy Tale

Fairy Tales across Cultures

Arabian Nights, Basile, Perrault, J. and W. Grimm, Andersen

Comparative Analysis: “Little Red Riding Hood”

Readings: “Little Red Riding Hood” (three/four versions – must include “The Chinese Red Riding Hoods,” Chang or “Flossie and the Fox,” McKissack); “Fairy Tales from a Folkloristic Perspective,” Dundes in Hallett and Karasek


Unit 3 - The Psychological Significance of Fairy Tales: Freud and Jung

Bruno Bettleheim and The Uses of Enchantment

Themes, Motifs and Archetypes

Comparative Analysis: “Sleeping Beauty”

Readings: “Sleeping Beauty” (three/four versions – must include “The Ninth Captain’s Tale,” Arabian Nights); “The Struggle for Meaning,” Bettelheim in Hallett and Karasek



Unit 4 – Feminism and the Fairy Tale Hero

Feminist Perspectives

Characteristics of the Fairy Tale Hero

Readings: “Cinderella” (three/four versions – must include “Cap o’ Rushes,” Jacobs); “Molly Whuppie,” Jacobs; “The Fairy Tale Hero: The Image of Man in the Fairy Tale,” Luthi; “Feminism and Fairy Tales,” Rowe in Hallett and Karasek

Assignment 1 (20%)


Unit 5 – Landscape and Transformation

Beasts and Villains

Love, Temptation and Redemption

Culture and Landscape        

Readings: “The Enchanted Bride Groom” (three/four versions – must include “The White Cat,” d’Aulnoy); “Bluebeard,” Perrault in Hallett and Karasek

Mid-term Exam (20%)





Unit 6 – The Fairy Tale as Sociopolitical Critique

Literary Language and Narrative Techniques

Tragedy and Social Issues

Parody and Satire

Readings: “The Griffin and the Minor Canon,” Stockton; “The Happy Prince,” Wilde; “A Toy Princess,” De Morgan; “The Ugly Duckling,” Andersen in Hallett and Karasek

Assignment 2 (10%)



Unit 7 – Haroun and the Sea of Stories

East meets West

Fairy Tale Allusions

Tolkien’s Cauldron, The Ocean of Story (The Kathasaritsagara)

The Universality of Fairy Tale Themes

Readings: Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Rushdie



Unit 8 – Illustration, Animation and the “Disneyfication of the Fairy Tale”

Illustration: Style, Symbol and Composition

Disney and the Animated Fairy Tale

“A Little Mermaid:” Andersen, Disney and Miyazaki’s Ponyo or Moore’s Song of the Sea

Film viewing: The Mickey Mouse Monopoly (documentary)

Readings: “Disney Revisited, or, Jiminy Cricket, It’s Musty Down Here,” Hearne and all illustrations in Hallett and Karasek



Unit 9 – Fairy Tale Revisions

Defining Postmodernism

Film viewing: Shrek 2 or Into the Woods

Assignment 3 (25%)

Readings: “What Bugs Bunny Said to Red Riding Hood,” Seibles; “The Three Little Pigs,” Garner; “Giant Story,” Scieszka and Smith; “How Shrek and Friends Have Changed Children’s Stories,” Poniewozik in Hallett and Karasek



Unit 10 – The Fairy Tale in Contemporary Contexts

Fairy Tales and Other Genres: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Gothic, Horror

Extending Belief to Secondary Worlds

Classic Criteria and Fairy Tale Persistence

Readings: Revisionist Tales (for example: “The Company of Wolves,” Carter; “Wolf,” Block; “Sleeping Beauty and the Airplane,” Garcia Marquez; “The Sleeping Beauty,” Owen; “When the Clock Strikes,” Lee; “The Wicked Stepmother’s Lament,” Maitland; “The Tale of the Handkerchief,” Donoghue in Hallett and Karasek)

Final Exam (25%)


Course Evaluations, Student Consultations

Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

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