Feminism and Fairy Tales

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Feminism and Fairy Tales


WEDNESDAYS at 4:00 P.M. (ends at 5 P.M.)

What do we learn about the way women should behave from Cinderella’s virtuous suffering? What do wicked queens tell us about the way women’s roles are expected to change with age? And what kind of role models do boys find in classic fairy tales? In this semester-long class, we’ll dig into the gender issues of fairy tales, in both their original forms and modern interpretations. As we explore the ideas about men and women we uncover in different stories, we’ll build a historical, cultural, and critical context for understanding folklore and critical theory studies. At the end of the class, students will choose a modern work that connects to a fairy tale source and consider the implications of the differences between the two works in a final paper or presentation.


What students will get out of this class

  • Students will develop a terminology for and understanding of contemporary gender and folklore studies
  • Students will hone critical thinking and literary analysis skills through close reading and viewing assignments and in-class discussions


What students should be prepared to put into this class

  • You should show up for class having read or viewed the assigned materials for each session and be prepared to join the class discussion
  • The weekly journal assignment is optional, but it’s a great way to focus your thoughts for class discussions.
  • Students who opt in to a final paper will exit the course with a paper useable for the writing sample required for entry to college
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Required materials: TBD


About the teacher: Amy Sharony is the editor of home | school | life magazine, but before that, she was just a girl obsessed with books. She spent her undergraduate career obsessing over English literature in the storied South and her graduate career obsessing over English and comparative literature in New York City Now she obsesses over English and comparative literature for fun and feels weird writing about herself in the third person.