Daunted Daughters and Fraught Fathers: Gender, Class, and Power in Fairy Tales


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Spring 2017 / Fromer

Daunted Daughters and Fraught Fathers:

Gender, Class, and Power in Fairy Tales
Professor Julie E. Fromer Office: Muller 434

Email: jfromer@ithaca.edu Office Phone: 274-5142

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-1:00 p.m., and by appointment.

Time and Place

Section 1 TR 10:50 a.m. Friends 309

Section 2 TR 1:10 p.m. Friends 205

Course Description

Why do fairy tales have such enduring power to shape the stories that we tell ourselves and our children? How have these stories shifted and transformed through time and across different media and cultures? What can we learn about gender roles, class structures, social and political values, familial relationships, and the goal and function of storytelling itself? We will focus on a number of “classic” fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood, reading English translations of the tales collected by German and Italian folklorists. While we all know the basic plots of many of the stories we’ll be reading, we will allow the texts to speak to us in new ways. Then, we will follow these tales’ transformations, reading revisions of older tales and exploring the ways oral and literary fairy tales have shifted as they have been adapted to the big and small screen. Our discussions will be informed by critical readings in folklore and cultural studies.

Required Texts and Materials

You will need to purchase two texts for this course, available at the IC Bookstore:

The Classic Fairy Tales, Norton Critical Edition, edited by Maria Tatar.

The Great Fairy Tale Tradition, Norton Critical Edition, selected and edited by Jack Zipes.
You will need these two specific volumes of fairy tales. Most fairy tales were originally collected and published in languages other than English, and translations of those tales will vary. Since we will be focusing on close reading, where specific words carry significant meaning, we will all need to read the same editions and translations.
You will need to bring the appropriate text to class each day; we will be close reading the stories and you must have a copy of the text in front of you for each class. Laptops and electronic readers will not be permitted in the classroom.
Sakai Resources. In addition, there will be several course readings posted on the Sakai website for this class. You will need to PRINT OUT these readings and bring them to class on the day that they are listed on the syllabus.
Finally, you’ll need a notebook to take notes in class, a folder to keep class handouts, and access to a computer and a good word processing program (like Microsoft Word).

Course Requirements and Policies

Attendance: Class discussion is a crucial component of this course, and therefore your attendance will affect your performance in the class and your grade. If you accumulate more than 3 absences, your overall course grade will be lowered one level for each absence thereafter (for example, from a B to a B-). Please note that I do not distinguish between “excused” and “unexcused” absences, so if you know ahead of time that you’ll be missing class for scheduled events, keep in mind that you’ll need to allot your three absences accordingly. If you are consistently late to class, 3 lates will count as 1 absence, and your final grade will be lowered if you accumulate more than 3 total absences.

Reading: All reading is due by class time on the day listed on the syllabus. I expect students to read actively—carefully and attentively, marking important passages, making notes of interesting ideas, themes, characters, images, etc., and looking up unfamiliar words in a dictionary. Take notes as you read—either by marking your text and writing in the margins, and/or by keeping a journal for your reading notes, complete with page numbers.
Participation: In class, we will discuss assigned readings; you will be expected to have read and thought about the reading and you should be prepared to contribute questions and comments to class discussions. Occasionally, you will be expected to work in groups with other students; your contributions to these small groups are essential to the class as a whole and to your participation grade. All cell phones and wireless devices must be turned off, and trips outside the classroom will be limited to emergencies only.
Deadlines: You are required to complete all written work and assignments in order to pass the course. All work, including both reading and written work, must be completed on time. The grade on a late paper will be reduced one level for each day that it is late (for example, from a B to a B-). All work that is to be handed in must be typed.
Grading: Your grade will be based on the following elements:
Papers: 50%

Essay #1 Close Reading Paper, 3-4 pages (15%)

Essay #2 Comparison/Contrast, 4-5 pages (20%)

Three 2-page responses to reading assignments (15%)

(Five response paper due dates are listed on syllabus; you’ll be

responsible for writing and turning in response papers on three of

those dates).

Take-Home Final Exam: 15%

Quizzes: 10%

10 short unannounced quizzes throughout the semester, on assigned

Presentation: 5%

A short (10 minute) presentation on a fairy tale text.

Class Participation: 20%

In-class discussion

Informal writing assignments

Peer editing assignments

Group-led discussions

ICC designation: Identities AND Mind, Body, Spirit.

Students taking this course to fulfill requirements within the ICC are reminded that they are responsible for uploading at least one completed assignment (artifact) to their electronic learning portfolio from among those recommended by the faculty. For each ICC requirement area, complete the ICC form within the directed response folio that includes a brief rationale for why the artifact was selected and a reflection on how learning in that particular course might link to other learning experiences.

Academic Honesty

Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another’s words or ideas.
I expect all written work in this class to be your own ideas written in your own words.
If you consult sources for a paper, you must document ideas or wording derived from them, both by listing the sources in a bibliography at the end of the paper and by citing sources in the text itself. To cite a source is to make clear to the reader who originated the idea, sentence, etc., that you’ve used and where it can be found. We will talk in more detail during the semester about citing literary texts and page numbers in your papers; if you have questions, please let me know.

If you present ideas or wording in your papers that is not your own work, or if you fail to adequately document your sources, you may find yourself accused of plagiarism—an offense with serious actions, including judicial action and expulsion.

Student Accessibility

In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation will be provided to students with documented disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Students must register with Student Accessibility Services (http://www.ithaca.edu/sas/) and provide appropriate documentation to Ithaca College before any academic adjustment will be provided.

Please feel free to talk with me at any time during the semester. If my office hours don’t fit your schedule, I’d be happy to make an appointment with you.

Daunted Daughters and Fraught Fathers:

Gender, Class, and Power in Fairy Tales


Note: Schedule is subject to change
Sakai = on Sakai website—PRINT OUT

Tatar = in The Classic Fairy Tales

Zipes = in The Great Fairy Tale Tradition
Week 1

Tues., Jan. 24 Introductions, Syllabus, What are Fairy Tales?

Thurs., Jan. 26 Sakai: “Scurvyhead” and “Sir Goldenhair,” from Marius Barbeau, The

Magic Tree and Other Tales.

Sakai: Marina Warner, Once Upon a Time, “Prologue,” pp. xiii-xxiv

Sakai: Marina Warner, Once Upon a Time, “2: With a Touch of Her

Wand,” pp. 19-43.

Little Red Riding Hood

Week 2

Tues., Jan. 31 Tatar: Entire section on Little Red Riding Hood, pp. 3-24.

Response #1 Due

Thurs., Feb. 2 Sakai: Basile, “Introduction to the Tale of Tales (Frame Tale)

Zipes: Basile, “Sapia Liccarda,” pp. 524-528.

Tatar: Criticism, Warner, “Old Wives’ Tale”

Snow White

Week 3

Tues., Feb. 7 Tatar: Entire section on Snow White, pp. 74-100.

Response #2 Due

Thurs., Feb. 9 Tatar: Criticism, Zipes, “Breaking the Disney Spell”

Tatar: Criticsm, Gilbert and Gubar, “Snow White and Her Wicked


Sakai: Beyond the Woods, Tanith Lee, “Red as Blood”

Sakai: MKFA, Kim Addonizio, “Ever After.”


Week 4

Tues., Feb. 14 Tatar: Introduction to “Cinderella,” pp. 101-107.

Tatar: “Yeh-hsien,” pp. 107-108.

Tatar: “The Story of the Black Cow,” pp. 125-127.

Tatar: Lin Lan, “Cinderella,” pp. 127-131.

Thurs., Feb. 16 Zipes: Basile, “The Cat Cinderella,” pp. 445-449.

Zipes: Perrault, “Cinderella; or, The Glass Slipper,” p. 449-454.

Zipes: d’Aulnoy, “Finette Cendron,” pp. 454-468.

Zipes: Grimm, “Cinderella,” pp. 468-474.

Response #3 Due

Week 5

Tues., Feb. 21 Sakai: Nerve.com, “Ranked: Disney Princesses from Least to Most


Sakai: Peggy Orenstein, “What’s Wrong with Cinderella?”

Sakai: NPR, “Saving Our Daughters from an Army of Princesses,”

interview with Peggy Orenstein and excerpt from her book,

“Cinderella Ate My Daughter.”

Thurs., Feb. 23 Tatar: Criticism, Tatar, “Sex and Violence: The Hard Core of Fairy

Tales,” pp. 364-373.

Zipes: Straparola, “Tebaldo,” pp. 27-33.

Zipes: Basile, “The Bear,” pp. 33-38.

Week 6

Tues., Feb. 28 Zipes: Perrault, “Donkeyskin,” pp. 38-47

Zipes: Grimm, “All Fur,” pp. 47-51.

ESSAY #1 DRAFT DUE—Bring 2 copies to class for Workshopping
Thurs., Mar. 2 Zipes: Fiorentino, “Dionigia and the King of England,” pp. 507-511.

Zipes: Basile, “The Maiden Without Hands,” pp. 512-518.

Zipes: Grimm, “The Maiden Without Hands,” pp. 519-523.
Week 7

Tues., Mar. 7 ESSAY #1 DUE

Thurs., Mar. 9 Zipes: Basile, “The Dove,” pp. 492-500.

Zipes: Grimm, “The Two Kings’ Children,” pp. 500-505.

Sakai: Barbeau, “The Magic Tree”
*** March 11-19 Spring Break; No Class ***
Beauty and the Beast

Week 8

Tues. Mar. 21 Zipes: Strapaola, “The Pig Prince,” pp. 51-57.

Zipes: d’Aulnoy, “The Wild Boar,” pp. 57-82.

Thurs., Mar. 23 Zipes: de Murat, “The Pig King,” pp. 82-96.

Zipes: Grimm, “Hans My Hedgehog,” pp. 96-100.

Response #4 Due

Week 9

Tues., Mar. 28 Zipes: d’Aulnoy, “The Ram,” pp. 789-800.

Zipes: Bignon, “Princess Zeineb and King Leopard,” pp. 800-805.

Thurs., Mar. 30 Zipes: LePrince de Beaumont, “Beauty and the Beast,” pp. 805-816.

Zipes: Grimm, “The Singing, Springing Lark,” pp. 816-821.

Week 10

Tues., April 4 Zipes: Bernard, “Riquet with the Tuft,” pp. 717-721.

Zipes: Perrault, “Riquet with the Tuft,” pp. 722-727.

Zipes: LePrince de Beaumont, “Spirituel and Astre,” pp. 727-730.

Thurs., April 6 Tatar: Carter, “The Tiger’s Bride,” pp. 50-66.

Sakai: Carter, “The Courtship of Mr. Lyon.”

ESSAY #2 DRAFT DUE—Bring 2 printed copies to class for



Week 11

Tues., April 11 Zipes: Perrault, “Bluebeard,” pp. 732-735.

Zipes: Grimm, “Bluebeard,” pp. 736-738.

Zipes: Grimm, “The Robber Bridegroom,” pp. 738-740.

Zipes: Grimm, “Fitcher’s Bird,” pp. 741-743.

Thurs., April 13 Tatar: Atwood, “Bluebeard’s Egg,” pp. 156-179

Sakai: MT, Ritchie, “Bluebeard’s Keys”

Sakai: MT, Warner, “Bluebeard’s Daughter”

Sakai: Angela Carter, “The Bloody Chamber”

Week 12

Tues., April 18 ESSAY #2 DUE

Sleeping Beauty
Thurs., April 20 Zipes: Basile, “Sun, Moon, and Talia,” pp. 685-688.

Zipes: Perrault, “Sleeping Beauty,” pp. 688-695.

Zipes: Grimm, “Brier Rose,” pp. 696-698.

Week 13

Tues., April 25 Sakai: Beyond the Woods, Catherynne M. Valente, “The Maiden-Tree”

Sakai: Magical Transformations, Coover, “Briar Rose”

Sakai: Neil Gaiman, “The Sleeper and the Spindle”

Thurs., April 27 Zipes: Basile, “The Seven Pieces of Bacon Rind,” pp. 585-588.

Zipes: Lheritier, “Ricdin-Ricdon,” pp. 588-624.

Zipes: Grimm, “Rumpelstiltskin,” pp. 625-628.

Zipes: Grimm, “The Three Spinners,” pp. 628-629.

Zipes: Grimm, “The Lazy Spinner,” pp. 630-631.

Response #5 Due
Week 14

Tues., May 2 Sakai: E. Nesbit, “Melisaunde”

Sakai: Barbeau, “The Princess of Tomboso”
Thurs., May 4 Sakai: Barbeau, “The Magic Tree”

Sakai: Barbeau, “The Fountain of Youth,”

Sakai: Barbeau, “The Sly Thief of Valenciennes”

Final Thoughts on Fairy Tales

Take-Home Final Exam DUE Thursday, May 11 at 12:00 NOON.


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