German Fairy Tales
This course will explore German Fairy Tales and youth literature from the 19th century to the present. We will begin with some of the world-famous fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and discuss the tales’ origins, patterns, and the reasons for their continual appeal across generations and times. Why, for example, do stories intended for children often contain so much violence and cruelty? Do fairy tales express universal truths or is their message culturally-specific? Next we will explore some classic German youth literature and focus on their educational message. What did these texts want to teach children and how did their didactic goals and methods evolve over time? We will conclude with some contemporary examples and compare their message to earlier examples. We will be examining a variety of media such as illustrated texts, films, TV shows, and audio books. Students are expected to write three essays and take a mid-term and final exam.