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Myth, Folk and Fairytales


Module description

Although familiar to us, the terms myth, folktales and fairytales are, in fact, all open to question as they vary across time and place. This module focuses on the study  of these forms of storytelling from a variety of cultures, both within Europe and beyond, in order to discuss changing morals, values and politics in a given society. In addition, how stories reappear at various historical points is a central aspect, which will involve becoming familiar with so called ‘original’ tales (‘the robber bridegroom’, ‘Hänsel and Gretel’ and ‘The little mermaid’, for example) to enable critical discussions on how and why they are retold in literature and film. Key themes are: story telling; history of the genre; critically thinking through methodologies and approaches (ethnographical, folklorist, psychoanalytical, and feminist, among others); and retelling.