GERM 247: Fairy Tales and Folklore

German 247 – Fairy Tales and Folklore


  • Professor: Adrienne Merritt
  • This course examines fairy tales popularized by the Brothers Grimm: their roots in oral tradition, their literary flourishing in the German Romantic era around 1800, and their multimedia afterlife from opera to Disney. What has made these tales appear so timeless? Can they be used and abused for diverse social and political goals? Can individuals today mobilize these tales to promote new social roles and identities? Assignments will not be limited to analytical work; students will also use their understanding of the fairy tale tradition to create new tales that speak to the hopes and fears of society today.