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Douglas Biow, Director MEZ 3.126, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-3470

Sandra B Straubhaar

Senior Lecturer Ph.D., German Studies and Humanities, Stanford University

Sandra B Straubhaar

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EUS 307 • European Folktale

36830 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm BUR 108
(also listed as ANT 310L, GRC 301, SCA 302 )
show description

Course Description:   

Folktales recur in retellings across national borders and time periods in Europe and beyond, from prehistory and antiquity through today’s popular culture; it can be argued that “the ability to tell a story” is one of the hallmarks of the human species.  This class will focus mostly on collected folktales, but also on their literary retellings and adaptations, in printable story form (mostly prose, but occasionally in song) as well as in film and illustration.   

We will examine both a wide selection of collected Indo-European folktales as well as numerous perspectives for understanding, interpreting and applying these tales.  We will look at the aesthetic, ethical, social, historical and psychological values that (it can be argued that) the tales reflect in themselves.  In addition, we will read and discuss significant theoretical and methodological paradigms applicable to the folktales under study, including such perspectives as formalist / structuralist (Aarne & Thompson, Propp), nationalist / aesthetic (Grimm, Lang, Tolkien), mythic / archetypal (Jung, Campbell, Tolkien, Bly, Pinkola-Estés), socio-historical (Darnton, Warner, Rowe, Zipes, Tatar, Shavit), psychoanalytical / therapeutic (Bettelheim, Pinkola-Estés, Haase), and feminist / gender studies approaches (Warner, Gilbert & Gubar, Rowe, Pinkola-Estés, Bly).  Throughout the course, we will be simultaneously exploring the enduring presence of folktale-derived narrative in current popular and high culture.  (NOTE: If, at any time during this course, you “recognize”  a story that you are more familiar with from a different, or more modern venue, tell us!  This is a fun bonus.)   

Upon completion of this course, the student should be familiar with a variety of Indo-European folktales, be able to discuss several approaches to studying them, be able to identify the most important motifs of these tales, be familiar with some of the most influential folklorists, writers and editors of the tales, and be able to assess the significance of folktales for contemporary Western culture.   

The class presupposes no prior work in folklore or the folktale; it is intended to introduce students to a fascinating, multicultural set of texts, and to ask questions about folk culture, oral tradition, and story-telling that continue to interest anthropologists, literary scholars, linguists and the general public.

Note: This course, and its syllabus, owe an immeasurable debt to the late D. L. Ashliman and to John Lyon, both of the University of Pittsburgh.

The Single Most F.A.Q.:  So. . .what counts as a Folk Tale?

Answer: That depends on whom you’re talking to.

One of the authors we’re learning about in the class, Vladimir Propp, has a very narrow definition.  He counts only the traditionally preserved coming-of-age stories where the hero/heroine leaves home to seek his/her fortune, is helped  by magical beings, successfully quests for a magical object and returns home with a new spouse.  (“The Firebird” or “The Flying Ship” or “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” are good examples of this.)  The cool thing about a Proppian tale is that it follows an easily plottable scheme or template – which is also nicely compatible with Joseph Campbell’s template for the Hero-Journey.

Other authors we’ll be reading, such as J. R. R. Tolkien, are also interested in narrowing down the field – which tales do we “allow in” to our material for study? – but may or may not draw the same categorical boundaries as Propp does.

Still other authors, such as D. L. Ashliman (the author of our anthology, Voices from the Past) would like to broaden the definition of what constitutes a folktale.  Ashliman, for instance, includes:

•    the above stories (Proppian tales / mini-hero-journeys)

•    other traditional tales – animal tales; legends associated with a specific place (such as the Loch Ness Monster or the Lorelei); funny stories of quarreling couples; trickster tales; tall tales; mythological stories; ghost stories; tales of folk heroes (such as Wilhelm Tell or Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill); shaggy-dog stories; miracles of saints; workplace folklore; among other things. . .

•    illustrative stories from antiquity, such as the fables of Æsop (The Tortoise and the Hare, Androcles and the Lion) or the parables of Jesus (The Prodigal Son, The Good Samaritan)

•    as well as non-traditional stories composed by known authors from the last few centuries, deliberately constructed using a traditional-tale style or one similar to it – authors such as Ludwig Tieck, E. T. A. Hoffmann, H. C. Andersen, George MacDonald, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, Karen Blixen, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ursula K. LeGuin, Angela Carter, Maurice Sendak, Jane Yolen, Tanith Lee, Ellen Kushner, Charles deLint, Gail Carson Levine, Diana Wynne Jones, J. K. Rowling, Cornelia Funke, Neil Gaiman and many others.

We’ll touch a little bit on most of the above types of tales.

We’ll stick mostly to prose (and retellings of prose narratives, including film).  Many of these tales have been retold in poetry (ballads or epics), or in prose narratives that are too lengthy to be called tales (such as Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur) but we won’t visit these forms as much.

TEXTS: Books at the Co-Op ; Packet at IT Copy on MLK (west of Guadalupe, north side):    

1. COURSE PACKET at IT Copy.  It’s advisable to phone them first (476-6662) to tell them you’re coming – it gives them a chance to make a new copy for you off the master if they don’t currently have enough on the shelf.  Buy it ASAP! The Packet includes lots of independent readings plus the main text for the course, D. L. Ashliman’s Voices from the Past anthology, which is out of print; we have permission to reprint it. (VfP in the schedule below)

2. Tatar, Maria (ed.).  The Classic Fairy Tales.   ISBN 03939 72771   

3. Opie, Iona & Peter (eds.).  The Classic Fairy Tales.  ISBN 01952 02198     

GRADING

Attendance, Participation, Quizzes+              10 %

Tests [2 in-class examinations,* 30% each]   60%

Final Exam* [Comprehensive]                    30%

*Tests and Exam will consist of true-false, multiple-choice, short fill-ins, picture identifications, and short essays.

+You may make up a missed quiz/missed attendance TWICE (but no more) during the course of the semester by submitting a Film Report of a fairy-tale-based NON-DISNEY movie [like: Ever After (1998); Legend  (1985); Ella Enchanted  (2004); The Slipper and the Rose (1976); In the Company of Wolves (1984); Jack the Giant Killer (1962); Beauty and the Beast  (Cocteau, 1946) and many others.]

EUS 307 • European Folktale

36350 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm BUR 108
(also listed as ANT 310L, GRC 301, SCA 302 )
show description

Course Description:   

Folktales recur in retellings across national borders and time periods in Europe and beyond, from prehistory and antiquity through today’s popular culture; it can be argued that “the ability to tell a story” is one of the hallmarks of the human species.  This class will focus mostly on collected folktales, but also on their literary retellings and adaptations, in printable story form (mostly prose, but occasionally in song) as well as in film and illustration.   

We will examine both a wide selection of collected Indo-European folktales as well as numerous perspectives for understanding, interpreting and applying these tales.  We will look at the aesthetic, ethical, social, historical and psychological values that (it can be argued that) the tales reflect in themselves.  In addition, we will read and discuss significant theoretical and methodological paradigms applicable to the folktales under study, including such perspectives as formalist / structuralist (Aarne & Thompson, Propp), nationalist / aesthetic (Grimm, Lang, Tolkien), mythic / archetypal (Jung, Campbell, Tolkien, Bly, Pinkola-Estés), socio-historical (Darnton, Warner, Rowe, Zipes, Tatar, Shavit), psychoanalytical / therapeutic (Bettelheim, Pinkola-Estés, Haase), and feminist / gender studies approaches (Warner, Gilbert & Gubar, Rowe, Pinkola-Estés, Bly).  Throughout the course, we will be simultaneously exploring the enduring presence of folktale-derived narrative in current popular and high culture.  (NOTE: If, at any time during this course, you “recognize”  a story that you are more familiar with from a different, or more modern venue, tell us!  This is a fun bonus.)   

Upon completion of this course, the student should be familiar with a variety of Indo-European folktales, be able to discuss several approaches to studying them, be able to identify the most important motifs of these tales, be familiar with some of the most influential folklorists, writers and editors of the tales, and be able to assess the significance of folktales for contemporary Western culture.   

The class presupposes no prior work in folklore or the folktale; it is intended to introduce students to a fascinating, multicultural set of texts, and to ask questions about folk culture, oral tradition, and story-telling that continue to interest anthropologists, literary scholars, linguists and the general public.

Note: This course, and its syllabus, owe an immeasurable debt to the late D. L. Ashliman and to John Lyon, both of the University of Pittsburgh.

The Single Most F.A.Q.:  So. . .what counts as a Folk Tale?

Answer: That depends on whom you’re talking to.

One of the authors we’re learning about in the class, Vladimir Propp, has a very narrow definition.  He counts only the traditionally preserved coming-of-age stories where the hero/heroine leaves home to seek his/her fortune, is helped  by magical beings, successfully quests for a magical object and returns home with a new spouse.  (“The Firebird” or “The Flying Ship” or “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” are good examples of this.)  The cool thing about a Proppian tale is that it follows an easily plottable scheme or template – which is also nicely compatible with Joseph Campbell’s template for the Hero-Journey.

Other authors we’ll be reading, such as J. R. R. Tolkien, are also interested in narrowing down the field – which tales do we “allow in” to our material for study? – but may or may not draw the same categorical boundaries as Propp does.

Still other authors, such as D. L. Ashliman (the author of our anthology, Voices from the Past) would like to broaden the definition of what constitutes a folktale.  Ashliman, for instance, includes:

•    the above stories (Proppian tales / mini-hero-journeys)

•    other traditional tales – animal tales; legends associated with a specific place (such as the Loch Ness Monster or the Lorelei); funny stories of quarreling couples; trickster tales; tall tales; mythological stories; ghost stories; tales of folk heroes (such as Wilhelm Tell or Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill); shaggy-dog stories; miracles of saints; workplace folklore; among other things. . .

•    illustrative stories from antiquity, such as the fables of Æsop (The Tortoise and the Hare, Androcles and the Lion) or the parables of Jesus (The Prodigal Son, The Good Samaritan)

•    as well as non-traditional stories composed by known authors from the last few centuries, deliberately constructed using a traditional-tale style or one similar to it – authors such as Ludwig Tieck, E. T. A. Hoffmann, H. C. Andersen, George MacDonald, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, Karen Blixen, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ursula K. LeGuin, Angela Carter, Maurice Sendak, Jane Yolen, Tanith Lee, Ellen Kushner, Charles deLint, Gail Carson Levine, Diana Wynne Jones, J. K. Rowling, Cornelia Funke, Neil Gaiman and many others.

We’ll touch a little bit on most of the above types of tales.

We’ll stick mostly to prose (and retellings of prose narratives, including film).  Many of these tales have been retold in poetry (ballads or epics), or in prose narratives that are too lengthy to be called tales (such as Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur) but we won’t visit these forms as much.

TEXTS: Books at the Co-Op ; Packet at IT Copy on MLK (west of Guadalupe, north side):    

1. COURSE PACKET at IT Copy.  It’s advisable to phone them first (476-6662) to tell them you’re coming – it gives them a chance to make a new copy for you off the master if they don’t currently have enough on the shelf.  Buy it ASAP! The Packet includes lots of independent readings plus the main text for the course, D. L. Ashliman’s Voices from the Past anthology, which is out of print; we have permission to reprint it. (VfP in the schedule below)

2. Tatar, Maria (ed.).  The Classic Fairy Tales.   ISBN 03939 72771   

3. Opie, Iona & Peter (eds.).  The Classic Fairy Tales.  ISBN 01952 02198     

GRADING

Attendance, Participation, Quizzes+              10 %

Tests [2 in-class examinations,* 30% each]   60%

Final Exam* [Comprehensive]                    30%

*Tests and Exam will consist of true-false, multiple-choice, short fill-ins, picture identifications, and short essays.

+You may make up a missed quiz/missed attendance TWICE (but no more) during the course of the semester by submitting a Film Report of a fairy-tale-based NON-DISNEY movie [like: Ever After (1998); Legend  (1985); Ella Enchanted  (2004); The Slipper and the Rose (1976); In the Company of Wolves (1984); Jack the Giant Killer (1962); Beauty and the Beast  (Cocteau, 1946) and many others.]

EUS 347 • Intro Germanic Religion/Myth

36503 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm SAC 5.102
(also listed as GRC 340E, R S 365 )
show description

DESCRIPTION OF COURSE:

A survey of the sources and main features of Germanic religion and of the transition from paganism to Christianity in northern Europe and the Germanic territories of western Europe: Anglo-Saxon Great Britain, the Low Countries, Germany, Switzerland and Austria--diachronically, from the statements of Caesar and Tacitus about Germanic religion to the last pre-Christian documents in the continental area (Merseburg charms, early runic inscriptions, etc.) and in England (Beowulf) as well as the Scandinavian texts of the Eddas and sagas.  Course coverage may include: cosmogonic myths, the origin of man (in Tacitus and the Eddas) and of society (in the Rigsthula), the concept of the soul (fylgja, etc.), the great gods and goddesses and their mythology (Odin, Thor, Tyr, Njord, Freyr, Freyja, Heimdall, Loki, Balder, etc.), and the organization of worship (temples, sacrifices, etc.).  Attention will also be devoted to the survival of Germanic myth in epic/legendary literature (Sigurd/Siegfried, Hervor, Starkad, etc.), and realistic sagas (“magic” in Egils saga, Eiríks saga raudha, Gísla saga, etc.), as well as to information about pagan worship in Christian writings (lives of the saints, Adam of Bremen, etc.).  The background and expansion of Germanic worship and belief will also be examined (Indo-European heritage, correspondences with Celtic, Slavic and Finno-Ugric traditions, Arab sources, and the Thor-cult of Vikings in the diaspora [Normandy, Eastern Europe, etc.]).

TEXTS:

The Poetic Edda, tr. Carolyne Larrington.  Oxford University Press, 1996. 

The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson, tr. Jesse Byock.  Penguin Books, 2005. 

The Saga of the Volsungs, tr. Jesse L. Byock.  University of California Press, 1990. 

Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals and Beliefs, by John Lindow.  Oxford University Press USA, 2002.

Nordic Religions in the Viking Age, by Thomas A. DuBois.  University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999. 

GRADING:

Quizzes on Reading (on most days when readings are due):     10 %

Two six-page reaction papers or position papers, 15% each =     30 %

In-class peer review activities on these papers:             10 %

Three one-page film reports, 5 % each =                 15 %

One three- to five-page group project (groups of 3-4):         15 %

One six-page research paper:                         20 %

EUS 307 • European Folktale

36200 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm BUR 108
(also listed as ANT 310L, GRC 301, SCA 302 )
show description

Course Description:   

Folktales recur in retellings across national borders and time periods in Europe and beyond, from prehistory and antiquity through today’s popular culture; it can be argued that “the ability to tell a story” is one of the hallmarks of the human species.  This class will focus mostly on collected folktales, but also on their literary retellings and adaptations, in printable story form (mostly prose, but occasionally in song) as well as in film and illustration.   

We will examine both a wide selection of collected Indo-European folktales as well as numerous perspectives for understanding, interpreting and applying these tales.  We will look at the aesthetic, ethical, social, historical and psychological values that (it can be argued that) the tales reflect in themselves.  In addition, we will read and discuss significant theoretical and methodological paradigms applicable to the folktales under study, including such perspectives as formalist / structuralist (Aarne & Thompson, Propp), nationalist / aesthetic (Grimm, Lang, Tolkien), mythic / archetypal (Jung, Campbell, Tolkien, Bly, Pinkola-Estés), socio-historical (Darnton, Warner, Rowe, Zipes, Tatar, Shavit), psychoanalytical / therapeutic (Bettelheim, Pinkola-Estés, Haase), and feminist / gender studies approaches (Warner, Gilbert & Gubar, Rowe, Pinkola-Estés, Bly).  Throughout the course, we will be simultaneously exploring the enduring presence of folktale-derived narrative in current popular and high culture.  (NOTE: If, at any time during this course, you “recognize”  a story that you are more familiar with from a different, or more modern venue, tell us!  This is a fun bonus.)   

Upon completion of this course, the student should be familiar with a variety of Indo-European folktales, be able to discuss several approaches to studying them, be able to identify the most important motifs of these tales, be familiar with some of the most influential folklorists, writers and editors of the tales, and be able to assess the significance of folktales for contemporary Western culture.   

The class presupposes no prior work in folklore or the folktale; it is intended to introduce students to a fascinating, multicultural set of texts, and to ask questions about folk culture, oral tradition, and story-telling that continue to interest anthropologists, literary scholars, linguists and the general public.

Note: This course, and its syllabus, owe an immeasurable debt to the late D. L. Ashliman and to John Lyon, both of the University of Pittsburgh.

The Single Most F.A.Q.:  So. . .what counts as a Folk Tale?

Answer: That depends on whom you’re talking to.

One of the authors we’re learning about in the class, Vladimir Propp, has a very narrow definition.  He counts only the traditionally preserved coming-of-age stories where the hero/heroine leaves home to seek his/her fortune, is helped  by magical beings, successfully quests for a magical object and returns home with a new spouse.  (“The Firebird” or “The Flying Ship” or “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” are good examples of this.)  The cool thing about a Proppian tale is that it follows an easily plottable scheme or template – which is also nicely compatible with Joseph Campbell’s template for the Hero-Journey.

Other authors we’ll be reading, such as J. R. R. Tolkien, are also interested in narrowing down the field – which tales do we “allow in” to our material for study? – but may or may not draw the same categorical boundaries as Propp does.

Still other authors, such as D. L. Ashliman (the author of our anthology, Voices from the Past) would like to broaden the definition of what constitutes a folktale.  Ashliman, for instance, includes:

•    the above stories (Proppian tales / mini-hero-journeys)

•    other traditional tales – animal tales; legends associated with a specific place (such as the Loch Ness Monster or the Lorelei); funny stories of quarreling couples; trickster tales; tall tales; mythological stories; ghost stories; tales of folk heroes (such as Wilhelm Tell or Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill); shaggy-dog stories; miracles of saints; workplace folklore; among other things. . .

•    illustrative stories from antiquity, such as the fables of Æsop (The Tortoise and the Hare, Androcles and the Lion) or the parables of Jesus (The Prodigal Son, The Good Samaritan)

•    as well as non-traditional stories composed by known authors from the last few centuries, deliberately constructed using a traditional-tale style or one similar to it – authors such as Ludwig Tieck, E. T. A. Hoffmann, H. C. Andersen, George MacDonald, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, Karen Blixen, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ursula K. LeGuin, Angela Carter, Maurice Sendak, Jane Yolen, Tanith Lee, Ellen Kushner, Charles deLint, Gail Carson Levine, Diana Wynne Jones, J. K. Rowling, Cornelia Funke, Neil Gaiman and many others.

We’ll touch a little bit on most of the above types of tales.

We’ll stick mostly to prose (and retellings of prose narratives, including film).  Many of these tales have been retold in poetry (ballads or epics), or in prose narratives that are too lengthy to be called tales (such as Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur) but we won’t visit these forms as much.

TEXTS: Books at the Co-Op ; Packet at IT Copy on MLK (west of Guadalupe, north side):    

1. COURSE PACKET at IT Copy.  It’s advisable to phone them first (476-6662) to tell them you’re coming – it gives them a chance to make a new copy for you off the master if they don’t currently have enough on the shelf.  Buy it ASAP! The Packet includes lots of independent readings plus the main text for the course, D. L. Ashliman’s Voices from the Past anthology, which is out of print; we have permission to reprint it. (VfP in the schedule below)

2. Tatar, Maria (ed.).  The Classic Fairy Tales.   ISBN 03939 72771   

3. Opie, Iona & Peter (eds.).  The Classic Fairy Tales.  ISBN 01952 02198     

GRADING

Attendance, Participation, Quizzes+              10 %

Tests [2 in-class examinations,* 30% each]   60%

Final Exam* [Comprehensive]                    30%

*Tests and Exam will consist of true-false, multiple-choice, short fill-ins, picture identifications, and short essays.

+You may make up a missed quiz/missed attendance TWICE (but no more) during the course of the semester by submitting a Film Report of a fairy-tale-based NON-DISNEY movie [like: Ever After (1998); Legend  (1985); Ella Enchanted  (2004); The Slipper and the Rose (1976); In the Company of Wolves (1984); Jack the Giant Killer (1962); Beauty and the Beast  (Cocteau, 1946) and many others.]

EUS 347 • Birgitta, Hildegard, Margery

36300 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm SAC 5.102
(also listed as GRC 327E, R S 357, SCA 373, WGS 340 )
show description

DESCRIPTION OF COURSE:

The life and writings of Saint Birgitta of Sweden, fourteenth-century visionary, religious reformer and pilgrim, will be examined and compared with her predecessor Hildegard of Bingen (Germany) and her successor Margery Kempe (England).  Social and historical contexts for all three visionary women will be explored in depth, particularly the factors behind Birgitta’s emerging as such an authoritative voice, both political and religious, within the milieu of fourteenth-century Europe.  Other related figures, predominantly Julian of Norwich, but also Christina of Markyate, Christina Mirabilis, Angela de Foligno, Jeanne d’Arc and Catherine of Siena may be visited.  We will also explore varieties of spirituality and spiritual thinking including: anchorism and asceticism; Marian piety and Goddess-imagery; virginity and female creativity; and  bridal imagery.  Any theoretical framework – religious; scientific; theological; medical; archetypal; or any other – will be allowed.  No single orthodoxy or heterodoxy should become primary in our investigations: all may have a voice (and it need not be a consistent one).  We will try to allow the past to speak for itself, always realizing that we, the readers/listeners/watchers, will necessarily apply some kind of “spin” based on our own backgrounds. 

Two things to remember when you investigate the lives and thought of people of the past: 1. They were vastly different from us; and 2) They were uncannily like us.  Both 1) and 2) are entirely true.

 

BOOKS and PACKET:

Birgitta of Sweden: Life and Selected Revelations, ed. Marguerite Tjader Harris.  Paulist Press, 1990.

ISBN 0809131390

St. Bride and Her Book, ed. & tr. Julia Bolton Holloway.  Boydell & Brewer, 2000.

             ISBN 08599 15891

The Book of Margery Kempe, ed. & tr. B. A. Windeatt.  Penguin, 1994.

             ISBN 01404 32515

Sister of Wisdom: St. Hildegard’s Theology of the Feminine, by Barbara

             Newman.  University of California Press, 1987.              ISBN 05202 11626

Revelations of Divine Love, by Julian of Norwich, ed. & tr. by Elizabeth Spearing

             and A. C. Spearing.  Penguin, 1998.                        ISBN 01404 46737 

 

COURSE PACKET from IT Copy on MLK Blvd. 

 

GRADING:

This course is a Writing Flag course, and most of your grade will come from the evaluation of writing-related activities.

The breakdown is like this:

Quizzes on Reading (on most days when readings are due):    10 %

Two six-page reaction papers or position papers, 15% each =   30 %

In-class peer review activities on these papers:    10 %

Reading Journals (turned in every other Wednesday)    15 %

One three- to five-page group project (groups of 3-4):    15 %

One six-page research paper:      20 %

 

NO FINAL

EUS 307 • European Folktale

36475 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm BUR 108
(also listed as ANT 310L, GRC 301, SCA 302 )
show description

Course Description:
    Folktales recur in retellings across national borders and time periods in Europe and beyond, from prehistory and antiquity through today’s popular culture; it can be argued that “the ability to tell a story” is one of the hallmarks of the human species.  This class will focus mostly on collected folktales, but also on their literary retellings and adaptations, in printable story form (mostly prose, but occasionally in song) as well as in film and illustration.
    We will examine both a wide selection of collected Indo-European folktales as well as numerous perspectives for understanding, interpreting and applying these tales.  We will look at the aesthetic, ethical, social, historical and psychological values that (it can be argued that) the tales reflect in themselves.  In addition, we will read and discuss significant theoretical and methodological paradigms applicable to the folktales under study, including such perspectives as formalist / structuralist (Aarne & Thompson, Propp), nationalist / aesthetic (Grimm, Lang, Tolkien), mythic / archetypal (Jung, Campbell, Tolkien, Bly, Pinkola-Estés), socio-historical (Darnton, Warner, Rowe, Zipes, Tatar, Shavit), psychoanalytical / therapeutic (Bettelheim, Pinkola-Estés, Haase), and feminist / gender studies approaches (Warner, Gilbert & Gubar, Rowe, Pinkola-Estés, Bly).  Throughout the course, we will be simultaneously exploring the enduring presence of folktale-derived narrative in current popular and high culture.  (NOTE: If, at any time during this course, you “recognize”  a story that you are more familiar with from a different, or more modern venue, tell us!  This is a fun bonus.)
    Upon completion of this course, the student should be familiar with a variety of Indo-European folktales, be able to discuss several approaches to studying them, be able to identify the most important motifs of these tales, be familiar with some of the most influential folklorists, writers and editors of the tales, and be able to assess the significance of folktales for contemporary Western culture.
    The class presupposes no prior work in folklore or the folktale; it is intended to introduce students to a fascinating, multicultural set of texts, and to ask questions about folk culture, oral tradition, and story-telling that continue to interest anthropologists, literary scholars, linguists and the general public.

Note: This course, and its syllabus, owe an immeasurable debt to the late D. L. Ashliman and to John Lyon, both of the University of Pittsburgh.

The Single Most F.A.Q.:  So. . .what counts as a Folk Tale?

Answer: That depends on whom you’re talking to.

One of the authors we’re learning about in the class, Vladimir Propp, has a very narrow definition.  He counts only the traditionally preserved coming-of-age stories where the hero/heroine leaves home to seek his/her fortune, is helped  by magical beings, successfully quests for a magical object and returns home with a new spouse.  (“The Firebird” or “The Flying Ship” or “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” are good examples of this.)  The cool thing about a Proppian tale is that it follows an easily plottable scheme or template – which is also nicely compatible with Joseph Campbell’s template for the Hero-Journey.

Other authors we’ll be reading, such as J. R. R. Tolkien, are also interested in narrowing down the field – which tales do we “allow in” to our material for study? – but may or may not draw the same categorical boundaries as Propp does.

Still other authors, such as D. L. Ashliman (the author of our anthology, Voices from the Past) would like to broaden the definition of what constitutes a folktale.  Ashliman, for instance, includes:

•    the above stories (Proppian tales / mini-hero-journeys)
•    other traditional tales – animal tales; legends associated with a specific place (such as the Loch Ness Monster or the Lorelei); funny stories of quarreling couples; trickster tales; tall tales; mythological stories; ghost stories; tales of folk heroes (such as Wilhelm Tell or Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill); shaggy-dog stories; miracles of saints; workplace folklore; among other things. . .
•    illustrative stories from antiquity, such as the fables of Æsop (The Tortoise and the Hare, Androcles and the Lion) or the parables of Jesus (The Prodigal Son, The Good Samaritan)
•    as well as non-traditional stories composed by known authors from the last few centuries, deliberately constructed using a traditional-tale style or one similar to it – authors such as Ludwig Tieck, E. T. A. Hoffmann, H. C. Andersen, George MacDonald, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, Karen Blixen, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ursula K. LeGuin, Angela Carter, Maurice Sendak, Jane Yolen, Tanith Lee, Ellen Kushner, Charles deLint, Gail Carson Levine, Diana Wynne Jones, J. K. Rowling, Cornelia Funke, Neil Gaiman and many others.
We’ll touch a little bit on most of the above types of tales.
We’ll stick mostly to prose (and retellings of prose narratives, including film).  Many of these tales have been retold in poetry (ballads or epics), or in prose narratives that are too lengthy to be called tales (such as Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur) but we won’t visit these forms as much.

TEXTS: Books at the Co-Op ; Packet at IT Copy on MLK (west of Guadalupe, north side):    
1. COURSE PACKET at IT Copy.  It’s advisable to phone them first (476-6662) to tell them you’re coming – it gives them a chance to make a new copy for you off the master if they don’t currently have enough on the shelf.  Buy it ASAP!
 The Packet includes lots of independent readings plus the main text for the course, D. L. Ashliman’s Voices from the Past anthology, which is out of print; we have permission to reprint it. (VfP in the schedule below)
2. Tatar, Maria (ed.).  The Classic Fairy Tales.   ISBN 03939 72771
    This is usually easy to get from the Co-Op.
3. Opie, Iona & Peter (eds.).  The Classic Fairy Tales.  ISBN 01952 02198
    Sometimes the Co-Op doesn’t order enough of this one. 
There are also earlier editions around – feel free to comb Half Price Books for them – but the pagination is just a little different.  Many students have used these earlier editions without difficulty, though.
NOTE: Feel free to order from Barnes & Noble or Amazon online if the Co-Op doesn’t deliver enough copies immediately.  Don’t wait for them!  We need all three books almost immediately; sad experience teaches me that any way you can get these books quickly (short of theft) is a good way.  Good luck!
SECOND NOTE: I regret that we won’t be reading every chapter in these two books – there simply aren’t enough class days in the semester.  If you find you like the topic, I encourage you to spend some extra time reading the additional stories and theory pieces in both books – now, or this summer.

GRADING:

Attendance, Participation, Quizzes+            10 %
Tests [2 in-class examinations,* 30% each]        60%
Final Exam* [Comprehensive]            30%

*Tests and Exam will consist of true-false, multiple-choice, short fill-ins, picture identifications, and short essays.
+You may make up a missed quiz/missed attendance TWICE (but no more) during the course of the semester by submitting a Film Report of a fairy-tale-based NON-DISNEY movie [like: Ever After (1998); Legend  (1985); Ella Enchanted  (2004); The Slipper and the Rose (1976); In the Company of Wolves (1984); Jack the Giant Killer (1962); Beauty and the Beast  (Cocteau, 1946) and many others.]

EUS 347 • Intro Germanic Religion & Myth

36105 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 337
(also listed as GRC 340E, R S 365, SCA 327 )
show description

Writing Flag course (formerly SWC)

DESCRIPTION OF COURSE:
A survey of the sources and main features of Germanic religion and of the transition from paganism to Christianity in northern Europe and the Germanic territories of western Europe: Anglo-Saxon Great Britain, the Low Countries, Germany, Switzerland and Austria--diachronically, from the statements of Caesar and Tacitus about Germanic religion to the last pre-Christian documents in the continental area (Merseburg charms, early runic inscriptions, etc.) and in England (Beowulf) as well as the Scandinavian texts of the Eddas and sagas.  Course coverage may include: cosmogonic myths, the origin of man (in Tacitus and the Eddas) and of society (in the Rigsthula), the concept of the soul (fylgja, etc.), the great gods and goddesses and their mythology (Odin, Thor, Tyr, Njord, Freyr, Freyja, Heimdall, Loki, Balder, etc.), and the organization of worship (temples, sacrifices, etc.).  Attention will also be devoted to the survival of Germanic myth in epic/legendary literature (Sigurd/Siegfried, Hervor, Starkad, etc.), and realistic sagas (“magic” in Egils saga, Eiríks saga raudha, Gísla saga, etc.), as well as to information about pagan worship in Christian writings (lives of the saints, Adam of Bremen, etc.).  The background and expansion of Germanic worship and belief will also be examined (Indo-European heritage, correspondences with Celtic, Slavic and Finno-Ugric traditions, Arab sources, and the Thor-cult of Vikings in the diaspora [Normandy, Eastern Europe, etc.]).

TEXTS:
The Poetic Edda, tr. Carolyne Larrington.  Oxford University Press, 1996. 
The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson, tr. Jesse Byock.  Penguin Books, 2005. 
The Saga of the Volsungs, tr. Jesse L. Byock.  University of California Press, 1990. 
Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals and Beliefs, by John Lindow.  Oxford University Press USA, 2002.
Nordic Religions in the Viking Age, by Thomas A. DuBois.  University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999. 

GRADING:
Quizzes on Reading (on most days when readings are due):     10 %
Two six-page reaction papers or position papers, 15% each =     30 %
In-class peer review activities on these papers:             10 %
Three one-page film reports, 5 % each =                 15 %
One three- to five-page group project (groups of 3-4):         15 %
One six-page research paper:                         20 %

Publications

Straubhaar, S.B. (2007) Review of Thor Ewing, Viking Clothing (Stroud, Gloucestershire: Tempus, 2006). Medieval Clothing and Textiles Medieval Clothing and Textiles
Straubhaar, S.B. (2007) Review of Mark T. Hooker, A Tolkien Mathomium (Durham, North Carolina: Llyfrawr, 2006). Tolkien Studies Tolkien Studies
Straubhaar, S.B. (2007) From Atli to Aguirre: Remarks on Fashion and Weapon Size. In M. Nagy (Ed.), Old Norse Death and Dying. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications.
Straubhaar, S.B. (2006) “’Mord och Hor’: Skewing the Canon?”. B.A.S.I.S.: Ballads and Songs – International Studies 2 Trier: B.A.S.I.S.: Ballads and Songs – International Studies 2.
Straubhaar, S.B. (2006, September) Eight entries (Easterlings; Gondor; Goths; Huns; Jordanes; Middle-earth: Men; Roman History; Saracens and Moors). Routledge.
Straubhaar, S.B. (2006) Review of David Salo, A Gateway to Sindarin (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2004). Tolkien Studies Tolkien Studies
Straubhaar, S.B. (2005) Review of Brian Murdoch and Malcolm Read, eds. Early Germanic Literature and Culture. Camden House History of German Literature, Vol. 1 (Rochester: Camden House, 2004). Colloquia Germanica Colloquia Germanica
Straubhaar, S.B. (2005) An Extraordinary Sense of Powerful Restlessness: Nora Kershaw Chadwick, 1891-1972. In J. Chance (Ed.), Women Medievalists in the Academy (pp.366-379). Madison: Women Medievalists in the Academy, ed. Jane Chance. University of Wisconsin Press.
Straubhaar, S.B. (2005, September) Wrapped in a Blue Mantle: Fashions for Icelandic Slayers?. Medieval Clothing and Textiles; The Boydell Press, 1(1), 53-65.
Straubhaar, S.B. (2005, September) “Gilraen’s Linnod: Function, Genre, Prototypes.”. Tolkien Studies; West Virginia University Press, 2, 235-244.
Straubhaar, S.B. (2005) Review of Alan Keele, In Search of the Supernal: Pre-Existence, Eternal Marriage, and Apotheosis in German Literary, Operatic, and Cinematic Texts. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought
Straubhaar, S.B. (2004) Myth, Late Roman History, and Multiculturalism in Tolkien. In J. Chance (Ed.), Tolkien and the Invention of Myth (pp.101-117). Lexington: Tolkien and the Invention of Myth, ed. Jane Chance. University of Kentucky Press.
Straubhaar, S.B. (2004, September) Three entries (Jóreithr, Jórunn, Steinunn). Women in the Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia. Ed. Katharina Wilson and Nadia Margolis. I, 493-495.
Straubhaar, S.B. (2003, September) “A Birth Certificate for Sweden, Packaged for Postmoderns: Jan Guillou’s Templar Trilogy.”. The Year’s Work in Medievalism 17., 17, 64-75.
Straubhaar, S.B. (2002) “Ambiguously Gendered, Not Only Grammatically: The Skalds Jórunn, Authr and Steinunn.”. In K. Swenson & S.M. Anderson (Eds.), Cold Counsel: Women of Old Norse Literature and Myth (pp.261-271). New York: Cold Counsel: Women of Old Norse Literature and Myth. Ed. Karen Swenson and Sarah M. Anderson..
Straubhaar, S.B. (2002, September) Six biographical entries (Brunhilde, Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir, Egill Skallagrímsson, Harald (Bluetooth) Gormsson, Einarr Skúlason and Sturla Thórtharson). Medieval Europe and the Rise of Christendom, 500-1300. Ed. Jana K. Schulman. Greenwood Press.
Straubhaar, S.B. (2002) Birgitta Birgersdotter (St. Birgitta of Sweden). In L. Churchill & J. Jeffrey (Eds.), Women Writing Latin (pp.309-318). New York: Women Writing Latin. Ed. Laurie Churchill and Jane Jeffrey. Routledge..
Straubhaar, S.B. (2001, September) Nasty, Brutish and Large: Cultural Difference and Otherness in the Figuration of the Trollwomen of the Fornaldar Sögur. Scandinavian Studies; Brigham Young University Press, 73(2), 105-124.
Straubhaar, S.B. (1999, September) “Gustav Storm’s Heimskringla as a Norwegian Nationalist Genesis Narrative.”. Tijdschrift voor Skandinavistiek, 20(2), 101-126.
Straubhaar, S.B. (1999) Review of Hilda R. E. Davidson, Roles of the Northern Goddess (London: Routledge, 1998). Scandinavian Studies Scandinavian Studies
Straubhaar, S.B. (1998) Review of Jenny Jochens, Old Norse Images of Women (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996). German Quarterly German Quarterly
Straubhaar, S.B. (1997, September) “Holberg’s Apology for Zenobia of Palmyra and Catherine I.”. Scandinavica; Page Bros., 36(2), 169-188.
Straubhaar, S.B. (1993) Review of Ingi Sigurthsson, ed. Upplysingin á Íslandi. Scandinavian Studies Scandinavian Studies
Straubhaar, S.B. (1993) Review of Lena Rangström, ed. Riddarlek och tornerspel: Sverige-Europa (Tournaments and the Dream of Chivalry). Scandinavian Studies Scandinavian Studies
Straubhaar, S.B. (1993, September) “Skáldkonur.”. Medieval Scandinavia: An Encyclopedia. Ed. Philip Pulsiano, et al. Garland, 594-596.
Straubhaar, S.B. (1991, September) Jóreithr í Mithjumdal. An Encyclopedia of Continental Women Writers. Ed. Katharina Wilson. Garland, 1158-1159.
Straubhaar, S.B. (1991, September) Steinunn Refsdóttir. An Encyclopedia of Continental Women Writers. Ed. Katharina Wilson. Garland, 1190-1191.
Straubhaar, S.B. (1991, September) Jórunn skáldmær. An Encyclopedia of Continental Women Writers. Ed. Katharina Wilson. Garland, 837-838.
Straubhaar, S.B. (1987) “The Forgotten Skáldkonur and Their Place in Early Scandinavian Culture.”. In J.R. Rothschild (Ed.), Creativity, Influence, Imagination: The Worlds of Medieval Women (pp.14-23). Morgantown: Creativity, Influence, Imagination: The Worlds of Medieval Women. Ed. Judith Rice Rothschild. University of West Virginia Press.
Straubhaar, S.B. (1978) An Arthurian Remnant in an Appalachian Nonsense Ballad. Ballads and Ballad Research: Selected Papers of the International Conference on Nordic and Anglo- American Ballad Research, University of Washington, Seattle, May 2-6, 1977. Ed. Patricia L. Conroy. University of Washington Press Seattle: Ballads and Ballad Research: Selected Papers of the International Conference on Nordic and Anglo- American Ballad Research, University of Washington, Seattle, May 2-6, 1977. Ed. Patricia L. Conroy. University of Washington Press.
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