What you'll learn

  • Folklore appeal in cultures
  • The ways people process reinterpretations of gender roles in folktale

Course description

Folklore has an enduring appeal in cultures across the world—so enduring that authors, filmmakers, and storytellers revisit and reinvent the stories we all know again and again. Folk stories are retold in ways that suit our current sensibilities, and folk process—how we each retell, change, and keep folklore a living thing—is found nowhere more strongly than in the portrayal of men and women in fairy tales.

This course introduces students to the study of male and female roles in traditional folk and fairy tales. Students study folklore, the ways we folk process reinterpretations of gender roles in folktales, and various ways of understanding folktales. Students read a wide variety of folk and fairy tales, and modern adaptations of the fairy tale.


  • Lecturer in Anthropology and in the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, Brandeis University
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