Faculty of Arts


Interpreting Folktales

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for COMPLIT 202.


This course explores international and regional aspects of folktales and fairy tales. Are these stories products of culturally specific ways of knowing and feeling, or do they express universal human preoccupations present in the collective unconscious? What are the relations between folktales and other popular narrative forms, eg, fairy tales, tall tales, ballads and myths? Are folktales formal constructions which are given different meanings by the particular cultures that make, reuse or preserve them? What are the relations between the rich oral traditions of tale telling and the literary or media narratives which sometimes rely on folktale motifs and forms, for example Superheroes? What do folktale narratives as cultural forms tell us about the making and uses of stories in general?

View the course syllabus

Availability 2018

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Dr Mark Amsler


  • The Classic Fairy Tales. Ed. Maria Tatar. NY/London: WW Norton, 1999. ISBN 0-393-97277-1 (pbk).
  • Course Reader, Parts 1 & 2.
  • Additional course readings - folktales and critical materials - will be posted to the CANVAS course website.

All course texts are required and can be purchased through UBS.


Coursework + exam


COMPLIT 202: 15.0 points


60 points passed

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