German 250/Comparative World Literatures 250/English 267
The Grimms’ Fairy Tales in Their European Context
(course materials are available online through
Prof. Robert Jenkins
Rm: Library 66 (nearest the intersection Armory Ave. and Wright St.)
Syllabus v. 1.0
Syllabus subject to change at any time.
Office Hours: T & Th 11-12; 1-2 and by appt.
(best way to reach me)
Office Phone: 244-0605 (this is a shared line)
Instructors for Friday Discussion Sections are:
Elizabeth Black, Jennifer Bliss, Lori Coulter, Silver Damsen, Nathan Fredrickson, Kelsey Keyes, Carl Lehnen, John
Friday Discussion Sections
and Writing Conferences
are mandatory and attendance will be taken.
This course should constitute an important contribution to your liberal arts education, of which familiarity
with the Western intellectual tradition is a vital part.
The class offers you the opportunity to critically analyze fairy
tales from continental Europe written between 1600 and 1900. Although our focus is on literary tales, the course is
interdisciplinary--we will investigate other storytelling forms and film. In our analyses, we will trace the history of
the fairy tale from oral traditions to print and film. We will study some of the more common motifs in fairy tales:
the relationship of the virtual (or simulated, fictional) to the real (authentic), socioeconomic class and power, family
conflicts, infertility and pregnancy, puberty rituals, sexual desire, incest, punishment, and violence.
will be related to political, economic, social, and cultural life in early modern and Enlightenment Europe (the period
preceding the Grimms) as well as in their own time, but we will also consider their continuing relevance today.
will also investigate and apply several different interpretive approaches to the tales and to literary and cultural
products in general. These approaches are framed by socio-historical, socio-economic, gender, psychological-
philosophical, and semiotic considerations.
German 250/Comparative Literature 250/English 267 fulfills the Advanced Composition requirement;
several papers are required and rigorous attention will be paid to the development of interpretative, argumentative
and analytical skills.
The course meets twice a week for lectures and once per week for discussions. All reading,
discussion, and writing is conducted in English.
1) Grimm, Jacob, and Wilhelm Grimm.
The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
Trans. Jack Zipes.
New York: Bantam Books, 2003.
(abbreviated as CFT)
2) Strunk, William, and E.B. White.
The Elements of Style
Edition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn &
3) Tatar, Maria.