feminism and fairy tales course syllabus

jackie e stallcup jstallcup at juno.com
Thu Jan 30 18:43:02 EST 2003

Oh dear, I can see the danger of posting my syllabus to all of you
knowledgeable DWJ-ers!  ;>)

Yes, indeed Angela Carter comes to mind immediately.  And she is
represented in the Tatar collection, as are Anne Sexton and other modern
writers who have "revised" tales for adult consumption.  

My specialty is children's literature, so I tend to come at the tales
from a children's lit perspective.  We do read the adult-oriented tales
and then we also read many picture book versions of the tales as well. 
And the students can certainly write about either adult versions or
children's versions of the tales.  Some of the best discussions come out
of arguments about how to "age-classify" the tales, because the lines
aren't always that easy to draw.  

I'll definitely keep you all updated, if you're interested.  You were a
great help last semester when I taught Dark Lord of Derkholm!


On Wed, 29 Jan 2003 00:37:48 -0000 "Anna Z Skarzynska"
<theania at freeuk.com> writes:
> Where is Angela Carter? She is, surely, the first person to come to 
> mind
> when feminism and fairy tales are mentioned in one sentence! You 
> cannot
> possibly leave her out!
> Ania
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: jackie e stallcup <jstallcup at juno.com>
> To: <dwj at suberic.net>
> Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 12:32 AM
> Subject: feminism and fairy tales course syllabus
> Hi everyone,
> I promised to post my syllabus for the feminism and fairy tales 
> course
> that I am teaching this semester as soon as I had it done.  So, here 
> it
> is!  Just had the first class today and it went well.  I'll let you 
> know
> how it goes with Fire and Hemlock, which isn't scheduled until later 
> in
> the semester.
> Jackie S.
> Oh, by the way, this is at California State University, Northridge, 
> and
> the course is a senior seminar...
> Jackie Stallcup Syllabus
> Office: Sierra Tower, Room 716 English 495FF
> Phone: (818) 677-3412 Feminism and Fairy Tales
> Email:  jackie.stallcup at csun.edu Spring 2003
> Office Hours: M: 2-5, T and Th:  12:30-2:30 TTh 9:30-10:45
> Objective:  In this course, we will be examining traditional folk 
> and
> fairy tales such as Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, and Little Red 
> Riding
> Hood, juxtaposing them with cross-cultural and modern variants.   
> Class
> discussion will focus around such questions as: What constitutes a
> "feminist" fairy tale?  What gender roles are offered to both female 
> and
> male characters in these tales?  How are traditional gender
> representations reified?  Deconstructed?  What new representations 
> are
> offered?  And how are all of these issues played out in the often
> lavishly illustrated children's books now available?  What gender
> roles-new and old-are these books displaying/ creating/disseminating 
> for
> the child reader?  Discussions will include issues of illustration 
> as
> well as cultural and textual concerns.
> Course Requirements:
> Critical Response Journal (8-10 pages total): 25% Term Paper (10-15
> pages): 40%
> Mid-term:  25% Participation and Quizzes: 10%
> Presentation
> Required Texts:
> Reader available at ASAP
> Tatar, Maria  The Classic Fairy Tales:  Texts, Criticism
> Cole, Babette  Princess Smartypants
> Munsch, Robert  The Paper Bag Princess
> Stanley, Diane  Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter
> Yolen, Jane  Sleeping Ugly
> Jones, Diana Wynne, Fire and Hemlock
> Other picture books:  Buy as few or as many of the following as you 
> like.
>  All are available on reserve at the TCC.  You are responsible for
> reading them and for being prepared to discuss them, but you do not 
> have
> to purchase them.
> Red Riding Hood Tales:
> Grimm Brothers  Little Red Riding Hood (illustrated by Trina Schart
> Hyman)
> Young, Ed Lon Po Po
> Ernst, Lisa Red Riding Hood: A New-Fangled Prairie Tale
> Mayer, Mercer Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp
> Emberley, Michael Ruby (only available at the TCC, not at the 
> bookstore)
> Perrault, Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (only available at the TCC, not at 
> the
> bookstore)
> Cinderella Tales:
> Perrault, Charles  Cinderella (illustrated by Marcia Brown)
> Jackson, Ellen  Cinder Edna
> Huck, Charlotte Princess Furball
> Tam Lin
> Yolen, Jane Tam Lin (only available at the TCC, not at the 
> bookstore)
> Snow White:
> Grimm Brothers  Snow White (illustrated by Nancy Burkert)
> Kimmel, Eric Rimonah of the Flashing Sword (only available at the 
> TCC,
> not at the bookstore)
> "Boy" Tales:
> Myers, Bernice Sidney Rella and the Glass Sneaker (only available at 
> the
> TCC, not at the bookstore)
> Scieszka, Jon The Frog Prince Continued
> Cole, Babette Prince Cinders
> As you can see from the notations above, several of the picture 
> books are
> only available on reserve at the TCC because they are either too
> expensive or out of print.  Molly Bang's book on graphic design 
> theory is
> also on reserve at the TCC. (Check for the call number of Molly 
> Bang's
> book under my course listing for English 428)   So there won't be a
> pile-up in reserve on the day we discuss these books, please try to 
> get
> to the library early on in the semester to look them over.
>  Class Policies
> This class will require intensive reading as well as engaged
> participation in classroom projects and discussion; you will be 
> learning
> from and teaching each other as well as learning from me, and so 
> your
> participation in the class is of great importance.  The critical 
> response
> journal will consist of your thoughtful and reasoned exploration of 
> two
> children's texts and two critical works exploring feminism and/or 
> fairy
> tales.  Each response should be 2-3 pages apiece for a total of 8-10
> pages.  See the attached sheet for further information.  This will 
> also
> help ease you into your term paper, which will be on a subject 
> related to
> our discussions of feminism and fairy tales, to be discussed in 
> advance
> with me. Your journal and the term paper must be typed.  The 
> mid-term
> will be in class, requiring a blue book.  More information on all 
> these
> assignments will be forthcoming as the quarter progresses.
> Attendance: It is imperative that you attend class (on time!) on a
> consistent basis.  Much of the learning in this course will come out 
> of
> class discussions that cannot be duplicated. Also, your input is 
> valuable
> and necessary for the learning experience of all the students.  More 
> than
> three unexcused absences will affect your grade adversely.
> Late papers and assignments will be lowered one full grade for each
> class period they are late.  Please discuss with me any problems you 
> are
> having with a project-before its due date!
> Plagiarism is a serious academic offense.  See Student Conduct Code 
> in
> the university catalog, and the handout on plagiarism in your course
> reader.  Penalty for academic dishonesty can be a "lower or failing 
> grade
> [on] the assignment, examination, or the entire course." The student 
> may
> also be "expelled, suspended, [or] placed on probation" (1998-2000 
> catalog 551-552). I *will* pursue these options if I discover 
> plagiarized
> material in any of the course assignments.  The definition of 
> "cheating"
> in the student conduct code includes turning in a paper written by 
> the
> student for two different courses or assignments.  Do not turn in
> anything to me that has not been written expressly for this course. 
> If
> you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism or 
> cheating,
> please see the catalog, see the handout in the reader, or ask.
> Course Outline
> Week 1:  Introduction and Miscellaneous Tales
> Jan. 28 Introduction to course
> 30 Munsch, Paper Bag Princess; Cole, Princess Smartypants; Stanley,
> Rumpelstiltskin's
> Daughter; Yolen, Sleeping Ugly
> Week 2:  Folktales
> Feb. 4 Picture books:  Munsch, Cole, Stanley, Yolen
> Tatar:  General Introduction; Propp, "Folklore and Literature"
> 6 Reader:  Zipes,  "Don't Bet on the Prince"
> First Critical Response Journal Due on February 6th. This entry must 
> be
> on a text
> created for children
> Week 3: Children and Fairy Tales; Feminism and Literature
> 11 Picture books:  Munsch, Cole, Stanley, Yolen
> Tatar:  Bettelheim, "The Struggle for Meaning";  Haase, "Yours, 
> Mine, or
> Ours?"
> Reader:  Nodelman, "The Other:  Orientalism"
> 13 Picture books:  Munsch, Cole, Stanley, Yolen
> Tatar:  Warner, "The Old Wives' Tale"
> Reader:  Schweickart, "Reading Ourselves";  Morris, excerpt from
> Literature and Feminism
> Week 4:  Feminism and Visual Arts
> 18 Picture books:  Munsch, Cole, Stanley, Yolen
> Reader:  Nodelman, Words about Pictures (excerpt)
> On reserve:  Molly Bang, Picture This
> 20 Picture books:  Munsch, Cole, Stanley, Yolen
> Reader:  Devereaux, "Oppressive Texts, Resisting Readers";  Chicago 
> and
> Lucie-Smith,
> excerpt from Women and Art; Nochlin, "Women, Art, and Power"
> Second Critical Response Journal Due on February 20th. This entry 
> must be
> on a
> critical text about children's literature
>  Week 5:  Red Riding Hood Tales
> 25 Tatar:  Little Red Riding Hood section (pp 3-24); Shavit, "The
> Concept of Childhood"
> 27 continue discussion
> Week 6: Red Riding Hood Tales, continued
> March 4 Picture books:
> Grimm/Hyman, Little Red Riding Hood
> Young, Lon Po Po
> Ernst, Red Riding Hood A New-Fangled Prairie Tale
> Mayer, Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp
> 6 continue discussion
> Week 7: Red Riding Hood Tales, continued and Midterm
> 11 Reader:  Garcia, "Little Red Baseball Cap"
> On reserve:  Emberley, Ruby;  Perrault/Moon, Le Petit Chaperon Rouge
> 13 Mid-term exam
> Week 8:  Cinderella Tales
> 18 Tatar:  Cinderella section (pp 101-137)
> 20 continue discussion
> Week 9:  Cinderella Tales continued
> 25 picture books:
> Jackson, Cinder Edna
> Perrault, Cinderella (Marcia Brown, illustrator)
> Huck, Princess Furball
> 27 continue discussion
> Week 10:  Tam Lin
> April 1 on reserve:  Yolen, Tam Lin
> 3 Jones, Fire and Hemlock
> Week 11:  Tam Lin continued
> 8 continue discussion
> Complete Critical Journals due on April 8th
> 10 no class (library research)
> Spring Break:  April 14-18
> Week 12:  Snow White tales
> 22 Tatar:  Snow White section (pp 74-100); Gilbert and Gubar, "Snow
> White and her Wicked
> Stepmother";  Zipes, "Breaking the Disney Spell"
> 24 picture books:
> Grimm, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Nancy Burkert, illustrator)
>   On reserve: Kimmel, Rimonah of the Flashing Sword
>  Week  13:  "Boy" tales
> 29 picture books:
> Cole, Prince Cinders
> On reserve:  Myers, Sidney Rella and the Glass Sneaker
> Scieszka, The Frog Prince Continued
> May 1 continue discussion
> Week 14: Hans Christian Anderson
> 6 Tatar:  section on Anderson (pp 212-245)
> Disney:  The Little Mermaid (to be shown in class)
> 8 continue discussion
> Term Paper due on May 8th
> Week 15: Hans Christian Anderson continued and concluding discussion
> 13 continue discussion
> 15 continue discussion
> Final:   Tuesday May 20, 8:30-10 a.m.  We will meet for a concluding
> discussion.
> Thoughts on feminism, fairy tales and children's literature:
> "The more a girl assumes her status as feminine, the more she takes
> herself to be fragile and immobile, and the more she actively enacts 
> her
> own body inhibition. At the root of these modalities. is the fact 
> that
> the woman lives her body as object as well as subject. An essential 
> part
> of the situation of being a woman is that of living the ever present
> possibility that one will be gazed upon as a mere body, as shape and
> flesh that presents itself as the potential object of another's
> intentions and manipulations, rather than as a living manifestation 
> of
> action and intention."
> Iris Young, "Throwing Like a Girl:  A Phenomenology of Body 
> Comportment
> Motility and Spatiality"
> "My own resistance began very early on, when I was a child.  From 
> the
> time that I was five, I began the practice of studying art, visiting 
> the
> Art Institute of Chicago to take classes, and to wander through the
> galleries where my ambition was shaped..  But when I looked at, for
> example, Degas' sensuous images of women, I could not relate to them 
> or
> to many other male artists' depictions of the female, primarily 
> because
> too many of those pictured seemed content to just lie around being 
> gazed
> at, something I myself had no intention of doing..  I set myself 
> against
> these images because they did not have anything to do with me.  Even
> then, I knew that I did not wish to become the object of the male 
> gaze.
> Rather, I wanted to be the one who did both the gazing and the 
> painting.
> Later, I came to understand that some of the confusion I felt as a 
> female
> child was the consequence of an art system that privileges male 
> artists."
> Judy Chicago,  Women and Art
> "As folkloristic research reveals to us, there is no such thing as 
> an
> 'authentic' folk tale.  All tales are merely versions, all versions 
> are
> equal to each other if not in value then at least in authenticity; 
> and in
> a very real sense, then, the interpretations provided by the 
> commentators
> are also merely versions, new ways of telling the same old story. 
> [.]
> Once we realize that there is no original form, no form with 
> priority,
> then we must learn to be more honest, and to attack versions we 
> dislike
> on more legitimate grounds:  our lack of agreement with the values 
> they
> consciously or unconsciously espouse and express."
> Perry Nodelman, "The Hidden Meaning and the Inner Tale:  
> Deconstruction
> and the Interpretation of Fairy Tales"
> "Ultimately, the male fantasies of Perrault and the Brothers Grimm 
> can be
> traced to their socially induced desire and need for control-control 
> of
> women, control of their own sexual libido, control of their fear of 
> women
> and loss of virility.  That their controlling interests are still
> reinforced and influential through variant texts and illustrations 
> of
> Little Red Riding Hood in society today is an indication that we are
> still witnessing an antagonistic struggle of the sexes in all forms 
> of
> socialization, in which men are still trying to dominate women."
> Jack Zipes, "A Second Gaze at Little Red Riding Hood's Trials and
> Tribulations"
>  English 495
> Feminism and Fairy Tales
> Dr. Stallcup
> Critical Response Journal
> In your critical response journal, you will have a total of four
> entries: two on texts created for children or young adults that 
> reflect
> issues discussed in the course and two on books, articles, or 
> periodicals
> written for adults about feminism and/or children's folktales.
> Just to be absolutely clear about the order in which these are to be
> turned in, here are the due dates.  They are also listed in the 
> course
> outline:
> February 6:  1 journal entry on a text created for children
> February 20:  1 journal entry on a text written for adults about
> feminism and/or children's folktales
> April 8: 4 journal entries: The two that were graded and returned to
> you, one new entry on a text
> created for children and one new entry on a text written for adults
> about feminism and/or
> children's folktales.
> All of the texts you discuss must come from outside the course 
> reading
> list.  You have a broad range of material to choose from as our 
> class
> discussions will cover such issues as feminism and literature, 
> feminism
> and art, feminism and fairy tales, and the ways in which all of 
> these
> topics dovetail with children's picture books.  The assignment will 
> give
> you an idea of the wide range of opinions that have been offered on 
> these
> topics and should get you started on your term paper, in which you 
> must
> incorporate at least two critical sources.  Additionally, this will 
> help
> you sharpen and develop your research skills as you utilize various
> databases and indices to uncover works that address topics in which 
> you
> are interested.
> Tips on analyzing fiction:
> Do NOT use the word "cute" in referring to a book-it may indeed be 
> cute
> but I expect far more specific and analytical responses in your 
> writing.
> (We can all use it while speaking, just not in your writing).
> Absolutely, positively do NOT say that a book is "great for all 
> ages"-or
> any variation of such an idea.  As you will soon see in our class
> discussions, even if children and adults of varying maturity levels 
> can
> all enjoy a book, they will all have different kinds of responses to 
> that
> book depending on a multitude of factors.  Finally, make sure to use
> plenty of very specific examples to support your points.  Don't just 
> say
> "the plot is well-constructed."  SHOW how it is well-constructed by
> discussing examples and details from the text.  Make note of the 
> criteria
> by which we evaluate texts in class and apply these to the texts 
> that you
> read for the journals.
> Tips on analyzing criticism:
> Each entry should start with a summary of the main argument of the
> work-this should be NO MORE THAN a half to three-quarters of a page. 
>  The
> rest of the entry will be your analysis of the work.  Be careful not 
> to
> simply summarize the work without analyzing it.
> Just as when you are evaluating a piece of fiction, an analysis of
> someone else's argument should contain three basic features:  a 
> clear and
> even-handed summary of the subject, a well-balanced judgment, and a
> convincing argument that demonstrates how you came to the judgement. 
>  For
> example, if you were to analyze Perry Nodelman's essay "The Other:
> Orientalism, Colonialism and Children's Literature," you would first 
> want
> to summarize his argument regarding adult/child power relationships.
> This would take about half to three quarters of a page.  Then you 
> would
> offer your opinion about his argument-you may totally agree, totally
> disagree, or agree with parts and disagree with other parts.  
> Finally,
> you would offer an argument for your position, using both specific
> examples from your own experience and quotes from his argument.  Of
> course, the structure does not have to be exactly like this, but 
> make
> sure that the three elements are all in your entry somewhere.
> You should examine the article or book to find out what is being
> analyzed, what argument is made based on this analysis, and on what
> criteria the analysis is based.  In other words, what is being used 
> as a
> basis for judgment? Discerning these criteria is very important, 
> because
> it will help you decide what criteria you want to use when you write 
> your
> own analyses in your mid term and term paper.  It will also indicate 
> what
> kinds of assumptions that the writer is working under (consciously 
> or
> unconsciously).  In turn, this will help you determine your response 
> to
> and analysis of the overall argument.
>    We will be discussing these journals further as we review and 
> apply
> the articles assigned for class, which should provide models of what 
> to
> look for and how to discuss it.  For useful examples of how not just 
> to
> summarize, but to critically evaluate a scholarly article or book, 
> take a
> look at the book reviews in journals such as Signs, Ariel, 
> Children's
> Literature Association Quarterly, Eighteenth-Century Studies, 
> English
> Language Notes, Journal of Child Language, Victorian Studies, Melus,
> Hispanic Journal or Artforum, all of which are available at our 
> library,
> along with other, similar scholarly journals that will also have 
> useful
> examples of such reviews.
> Presentation
> You will be presenting one of your critical response journals to the
> class as a whole.  You will make copies of the relevant journal 
> entry,
> which you will pass out to your classmates, and then you will speak 
> to
> the class NO MORE THAN ten minutes altogether.  In this time, you 
> should
> show us the book or article, tell us what we need to know about it, 
> and
> field questions from me and your classmates.  Please do NOT just 
> read the
> journal entry to us.  You should be able to just tell us about the 
> book,
> working, if necessary, from notecards or a list.  Reading from the
> journal will be extremely boring and put us all to sleep.  Think of 
> this
> as practice in speaking before groups without a prepared piece of
> writing. And if you are presenting a children's book, definitely DO 
> read the entire book to us.  At most, read a few key pages or 
> passages.
> I will be sending around a sign up sheet for the presentations so 
> that we
> can have them evenly spaced out.
> Critical resources:
> Children's Literature
> Children's Literature Association Quarterly
> Children's Literature in Education
> Horn Book Magazine and Horn Book Guide
> Interracial Books for Children Bulletin
> Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
> (http://edfu.lis.uiuc.edu/puboff/bccb)
> www.oyate.org (information on books by and about Native Americans)
> www.carolhurst.com (reviews of children's books)
> www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/index.html (the children's literature 
> web
> guide)
> And one last thought ..
> "Children's stories are almost invariably prescriptive, to a greater 
> or
> lesser degree; they present the approved values of society to 
> children.
> This is true of even the least realistic, least didactic of fiction.
> Alice plainly represents those English qualities of character 
> Charles
> Dodgson admired:  self-possession, pleasant manners and an 
> unshakable
> independence of mind."
> Anne Scott MacLeod, A Moral Tale:  Children's Fiction and American
> Culture 1820-1860
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