DEPARTMENT OF GERMANIC AND SLAVC STUDIES GMST 180 Spring 2016 Tuesday 4:30-7:20pm HSD A240 Myths Fairy Tales and Fantasy Fiction Instructor: Elena Pnevmonidou Office: Cle D256 Tel.: 721-7324 Email: [email protected] Office Hours: Tuesday 12:00-13:00 Thursday 16:00-17:00 (Or by appointment) Course Description In this course, you will be introduced to some of the most important Germanic mythologies, heroic and chivalric epics of the Middle Ages, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, Romantic gothic tales, and contemporary fantasy. The course does present an overview of the historical origins and development of Germanic myths and tales, our emphasis will be on understanding their enduring relevance and continuing impact on our cultural and popular imagination today. To that end, the original myths and tales we explore in the course will always be juxtaposed with examples from popular culture such as film, music and art. Topics covered in this class include: The figure of the Germanic hero and the heroic quest; the chivalric code of ethics, adventure and the quest for the Holy Grail; the narrative structure of the fairy tale, the origin and evolution of the tales of the Brothers Grimm and their adaptation and significance in contemporary popular culture, fairy tale ogres and helpers, male vs. female heroes, children vs. adults as readers of fairy tales; science and sorcery in the Gothic tale, fantasy and the search for a mythic quest in the post-modern world. By the end of this course, you will have a good basic knowledge of the characteristic features of Germanic mythology and tales, and you will also have acquired the skills with which to read myths and tales produced in contemporary popular culture. Required Texts In the bookstore: Michael Ende, The Neverending Story On Course Spaces: Please consult the course syllabus for readings posted on Course Spaces for any given week Course Evaluation Attendance 2 Multiple Choice Tests (20% each) 1 Written Assignment Final Multiple Choice Exam 10% 40% 20% 30% Grade Scheme 90-100 A+ 85-89 A 80-84 A- 77-79 B+ 73-76 B 70-72 B- 65-69 C+ 60-64 C 50-59 D 0-49 F To familiarize yourself with the UVic grading guidelines, please consult the University Calendar. 2 GMST 180 Spring 2016 Syllabus Week 1 Introduction 05/01 Topics • Overview of the course • Concept definition: The Heroic o The Germanic hero o Heroic battle o The social and moral configurations of a heroic narrative o The tragic and the heroic • Origins and overview of Germanic mythology • Overview of the Nibelungenlied: origins, sources and the Middle High German epic Reading The “Hildebrandslied” (Course Spaces) Week 2 The Nibelungenlied and the Heroic 12/01 Topics • • • • • The Nibelungenlied as a foundational national Germanic myth Siegfried and Hagen – the quintessential Germanic heroes Kriemhild and Brunhild – the quintessential Germanic women The heroic value system Love, loyalty, betrayal in the heroic narrative Screening Excerpts from Die Nibelungen (dir. Fritz Lang, 1924) Reading The Nibelungenlied excerpts (Course Spaces) 19/01 & 26/01 Topics • • • • • • • • Week 3 & 4 Chivarlic Arthurian Legends in the German Context for Weeks 3 & 4 Arthurian legends in the German context The Germanic hero vs. The Arthurian knight Heroic battle vs. Adventure The Germanic heroic woman vs. The chivalric damsel Love and the chivalric code of ethics The Holy Grail Arthurian knights in the German context: Erec, Iwein, Tristan, Parzival The Heroic and Chivalric in contemporary pop culture: Game of Thrones Screenings for Weeks 3 & 4 Excerpts from Excalibur (1981) Parsifal (1982) 3 02/02 Reading for Weeks 3 & 4 Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival excerpts (Course Spaces) Week 5 The Grimms’ Fairy Tales as We (Think) We Know them Topics • The Brothers Grimm • The evolution of the Children’s and Household Tales • The plot elements of a fairy tale • The geography of a fairy tale • Fairy tale heroes Screening Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937) Readings (Course Spaces) Little Red Riding Hood Cinderella Snow White TEST I 09/02 Week 6 READING BREAK Week 7 Grimms’ Ogres 16/02 Topics • The fairy tale villains: Themes and typology • Reading Ogre narratives with Propp: Magic and the “Helpers” • The psychoanalytic/developmental reading of “Ogre” tales Screening Excerpts from the TV series Grimm: “La Llorona” (Season 2, episode 4) Readings (Course Spaces) The Tale of the Juniper Tree Hansel and Gretel Hans My Hedgehog Week 8 Fairy Tale Heroines and Tricksters 23/02 Topics • • • • • • The “Morals” of the tales Plot structure of tales with female protagonists Bad girls vs. good girls The social underdogs in the fairy tales The “stupid” villains The figure of the trickster: What is the moral lesson? Screening Excerpts from Once Upon a Time and The Brothers Grimm Readings (Course Spaces) The Girl with No Hands 4 All-Kinds-of-Hide Fitcher’s Bird (Bluebeard) The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs The Brave Tailor Week 9 GUEST LECTURE: MARIA TATAR 01/03 “The Wolf Trap: Into the Woods with Fairy Tales” Week 10 The Gothic Tale I: Towards (Romantic) Fantasy 08/03 Topics • • • • The Romantic fairy tale The Uncanny Tales without a happy ending Locating the tale in the modern world Screening Excerpts from Lord of the Rings Readings (Course Spaces) Ludwig Tieck, “The Elves” TEST II Week 11 The Gothic Tale II: Faerie’s Revenge 15/03 Topics • • • • The scientist as the new ogre Science and/as magic The tragic poet and the automaton Grotesque Fairy in the modern world Screening Blade Runner Reading E.T.A. Hoffmann, “The Sandman” (Course Spaces) Neil Gaiman, “Sandman” excerpts (Course Spaces) Week 12 & 13 Fantasy Fiction Today 22/03 & 29/03 Topic • • • Fantasy as a hybrid between myth and fairy tale What is narrative? What is storytelling? The Hero and the Quest today Screening The Neverending Story Reading for Week 12 & 13 Michael Ende, The Neverending Story (bookstore) Written Assignment Due on March 31 5 Course Work Attendance/Participation Class attendance is required unless you can provide a documented medical reason. You are also expected to have done the assigned readings for the day they have been assigned. Midterm Tests and Final Exam In this course, you will write two midterms. Both midterms are multiple-choice and will be available on Course Spaces on the respective date. They are based entirely on the readings and class lectures and cover the material from the previous weeks. Midterm I (Feb. 2) covers the materials from Weeks 1-4, and midterm II (March 8) is exclusively devoted to the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. The final exam is also multiple-choice, but unlike the midterms, it is cumulative. Written Assignment You have to write a max. 4-page assignment on any one of the myths or tales covered in the class. The assignment is to include two secondary sources. I will distribute a list of topics on Week 9. If you wish to write on a different topic, you must first talk to me about it. The written assignment is due on the last day of classes. Course Policies Accessibility Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. In particular, if you have a disability/health consideration that may require accommodations, please feel free to approach me and/or the Resource Centre for Students with a Disability (RCSD) as soon as possible. RCSD staff members are available by appointment to assess specific needs, provide referrals and arrange appropriate accommodations. The sooner you let us know your needs the quicker we can assist you in achieving your learning goals in this course. Concessions and Documentation Students may ask for an academic concession, such as rescheduling a quiz or test or an extension for an assignment, upon providing proper documentation of a personal or medical affliction or of a time conflict. Proper documentation would include a doctor’s note or a memo from Counseling Services, or a memo from a coach, employer or faculty member. It must be dated before or close to the time of the missed work or classes. Withdrawals and Deferrals Students who miss substantial amounts of class and assignments without documentation will be asked to withdraw, or will receive an ‘N’ at the end of the semester. Even when the reasons for failing to meet course requirements are valid, it is not academically sound to allow students missing significant amounts of work to continue in the course. Students are to familiarize themselves with the withdrawal dates in the current academic calendar. A Note on Academic Integrity and Plagiarism Actions such as plagiarism, multiple submissions, falsifying materials used in academic evaluations, cheating or aiding others to cheat violate University policies on academic integrity and are considered serious offence. You must inform yourself about the university regulations (see UVic Policy on Academic Integrity). Classroom Conduct Since the quality of the learning environment is paramount, every student has the right to learn and your instructor has the duty to perform his or her teaching duties in a cooperative, distraction-free and effective manner. 6 Activities that could disrupt the learning environment for you and your instructor would include the nonacademic use of electronic devices. Students are expected to turn off their cell phones, PDAs and mp3 players during class. Add/Drop Deadlines It is the student’s responsibility to attend to ADD/DROP dates as published in the Calendar and the Undergraduate Registration Guide and Timetable. You will not be dropped automatically from a class that you do not attend.
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