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GRMN 195

Topics in German Studies

This course focuses on a specific theme or issue of German-speaking countries and cultures. Students will be introduced to one or more fundamental approaches to German Studies. The course is taught in English and open to all students. No prerequisites. May be repeated for credit with different topic.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities- or -Global Learning None 1 course

Spring Semester information

Inge Aures

195A: Tps:German Fairy Tales and other fantastic stories (taught in English)

What is a fairy tale? We all fondly remember enchanting fairy tales from our childhood that mesmerized us and impacted our perception of the world--be it conscious and/or subconscious. Think of "happily ever after"! Did you know that many of the traditional fairy tales we have been told as a child originated from German oral tradition and were collected by the Brothers Grimm in the 19th century? Originally, these stories were meant for adults but today we perceive them as children's literature. We will be reading and interpreting a wide variety of fairy tales (some well-known, others lesser-known), other fantastic (literary) stories, adaptations of fairy tales, and modern retellings. What do these stories tell us about culture and society, about gender roles, about right or wrong? Are there specific themes and motifs we can recognize? What archetypal characters can we identify? What roles do animals play? What is the role of magic in fairy tales? How do these tales articulate taboos? What is the punishment for misbehavior? What is the reward for ideal behavior? And, of course, what is the role of love? Why do these stories seem timeless and still appeal to us in the 21st Century?