Fairytale Syllabus


This semester I taught my very first fairytale themed college course. I’ve had lots of requests for the reading list, so here it is, all free online if you follow the links. (I’m so thankful places like Surlalune exist, making fairy tales readily accessible. It’s also where I found all the images in this post.) The class is an Intro to the University course, so sometimes I had to base the readings off of guest university speakers, thus it doesn’t follow the typical fairytale class setup, where you read a different tale-type each week. Instead, I grouped stories by relevant themes, with a few tale-type weeks to enforce the idea that there is no single version of a fairy tale. The course also needed to be multicultural, so I intentionally had my students read tales from around the world instead of only Grimm and Perrault, though they still read many of those. My goal for next year is to include even more non-European tales.

Week 1: Introduction

On Fairy-Stories by J.R.R. Tolkien

Gustave Doré

Week 2: Little Red Riding Hood

The Story of Grandmother, Italian

Little Red Riding Hood, Perrault, French

Little Red Cap, Grimms, German

The Company of Wolves by Angela Carter

The Little Girl and the Wolf by James Thurber

Little Red Riding Hood has a Gun by Amelia Hamilton


Kay Nielsen
Kay Nielsen

Week 3: Animal Bridegrooms

Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, French

East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Asbjornsen and Möe, Norwegian

The Monkey Prince collected by Stokes, Indian





Edmund Dulac
Edmund Dulac

Week 4: Cinderella

Yeh-hsien, Chinese

Donkeyskin, Perrault, French

Cinderella, or Aschenputtel, Grimms, German

The Poor Turkey Girl, Zuni

Little Burnt Face, Micmac

Introduction to The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales by Bruno Bettelheim


H.J. Ford
H.J. Ford

Week 5: The Necessities

Hansel and Gretel, Grimms, German

Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, Persian

Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen, Danish

The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde, British



A.W. Bayes
A.W. Bayes

Week 6: Stress and Sorrow

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, Danish

Marwe in the Underworld, Kenyan

The Juniper Tree, Grimms, German

The Bamboo-cutter and the Moon-child collected by Ozaki, Japanese



Anne Anderson
Anne Anderson

Week 7: Villains

Bluebeard, Perrault, French

Rumpelstiltskin, Grimms, German

Vasilissa the Beautiful, Russian

Handout: “Breaking the Disney Spell” by Jack Zipes.



Milo Winter
Milo Winter

Week 8: Working Hard for the Money

Six Swans, Grimms, German

Puss in Boots, Perrault, French

The Stonecutter, Japanese





Halloween Reading

You can find everything I had them read for Halloween on a previous post.

And that’s what I had them read! I could’ve easily picked double the amount. It was so hard to be choosy, and I’ll definitely make some changes next time I teach it, though it will be hard to cut some of these!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: