Fables, Fairy Tales, and Other True Stories

Fall 2022
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 25
8 Credits per quarter
Log in to add this offering to your saved list.
Taught by

The aim of this program will be to explore the nature and uses of fantastical literature through the ages, and consider the enormous modern-day appeal of this type of storytelling. One key, and perhaps counterintuitive, idea will be that some authors have found the fantasy mode to be the best means of addressing real-world dilemmas, particularly those of the 20th century. Our reading will range from Aesop's fables (over 600 survive from the Ancient Greek), the Thousand and One Nights, and traditional fairy tales to modern works like Orwell's Animal Farm (which he subtitled "A Fairy Story"), Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, and LeGuin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas." Students will also read J.R.R. Tolkien's seminal defense of the genre, "On Fairy Stories," and will try their own hands at writing short pieces in the fantastic mode. Along the way, we'll consider the intense and recurrent hostility to Fantasy on the part of some literary critics and cultural commentators, as well as some focused rejoinders to their dismissals and complaints. Be prepared to read, dream, imagine, create, and spend a quarter in the Other Worlds!


Fall 2022 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (8): 10146

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory For

Humanities, literature, writing, education, and any other field that values an active imagination.

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


In Person or Remote
In Person
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

SEM 2 A3105 - Workshop