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Teaching Fairy Tales

Edited by Nancy L. Canepa

Fairy-Tale Studies, Education

The Donald Haase Series in Fairy-Tale Studies

Printed Paper Cased
Published: March 2019
ISBN: 9780814345696
Pages: 478 Size: 7x10
Illustrations: 14 color images; 1 black-and-white image
Published: March 2019
ISBN: 9780814339350
Pages: 478 Size: 7x10
Illustrations: 14 color images; 1 black-and-white image
Published: March 2019
ISBN: 9780814339367

Teaching Fairy Tales edited by Nancy L. Canepa brings together scholars who have contributed to the field of fairy-tale studies since its origins. This collection offers information on materials, critical approaches and ideas, and pedagogical resources for the teaching of fairy tales in one comprehensive source that will further help bring fairy-tale studies into the academic mainstream.

The volume begins by posing some of the big questions that stand at the forefront of fairy-tale studies: How should we define the fairy tale? What is the "classic" fairy tale? Does it make sense to talk about a fairy-tale canon? The first chapter includes close readings of tales and their variants, in order to show how fairy tales aren’t simple, moralizing, and/or static narratives. The second chapter focuses on essential moments and documents in fairy-tale history, investigating how we gain unique perspectives on cultural history through reading fairy tales. Contributors to chapter 3 argue that encouraging students to approach fairy tales critically, either through well-established lenses or newer ways of thinking, enables them to engage actively with material that can otherwise seem over-familiar. Chapter 4 makes a case for using fairy tales to help students learn a foreign language. Teaching Fairy Tales also includes authors’ experiences of successful hands-on classroom activities with fairy tales, syllabi samples from a range of courses, and testimonies from storytellers that inspire students to reflect on the construction and transmission of narrative by becoming tale-tellers themselves.

Teaching Fairy Tales crosses disciplinary, historical, and national boundaries to consider the fairy-tale corpus integrally and from a variety of perspectives. Scholars from many different academic areas will use this volume to explore and implement new aspects of the field of fairy-tale studies in their teaching and research.

Nancy Canepa is associate professor of Italian at Dartmouth College. Her publications include From Court to Forest: Giambattista Basile and the Birth of the Literary Fairy Tale (Wayne State University Press, 1999), Out of the Woods: The Origins of the Literary Fairy Tale in Italy and France (Wayne State University Press, 1997), and the translation of Giambattista Basile’s The Tale of Tales (Wayne State University Press, 2007).

Contributors Include:
Graham Anderson, Cristina Bacchilega, Benjamin Balak, Faith E. Beasley, Elio Brancaforte, Nancy L. Canepa, Anne E. Duggan, Donald Haase, Christine A. Jones, Maria Kaliambou, Julie L. J. Koehler, Charlotte Trinquet du Lys, Suzanne Magnanini, Cristina Mazzoni, Gina Miele, William Moebius, Maria Nikolajeva, Jennifer Schacker, Ann Schmiesing, Lewis C. Seifert, Victoria Somoff, Allison Stedman, Kay Stone, Maria Tatar, Gioia Timpanelli, Linda Kraus Worley, Jack Zipes

As the popularity of folk and fairy tale studies blossoms around the globe, this collection of essays will prove invaluable to educators and students alike. Canepa and her contributors have provided a comprehensive account of the field, rich in ideas, informed by cutting edge scholarship, and bursting with inspiring illustrations of pedagogical practice. They have also provided a timely case for the importance of socially and historically rigorous approaches to traditional narratives in the contemporary classroom, and, by extension, in the contemporary world. Without doubt, this collection will inform my own future practice as a teacher. It will also help my students better understand the value to themselves and to society of a critical appreciation of the stories of the past and our modern mediations of them.

– Andrew Teverson, professor of English literature, Kingston University, London

Not the first, but certainly one of the best volumes to usher the fairytale from in front of the hearth to the classroom, offering detailed, erudite, and highly informative studies of this transitional process. Its valuable essays would function well in courses of folklore, comparative and specific literatures departments as well as in schools of education.

– Dan Ben-Amos, editor of Folktales of the Jews

Combining theoretical and analytical depth with practical application, this book presents scholarship on teaching fairy tales mainly from American-based and American-trained academics, including established and emerging scholars. Many of the contributions are grounded in familiar material (Disney, the Grimms, Perrault), so the work is accessible for students and faculty not trained in fairy-tale studies, but there are enough unexpected stories and examples to keep specialists interested.

– Pauline Greenhill, co-editor with Jill Terry Rudy of Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales on Television (Wayne State University Press, 2014)

Teaching Fairy Tales will assist teachers at many educational levels in guiding students to defamiliarize popular tales, conduct critical readings, enjoy creative intellectual projects, and contextualize fairy tales in their sociohistorical, ideological, and cognitive conflicts and contributions to society. But don’t take my word for it. Put it to use and enjoy it for yourself.

– Jill Rudy, Journal of Folklore Research

Teaching Fairy Tales is an inspiring volume and a testimony to Nancy Canepa’s vision and scholarship. She brings together the voices of both world-leading and new scholars, thereby providing a wealth of material on the teaching of fairy tales that is original, creative and multidisciplinary. This volume is a major contribution to the field and a demonstration of the tremendous pedagogical significance of fairy-tale studies both within and beyond the context of the humanities.

– Lorenza Gianfrancesco, Gramarye: The Chichester Centre for Fairy Tales, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction

Teaching Fairy Tales is an extremely useful and much needed volume in the burgeoning field of fairy tale studies, full of good ideas and useful, practical examples, clearly presented from a variety of approaches and organized to make it easy for instructors to find useful materials. Anyone who teaches fairy tales from any disciplinary perspective will find this volume valuable. This reviewer will definitely make use of it in the classroom.

– Timothy H. Evans, Western Folklore

Aimed at instructors of undergraduate classes, this book provides comprehensive guidance on using fairy tales to engage students and further critical inquiry and learning. The introductory section, "Foundations of Fairy-Tale Studies," provides historical and cultural context for fairy tales and introduces key issues in fairy tale studies by such notable figures as Donald Haase, Maria Tatar, and Jack Zipes. The second section of the book, "Teaching and Learning with Fairy Tales," comprises essays describing and addressing the teaching of fairy tales. Many include sample handouts and assignments, and an entire chapter consists of sample syllabi, all of which serve as useful and practical examples for instructors who want to incorporate fairy tales into their classrooms. The contributors hail from a variety of disciplines, including English, French, German, and Italian literature, as well as classical studies, economics, and education, each one representing different approaches to fairy tales and to teaching. While the book focuses on college and university instructors, the variety of contexts and methods would be of interest to any undergraduate or graduate student interested in fairy tale studies.

– E. A. Nicol, CHOICE Connect

Teaching Fairy Tales is an outstanding collection. In addition to solid scholarship, the detailed descriptions of activities and frank
narration about courses give the collection the feel of a lively conversation among colleagues. Both new and experienced undergraduate instructors will enjoy the straightforward language and the common structure among most essays that clearly outlines course descriptions, objectives, and activities. This collection would make an excellent addition to the shelf of any instructor who wants to teach fairy tales for the first time, or who simply wants to continue refining their current pedagogical strategies.

– Jessica Stanley Neterer, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts

If you are looking for a comprehensive, practical guide to teaching fairy tales, this book provides valuable instruction. If you are interested in learning more about fairy tales, the didactic methodology in each chapter will improve your understanding of the genre. This volume, drawing on the expertise of fellow teachers, challenges and expands the notion of what it means when one is teaching fairy tales.

– Mary L. Sellers, Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies

The essays on classroom teaching strategies are enlightening to read because they address many of the questions, challenges, and issues that teachers commonly encounter, such as the apparent overfamiliarity with fairy tales that sometimes make students disinclined to read the tales critically or think about them in new contexts. The misconception of Disney’s animated films as ‘original’ versions is another issue that is often brought up, along with the strong sense of childhood memories associated with fairy tales. The emotive response to fairy tales can at times take student readers by surprise, and as many of the contributors explain, it is important to create the classroom as a safe, comfortable zone in which students can share their reactions in a supportive setting. The fairy-tale world’s harsh realities of child abuse, abandonment, homelessness, and conflict resolution through violence are factors in contemporary lives as well. So although the book’s overall emphasis is on literary analysis, the essays in Teaching Fairy Tales examine these and many other salient, relevant themes with exemplary insight and inspiring scholarship.

– Kirsten Møllegaard, Folklore Reviews

Canepa’s collection acknowledges that fairy tale studies is a broad and multidisciplinary field. Each essay is detailed and contributes meaningful ideas and activities to implement into the classroom. Ultimately, Teaching Fairy Tales succeeds in its aim to bring together the expertise of many individuals and invite students (and teachers) to think critically about and read both new and familiar tales.

– Jamie Bienhoff, The Lion and the Unicorn