ENGL 250 COURSE DESCRIPTION (Updated Feb 2013)
A survey of world folklore studying the more representative literary forms including traditional folk and fairytales, nomenclature, riddles, rhymes, legends, songs, ballads, enchantments, and superstitions. Selected tales, formats, and retellings will be examined to trace the development of worldview and identity. Emphasis is on the uniting qualities of folklore for various civilizations and as constructed by their cultural context. Three class hours weekly. Prerequisite: English 101.
Writing Intensive (WI appears on student transcript.)
J.R.R. Tolkien commented that the greatest value of studying folklore is that it motivates people to write their own culturally significant stories. Thus, the prompts and folk stories written in this course will be evaluated for their development of fluid ideas, character and lore that connect, exemplify, or are clearly inspired by the assigned readings. Special attention will be paid to clear language and well-crafted imagery.
The selected folklore will be distributed widely from across world cultures and countries, such as Germany, Russia, Scotland, Iceland, Peru, North America, Cuba, Africa, Italy, Syria, China, Korea, France, India, Ireland, Papua, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan. Topics include:
- Literary and Oral traditions; contemporary storytelling
- Tall Tales, Fooling the Devil, Rogues and Cheats
- Medicine and Death, Ghost stories, Weatherlore
- Place and Family Names
- Young, Old, and Unlikely Heroes; Fools
- Shape Shifters, Animal Fables, and the Not Quite Human
- True Loves and Enchanted Sweethearts
- Folktale and Fairytale differences
- Hobbits, Dragons, & Magic