If I have one criticism of the selection of stories for the class, other than the fact that Peter Pan was not included, it would be that we had essentially no stories from Eastern Asia or the pacific. While we did talk about how some European tales had Eastern Asian influences brought about by the silk road, both Eastern Asia and the pacific have a wide array of stories there own stories that I think would be worth including. Even including something well known, like Mulan, or including the Modern Chinese take on Little Red Riding Hood in Lon Po Po would fill in the clear international gap of the stories we read.
On the whole, however, I very much liked the material covered. What I think I got the most out of it was probably how one could analyze a culture based on its stories, and vice versa; for example, Jewish tales not only highlighted elements of Jewish culture, but also understanding Jewish culture helped in giving a better understanding of the tales. It is particularly for this reason why I think a more culturally diverse selection of fairy tales would be better, including ones from Eastern Asia and the Pacific as mentioned above, opposed to so many tales from Europe and in specific Germany and France. A larger diversity would allow us to explore more cultures through the lenses of their stories, rather than exploring the same French and German culture over and over.
|Seriously, I get that most Fairy Tale scholars focus on Germany, but that doesn't mean we have to!|