Popular Culture and Narrative: Use and Abuse of the Fairy Tale

Stained glass artwork of Little Red Riding Hood carrying a basket with tree branches forming a circular pattern against a purple background.

Little Red Riding Hood, depicted here in her iconic red cape, is one of the classic fairy tales that will be examined in this course. (This image is by artist and designer Jody Curtis who has kindly given permission for it to appear here. License CC BY.)


MIT Course Number

21L.430 / CMS.920

As Taught In

Fall 2015


Undergraduate / Graduate

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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course takes a deep look at a big subject. We ask where Fairy Tales come from and we examine the structure of Fairy Tales. We'll also look at how Fairy Tales are conditioned by oral transmission and inherited story-telling techniques.

Other Versions

Related Content

William Donaldson. 21L.430 Popular Culture and Narrative: Use and Abuse of the Fairy Tale. Fall 2015. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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