Syllabus Spring 2006
   English 207: World Folktales and Literature   

Dr. Tina L. Hanlon

Associate Professor of English
Ferrum College

World Folktales Course Home Page

Office Hours: Britt 205
M, W, F: 11-11:50, 2-2:45
T, Th: . 11-11:45. And by appointment
Composition Center: M, W: 3-4:30; T, Th: 1-3:30
Phone: 365-4327

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes

College Mission Statement:

Ferrum College is a liberal arts institution.... It is the mission of the college to educate students in the disciplines of higher learning and to help them be thoughtful and perceptive, to be articulate and professional capable, and to be caring and concerned citizens of their community, nation, and world.  The college is committed to developing the whole openness to a wide range of intellectual discovery....

Ferrum College Learning Outcomes:
The content of this course supports the following college learning outcomes for all students:

Write and speak with unity of purpose, coherent organization, and effective use of English consistent with standard rules and ordinary conventions
Use appropriate research methods and technology to collect and disseminate information
Read, comprehend, analyze, interpret, and evaluate as a process of forming mature judgments and arriving at sound conclusions

Creative Inquiry and Critical Thinking
Explore an area of interest through reading and research

Multidisciplinary Learning
Demonstrate a breadth of knowledge in the liberal arts—specifically in literature traditions in relation to the following English Department goals for sophomore literature courses:

Develop basic skills for discussing and analyzing literature
Engage in close involvement with assigned texts
Explore background ideas and historical context as well as literary concerns 

This course is also likely to engage you in activities that support the following college learning outcomes:

Creative Inquiry and Critical Thinking
Evaluate the validity, perspectives, and contexts of information
Use problem-solving skills creatively to synthesize an effective response

Multidisciplinary Learning
Examine a subject and solve problems from the perspective of more than one discipline
Connect and apply knowledge to the campus and the world beyond

Course Description for World Folktales and Literature:

This special topics literature course will examine the literary, cultural and social significance of folktales and their influence on other forms of literature. Rather than surveying literature from a particular time period or geographic region, the course will focus on common themes and motifs in folktales that link different cultures within America and around the world. Themes and types to be studied include animal tales; quest stories; tricksters, rogues, and tall tale heroes; Sleeping Beauties, Cinderellas, and other heroines; magical, malicious, and monstrous encounters; Beauty and the Beast and other transformations; and humorous and satiric tales. Folktales will be examined as important reflections of human nature and social values; the course will further explore how individual authors in different times and places have rewritten folktales and incorporated folk motifs into other literary modes such as poetry, fiction, drama and film. The interplay between realism and elements of fantasy or magic will be emphasized. This course provides the opportunity to explore traditions and types of literature that are often neglected in college English courses, such as oral traditions, children’s literature, and fantasy.

This course is designed to help you appreciate and enjoy all types of literature more thoroughly, to think critically and discuss your responses confidently, and to write clear analytical essays.


Books to Buy:
Jane Yolen, ed. Favorite Folktales from Around the World, 1986
Judith V. Lechner, Anthology of Traditional Literature, 2004
William Shakespeare, The Tempest
L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Jane Yolen, Briar Rose
Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, The Stinky Cheese Man. . . (optional purchase, will be on reserve)

Required readings from online texts or electronic reserve will include selected folktales and:

Selections from Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
Selections from Boccaccio, The Decameron
Other short stories and poems as listed on course schedule


The learning outcomes listed above will be measured through the following assignments. Final grades will be determined according to the percentages listed here (also note the writing requirements and attendance policy below as they affect final grades):

First test    10%
Second test    15%
Final exam    20%
Reading journal, daily participation, and third paper assignment   20%
First and second paper assignments (3-page and 5-page minimum lengths)    25%
Project and oral report     10%

Writing Requirements

The prerequisite for this course is a C in English 102.

Grading policy for Writing Intensive program at Ferrum College:

A grade of C or higher in this course is required for this course to count toward the six credit-hour Writing Intensive graduation requirement for Ferrum College. A student cannot earn a grade of C or higher in this course unless he or she earns a C or higher on the writing assignments required by the course

This grading policy applies to all students in the course, whether or not you need this class to count as one of your required writing-intensive courses. The English Department requires that students in sophomore literature classes demonstrate independent critical thinking as evidenced on in-class and formal out-of-class essays. Thus the tests in this class will contain essay questions along with some short-answer questions. Responses to all test questions and writing assignments must be written in complete sentences and in standard English (except for informal journal exercises in which outline form, lists, etc. may be appropriate). The journal grade will be based on quantity, variety, and completeness; writing quality or proficiency will not count in the journal as it does in formal papers and test answers.

Although journal writing and any in-class work will be marked primarily for content rather than mechanics, formal papers must be polished and carefully edited according to college-level writing standards. The professor reserves the right to require revision of, or to return ungraded, any work which is difficult to read because of excessive mechanical errors, incoherence, or illegible writing. While this is not a composition course, you are encouraged to use this time and this professor to get extra help with basic writing skills if needed, and to use the Composition Center for assistance with any writing you are doing. You should be familiar with the Ferrum College Foundation Standards, which outline basic skills expected in college level work in all courses. See also notes on Honor Code below.

Attendance and Classroom Requirements:

Attendance at all classes is required and is necessary for satisfactory progress in the work of the course. Accumulating more than four unexcused absences will lower your final grade in the course by as much as one letter grade. Ferrum College policy mandates that anyone who misses one-fourth of the class meetings automatically fails the course (i.e., 7 Tues.-Thurs. classes). It is your responsibility to inform the professor (preferably in advance) and arrange for make-up work if you have a legitimate reason for missing a class. Make-up tests will be given only in the case of extreme emergency and may consist of essay questions only. Feb. 10 is the last day to withdraw from a class without penalty. To withdraw from the course between that date and Mar. 31 with a WP, you must be in good standing, with all course work completed to that date (otherwise the grade will be WF). Withdrawing after the tenth week results in a grade of F. See the college catalog, pp. 4, 44-48 on grading, attendance, and withdrawal policies.

You are expected to come to class each day prepared to discuss the assigned readings. Arriving late is discourteous to other class members and could result in your being marked absent for the day. You are encouraged to participate in class discussion and ask questions at any time in class, but you are expected to respect the needs and rights of others by not talking while others are talking or distracting others in any way. If you disrupt the class or distract the professor or other students you will be asked to leave the class and will be counted absent for that day.

Honor Code:

The Ferrum College Honor Code applies to all work submitted for credit in this course. Plagiarism or any other form of cheating on papers, reports, homework, or tests will result in severe penalties, which may include failure of the course. You are responsible for reading and understanding the Ferrum College Honor Policy (see the Student Handbook), and for avoiding the undocumented use of the words or ideas of others in your writing. If your major paper or project involves literature not in the assigned texts for the course, be sure the professor has access to those sources. It is a good idea to keep copies of pages in secondary sources from which you take specific ideas, information, or quotations that you use directly in papers. I will not grade a paper if I have any questions about its use of sources, until those questions are answered and corrections are made if necessary. (At the end of the semester this may mean automatic failure if there is no time left for clarification or corrections.) See also the notes on using online resources at Links to Online Texts.

A professor, tutor, or other reliable reader may help you with brainstorming, outlining, suggesting revisions, learning to recognize proofreading errors, or typing a paper. It is unethical to get someone else to edit (i.e., correct errors) or write all or part of a paper, and to copy homework exercises from someone else. If you have any questions about documentation or help received, I would be glad to discuss it with you before an assignment is submitted. Obviously, it is to your advantage to ask questions early if you have doubts and to learn as much as you can by doing your own work.

See Schedule Page for details of upcoming assignments.

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