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C LIT 252 A: Introduction to Comparative Literature: Genres

Meeting Time: 
TTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
SAV 264
Joint Sections: 
Denyse Delcourt

Syllabus Description:

Prof. Denyse Delcourt                                            Assistant - Matthias Needham                                                 

Office hours: F 11:00-1:00                                     Office hours: TTH 11:00-12:00

PDL C-261                                                              PDL C-232

The course is an exploration of a major French literary tradition still greatly influential in modern literature and films. Class will focus on Charles Perrault, the 17th century author of a number of well-known fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty; Madame d’Aulnoy, one of the most prolific French fairy tale writers of the 17th century, and Madame Leprince de Beaumont, author of The Beauty and the Beast. Students will be asked to read articles chosen to represent a wide variety of critical approaches to fairy tales.

Required book:

French Fairy Tales. Essays on a Major Literary Tradition (second edition) is the only required book for the class.

I encourage you to order it asap.

French Fairy Tales is published by Cognella Academic Publishing. Please keep in mind that the publishers strictly adhere to copyright law, so any copyrighted material should not be copied or duplicated.

You can look for used copies of the textbook online or elsewhere. However, make sure to get the second edition (red cover). You may purchase the first edition (green cover) but be aware that the content is not exactly the same.

French Fairy Tales. Essays on a Major Literary Tradition (second edition) is available for purchase in print format via Cognella online Student Store:

The print price is $108.95. Students who purchase the textbook in print format from Cognella online Student Store will gain immediate access to the first 30% of the book so they can begin reading right away.

Please, note that Cognella does not sell used copies.


Participation: 25% (In class and on Canvas)

4 Response papers: 40% (10% each)

Essay: 15%

Creative project: 10%

Final Exam: 10%

See Grading Scale .docx


Participation is expected from everyone in lecture class, quiz sections, and on Canvas. Short in-class written or oral assignments on fairy tales or articles will be given randomly during lecture class. Oral assignments will typically be done in groups. Their goal is to assess your understanding of the class material and give you the opportunity to ask for clarifications.

The quiz sections provide a place to express your concerns, ask questions and/or propose issues you would like to further explore. You are required to read the assigned materials attentively and come to class prepared to discuss them. You are also required to answer all questions (in writing when requested) that your instructor posts on Canvas.

Response Papers

Each response paper is a 500-word commentary on an assigned article. You should summarize the main ideas and relate them to questions raised from the fairy tales discussed in class. Make sure to include 2-3 (short) quotes, detailing their significance.


Your essay is a 1200-1400 words research project based on issues discussed in the class. You will be expected to include at least one peer-reviewed source. Your instructor will give you a choice of topics.

Creative project

In addition to your 1200-words creation you will submit a one-page statement on how your creative project relates to the issues discussed in the class. Specific guidelines for your project will be given ahead of time.

Final Exam

Format: Take-home exam.

All students are strongly encouraged to visit the Writing Center before they hand in their papers.

To schedule an appointment, please, email

Late work: Unless extenuating circumstances, late work for all assignments results in a penalty of 1pt for each hour late on the day it is due; 10pts for first day late; 25pts for second day late, 50pts for third day. No credit after 3 days late.


Any test, paper or report by you and bears your name is presumed to be your own original work that has not previously been submitted for credit for another course unless you obtain prior written approval to do so by your instructor. Your instructor will not give credit for work which is the product of cheating, plagiarism, or any other academic misconduct. The Committee on Academic Conduct does not consider lowering of a course grade as an appropriate disciplinary sanction. You may receive an incomplete until the case is brought before the College Disciplinary Committee. The result in most cases is academic probation for the student involve. (

Please, note that VeriCite will be used for all assignments uploaded on Canvas.



(Subject to change – Check email and Canvas for updates)

All pages refer to the textbook second edition

Week 1

T April 2nd



  • Perrault, Little Red Riding Hood (pp. 62-64) & Folk version of Little Riding Hood (On Canvas).
  • Graham Anderson, “Butchering Girls: Little Red Riding Hood..., pp. 74-78.

TH April 4th

Little Red Riding Hood


  • Perrault, Donkey Skin, pp.140-145

Week 2

T April 9th

Donkey Skin


  • Anne E. Duggan, “Women Subdued: The Abjectification and Purification…”, pp.163-175. [Selected passages].

TH April 11th

Donkey Skin


  • Perrault, Cinderella, pp.146-150.
  • Max Axelrod, “Beauties and their Beasts and Other Motherless Tales from the Wonderful World of Walt Disney,” pp.279-286.

F April 12th - 1st Response Paper due

Week 3

T April 16th

Donkey Skin and Cinderella


  • Belinda Stott, “Cinderella the Strong and Reader Empowerment,” pp.176-186.
  • Perrault, Sleeping Beauty, pp.118-123.

TH April 18th

Sleeping Beauty


  • Dorothy Thelander, “Mother Goose…”, pp.52-54 (“Fairies”).
  • Thelander, “Mother Goose…”, pp.51-52 (“Ogre”).
  • Perrault, Little Thumbling. 

Week 4

T April 23rd

Sleeping Beauty and Little Thumbling


  • Robert Darnton, “Peasants Tell Tales”, pp.27-31.
  • Thelander, “Mother Goose…”, pp.45-47 (“Family”).
  • PerraultBlue Beard, pp.88-91.

TH April 25th

Visit to UW library: Special Collections 

F April 26th - 2nd Response paper due

Week 5

T April 30th

Blue Beard


  • Maria Tatar, “Monstrous Wives. Bluebeard as Cultural Hero.” pp.92-106.

TH May 2nd

Blue Beard


  • Perrault, Riquet with the Tuft, pp. 204-208.
  • Catherine Bernard, Riquet with the Tuft, pp. 209-213.

F May 5th - Essay due

Week 6

T May 7th

Perrault, Riquet with the Tuft


  • Thelander, “Mother Goose…”, pp.39-42 (“The Literary Fairy Tales”).
  • Textbook Introduction, pp.1-5.

TH May 9th

Bernard, Riquet with the Tuft


  • Thelander, “Mother Goose…” pp.47-49 (“On marriage”).
  • Madame d’Aulnoy, The White Cat, pp. 233-240.

F May 10th - 3rd Response Paper

Week 7

T May 14th

The White Cat

TH May 16th

The White Cat


  • Holly Tucker, “Maternal Craving and Birthmarks in the Fairy Tales of Madame d’Aulnoy,” pp.249-259. [Selected passages]
  • Madame d’Aulnoy, The Blue Bird, pp.224-232.

Week 8

T May 21st

The Blue Bird


  • Thelander, “Mother Goose…”, pp.42-44 (“Social Institutions”).

TH May 23rd

The Blue Bird


  • Marcy Farrell, “The Heroine’s Violent Compromise. Two Fairy Tales by Madame d’Aulnoy.” pp.241-248.
  • Madame Leprince de Beaumont, Beauty and the Beast, pp. 262-269.

F May 24th -  4th Response Paper

Week 9

T May 28th

Beauty and the Beast

TH May 30th

Beauty and the Beast


  • Jerry Grisworld, Among the Critics. The Meaning of Beauty and the Beast, " pp. 270-278.
  • Perrault, The Master Cat or Puss n’ Boots, pp.188-91.

Week 10

T June 4th

Beauty and the Beast

TH June 6th

The Master Cat

F June 7th - Creative Project Due












Catalog Description: 
Reading and analyzing literature based upon rotating genres such as sci-fi, detective fiction, romance, love, poetry, and comedy. Draws from world literature.
Department Requirements Met: 
Pre-req to Declare Literature Major
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:20pm