European Storytelling: From Homer to Harry Potter

Fall & Spring | 3 credits | Elective

Related Disciplines: Literature.

Discover the influence of European storytelling in modern forms of literature, from old myths to medieval legends to Grimm fairytales. The course examines stories in their historical context but also explores various theoretical approaches and how traditional stories live on in fantasy, movies, role-playing, and other modern uses.

Syllabi

Section A
Section B

Field Studies

Film Viewings
The class will choose a film to watch together in order to analyze the storytelling structures on which the film relies, offering opportunities for critique and review.
Open Air Museum
The class will visit the Open Air Museum in Lyngby where the life of an average Dane from the 18th century is reconstructed. Here, students will not only explore old cottages, watch reenactments, and eat traditional Danish food, but also they will experience storytelling as a device for entertainment, cultural construction, and historical preservation.

Faculty

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Role Playing

As a part of both European and American sub-cultures, role playing is a contemporary form of storytelling that shapes the way we understand our own world. Students will take part in a role playing exercise that is designed to show how the traditional frameworks of storytelling, from oral stories and ancient epics, are an active part of contemporary culture.

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