Slavic Languages and Literatures | GRAD RDGS IN SLAVIC STUDIES: Russian Folk Tales
S540 | 31140 | Shrager


This course is designed to introduce students to a wide selection of
Russian folk tales, to their structure, and to their aesthetic and
socio-cultural values. The course will mainly focus on two types of
folk tales: fairy tales (the “magic tale") and animal tales (the
"fable"). Students will learn about various approaches to the
analysis of folk tales. Special attention will be paid to Propp's
formalist approach, in which the narrative structure of fairy tales
is broken into their smallest narrative units, thus arriving at 31
invariant functions as a general typology of narrative structure.
Using these 31 narrative units, students will try to generate a
"sample" fairy tale in class. The course will also examine Russian
folk tale motifs in other art media, such as visual arts, cinema, and
ballet.