We were thrilled to hear this course is being offered again this year! Gypsy Thornton, our Lead Fairy Tale Newshound, was able to attend the first few weeks in 2015, and reports being happily surprised at how in depth it was, while still being accessible to lay folk who enjoy fairy tale scholarship. It was regretful she was unable to continue due to health issues at the time. She plans to return to complete more, if not all, of the course this year.
One great benefit of this course is meeting hundreds (yes, hundreds) of people from around the world who are interested in fairy tales. We hope to see some of our readers there!
Explore the fairy tale world of H.C. Andersen
- the inspiration behind The Little Mermaid and Frozen -
with this free online course.
NOTE:THIS IS A RE-POST OF AN ANNOUNCEMENT, COMBINING INFORMATION FROM THE INITIAL COURSE IN 2015 AS WELL AS THE UPCOMING ONE ON OCTOBER 24, 2016.
ABOUT THE COURSE
This free online course will introduce you to some of Hans Christian Andersen’s most popular fairy tales, share the story of the writer himself, and discuss his cross-cultural importance today, as the inspiration behind many popular books and movies.
You will learn with experts from the HC Andersen Center at the University of Southern Denmark – an internationally renowned research institution located in the writer’s birthplace, Odense.
Each week, these experts will guide a discussion, analysis and interpretation of one of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, including:
- The Tinderbox
- The Travelling Companion
- The Little Mermaid
- The Snow Queen (the inspiration for Disney’s Frozen)
- The Story of a Mother
- The Red Shoes
New English translations of the fairy tales will be used. You can download them from this website.
You will explore the themes of each story, and investigate how they both conform with and digress from the basic elements of the fairy tale and the folk tale.
The fairy tale genre became very popular in the period of literary history to which Hans Christian Andersen belongs, Romanticism, when childhood was discovered as an age that is important in its own right. What Hans Christian Andersen did with this genre is absolutely unique - there are no other writers of fairy tales like him.
Through the course, you will understand how Hans Christian Andersen’s authorship developed. From the rewriting of old folk tales via self-invented fairy tales to his so-called new fairy tales characterized by a modern approach.
The majority of Hans Christian Andersen’s 157 fairy tales have been translated into at least 150 languages. They not only create a fantasy world for children, but also explore universal, sinister and more adult themes such as death, grief and loss.
Through this course, you will discover why his stories have such an enduring and universal appeal - for both children and adults.
Understand the writer’s life - from humble beginnings to global fame
Hans Christian Andersen often described himself as a “bog plant” - his roots were deeply anchored in mire and mud, but he constantly stretched up for the light of the sun.
Through the course, you will understand this analogy, reflecting on how the writer grew from humble beginnings, to achieve fame and acknowledgement as an artist in both Europe and America while he was in his prime. After his death, he became famous in Asia and all other parts of the world.
You will need a basic ability to read and understand Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales in English. Otherwise, a curiosity about and a love for the fairy tale genre is the sole prerequisite for the course.
Join the conversation on social media.
Use the hashtag #FLfairytales to join and contribute to social media conversations about this course.