Monday, December 19, 2016

Interview Pt II: In which we discover what studying Carterhaugh School's 'The Fairy Tale' is like

As promised, today we continue our interview with the enchanting folklore mavens behind the newest - and perhaps the only - school dedicated to fairy tale magic on the planet: The Carterhaugh School of Folklore & the Fantastic.

(Miss our Introduction and Interview Part I? You can find that right HERE.)

In this Part II of our tour behind the scenes of creating the school and online course in The Fairy Tale, we ask Brittany Warman and Sara Cleto for more specifics on why our readers - many of whom know more about fairy tales than even fairly well read folk - would not only enjoy the course, but might come to view it as their (online) fairy tale equivalent of Hogwarts. Let's see what they said:

For our readers, most of whom have done more than dabble in the delights and dangers of fairy tales than most people, what is unique about your course and why would it complement their deeper-than-average delvings into fairy tales?
One of the reasons we think a school like this might be welcome to people already well-versed in these materials is the fact that folklore is an enormous category that unfortunately breeds a great deal of misinformation, even in printed materials. Fairy tales fall victim to this kind of misinformation all the time. In a Carterhaugh class, we will be your guides – we know exactly how to navigate this material and can teach you to do the same! At OSU we have taught all kinds of courses, earning nominations for teaching awards and commendations from both supervisors and students. When we aren’t teaching or working on our dissertations, we are scholars and writers who have published peer-reviewed articles, sold stories and poems, written book introductions and encyclopedia entries, and published both creative and academic reviews. A class with us isn’t going to be the same ol’ “did you know the ORIGINAL fairy tales had dark endings?!” you see so often on the Internet - we’re going to take you beyond that, exploring the subtleties of those “dark” endings, exposing you to the real secrets of the stories you thought you knew, showing you their range across cultures, and hopefully introducing you to an unfamiliar text or two as well. The other reason we think you’ll find our courses unique is that, although we will be supported by our backgrounds in academia and creative writing, we aim to use our knowledge and our passion for these subjects to share their wonder, solidify their importance in society, and spread a bit of magic into the world. You will be taking classes with two teachers who embrace and believe in the power of these tales. These courses are designed for people who dreamed of elven battles while studying economics, those who have always sworn they could see ghosts, those who longed for a school of magic to send them an unexpected acceptance letter. We’re doing our best to bring that kind of school into the banality of the “real world” while maintaining academic rigor.  

What would an average week look like as a course participant in 'The Fairy Tale'? (eg hours needed, how much reading [is it provided or does it require extra purchasing of texts], sorts of lecturer presentations, project work etc) Does 10 lessons mean 10 consecutive weeks, or is that flexible? Do wings and wands come as standard accessories?
The length and structure of each Carterhaugh course varies, but the course on The Fairy Tale will span five weeks with two lessons released each week for a total of ten lessons. An average week would include two recorded lectures and supplemental readings (a few short stories.) However, a student can take as much time as they like to go through the materials- everything is theirs to download and view at whatever time is most convenient for them. The workload can be whatever the student wishes to do- we will provide all the readings (no extra purchases are necessary), and students can read everything, skim, or pick whichever texts most interest them to focus on. The final project is optional, and it can be as simple or elaborate as a student wishes to make it. Carterhaugh can be whatever a student needs- it can be very in-depth and rigorous, and it can be leisurely and casual, depending on the time that a student wants to devote to the course. Sadly, wings and wands are not included in this particular course, but we encourage their use and will provide other necessary materials.

What fairy tales are you planning to cover in the course? Do you have a spell to fold space/time to fit in the hundreds we're all interested in?
Tragically, we don’t have that spell yet. If you come across it, PLEASE tell us! We’ll hit the classics like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast, but we’ll also explore lesser-known fairy tales. For example, we’ll take a look at Asbjørnsen and Moe’s “Tatterhood,” peek into Baba Yaga’s hut, and read some of the ornate, outrageous stories written by French conteuses. And even the classics might surprise you- we’ll look at a Chinese Cinderella story that predates Perrault and the Grimms, a Sleeping Beauty who must contend with an ogre in addition to a curse, and a Beast who is half-hedgehog and rides around the woods on a rooster while playing a bagpipe. No, we are not making this up. 
Note to readers: Carterhaugh School have now released their course schedule so we are including it at the end of this part of the interview to whet your appetites and see the wonderful range of tales and topics that will be covered. It's pretty exciting stuff!

Is there any recommended pre-reading, rituals or spell practicing that fairy tale news readers might wish to prepare themselves with?
We plan to provide all the materials you’ll need for the course, so there’s really no need to prepare anything in advance!

What other sorts of irresistible and goblin-fruit-laden courses are you planning to offer in the future, and will they have similar formats?

This is our first long course, so we’ll have to see how this one goes first! We would love to do courses on folklore generally, fairylore and other supernatural lore, folklore and fantastic literature, “mythpunk” literature, and a huge variety of other things as well. We’re still developing our format but all of our courses will likely be similar in structure.   
We'll stop here for today, but are including the course schedule below.

Stay tuned for Part III of our interview, posting tomorrow!

And don't forget - if you're feeling inspired to sign up yourself, or give the wonderful (wonderful!) gift of registration to a fairy tale enthusiast, here is the detail summary for easy reference:

Dates: January 16th, 19th, 23rd, 26th, 30th, February 2nd, 6th, 9th, 13th, 16th – note that these are simply the dates that materials will be posted! You will be able to access everything indefinitely and watch whenever is most convenient to you. 
Total Number of Lessons: 10 
What’s Included: Welcome Letter, Mailed Special Welcome Package, 10 Video Lectures, 10 PowerPoint Presentations, 10 Beautiful PDF “Grimoire Page” Lesson Summaries, PDFs or Links to Any Supplementary Reading, Personal Feedback on Completed Final Assignment if Desired 
Any Additional Materials Needed: No 
Registration Closes: January 15th at MidnightPrice: $150 – you can pay in one, two, or three installments! Full payment must be complete by the time registration closes on January 15th.

Carterhaugh School of Folklore & the Fantastic: The Fairy Tale - Course Schedule
Here is a tentative schedule for the upcoming fairy-tale course. Some of the individual stories are subject to change, but the themes for each lesson are set! Take a look:

Lesson One: January 16th, 2017
Intro to Fairy-Tale Study / Little Red Riding Hood / The Story of Grandmother

Lesson Two: January 19th, 2017
Cinderella Day – Cinderella / Donkeyskin / All Kinds of Furs / Yeh-hsien / The Princess in the Suit of Leather
Lesson Three: January 23rd, 2017
Jack Tales Day – Jack and the Beanstalk / Whickety-Whack, Into My Sack / Old Fire Dragaman
Lesson Four: January 26th, 2017
Beastly Bride Day – The Swan Maiden / The Crane Wife / The Loathly Lady / The Story of Uloopi and Arjuna
Featuring a guest lecture by the amazing Shveta Thakrar!
Lesson Five: January 30th, 2017
Awkward Husband Day – Bluebeard / The Robber Bridegroom / Mr. Fox / Fitcher’s Bird
Lesson Six: February 2nd, 2017
Sibling Day – Hansel and Gretel / Jorinde and Joringel / The Juniper Tree / Brother and Sister / Tatterhood
Lesson Seven: February 6th, 2017
Sleeping Maiden Day – Sleeping Beauty / The Ninth Captain’s Tale / Sun, Moon, and Talia / Snow White / Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree / The Glass Casket
Lesson Eight: February 9th, 2017
Search for the Lost Husband Day – Beauty and the Beast / Hans My Hedgehog / Small Toothed Dog / The Pig King / East of the Sun, West of the Moon
Lesson Nine: February 13th, 2017
Salon Day – The White Cat / The Great Green Worm / The Rose Cloud
Lesson Ten: February 16th, 2017
The Golden Key / Wrap Up

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