INSTRUCTOR: Jessica R. McCort, Associate Professor, Director, Composition, Program, Literary Arts and Social Justice Studies, Point Park University
Storyteller: Rich Knoblich, "Bluebeard"
Jessica McCort, Ph.D., is an associate professor of composition and rhetoric in the Department of Literary Arts and Social Justice at Point Park University. McCort earned a Ph.D. in English and American literature from Washington University in St. Louis, specializing in American literature and women’s writing. McCort's scholarship focuses largely on the appropriation of children’s literature, particularly Grimm’s and Andersen’s fairy tales and Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, by American women writers. She is also the editor of a compilation of essays concerning the intersection of the horror genre and children’s and young adult literature and culture, titled Reading in the Dark: Horror in Children’s Literature and Culture.
Class starts at 7:00 pm in the Library Auditorium. This program will be available to watch live on Facebook Live, on YouTube, and on the OCPL website's People's University: Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups. Log into your Facebook or YouTube account during the program to leave questions for Professor McCort in the comments box. She will answer them during the live broadcast.
Thursday | March 10, 2022 at 7:00 pm
PU LIVESTREAM: Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups — Class 4: "Bringing the Fairy Tale Back to the Horror Realm"
People's University: Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups
For the Winter session 2022, People's University at the Ohio County Public Library will offer a series on the origins of familiar fairy tales. Patrons are invited to gather around the campfire beneath a canopy of stars and planets to travel back in time to the early days of human story sharing for six Thursday evening sessions starting February 17 at 7 PM.
How are these stories different?
Most of us consider fairy tales to be stories for children, innocent and without real evil or harm. But what's lesser known is that most fairy tales were originally written for adults — and were much more grim and gruesome than those of our childhood. Many of the fairy tales that are still retold today date back to the 17th century and earlier. Favorites like Beauty And The Beast and Rumpelstiltskin are at least 4,000 years old. As these tales were passed down from one century to the next, they were often altered to remove some of the more ghastly and frightening elements, making them more appropriate for a younger audience. However, when we delve back into the fairy tales of our childhood as adults, we can rediscover our heroes and princesses from a different perspective. These often disturbing yet enchanting tales can still yield useful lessons about life for us grown-ups when we take a deeper look at these stories.
All programs in this series are free and open to the public. Each program in this series will feature a campfire along with other special effects. In addition to our normal beverages, hot chocolate will also be available.
Class 1: Feb. 17 — "The Tale of Tales" — Instructor: Nancy Canepa; Music: West Liberty University West African Drums and Dancers; Storyteller: Vince Marshall, "The Ogre"
Class 2: Feb. 24 — "Toward a Theory of the Fairy Tale as a Literary Genre" — Instructor: Dr. Jack Zipes; Storyteller: Don Feenerty, "Hansel And Gretel"
Class 3: Mar. 3 — "Appalachian Fairy Tales" — Instructor & Storyteller: Bil Lepp
Class 4: Mar. 10 — "Bringing the Fairy Tale Back to the Horror Realm" — Instructor: Dr. Jessica R. McCort; Storyteller: TBA
Class 5: Mar. 17 — "Celtic Fairy Tales" — Instructor & Storyteller: Alan Irvine
Class 6: Mar. 24 — Puppetry Finale — Instructors: Irene Alby, Professor of Acting and Directing, and Mary McClung, Professor of Costume Design and Puppetry, both from the School of Theatre and Dance at West Virginia University; Storytellers: WVU School of Theatre and Dance, "Three Little Pigs" and Aesop’s Fables
My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales, edited by Kate Bernheimer. (Penguin Books, 2010)
[Reserve a copy from the Library | Purchase a copy online through bookshop.org to support local book stores or visit indiebound.org to find My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me in a bookstore near you. | Purchase online through Amazon ]
Fairy tales are our oldest literary tradition, and yet they chart the imaginative frontiers of the twenty-first century as powerfully as they evoke our earliest encounters with literature. This exhilarating collection restores their place in the literary canon.
Spinning houses and talking birds. Whispered secrets and borrowed hope. Here are new stories sewn from old skins, gathered by visionary editor Kate Bernheimer and inspired by everything from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" and "The Little Match Girl" to Charles Perrault's "Bluebeard" and "Cinderella" to the Brothers Grimm's "Hansel and Gretel" and "Rumpelstiltskin" to fairy tales by Goethe and Calvino and from China, Japan, Vietnam, Russia, Norway, and Mexico.
Neil Gaiman, "Orange"; Aimee Bender, "The Color Master"; Joyce Carol Oates, "Blue-bearded Lover"; Michael Cunningham, "The Wild Swans" —
these and more than thirty other stories by Francine Prose, Kelly Link, Jim Shepard, Lydia Millet, and many other extraordinary writers make up this thrilling celebration of fairy tales—the ultimate literary costume party.
➤ View books available at the Library about the history and literary dissection of Fairy Tales
➤ View ebooks available at the through WVDeli about the history and literary dissection of Fairy Tales
➤ View ebooks available at the through Hoopla about the history and literary dissection of Fairy Tales
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In 1951, the Ohio County Public Library's librarian, Virginia Ebeling, referenced British historian Thomas Carlyle, who said, “the public library is a People’s University,” when she initiated a new adult education program with that name. Miss Ebeling charged the library with the responsibility of reaching “as many people in the community as possible.” In keeping with that tradition of public libraries as sanctuaries of free learning for all people, the Ohio County Public Library revived the series in 2010.
The People’s University features courses (taught by experts in each subject) that enable patrons to pursue their goal of lifelong learning in classic subjects such as history, music appreciation, philosophy, and literature. Patrons may attend as many classes as they wish. There are no tests of other requirements and all programs are free and open to the public. For more information about PU: Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups, EMAIL US, visit ohiocountylibrary.org or call the library at 304-232-0244.