In the latter part of his career, Professor Zipes translated two major editions of the tales of the Brothers Grimm and focused on fairy tales, their evolution, and their social and political role in civilizing processes. Zipes's focus on fairy tales has transformed the ways which fairy tales are analyzed. He is known for his lectures and published works on fairy tales, how they evolved, and the social and political significance of those works.
Zipes holds a PhD in comparative literature. His political activism in the late 1960s lead to his interest in critically analyzing fairy tales. While fairy tales are often perceived as just children's stories, Zipes scholarly work examines their social and political roles in society. Fairy tales have a "meaningful social function not just for compensation but for revelation: the worlds projected by the best of our fairy tales reveal the gaps between truth and falsehood in our immediate society" (Zipes).
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 Zipes in the comments box. He will answer them during the live broadcast.
Thursday | February 24, 2022 at 7:00 pm
LWB LIVESTREAM: Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups — Class 2: "Toward a Theory of the Fairy Tale as a Literary Genre"
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
The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre, by Jack Zipes. (Princeton University Press, 2012)
[Reserve a copy from the Library | Check out the ebook with your OCPL library card through WVDeli or HooplaDigital | Purchase a copy online through bookshop.org to support local book stores or visit indiebound.org to find The Irresistible Fairy Tale in a bookstore near you. | Purchase online through Amazon ]
If there is one genre that has captured the imagination of people in all walks of life throughout the world, it is the fairy tale. Yet we still have great difficulty understanding how it originated, evolved, and spread—or why so many people cannot resist its appeal, no matter how it changes or what form it takes. In this book, renowned fairy-tale expert Jack Zipes presents a provocative new theory about why fairy tales were created and retold—and why they became such an indelible and infinitely adaptable part of cultures around the world. Drawing on cognitive science, evolutionary theory, anthropology, psychology, literary theory, and other fields, Zipes presents a nuanced argument about how fairy tales originated in ancient oral cultures, how they evolved through the rise of literary culture and print, and how, in our own time, they continue to change through their adaptation in an ever-growing variety of media. In making his case, Zipes considers a wide range of fascinating examples, including fairy tales told, collected, and written by women in the nineteenth century; Catherine Breillat's film adaptation of Perrault's "Bluebeard"; and contemporary fairy-tale drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photographs that critique canonical print versions. While we may never be able to fully explain fairy tales, The Irresistible Fairy Tale provides a powerful theory of how and why they evolved--and why we still use them to make meaning of our lives.
Drawing on cognitive science, evolutionary theory, anthropology, psychology, literary theory, and other fields, this book presents a nuanced argument about how fairy tales originated in ancient oral cultures, how they evolved through the rise of literary culture and print, and how, in our own time, they continue to change through their adaptation.
➤ 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.