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Friday, May 30, 2014

Course Redesign Update: May 30: Fairy Tales, Jewish and Roman

I worked on two units today, proofreading and adding images. They are both such great units; I really hope I can get the students excited about them too! I'm finding it so hard to stop myself from adding detailed notes to all the stories, but my goal for this summer is really just to get the content online and ready to read... but man, I am going to have so much fun when I get around to adding notes to all the stories. Right now, I am just adding essential notes, like a few notes in the Apuleius unit to help readers see how the Cupid and Psyche story fits into the larger framework of Apuleius's novel.

Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends. I've got a couple of units about extra-Biblical apocrypha (a whole unit on Noah and related legends, and I will also have a unit on Adam and Eve), and this unit takes that one step farther, with stories that are not really even meant to be ancillary to the Bible, just great stories that stand on their own, some of which do indeed feature Bible characters, like the fabulous story about Noah, Og, and the Unicorn which you can see in the illustration below. I know I have quite a few students who are just not going to be interested at all in reading anything Bible-related, which is fine... but perhaps I can entice them to choose this unit as a way to see how the Bible, in addition to being a religious text, has also been a brilliant inspiration for all kinds of storytelling over the centuries.



Cupid and Psyche. This amazing love story / fairy tale is contained inside an ancient Roman novel by the genius writer Apuleius. I am really excited to include this unit in my class, both for the students who are fascinated by fairy tale heroines and for those students who are C.S. Lewis fans (his novel Till We Have Faces is inspired by this ancient story).


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