Universität Wien FIND

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, changes to courses and exams may be necessary at short notice (e.g. cancellation of on-site teaching and conversion to online exams). Register for courses/exams via u:space, find out about the current status on u:find and on the moodle learning platform. NOTE: Courses where at least one unit is on-site are currently marked "on-site" in u:find.

Further information about on-site teaching and access tests can be found at https://studieren.univie.ac.at/en/info.

170224 UE Exercise Course "Media Transitions" (2021S)

Fairy Tales and their Retellings: Desire, Survival and the Forest

Continuous assessment of course work
Fr 18.06. 09:45-11:15 Digital


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 40 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Friday 19.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Friday 26.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Friday 16.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Friday 23.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Friday 30.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Friday 07.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Friday 14.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Friday 21.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Friday 28.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Friday 04.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Friday 11.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Friday 25.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Why are fairy tales so popular and why are the original fairy tales so dark? How have gender stereotypes been portrayed and perpetuated in fairy tales and their film adaptations? This course will give an introduction to the origins and evolution of fairy tales with a focus on retellings in film, graphic novels and other media. A variety of fairy tales will be examined, ranging from Lotte Reiniger's and Disney’s adaptations to contemporary subversive and feminist films (Catherine Breillat, Angela Carter, etc). Fairy tales have been adapting to their sociohistorical context since their origins; we will explore how this is reflected in the evolution of cinema even within the Disney corporation. From traditional, submissive Sleeping Beauty (1959) to empowering Maleficent (2014) Disney has gone a long way in terms of representation, which is significant as the Disney brand is reflecting mainstream ideology. Special focus will be given to the forest as geographical and metaphorical space. The students will learn different approaches of film and media analysis, including comparative criticism, feminist and psychoanalytic interpretations.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:
-Have developed more general film and media analysis skills, in particular, regarding genre.
-Have developed their ability to discuss films in a written and oral manner through presentations, in-class discussions and sequence analyses.
-Have experience in critical analysis of films using different theoretical approaches such as psychoanalysis and feminist theory.
-Be familiar with the genre and history of fairy tale as well as the process of adaptation across media.

Interactive lectures and seminars that include film screenings, sequence analyses and group discussions, so that students are encouraged to participate and develop confidence in building up and expressing their critical thinking. Students are given feedback which they can then incorporate in their written assignments, which reinforces their analytical skills and pursuing their own research.

Assessment and permitted materials

This course will be assessed via :
1. a short comparative film analysis (700-900 words) (30%),
2. one-pager film reflections (10%) and
3. one of the following options, which will be the remaining 60% of the mark:
a. short video presentation or powerpoint with audio (10-15 minutes long)
b. essay (1500-2000 words)

All three forms of assessment are compulsory. If you do not submit either of them this will result in a fail (negative mark).

There is an option for writing a BA thesis (5.000-6.000 words) for this class. This will be additionally to the 3 assignments described above.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

No prior subject knowledge is required to study this module but students are expected to have a keen interest in the subject area.
Students should be comfortable in spoken and written English.

Attendance is compulsory. There will be a maximum of two absences in order to pass the class.

Examination topics

Every week students are expected to read material that will be relevant to the class and uploaded on Moodle, usually the original version(s) of the fairy tale we will discuss and also watch a film (on some occasions two films).
Students are expected to participate in class discussion (at the moment digitally).

Reading list

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 21.04.2021 11:26