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You Can Study Disney Stories for College Credit? Check out this course from USF!

by Rod Wheaton on July 21, 2013

USF offers its first MOOC, and it’s a fairy tale
Stephanie Hayes, Times Staff Writer
Friday, July 19, 2013 3:42pm

Fairy tales can be in your future, just like Amy Adams here in Enchanted.


Ever sit around and ponder what Cinderella means to our society?

Now you can study it legitimately with a real professor at the helm. University of South Florida officials announced today that the school will offer its very first massive open online course, or MOOC, starting Aug. 5.

The four-week class, “Fairy Tales: Origins and Evolution of Princess Stories,” will be taught by professor Kevin Yee, who holds a Ph.D in German language and literature, and who USF describes as an expert on “comparative literature and German Romanticism and online learning.”

Course description:

“Princess stories have been popular for centuries and remain so today around the world; we’ll dive into what these fairy tales mean, and trace the history of these narratives back to their source material, examining contexts all along the way. We’ll borrow tools from cultural studies, literature studies, and film studies to help us analyze these phenomena and what they mean to our society.

Many of us may associate princess stories with modern-day products (much of it marketed to small children) or with Disney movies and theme parks. We’ll examine these current versions of fairy tale mythos as well, using our new interpretive tools to uncover not just what’s been changed in the moral and message of the narrative, but what the stories mean as told now.”

The MOOC is open to everyone via USF’s University College and Canvas system. There are no fees or requirements, but expect to participate and have assignments via discussion boards and e-mail.

If you haven’t heard much about MOOCs or online learning, here’s the Tampa Bay Times’ in-depth look from earlier this year. They’re the latest trend in free, accessible higher education, with schools from Stanford University to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology taking part. USF professors have taught independent MOOCs before, but this is the school’s first official offering.

Next up on the MOOC lineup for USF? “Forums for a Future” starting Sept. 9, which USF describes as a look at “current societal issues that will impact the future of the world.”

[Last modified: Friday, July 19, 2013 4:22pm]

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