This seminar focuses on fairy tales, their history, and their continued impact on contemporary culture. We begin by studying the tales themselves, trying to uncover their original meanings and purposes. Out of what historical moments and psychological needs did the tales arise? Why did the Brothers Grimm collect and compile them in the first place? We then consider the ways in which they have been rescripted and repurposed in everything from poetry to popular film, examining how cultural production appropriates these fairy tale structures, even while radically straying from them. We read these texts against the backdrop of a range of theoretical approaches to childhood and to literary and cultural criticism, in order to uncover their significance in the past and today.