This course has concessions available

New: The Fairy Faith

We explore the origins, occupants, means of access
to, and the other worldly geography of Fairyland with
special reference to the Celtic tradition. Journeys to
Fairy can be viewed as episodes in local books of the
dead within which instruction is given and a range of
outcomes achieved - from the endowment of treasures
to that of unwanted gifts. Connections will be made
between the fairy tale and a persons biography in
order to shed light on each - demonstrating that the
metaphorical power of narrative can be applied to an
individuals life situation today.

Who is this course for

Anyone interested in fairy tale, myth or alternative symbolic realities and the functions these may have. An interest in literature is valuable but not essential. No prior experience or special skill set is required. Useful for anyone interested in story-telling.

What does this course cover

The legacy of fairy tales (e.g. Perrault, Grimm, Lang et al) is used to explore the origins, denizens, means of access and the Otherworldly geography of Fairyland together with its transformatory themes. It will be shown how insights from fairy tale narrative can be applied to an individual's biography via e.g. archetypal analysis, initiatory scenarios and the like.
The importance of the Otherworld is thus highlighted for an enhanced understanding of the self. The function of fairy tale in making links between mortality and immortality, birth and rebirth, cosmic and human integration is emphasised. Such journeys to other realms can be viewed as episodes in local `books of the dead' (cf. Celtic, Egyptian, Tibetan) within which instruction is given and a range of outcomes achieved from the endowment of treasures to unwanted gifts. One's personal life situation today can be illuminated by the metaphorical powers of such stories making them equally appropriate for adults as for children.
Learning outcomes -
- classify fairy stories according to the tutor's analytical scheme provided
- compare and contrast the structure and content of a number of selected tales
- recognise the role and function of a tale within the culture and time it was set
- be able to apply insights from fairy tale narrative to personal history

What will it be like

Exposition, story-telling, discussion, pair work, slides
Feedback will be elicited - within groups, in plenary sessions and also individually in response to questions and issues raised. Some progression will be recorded as needed throughout the course.
Recapitulation of teaching and learning will be provided over each session.

What else do you need to buy or do

No materials beyond the usual pen, paper, folder. It will always be advantageous to familiarise oneself with one or more fairy tales if not necessarily those that will be dealt with specifically on the course. A reading list will be provided.

What this course could lead to

Further courses with the tutor on related areas of symbolic narrative, archetypal analysis or transformation via e.g. via initiation. Also studies in the genre of myth and fairy tale more generally from different points of view.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

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Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’