Tales from Around the World Event

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October has been a month for tales and oral traditions at the Language House! Language House students learned about folklore, fairy tales, myths, and more in their clusters all month long. The clusters read stories from their target cultures, including Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves (Arabic), La Llorona (Spanish), and Peony Latern (Japanese). The Chinese cluster even invited guest speakers to read The Cowheard and the Weaver Girl and The Lotus Lantern.

This culminated on October 28th with a Language House-wide event that brought together four professors whose studies include tales and oral traditions: Dr. Julie Koser, Dr. Christine Jones, Prof. Stefania Amodeo, and Dr. Jyana Browne.

Dr. Koser spoke to us about variations in the story of Cinderella, from Grimm's more gruesome tale to the happier (for the step-family) version by Perrault, and the different slippers that appeared: gold, and velvet, and glass!

Dr. Jones showed us depictions (or lack thereof!) of Little Red Riding Hood over the years. Did you know that she didn't get her red cloak until the 19th century, and that earlier illustrations focused on the Wolf and the Grandmother?

Prof. Amodeo presented a modern retelling of The Devil in the Green Coat by Italian author Italo Calvino, who adapted the story for modern audiences.

Dr. Browne showed us a traditional Japanese tale, Dōjōji, which is a famous Noh play. She played clips from modern performances of Noh and Kabuki versions, and we discussed the differences between them.

Thank you again to our presenters for their wonderful presentations, and to the 70+ students and faculty who attended. Sharing stories really brings people together!

After the event, Language House students participated in an inter-cluster competition to create an image for a tale they had read during the month. They dressed up as characters, created collages, or used photoshop to create images depicting the plot. All of our clusters did an amazing job, but we would like to congratulate our first-place winners: the Spanish cluster! They dressed up as characters from La Llorona, from the ghost herself, to her victims, to the locations in the tale.