Saturday, January 9, 2010

Call for Contributions: Graduate Programs Information

A frequently asked question I have received over the years--one of the top five actually--is assistance in seeking out graduate programs in fairy tale and folklore studies as well as children's literature for some others. Yes, I realize the two diverge more than they merge, but they often collide, too.

This has also always been one of the hardest questions for me to answer. While I have an advanced degree, it is in Information Science (think libraries and information organization, not programming). My B.A. is in English. During both degrees, I used all opportunities to pursue my love of children's literature as well as fairy tales and folklore. I had great professors who allowed me to stray sometimes from the given assignments into my interests and thoroughly enjoyed obtaining both degrees. I presented papers as an undergraduate at conferences and attended seminars, including one at Simmons College one summer. I was a precocious student. It helped that several professors on my university faculties were interested in children's literature, too. I also finished my last degree eleven years ago, so even those experiences are severely outdated.

Another problem is the relative popularity of folklore and children's literature in academia. They tend to be bastard stepchildren hidden in closets under the stairs of other larger departments on campuses. I learn about programs and then learn they have been changed or ended. I also look at many of the top names publishing in the field and see that their degrees are in other fields, especially foreign languages.

So this is a plea for help. I would like to spend a week highlighting several graduate programs and alternate ideas for those interested in earning higher degrees in these and other related fields. If you are a professor or a student, please feel free to share your experiences. Please send them to me directly by email and I will combine them--with full credit to you--for posts about various programs. Help me promote you. Help me help others learn how to follow their interests, to further their educations.

Share school and department information. Share your personal stories, failures and successes in following your dreams for higher education and even career choices afterwards. You can choose to be anonymous, too. I would simply like to offer the space for those seeking more information on the web. Google indexes very well here. It often refers seekers to archived strings of the SurLaLune Discussion Board where this has been addressed over and over and yet the information is only partially helpful or now even completely wrong. Or they find the woefully out-of-date page on SurLaLune: Graduate Studies in Folklore.

Send all information to me at heidi at surlalunefairytales dot com.

And thanks for your help. I hope to start sharing in a few weeks, so stay tuned.


  1. With me being a student right now, this should be very interesting and helpful! Thank you!!

  2. Thank you so much for looking into this! I have desperately been looking for a grad program like this but wasn't able to find anything either. I hope we hear from some professors out there.

  3. Thanks so much for researching this! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your site and am interested in pursuing higher education in this subject. I didn't (re)discover my love for fairy tales until long after I got my BA in English. I've been trying to find legitimate programs that take place entirely online since I can't move at this time, but I'm having no luck at all. I may have to make my own course of study--I'd appreciate more book recommendations on the primary texts in this field. Thanks a lot!! You are awesome!!