Faeries and Other Magic Folk
Instructor: Sharron Gunn w/a Sheila Currie
Dates: September 7, 2011–October 5, 2011
Walt Disney would have you believe that fairies are sweet little creatures with wings and wands, helpful entities like Tinkerbell and the Tooth Fairy. Walt was wrong. In Celtic lands people believe it’s not wise to go about your business in a manner which offends them–they are very touchy. Dead scary in fact.
Some say the idea of fairies was just too useful to be abandoned. Some say they still around because they are the old gods, the gods of the ancient Celts. They can do what they want. But what changes they have undergone; Lugh, the sky god good at doing many things, became the Luprachan (leprechaun), the little fairy good at only one thing — making shoes. And guarding a pot of gold.
Fionn MacCumhaill is a giant in fairy tales, responsible for creating the Giant’s Causeway in the north of Ireland. And did you know that Highlanders don’t believe that ghosts, the spirits of the dead, inhabit the houses (and castles) of the living? Nope. Their homes are ‘haunted’ by other, equally frightening beings. The definition of fairies is broad, you will learn something about kelpies, selkies, the washer woman of the ford and many other supernatural entities.
The course includes self-quizzes and simple research projects to generate story ideas. Discussion and questions are encouraged, but lurkers also welcome.
- What is a fairy?
- Dinnsenchus (Hill Traditions) & The Otherworld
- Folk & Creatures of the House, Water & Forest
- Afterlife & Rebirth
Sharron Gunn lives in British Columbia and teaches Irish and Scottish history at the University of Victoria part-time. Of Scottish, French and Irish origin, she was born on the east coast of Canada–some knowledge of the Gaelic and French languages and cultures was inevitable.
While living over eight years in Europe, she studied the languages and history of Great Britain and France. She has a diplôme from the Université de Nancy, France, a B.A. in French and a Masters degree (2nd first degree) in Scottish History and Celtic Studies from the University of Glasgow. She is hard at work on a paranormal set in World War II.
Format: Course is conducted via Yahoo Groups email with lessons and Q&A
For additional information, contact the Campus Coordinator.