Once upon a time we began telling stories and we never stopped. Why do we tell them? What makes for a good story? How are the best stories told? This course examines leading examples of major genres of storytelling in the Western tradition including epics, fairy tales, novels, short stories, films, and television. Works studied will include Homer’s Odyssey, Grimm’s Cinderella, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, and Fritz Lang’s M. The class will investigate how the formal construction of these stories shape our desires, perceptions, and beliefs. Students will also be introduced to theoretical readings from thinkers such as Marx, Freud, Auerbach, and Jameson.