Most of us encounter the stories and characters of the Disney empire as children. But where does Disney get those stories, and what do the “Disney versions” teach us? In this course, we will investigate Disney’s powerful role in shaping the many worlds—physical, social, emotional, commercial—that we inhabit daily. To chart this ever-expanding cultural geography, we will draw from a variety of readings: literary sources (including Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, the sixth- century Ballad of Mulan, and versions of “Snow White” and “Beauty and the Beast” from all over the world), Disney’s feature-length films, essays in literary criticism, media literacy, and critical theory, and discussions of the architecture and design of the theme parks. Frameworks from cultural studies and film studies will challenge us as we advance our own critical perspectives on Disney’s representations of nature, race, gender, love, violence, progress, individualism, family, and nation. By the end of the semester, students will have developed a sophisticated understanding of the multiple, often surprising ways in which Disney is “part of your world.”