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Grimm Revisions: Disenchanting Fairy Tales (NeMLA, March 21-24, 2013, Boston, MA; deadline September 30)
full name / name of organization:
Lisa Perdigao, Northeast Modern Language Association
NeMLA, March 21-24, 2013, Boston, MA
While the act and art of literary revision is central to any literary tradition, the revisions of fairy tales that, at their centers, experiment with transformation and metamorphosis are rich sources for investigating the ways that texts take on new forms and meanings. Recent incarnations of Snow White abound—from the two film adaptations premiering in 2012 to Snow White’s central role in ABC’s Once Upon a Time. The Brothers Grimm are reconstructed in NBC’s Grimm as the detective is a Grimm that investigates the reality and unreality of fairy tales in a contemporary Portland. In Storybrooke, Maine, according to Once Upon a Time, happy endings cease to exist but the deciphering of a text and unlocking of memories promise a return to another world. In both series and in the larger field of literary revisions of fairy tales, reality is redefined in relation to the fantastic, leading viewers and readers to reconsider their world and roles within it.
In these two contemporary series, the characters are self-conscious of the literary tradition that they are enmeshed within, and these devices are indicative of a trend within the field as well. Contemporary revisions of fairy tales often (if not always) self-consciously explore their roots within the tradition as well as their attempts to adapt their terms. And, at their centers, in exposing the persistence of these stories and characters, the works offer different uses of fairy tales—as sources of enchantment and/or disenchantment, escapist fantasy and/or grim representations of our contemporary reality.
This panel will consider how fairy tales are being reimagined in recent incarnations in literature, television, and film. Papers might also extend the gaze to explore how critics are reconceiving the forms and functions of fairy tales in the contemporary world. Please send 250-500 word abstracts to Lisa Perdigao at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 30, 2012.