Fairy Tales: New Spaces, Different Faces

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Midwest Modern Language Association
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In his article, "Decolonizing Fairy-Tale Studies" (2010) Donald Haase cautions against the "limited horizon of much contemporary fairy-tale research" and advocates developing "effective intercultural or transcultural model[s] for understanding the fairy tale," in order to "create a disciplinary or interdisciplinary space that can accommodate the genre in its many manifestations." A few recent, exemplary studies indicate the rich theoretical possibilities for fairy-tale scholarship: Jack Zipes draws on cognitive science and evolutionary biology in The Irresistible Fairy Tale, and Cristina Bacchilega's Fairy Tales Transformed? frames fairy tale adaptations as "ideologically-variable desire machines" entangled in a hyptertextual age of wonder and magic.

This special session panel for the 2014 Midwest Modern Language Association is interested in exploring new theoretical spaces of the fairy tale with a preference toward less canonical writers and texts. Potential papers might consider, but are not limited to, the following: material culture readings emphasizing the "thingness" of fairy-tales; marginalized fairy-tale texts and films; fairy tales and (post)colonial discourse; fairy tales and queer theory; fairy tales and post/trans-humanism; and fairy tales and eco-criticism. We welcome paper proposals from any historical period of fairy-tale cultural production and in any form: from the theatre of seventeenth-century French contes des fées, to Victorian chapbooks of fairy-tale figures, to contemporary television shows like "Once Upon a Time" and "Grimm."

Papers dealing directly with the 2014 conference theme, "The Lives of Cites", are particularly encouraged, especially those engaging with the mental and physical landscapes, as well as the rural and urban settings of the fairy tale and its modern incarnations.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a 1-2 page curriculum vitae to Ryan Habermeyer at rmh7x5@mail.missouri.edu. no later than June 21, 2014.