Fairies: A Companion

deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Simon Bacon and Lorna Piatti-Farnell

Stories about fairies and the fae have long populated the imagination of many cultures around the world. Fairy histories have been the focus of much scholarly debate, and so has the figure of the fairy as a cultural icon.

Fairies and the fae have also gained a noticeable importance in the 21st century, bringing with them an increased cultural focus on traditional beliefs and indigenous identities. Indeed, while the connection to the folkloristic and the literary remains strong—with the multiple re-incarnations Tinkerbell from Peter Pan taking centerstage here—fairies have also found renewed life in modern and contemporary re-imaginings.

Film and television, as well as recent SVOD platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, have provided a fertile arena for fairies to grow in influence and representation, especially considering their continued centrality in the cross-century genres of paranormal romance and fantasy. From the highly sexualities creatures of True Blood (2008–2014) to the ethnically diverse groups portrayed in Carnival Row (2019), from the gender-swap production of A Midsummer Nights Dream (2020) to the portrayal of Billy Porter as a gender neutral Fairy Godmother in Cinderella (2021), these re-envisionings give the old tropes of classic fairy texts new life.

Merging old lore with contemporary socio-cultural and socio-historical politics, the newly re-vamped fairies operate as central figures in the evolution of identity politics. Alongside this lies is an obvious connection to the environment, where fairies become representative and protectors of the eco-system, though not just as preservers of the past but as augers of a future where humanity and the planet can survive together. In their multiple incarnations, fairies prove how the magical can be returned into the everyday.

In answer to the evolutionary portrayals of fairies and the fae in our cultures, histories,  and narratives, the editors welcome chapter proposal for selection and inclusion into Fairies: A Companion. The volume will be part of the Fiction, Genre and Film Companions for Peter Lang, Oxford.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Fairies and folklore
  • Fairies and history
  • Fairies and narrative genres
  • Fairy tales, and tales about fairies
  • Fairies and magic
  • Fairies and gender
  • Fairies and body politics
  • Fairies and diversity
  • Fairies and ethnicity/race
  • Fairies and national identities
  • Fairies and ecology
  • Fairies and religion
  • Fairies and food
  • Fairies and politics
  • Fairies and tradition
  • Fairies and the Gothic
  • Fairies and horror
  • Fairies in media and popular culture
  • Fairy and cosplay and lifestyle (from carnival to Halloween)
  • Fairies in children’s literature and media
  • Fairies in games, gaming and roleplay
  • Fairy songs, music and performance
  • Fairies, in/post-humanity, and hybridity
  • Fairy merchandise
  • Transformations in fairy representation
  • Transnational and intercultural cultural approaches to fairies

 The editors invite abstracts of 300 words on or around any of the above topics. Final essays will be 3,000 words in length.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is June 30, 2021. Please email your abstracts (together with a short bio, 100 words max) for consideration to both editors: Simon Bacon, baconetti@googlemail.com; and Lorna Piatti-Farnell, lorna.piatti-farnell@aut.ac.nz.