Fairy Tale Sensibilities and their Sustainability

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SAMLA 86 Nov 7-9 2014 Atlanta GA
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Feminism's theorists more and more have turned their focus on fairy tales' socializing power, as fairy tales serve as repositories for cultural attitudes regarding gender, class, the environment, and the role of education. The very sustainability of these tales offers genealogical roots for sociohistorical examinations that allow a reconsideration of the tales' textualities in relationship to cultural ideologies. Roland Barthes asserts that texts such as fairy tales are loaded with ideological values; thus, it is critical to fairy tale studies that we rescue important historical shifts in revised representations so that we have a multi-dimensional understanding of the complex relationship between fairy tales, women, popular culture, and national values.

The sustainability of these tales reflects how universal these tales are in representing humankind as well as how relevant they are in teaching people about their own humanity. However, it takes a multi-dimensional critical analysis of the tales' complex and subversive ambiguities in order for us to recognize the relationship between Literature as a repository for cultural attitudes, history, and memory and Literature as a study for understanding humanity. Fables, fairy tales, and folk tales have the power to teach people lessons about human nature and about the darker side of humanity in such a way that these tales provide warnings against "evil" behavior. This panel will trace revisions in familiar tales and their literary archetypes and examine their shifting relationship to popular culture, national ideology, and social theories in such a way that we can answer two questions: What can Literature teach us about humanity, history, psychology, sociology, and/or the environment? How does it teach us about our roles in current humanism and civic humanism in a way that nothing else can? By June 15, 2014, please submit a 300-word abstract and A/V requirements to Ren Denton, East Georgia State College, gdenton@ega.edu.