CFP: Norm and Transgression in the Fairy-Tale Tradition: (Non)Normative Identities, Forms and Writings

Calls for Submissions

Norm and Transgression in the Fairy-Tale Tradition: (Non)Normative Identities, Forms, and Writings will take place at Brown University, June 7 – 9, 2023. Abstracts are due January 31, 2023.

Conference Organisers: Alessandro Cabiati (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and Brown University) and Lewis Seifert (Brown University)

What can be considered as normative, and what as transgressive, in a fairy tale? We invite proposals for papers that broadly address the above question(s), and which more narrowly consider, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • The laws of fairy land and the fairy world; breaking the law and committing crimes; investigations and trials; sentencing, punishments, and ‘fairy’ prisons; eye for an eye and the ‘poetic justice’ of fairy tales.
  • The subversion of the categories of good and evil, and related notions of reward and punishment; the rejection of happy endings and ‘happily ever after’, and of moral messages and educational aims.
  • Social and cultural taboos in fairy tales; prohibitions and interdictions; forbidden practices and illicit desires.
  • Transgressions of the ‘once upon a time’ formula and of fairy-tale settings; fairy tales set in modern and contemporary times; the presence of science and technology in the fairy world and the intermingling of fairy tale, fantasy, and science fiction.
  • Transgressions and violations of the human body; illness and physical deformity; amalgamation and equivalence of the human and the animal; posthuman figures.
  • Gender rules and laws; princesses and laws of succession; adventurous heroines and rescued princes; ruling queens.
  • Nonnormative identities; cross-dressing; gender fluidity; marvellous sexual metamorphoses and magical transsexuality; homo- and bisexual desire.
  • Racial rules and laws; interracial relationships and marriages.
  • Rewritings of traditional tales; poems, novels, and novellas with a fairy-tale plot; postmodern retellings.
  • Non-Western fairy-tale traditions; translation of non-Western fairy tales in Western culture and vice versa.
  • Adaptation as transgression; adaptation that becomes the norm (the Disney films); adaptation in other media, theatre, cinema, TV, comics; computer games and new technologies.

Send an abstract of around 300 words for a 20-minute paper, along with a biographical note and your affiliation, to [email protected] by January 31, 2023.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101025123.

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