Fairy Tales, Folk Lore and Legends
2nd Global Conference
Call for Participation 2017
Tuesday 4th April - Thursday 6th April 2017
In contemporary retellings of historic fairy tales certain characters recur without failure: wicked witches, evil stepmothers, Rumplestiltskin, jinn, gnomes, trolls, wolves and thieves, as well as fairy godmothers, departed beloved mothers, firebirds, dwarves, princesses, dragons, woodcutters and princes charming. Disney has established a near monopoly on how these characters are viewed in contemporary society and how their stories are retold but the Disney lens is not the only one available. Fairy tales, folk lore and legends are the common patrimony of us all and the canvas on which the vast mural of good versus evil plays out; our darkest dreams or nightmares struggle against our better selves and highest hopes in these tales. At the same time, the relationship between these tales and modern society is a complex one that invites closer consideration of the changing nature of the stories and how modern sensibilities have both challenged and been challenged by the values and viewpoints that underpin the narratives.
Childhood itself, the presumed audience for most of these stories, has itself undergone radical redefinition since the tales first began to be collected or written. How have those changes influenced or been reflected in the retelling of the tales over time? Fairy tales can be interpreted in a variety of ways and from a variety of viewpoints: they can be psychological exposes, blueprints for dealing with the traumas of childhood and early adulthood, guides to navigating life, windows onto social realities long forgotten, remnants of ancient mythology or hints at how to access the Transcendent. How have adult sensibilities of what is appropriate for children appeared in the retellings or new collections? How many tales are actually retold for the benefit of adults, despite their supposed audience of children?
During the 2016 project, the unexpected preponderance of Disney-related discussions surprised all the participants. The Disney footprint seems to be inescapable when discussing this literature, whether a particular story has served as inspiration for a Disney film or not. That in itself is perhaps a subject worth discussing. The 2017 project meeting will focus on non-Disney retellings of the classic tales as well as those tales which Disney has chosen thus far to ignore.
The Fairy Tales interdisciplinary research and publishing stream investigates how fairy tales/folk tales/legends represent both good and evil, how these are personified or interact, what these reveal about the lives of those who have told them over the years, what they mean for us who read or listen to them today. Possible subjects for presentations include but are not limited to:
Exploring the Tales Themselves:
Functions of tales over time and across cultures
Socio-political context of tales and their capacity to serve as allegories for real life issues
Justice and morality in the tales
Fairy tale utopias and dystopias and the blurred lines between fiction, fact, reality, science fiction and mythology
How fairy tales shape ideas about happiness
Considerations of why tales are an enduring aspect of culture
Factors that make some tales more popular than others (and why popularity can shift over time)
(Re) interpretations and re-imaginings of the same tales differ over time or across cultures
Relationship between fairy tale characters and real life humans: do human ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys’ behave so differently from fictional goodies and baddies, where there times when characters that seem fantastic to modern folks were actually considered to be more realistic by historical readers/listeners, what factors shape the changes that cause people to perceive characters as more or less real
Relationship between fantastic and magical elements of tales and lived reality
Tales and monsters: monstrous animals, monstrous humans, children’s interaction with monsters
Intended lessons and values of stories and counter-interpretations, particularly in relation to gender, sex, materialistic values, notions of virtue and authority
Processes around the domestication of fairy tales
Tales as a source of/mechanism for oppression of individuals or groups
Critical approaches to tales
Tales and their authors
Fairy tale artwork and imagery
Fairy tale geographies: spaces and places of both the worlds within fairy tales as well as the spaces and places where the narratives are told or written
Encountering Fairy Tales/Legends/Folk Tales:
Studies of readers/audiences across time and cultures
Listening versus reading: impact of oral traditions on the narratives, impact of illustrations in reception of the tales, etc.
Relationship between traditional and modern forms of interactive storytelling involving fairy tales
How adaptation to other mediums, such as film, television, visual art, music, theatre, graphic novels, dance and video games, affect the content of the tales themselves, appreciation of the narrative or our interpretations of narrative meaning
Uses of Fairy Tales/Legends/Folk Tales:
In advertising (re-imagining tales in advertising imagery, marketing the princess lifestyle, etc.)
Tales and pedagogy: using tales as teaching and learning tools
In tourism through destination marketing of spaces associated with fairy tales, Disneyfication of tales, etc.
In the formation of national/cultural/ethnic identity
In the publishing business
Communities, biography and fairy tales: How social communal identity is forged around telling and re-telling tales
Tales, Health and Happiness
Tales and magical thinking in the human development
Tales and psychological/clinical practices involving tales
Tales and unhealthy behaviour/beliefs
Effect of tales on shaping notions of (un)happiness, (in)appropriate ways to pursue it and how to respond to respond to others’ (un)happiness
Tales and aging (“growing old” as a theme in tales, how tales shape perceptions of old age, etc.)
Live Performances of Tales
Theatrical, dance and other types of staged presentations
Curated film screenings
Further details and information can be found at the conference website:
Details about our reviewing policy can be found here:
What to Send
300 word abstracts, proposals and other forms of contribution should be submitted by Friday 28th October 2016.
All submissions be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 11th November 2016.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 3rd March 2017.
Abstracts may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Fairy Tales Abstract Submission
Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs:
Stephen Morris: email@example.com
Rob Fisher: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference Outcomes and Outputs
The conferences we organise form a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. The outcomes and ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from these is a dynamic response to the gatherings themselves. And as our meetings are attended by people from different backgrounds, professions and vocations, the range of desirable outcomes are potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.
For detailed information on possible outcomes and outputs, please click here. (This will open a new window).
All accepted papers presented at the conference are eligible to be selected for publication in a hard copy paperback volume (the structure of which is to be determined post conference and subject to certain criteria). The selection and review process is outlined in the conference materials. Other publishing options may also become available. Potential editors will be chosen from interested conference delegates.
Additional possible outputs include: paperback volumes; journals; open volume on-line annuals; social media outputs (Facebook pages, blogs, wikis, Twitter and so on); collaboration platforms; reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers; declarations of principles; proposals for future meetings, workshops, courses and schools; proposals for personal and professional development opportunities (cultural cruises, summer schools, personal enrichment programmes, faculty development, mentoring programmes, consultancies); and other options you would like us to consider.
Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.
Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.