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Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Call for papers - Anti-Tales: The Uses of Disenchantment

(this is an edited version of the call for papers, the full version is now available online here)
“…most intellectual development depends upon new readings of old texts. I am all for putting new wine in old bottles, especially if the pressure of the new wine makes the old bottles explode…” - Angela Carter
An interdisciplinary research forum and subsequent publication of proceedings (Cambridge Scholars Publishing) based around the currently under-researched notion of the 'anti-tale' to be held at the University of Glasgow, Thursday 12th - Friday 13th August 2010. Our confirmed plenary speaker is Dr. Anna Kérchy (Senior Assistant Professor, University of Szeged), and our resident artists will include Robert Powell (Edinburgh College of Art).

The anti-fairy tale has long existed as a shadow of the traditional fairy tale genre. First categorized as the 'antimärchen' in Andre Jolles' seminal Einfache Formen (c.1930), the anti-tale was found to be contemporaneous with even the oldest known examples of fairy tale collections. Rarely an outward opposition to the traditional form itself, the anti-tale takes aspects of the fairy tale genre and re-imagines, subverts, inverts, deconstructs or satirizes elements of them to present an alternate narrative interpretation, outcome or morality. Red Riding Hood may elope with the wolf. Or Bluebeard's wife is not interested in his secret chamber. Snow White's stepmother gives her own account of events and Cinderella does not exactly find the prince charming. The anti-fairy tale takes many forms. Some revisit and deconstruct familiar narratives (as above) or formulate new stories, characters and ever-afters, relying on and subverting familiar archetypes and plot devices.

This project is interdisciplinary in its scope, and our call goes out to a diverse range of disciplines including, but not limited to, scholars and students from: Literature, History of Art, Media/ Film Studies, Psychology, Creative Writing, Music. Our call for new research on 'anti-tales' is intended to provoke creative, imaginative responses, though we are particularly interested in contributions on the following topics:

Once upon a time…
…happily ever after?
The use of the anti-tale and disenchantment in children's and/or adult's literature
Rewritings/ re-readings of the fairy tale
Narrative voice in anti-tales; authorship and authority
Dialogues between the creative and the critical
Morality versus immorality
Feminist interpretations
Decolonizing the fairy tale; culture versus anti-culture?
Context and politics
New perspectives: new writers, new illustrators
Pedagogy (lessons unlearnt)
After 'ever after'?

Please email abstracts of 300 words (max.) for 20 minute papers and C.V. to David Calvin (University of Ulster) and Catriona McAra (University of Glasgow): by 30th April 2010.

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