Monday, September 28, 2009

Fairy Tales Conference in Mississippi - Oct 1st & 2nd

Did you know there was a Group for International Fairy Tale Studies? (GIFTS)

They're having a fairy tales conference at the University of Southern Mississippi on October 1st and 2nd. The theme for this year (this is the 4th one) is "Fairy Tale Economies" but before you groan at the title, take a look at some of the topics being discussed:

From the article at

Conference topics include the cultural and material history of fairy tales and the oral adaptation of stories and folklore across cultures. Internationally renowned faculty will present from a variety of fields on a wide range of subjects, such as literature, print culture and anthropology. Events will include a workshop on how to teach a fairy tale, a reception at the Saenger Theatre and presentations by fairy tale scholars from around the world.

I don't see Dr. Tehrani, who recently announced the results of his studies into the origins of fairy tales, on the speakers list but hopefully he makes an appearance.

And here are a couple of other highlights:

Ellen Ruffin, curator of the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at Southern Miss, has developed an exhibit of fairy tale artwork titled "The Alphabet of Fairy Tales" for viewing during the reception, which Hillard said will be a "feast for the senses."

Keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Schacker, author of National Dreams: The Remaking of Fairy Tales in Nineteenth Century England, will deliver a highly visual presentation about Victorian fairy tale pantomime theatre. Schacker is an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph in Ontario.

Yay! I'm so please when a visual element is presented with fairy tales as I don't think anyone who grew up with a fairy tale book can completely divorce them from images of one kind or another. Illustrations are part of what makes fairy tales so impacting and resonant with people (I think) for so many reason (I'm sure someone's done a thesis on this topic somewhere!).

The first Panto production of Cinderella was at Drury Lane in 1804.

And you can find out more about fairy tales and pantomime HERE (complete with old posters, movie clips and historical tidbits).

You can read the rest of the details for the conference, including a program, HERE.

The best part about this conference? Anyone can attend - for free! Now if only I were in Mississippi at the beginning of October...

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