116th Annual Conference - Bellingham, Washington
Friday, November 9 - Sunday, November 11, 2018

"Into the Woods": Spaces of Danger and Opportunity in Fairy Tales

Presiding Officer: 
Roswitha Burwick, Scripps College

One of the most ominous and dangerous places in fairy tales are the woods, filled with evil spirits, witches, sorcerers, robbers, and monsters. Whereas the villages, castles, and towns represent civilized society regulated by laws that define normative behavior, the "wilderness" of the woods is their counterpoint. Devoid of leadership and control, the inhabitants are either good, kind, and helpful, that is "tame," or they are vicious, depraved, and abhorrent, that is "untamed." Nevertheless, the protagonists' encounters and interactions with the "wild" is necessarily a seminal force in their lives, leaving them not chastised or rewarded, but often more experienced and thus wiser. The session invites proposals that investigate the woods as (gendered) spaces where "anything can happen": maturation, transgression, preservation, salvation, or damnation.

Closed (not accepting submissions)
Topic Type: 
Special Session