Accepted paper:

The scholar and the tale: a subjective history of fairy-tale studies


Donald Haase (Wayne State University)

Paper short abstract:

Fairy-tale studies has become critically aware of its history. The stories of fairy-tale scholars reveals the motives, ideas and perceived stakes that shaped that history. I tell my own story by explaining the tensions among my intellectual background, the fairy tale and positions I have advocated.

Paper long abstract:

Contemporary fairy-tale studies, which began to emerge in the 1970s, has entered a phase of self-reflection and critical awareness of its own history. Telling its story holds the potential to plot the field's general historical development and importance. Telling our individual stories as fairy-tale scholars can illuminate the motives, ideas, and perceived stakes that have contributed to that development and shaped the questions, contradictions, and controversies that have characterized the field. This paper tells my own story by explaining the role my intellectual background played in my fairy-tale scholarship over the last 30 years, how the fairy tale challenged and changed my critical assumptions and approach, how that scholarship has implicitly reflected the limitations and tensions of my before-and-after approaches, and how that internal conflict has moved toward resolution in contemporary fairy-tale scholarship invoking my work.

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Meta-visions of heritage and utopia: scholarly tales on fairy tales