This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.
Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.
R18: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Traditional Folk and Fairy Tales
A Late Summer Public Lecture by postgraduates in the Department of English Studies.
The phenomenon of fairy tales nowadays is almost synonymous with brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. However, treating Fairy Tales as literature for children could not be further from the truth. The familiar aesthetics of ‘once upon a time’ has, for the biggest part of its existence, enjoyed a rather dubious status and bore a stain of its folk origins, deeming the tales inferior, inappropriate and often obscene. Dominated by scenes of incest, sexual innuendos and off-colour allusions, the tales were originally intended for adult audience only, functioning, as John Updike pointed out as the ‘television and pornography of [...] preliterate peoples’. By considering the role of editorial process and revision in handling sexual content and aspects of violence and horror in traditional folk and fairy tales, I will aim to discuss the changing societal norms as well as the shift from orality to literacy that gave rise to fairy tale as a genre as we know it today.
Contact email@example.com for more information about this event.
Research in English At Durham (READ) blog showcasing the the literary research emerging from the Department of English Studies
We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Find out more on our Events page.
Many of our public lectures, seminars and conferences are recorded, and can be listened to as podcasts.
- 20th January 2021
- Sensory Experiments in Nineteenth-Century Literature
- Online (Zoom)
- Dr Erica Fretwell (University of Albany) and Dr Shannon Draucker (Siena College)