An Australian Fairy Tale Society! And a book launch!

Research and interest in Australian fairy tale is certainly stirring! The Griffith Review is releasing its special issue, Once Upon a Time in Oz, which I’ll have more on shortly. However, I am happy to be involved in the launch on November 7. There’s details on the Monash website here. (I’m trying to decide whether to go with red or silver shoes…) Those interested are welcome to RSVP (link on website).

In other great news, two of the salon’s great friends, Reilly McCarron and Jo Henwood, are co-founding the Australian Fairy Tale Society! I’m so excited about this. There will a conference next year and I’m copying in initial details of the call for papers. We’ll keep you up to date, as we’re looking forward to a great collaboration with the new Society.


The Inaugural

Australian Fairy Tale Society

2014 Conference

Call for Papers

The folklorist Joseph Jacobs published his collected fairy tales in England in the late 19th  century. His stories included The Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, Henny Penny, and Jack and the Beanstalk, and he cites his childhood memory as the source for some of these popular tales. Jacobs was patriotic in his desire to bring English tales to English children. Yet he was born, raised and educated in Sydney, Australia. Why did this eminent folklorist leave our shores to seek his fairy tale treasure elsewhere? Do we have no such riches of our own? Or does the adaptive nature of folklore point to a hidden wealth of uniquely Australian fairy tale?

The theme for the conference is ‘The Fairy Tale in Australia’.

Proposals are invited for presentations on the following topics:

* Does Australia have fairy tales?
* Australia’s tradition of literary fairy tales.
* Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fairy tales.
* Australian folklore, urban legends, tall tales, and fairy tales.
* Multicultural Australia – a rich tapestry of fairy tales.
* Transformations of traditional European fairy tales on Australian soil.
* Australian retellings in oral storytelling, literature, theatre, film and television, online,
* Which popular tales resonate with Australians, and why?
* An enchanted landscape – the Australian bush, rain forests, mountains, ocean, deserts, and

Performers are invited to present short works or a taster to showcase longer works.

Artists are invited to exhibit and discuss their work.

Along with academic papers, performance, and exhibitions, we are also seeking panelists to discuss Australian fairy tales.

While preference will be given to submissions with an Australian focus, broader topics will also be considered, such as:

* Defining the ‘fairy tale’.
* The written vs oral tradition.
* Who is the fairy tale audience?
* Censorship and cultural editing.
* The fractured fairy tale.
* Strong fairy tale heroines and heroes.
* Jungian interpretation and universal symbolism.
* The healing power of fairy tales.

Presentations will run between 15-30 minutes.

The conference will be recorded, with the permission of presenters, and uploaded to the AFTS website for members’ access.

Please send 100-200 word abstract submissions to:

Submissions close 5pm Friday 31st January, and presenters will be announced in March 2014.

The Australian Fairy Tale Society Conference

Monday 9th June, 2014.

Paddington Uniting Church, 395 Oxford Street, Paddington, NSW.

$95 each with discounts for early birds and members of the AFTS.


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4 responses to “An Australian Fairy Tale Society! And a book launch!

  1. Thanks so much for sharing! AFTS is very excited to be working with the Monash Fairy Tale Salon. Our Sydney-based fairy tale discussion and performance group, which will be launched following the conference, is largely inspired by your reading group. (If I still lived in Melbourne, I’d be there with bells on!)

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