Monthly Archives: December 2015

The 2016 Australian Fairy Tale Society Conference

I have exciting news!

The official Call for Presentations is out for the third annual conference of the Australian Fairy Tale Society. (I may be more excited than others, being the President, but still!)

Here are the details:

When: Sunday, 26 June 2016

Where: Glen Eira Town Hall, Caulfield, VIC, 3162.

The CFP is now officially open, and will close at 5pm on Friday, 29 January 2016. See the call for papers below, or download a PDF version here: AFTS 2016 Conference – CFP.


Australian Fairy Tale Society – 2016 Conference

Call for Presentations – Into the Bush: Its Beauty and Its Terror

‘Into the Woods,’ is a phrase that has become closely linked to the fairy tale genre. It conjures up all manner of fairy tale images, such as roguish wolves waiting behind trees and lost children stumbling upon gingerbread houses.

But how does it translate into the Australian fairy tale tradition? For our third annual conference, we will be exploring what happens when we venture… ‘Into the Bush.’ Australian fairy tales reflect many of the realities of the bush, while also reimagining it as a space of magic and mystery. Whether it is depicted as real or otherworldly, the bush always encompasses duality – it is a place of both beauty and terror.

We are now accepting proposals for storytelling performances, musical performances, academic papers, and creative readings. We would also love to hear from artists wishing to display and/or sell their works at the conference.

Presentation topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Into the unknown
  • Getting lost, getting found
  • Native flora and fauna
  • Environmental concerns
  • Drought and fire
  • Elements of nature: earth, wind, fire, water
  • Urban and rural
  • The bush as sexual metaphor
  • Fear and danger in the bush
  • Secrets and hidden treasures
  • Havens, homes and holes in the ground
  • A place to breathe in: spiritual nourishment
  • National identity and our relationship to the bush
  • Tales of colonisation
  • Culture clash, culture meld
  • A fork in the road
  • The bush as a liminal space
  • Making your own path
  • Following tracks
  • Blazing trails and dropping breadcrumbs
  • Survival kits (including a storyteller’s swag bag)
  • Stories like wildfire
  • The wildness of stories (and their seeding)
  • Changing nature and ‘the changing nature’ of the Australian bush and the stories we tell there
  • When European fairies and tales re-root themselves in the bush
  • The changing landscape of fairy tales and tellings in Australia

Academic papers will be up to 20 minutes in duration and performances and readings will be up to 15 minutes in duration. All presentations will be offered the option of 10 additional minutes of question time.

Please email your proposal of no more than 200 words to by 5pm Friday January 29, 2016.


Enchanted regards,
Dr Belinda Calderone
Monash Fairy Tale Salon


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Academia Meets the Occult

Good afternoon fairy-tale enthusiasts!

A little while back I reviewed a collection of folk tales from Nordland Publishing. Though not directly related to fairy tales, my interest was piqued again when Nordland Publishing mentioned a new book to me in which academia intersects with the occult. Having been involved in the academic world since 2003, I couldn’t resist!

So I was sent a copy of The Guardian: Blood in the Sand by MJ Kobernus, the first instalment of The Guardian series.




It’s the story of an ordinary academic named Philip Entwhistle. You can’t help but love this unlikely hero – a boyish and bookish historian, who’s office is a mess, and who frequently falls asleep at his laptop.

But one minute he’s plodding along with the usual business of research, and the next his investigations are leading him into a world of witches, spells, djinn, romance, and magical visions of the past. It’s about time academia got a bit sexy and mysterious, am I right?

There were a few moments when I wished that there was a bit of magic to help me along in academia. In one scene, Philip awakes from a dream to find that he’s somehow written 7,000 words of his research manuscript without even realising it. Why couldn’t that have happened during my PhD?? Anyone else have major research envy here?

There were a few nice touches in this book. I let out a little squeal of delight when I realised that together the chapter titles form a poem! I also enjoyed the quotes that opened each chapter – from Shakespeare, to Kierkegaard, to the Arabian Nights.

Of course, the book ends with a little bit of a cliffhanger to prepare for the next instalment, The Guardian: Blood in the Snow. I must admit, I’ve gotten a little attached to dear Mr Entwhistle, so I look forward to seeing how things turn out for him.

If you’d like to read The Guardian: Blood in the Sand, you can get a copy here.


Enchanted regards,
Dr Belinda Calderone
Monash Fairy Tale Salon




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