Fifth Annual Humanities Symposium
Fairy Tales: Told and Retold, Reread and Reinterpreted
October 25-October 30, 2006
Wednesday, October 25th
“‘Beware of the Storybook Wolves’: Fairy Tales and the Postmodern Picture Book”
Lecture: Dr. Cynthia Cox
Massey Board Room 10 am
Dr. Cynthia Cox, Belmont University’s Director of Writing, will examine contemporary picture books that take postmodernist approaches to the retelling of age-old stories. Dr. Cox will analyze a number of delightfully illustrated books, including The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Stinky Cheese Man, The Frog Prince Continued, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book?, and Sleepless Beauty.
“‘Happily Ever After’ Goes to College: Fairy Tales and First-Year Writing”
Panel: English 1010 Students
Multimedia Room, Bunch Library 3 pm
Join a diverse group of current Belmont University students as they present their highly creative responses to fairy tales, drawing on their work for Dr. Robbie Pinter and Professor Carmen Gherman in English 1010, the First-Year Writing seminar.
“Reinterpreting ‘Little Red Riding Hood’”
Featured Speaker: Dr. Alicita Rodríguez
Massey Board Room 6:30 pm
Dr. Alicita Rodríguez is a fiction writer and a creative writing professor at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. She is also the fiction editor for the literary journal Marginalia. Dr. Rodríguez will read and discuss her story “The Big Bad Wolf,” which explores the inherent sexuality of the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood.”
Thursday, October 26th
“The Quest for The Magic Ring: A Rediscovered Fairy Tale”
Lecture: Dr. Amy H. Sturgis
Massey Board Room 11 am
In September, the Baron de la Motte Fouque's classic fairy tale The Magic Ring was published in English for the first time in 160 years. A remarkable critical and popular success in its day, The Magic Ring was lost to English readers for generations. Dr. Amy Sturgis, the editor of the new edition of The Magic Ring, will tell the story of this novel's disappearance, rediscovery, and restoration. She will also discuss why Fouque's incorporation of past fairy tales—from Icelandic, Germanic, and Norse classics—made his work a significant influence on George MacDonald, J.R.R. Tolkien, and other pathbreaking authors who defined and defended the genre.
“Why Beauty and the Fairy Tale?”
Lecture: Dr. Ginger Osborn
Massey Board Room 3:30 pm
In our experience of fairy tales, the Princess is always beautiful and the Prince is usually handsome. But, alas, most of the people on earth are neither. Why, then, does Beauty play such a large role in the tales we all love and pass to our children? Why not Prince Average and Princess Ho-Hum? Dr. Ginger Osborn, of Belmont University’s Department of Philosophy, will explore three possible answers to this question in her presentation for the Symposium.
“Curses! The Transformative Power of Fairy Tales”
Keynote Address: Dr. Maria Tatar
Massey Board Room 7 pm
Dr. Maria Tatar is the John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. Her most recent publications include The Annotated Brothers Grimm, the Norton Critical Edition of The Classic Fairy Tales, and The Hard Facts of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Dr. Tatar’s talk for Belmont’s Humanities Symposium explores how fairy tales work their magic by arousing curiosity through a combination of beauty and horror.
Friday, October 27th
“Fairy Tales and Ourselves: Why Do We Keep Telling Them?”
Panel Discussion: Dr. Maria Tatar, Dr. Jim Davidheiser, Dr. Holly Tucker,
Michael Buckley, & Dr. Alicita Rodríguez
Massey Board Room 10 am
For this panel discussion, the Symposium’s featured speakers will briefly present their views on why we humans persist in telling each other fairy tales. The members of the audience will then be invited to ask questions of these fairy tale experts. The session will be moderated by Dr. John Paine, Professor of English and French, Belmont University.
“And They Live Happily Ever After:
The Brothers Grimm and Their Phenomenally Successful Fairy Tales”
Featured Speaker: Dr. Jim Davidheiser
Massey Board Room 3 pm
Who were the Grimms? What led to their transcription of the largest extant collection of fairy tales in Europe? Why are these tales experiencing a huge upsurge in popularity today? These are the questions that Jim Davidheiser, Professor and Chair of the German Department at the University of the South, will seek to answer in this afternoon’s presentation.
“Fairies in France: The Early Origins of the Literary Fairy Tale”
Featured Speaker: Dr. Holly Tucker
Massey Board Room 5:30 pm
Dr. Holly Tucker is an Associate Professor in the Department of French and Italian at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Tucker’s presentation offers an overview of the early history of the literary fairy tale in pre-Grimm Europe: Who were the early tale writers? What was at stake in their tales? How does a deeper understanding of the rise of the fairy tale as a genre enhance our research and teaching?
Saturday, October 28th
The Sisters Grimm
Reading and Book Signing: Michael Buckley
Leu Center for the Visual Arts (LCVA) Room 117 11 am
Join bestselling children’s author Michael Buckley for a sneak preview of Once Upon a Crime, the fourth novel in The Sisters Grimm series for young readers, to be published in May 2007. (For more information on Michael Buckley’s enormously entertaining books, visit www.sistersgrimm.com.)
Creative Writing Workshops
Michael Buckley & Dr. Alicita Rodríguez
Wheeler Humanities Building (WHB) Rooms 101 & 102
1:30 to 4:30 pm
Belmont University’s creative writing students are invited to join published authors for lunch and a workshop on writing fiction and writing fiction for children. Pre-registration and a $10 fee are required. For more information, contact Cynthia Cox: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, October 29th
Popcorn and ‘Pop’: LCVA vestibule 3:30 pm
Film and Discussion: LCVA Auditorium 4-6 pm
The Symposium presents the 2004 animated film Hoodwinked, featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Jim Belushi, and Andy Dick. Following a screening of the movie (in which Rashomon meets “Little Red Riding Hood”), there will be a discussion of this frenetic, “genre-busting” film.
Monday, October 30th
“The Moral of the Stories: What We Learned from the Symposium”
Panel Discussion: Symposium Committee
MBC 103 10 am
The Symposium’s coordinators will convene a panel discussion examining the issues raised by the week’s presentations on fairy tales.
“Contemporary Variations on the Fairy Tale Tradition”
Panel Discussion: Lisa Mitchell & Amy Lee Bell
WHB 309 5 pm
To conclude the Symposium, Belmont University Masters students consider contemporary works that rely on fairy tales for their inspiration. Lisa Mitchell will examine the use of fairy tale themes and motifs in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Michael Buckley’s The Sisters Grimm, while Amy Lee Bell will investigate variations on the Bluebeard tradition in modern story.
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"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking."