Wicked witches, evil stepmothers, Rumplestiltskin, jinn, gnomes, trolls, wolves and thieves versus fairy godmothers, Peri, departed beloved mothers, firebirds, dwarves, princesses, Simurgh, woodcutters and princes charming. Fairy tales, folk lore and legends are the canvas on which the vast mural of good versus evil plays out and our darkest dreams or nightmares struggle against our better selves and highest hopes. At the same time, the relationship between these tales and modern society is a complex one that invites closer consideration of the changing nature of the stories and how modern sensibilities have both challenged and been challenged by the values and viewpoints that underpin the narratives.
Fairy tales can be interpreted in a variety of ways and from a variety of viewpoints: they can be psychological exposes, blueprints for dealing with the traumas of childhood and early adulthood, guides to navigating life, windows onto social realities long forgotten, remnants of ancient mythology or hints at how to access the Transcendent.
The Fairy Tales inclusive interdisciplinary research and publishing stream investigates how fairy tales/folk tales/legends represent both good and evil, how these are personified or interact, what these reveal about the lives of those who have told them over the years, what they mean for us who read or listen to them today.