Department of English and Applied Linguistics News

English Faculty Conference Presentations Fall 2013

Christy Williams

“Mapping Fairy Tale Space: Genre and Geography in ABC'sOnce Upon a Time.” 

Annual Meeting of the American Folklore Society. Providence, RI. 16-19 October 2013.


Translating the genre of fairy tales into a geographical location where characters from different fairy tales mingle and intervene in each other’s stories is not a new narrative trick, and ABC’s Once Upon a Time is the latest retelling to take this approach.This paper will examine (1) the technique of translating genre into geography, including the narrative restructuring enabled by collapsing distinct fairy tales into a single world, and (2) how this metaphor of genre as physical location is a useful way of thinking about stories and the process of reinventing traditional tales for new times and places.