[CfP] On the Footsteps of Dwarves: Different Readings of a Mythical Figure in Popular Culture
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Today more than ever fairy tales permeate pop culture, literature, music, fine arts, opera, ballet and cinema. Speaking of the history of stories and especially fairy-tales, we may say that the Pot of Soup, the Cauldron of Story, has always been boiling for centuries. Dwarves have always been a recurring image and a character from the fairy tales to the novels.
Mythology itself presents dwarves not only as treasurekeepers and remarkable workers, but calling them gnome, kobold, bogey, brownie or leprechaun. Zealous, sharp and small in statue they are often shown as counterparts to the inane giant. The possible dualistic arrangement between their helpfulness and their daemonic look has been both adapted by numerous authors and used as a figure to hide several messages as well as sociopolitical estimations: During the Enlightenment era, rationalism shaped assumptions about the necessary requirements such as a short and simple form and didactic moralizing message with the help of dwarves whereas during the Romantic era, nationalism accounts for fairy tales’ association with the cultural heritage and patriarchal institutionalization. Other masculine hegemonic practices can be held responsible for the canonized corpus’s predomination by male authors (the Grimms, Andersen, Perrault, even Disney, the latter showing the image of dwarf as a kind of treasurekeeper and -seeker) and the recognizable representational patterns sustaining gender inequality and themes of female submissiveness. When it comes to the twentieth century, we find the traces of Tolkienian functions of dwarf stories which accentuate, reinvigorate and revitalize the elements of escape, fantasy, recovery and consolation in the minds of the contemporary readers. Inspired and aspired by the zest and prevalence of the dwarves, we attempt to publish a collection of essays where it is possible to apply different critical theories and/or transnational interpretations to dwarves that range from mythology over current fiction and fantasy to art and film.
Chapters may explore different media (literature, movies, art, video games, comics, visual arts, television, etc.) and address topics on dwarves. If you are interested in proposing a chapter, please email an abstract of 500 words and a short CV to both Dr. Feryal Cubukcu (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr. Sabine Planka (email@example.com).
Your abstract should outline your hypothesis and briefly sketch the theoretical framework(s) within which your chapter will be situated. All submissions will be acknowledged. If you do not receive a confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, you may assume that your email was lost in the depths of cyberspace. In that case, please re-submit. Please note that we will not include previously published essays in the collection.
October 15, 2015: abstract deadline
October 30, 2015: notification of acceptance/rejection (Please note: Acceptance of your abstract does not automatically guarantee your chapter’s inclusion in the collection.)
February 29, 2016: first drafts due