Academic journal article Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts

Cristina Bacchilega: An Introduction

Academic journal article Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts

Cristina Bacchilega: An Introduction

Article excerpt

It is a great honor and a pleasure to introduce Cristina Bacchilega, a giant in the field of fairy tale and folklore studies, who combines a theoretically sophisticated critical lens with an extraordinary breadth and depth of knowledge about fairy-tale adaptations in all their forms.

Cristina's latest book, Fairy Tales Transformed?, demonstrates both these attributes admirably, as she surveys the drastic changes that have been wrought in the world of fairy-tales and their adaptations since the 1970s. In doing so, she is following up on her first book, Postmodern Fairy Tales: Gender and Narrative Strategy, which theorized the use of fairy tales by such inventive authors as Robert Coover and Angela Carter. She also brings her considerable knowledge and understanding to bear on issues of colonialism and power in the state of Hawai'i, where she is Professor of English at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa, in her second book, Legendary Hawai'i and the Politics of Place: Tradition, Translation, and Tourism. As a believer in collaboration, it is no surprise that Cristina is also a highly accomplished editor, currently co-editing Marvels and Tales, the pre-eminent journal in fairy-tale studies. She has also co-edited several volumes, including Angela Carter and the Fairy Tale; "Sustaining Hawaiian Sovereignty," a special issue (14.2) of Anglistica; and Folktales and Fairy Tales: Translation, Colonialism, and Cinema. One of the markers of Cristina's work is a genuine commitment to teasing out and examining the power dynamics of race, colonialism, and gender that inform fairy-tale adaptations. She is ever aware of what is at stake in the use and/or abuse of wonder, be it in the context of nineteenth-century translations of The Arabian Nights, a Jamaican dancehall film that revitalizes the Cinderella tale, or a Kelly Link short story. …

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