International Conference
“Sapienza” University of Rome
November, 8-10th  2012

Cinderella as a Text of Culture

Cinderella is one of the most beloved and well-known tales in the Western culture. Invariably popular among the audience of children and adults alike, translated, adapted and reinvented in sometimes dramatically different versions, Cinderella’s story has been told again and again, in literature, in music, in theatre, in film and in other arts. It has also been the object of an extensive scholar research, beginning with Marian Roalf Cox’s pioneering compendium compiled in the nineteenth century. Folklorists have recognized hundreds of distinct forms of Cinderella’s plots and subtypes throughout the Western World, and they have analysed form and typology of the tale, as well as its development through time. Many methodological approaches have been applied to Cinderella, such as ritual, structural, anthropological, sociological  or – more recently – feminist interpretations, while one of the most extensive psychoanalytical  readings of the tale is to be found in Bruno Bettelheim’s The Uses of Enchantment.
However, while the mainstream of the research puts an emphasis on the universal values and meanings of the tale, we would like to propose a different approach and to consider Cinderella in its textual nature, as a product related to a given geo-cultural, historical and literary and mediatic ec(h)o-system. In other words, the focus of the proposed seminar is neither the Cinderella as an item of folklore nor the universal meaning of the tale, but rather the many Cinderellas that have populated past and present Western culture and the different national literatures. In order to investigate these phenomena in greater depth, we would like to invite you to discuss Cinderella’s various textual metamorphoses. Topics and questions that will be addressed include:

Giambattista Basile – Charles Perrault – Grimm brothers: textual interconnections and interactions

Grimm’s Aschenputtel versus Perrault’s Cendrillon as literary texts: affinities and differences, reception and fortune

What is the status of Cinderella tale among other fairy tales? What are the reasons of its particular appeal? Is it somehow different from other, similar rise- or restoration tales?

Domestication, its function and the question of national identity: the “nationalisations” of Cinderella; intercultural communication through adaptations of fairy tales

Iconological and imagological lecture of Cinderella: diachronical and synchronical aspects of tale’s visual representations

The literary canon and medial adaptation (Cinema, Theatre, Music)

The Conference is international in scope and attendance. The official conference language will be English and Italian.

Confirmed key speakers:

Ruth Bottigheimer (Stony Brook University)

Andrea Andermann (director and producer, Rada Film-RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana)

Bernhard Lauer (Brothers Grimm Museum, Kassel)

Francesco Reggiani, Sergio La Stella (Opera House of Rome)

The conference is hosted by the University of Roma “La Sapienza” Department of European, American and Intercultural Studies

Scientific Committee
Francesca Bernardini Napoletano (University of Rome “La Sapienza”)
Johanna Borek (University of Wien)
Ruth Bottigheimer (Stony Brook University)
Martine Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère (University of Lausanne)
Vanessa Joosen (University of Antwerp)
Gillian Lathey (Roehampton University, London)
Jan Van Coillie (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel)
Monika Wozniak (University of Rome “La Sapienza”)

Local Organizing Committee
Camilla Miglio, Martine van Geertruijden, Monika Wozniak

Secretarial Staff
Beata Bròzda


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