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Profs and Pints DC presents: “Fairy Tales as American Scripture,” a look at how classic European stories of imaginary beings and lands guide our nation and its people, with Kate Koppy, author of Fairy Tales in Contemporary American Culture: How We Hate to Love Them.
One can find fairy tales everywhere in U.S. culture these days. That includes both the familiar stories that we tell over and over and the new ones that we’ve created from familiar pieces. They’re depicted in movies and on television, they’re riffed on in music and advertising, and they’re even commonly referenced in news headlines.
Beware of them, however, for their huge influence and market share is a two-edged sword.
Even as they offer audiences an opportunity to imagine new worlds, new systems, and new social structures, they also repeat and reinforce present inequalities. Fairy-tale heroes travel off into new realms but always return home. They bring only incremental change to the systems they inhabit, and rarely change of the radical sort. They urge us to wish upon stars rather than making demands for change here on earth.
You’ll see your own world in a new light after watching fairy tales discussed by Professor Kate Koppy, who has extensively studied and taught the ways that narratives help build and maintain community as a visiting assistant professor of composition and literature at Marymount University and an instructor at the private, independent New Economic School in Russia.
Dr. Koppy will look at how fairy tales influence us and explore how we use these tales of imagined lives to make sense of our own lives and of current events. She’ll discuss the intersection of the stories we tell and the identities we create.
Among the questions Professor Koppy will tackle: Why, exactly, are fairy tales so prevalent? Why are the Americanized versions of fairy tales so much less dark and bloody than the ones originally read and told in the Old World? Can fairy tales be feminist? (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in. Bring proof of vaccination as it may be required in response to local infection rates. The Bier Baron will be requiring event attendees to purchase a minimum of two items, which can be food or beverages, including soft drinks.)
(Image: Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World. Photo by Chris Harrison / Creative Commons.)