Research & Publications
Postfeminist Identities in Contemporary Fairy-Tale Adaptations for Young People
Under contract with Wayne State University Press
This manuscript is based on my doctoral dissertation from Deakin University and is under contract with Wayne State University Press in their Fairy-Tale Studies series.
This project examines popular contemporary North American fairy-tale adaptations across media in order to show how elements of postfeminism are conveyed to young women. Postfeminism is best conceptualised as a ‘sensibility’ that is evident in many different cultural artefacts. While the prefix in postfeminism can suggest a time after feminism or a backlash to feminism, I use postfeminism as a critical term to consider the changing relations between feminism, cultural texts, and representations of femininity.
I focus on adaptations of three source tales - ‘Cinderella’ (ATU 510A), ‘Sleeping Beauty’ (ATU 410), and ‘Snow White’ (ATU 709) - to demonstrate how contemporary fairy-tale adaptations are deeply imbued with representations of postfeminism which communicate complex and contradictory messages about femininity to young female audiences. The texts examined reflect discourses of female empowerment and solidarity which are often undercut by a focus on beauty, consumerism, and heterosexuality.
Whatman, E 2018, ‘Comics & Graphic Novels’, in P Greenhill, J.T Rudy, N Hamer, & L Bosc (eds), Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-Tale Cultures, Routledge, Abingdon, UK.
Whatman, E & Tedeschi V 2018, ‘Video Games’ in P Greenhill, J.T Rudy, N Hamer, & L Bosc (eds), Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-Tale Cultures, Routledge, Abingdon, UK.
Hutton, R & Whatman, E 2018, ‘Music Videos’ in P Greenhill, J.T Rudy, N Hamer, & L Bosc (eds), Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-Tale Cultures, Routledge, Abingdon, UK.
Whatman, E 2017, ‘P(l)aying Pretty: Consuming Fairy Tales and Device Applications’ in C Hart (ed), The evolution and social impact of video game economics, Lexington Books, Maryland, USA.
Peer-reviewed journal articles
Marshall, D, Vickery, A & Whatman, E 2019, 'Introduction', Hecate, vol. 44, no. 1-2, pp. 10-16
Bouchoucha, S.L, Whatman, E & Johnstone, M.J 2019, ‘Media representation of the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) crisis: An Australian perspective’, Infection, Disease & Health, vol. 24, pp. 23-31
Selected conference presentations
2019 ‘Breaking the silence: Fairy-tale webcomics as sites for subversion’.
International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) biennial conference: Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature, The Swedish Institute for Children's Books, Sweden, August.
2018 ‘Understanding postfeminist girlhood through Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles’. Gender and identities in literature for young people, La Trobe University, Melbourne, December.
2018 ‘Postfeminism in contemporary fairy-tale adaptations for young women’.
Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research biennial conference: Houses of Learning: Education in Children’s Literature and Children’s Literature as Education, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, June.
2017 ‘“Complexity, Ambiguity and Endurance”: Australian Fairy-Take Adaptation in Shaun Tan’s The Singing Bones’. Association for the Study of Australian Literature annual conference: Looking in, Looking Out: China and Australia, La Trobe University, The University of Melbourne, Deakin University, Melbourne, July.
2017 ‘“A Girl. A Machine. A Freak”: Feminism, cyborg subjectivity and fairy-
tale adaptation in Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles’.
Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Adaptations across Cultures, Kanagawa University, Yokohama, Japan, March.
2016 ‘“I had wings once, they were stolen from me”: An ecofeminist reading
of Disney’s Maleficent’. Australian Women’s & Gender Studies Association (AWGSA) conference: De-Story the Joint, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, July.
2015 ‘Playing Pretty: Fairy Tales, Beauty Ideals, and Interactive Media’. International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) biennial conference: Creating Childhoods, University of Worcester, Worcester, United Kingdom, August.
2014 “One Sick Love Story:’ Shame, Cancer and Death in The Fault In Our Stars’.
Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research biennial conference: Emotional Control: Affect, Ideology and Texts for Young People, Deakin University, Geelong, July.
2014 ‘Rethinking Rapunzel: Female Embodiment and Narrative across Media’.
International Conference of the Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past: Telling Tales: Children, Narrative and Image, La Trobe University, Melbourne, March.
2013 ‘Divas or Dudes?: Multiple Masculinities in Glee’. International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) biennial conference: Children’s literature and media cultures, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands, August.
2012 ‘Transgressing Boundaries: Liminality and the mother-daughter
relationship within Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s Mirrormask’.
Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research biennial conference: If We’re Being Honest: The Facts and Fictions of Children’s Literature, National Library of Australia, Canberra ACT, June.