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05 May 2010 @ 12:34 pm
Free Summaries!  
One of our favorite things to do is write summaries, and these are yours for free. Each of these summaries could spark a paper--or a roundtable discussion. If you've been in need of some inspiration, please feel free to adopt one of these summaries, and by your request, we'll remove them from this list.

For these summaries, we hope you'll find one that you agree with--or one that you don't! (We admit that we do like to argue both sides on occasion.) You're welcome to use these as a starting place to write your own summaries. Then, all you need to do is prepare an abstract for a paper/presentation, or ten sample discussion questions for a roundtable.

To be considered for programming, you'll need to make a proposal. (Secret: The submissions system will be available to you until Monday evening, May 10, because we need it to be open for administrative reasons. You are welcome to take advantage of this delay!)

The Fairy Godmother as Savior
Fairy godmothers are the deus ex machina of many a tale. When the heroine thinks that things couldn’t get any worse, a fairy godmother—in contrast to other fae that want to use humans for their own ends—offers a free pass to the happy ending. What does this mean in terms of agency for heroines, for the role of fairy saviors, and for story structures? Bring examples of your favorite godmothers, wicked, compassionate, and otherwise.

"Off with Her Head": "Hysterical" Women in Fantasy
A common adjective hurled at women of all walks of life is "hysterical." We're frequently urged to stop behaving "hysterically" or to stop being "hysterical." Some of the most powerful female fantasy villains, from the Queen of Hearts to Harry Potter's Bellatrix, are depicted as hysterical, fraught, out-of control. Come discuss depictions of "hysterical" women in fantasy literature, and whether those ladies are hysterical or merely powerful.

Being Tinkerbell
J. M. Barrie’s creation, who became widely popular under Disney’s watch, is depicted as emotionally mercurial; because she’s so small she can only hold one emotion in her body at once. Today, she’s been played by Julia Roberts, been turned into countless different kinds of merchandise, and is the up-and-coming princess alternative for young girls. Why is she so popular? What is it that we’re latching on to? Good marketing? Or is it because she’s been stripped of the features that can make fae more than a little bit dangerous?

Killer Faeries: Examining Power, Violence and Death in Faeryland
In faery lore, faeries are far more dangerous than mainstream stories would lead us to believe. Today’s charming pixies who glitter and fly are hardly representative of the dangerous, mercurial faeries of traditional tales or even today’s fantasy literature. Children stolen, mortals killed for sport, fae tortured, dark Unseelie Courts and even the double edge of the Seelie Court’s brightness might be a more accurate depiction of the Good Folk. Join us to discuss the violence, power and death wielded by Faeryland.