Cristina Bacchilega

Learning and Unlearning Folklore: Questions of Recognition, Transcoding, Genre, and Justice Revisited

18 November 2022, at 5 p.m. CET

Speaker's Biography:

Cristina Bacchilega coedits Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies and is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa where she taught fairy tales and their adaptations, folklore and literature, and cultural studies. She is the author of Postmodern Fairy Tales: Gender and Narrative Strategies (1997), Legendary Hawai‘i and the Politics of Place: Tradition, Translation, and Tourism (2007), and Fairy Tales Transformed? 21st-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder (2013). And the coeditor of two recent collections, The Penguin Book of Mermaids with Marie Alohalani Brown (2019) and Inviting Interruptions: Wonder Tales in the 21st Century with Jennifer Orme (2021). Her current projects are collaborations that continue to pursue situated understandings of folklore and the fantastic.


My trajectory as a folklorist and fairy-tale scholar has been shaped by the experience of being a woman and settler of color in Hawaiʻi for close to forty years, a settler who seeks to be an active ally for Hawaiian sovereignty and social justice. Learning from Hawaiian moʻolelo and Hawaiian scholars has played a role in this trajectory solidifying my recognition of multiple traditions of wonder and why that matters. While raising questions of translation or transcoding, genre, disciplinary boundaries, and justice, this talk explores the relationship between Indigenous wonderworks and the fairy tale as one of several wonder genres.