Prof. Sadhana Naithani, 


The International Society for Folk Narrative Research is pleased to announce the start of a new lecture series entitled The ISFNR Lecture Series: Voices from Around the Globe, which will be open to not only our global network of international folk narrative scholars but also the general public. The lectures will take place online at 5 pm UTC, on the third Friday of every alternate month, beginning April 15, 2022, each of them coordinated by a member of the Executive Committee of the Society. The plan is for the Vice Presidents of the ISFNR to invite particular members of the Society (and other scholars to present their research in any language in which they wish to speak (bearing in mind the need to communicate to an international audience). The papers not presented in English will be made available in English translation.

On behalf of the ISFNR, I would like to invite you all to join us in this exploration of various cultural phenomena, local and global, old and contemporary, and stable and changeable. Folk narrative scholars continue to record, map and communicate how people are navigating their cultural practices and values through turbulent and peaceful times and through the palimpsestic layers of history which have witnessed the rhizomatic growth of narratives. Indeed, in our own time, it is relevant to ask whether folk narrative still has the means to grasp the truth of a post-truth world.

Details and a schedule of lectures will be announced shortly. Links for the lectures will be emailed to all members of the ISFNR and shared on the Society’s website and the Facebook Page. For more information, contact: nisfnr@gmail.com

Next lecture

Mayako Murai

Multispecies Fairy-Tale Library Project: Designing a Public Library Exhibition in Rural Japan

16 February 2024., at 1 p.m. CEWT

Speaker’s Biography:

Mayako Murai is professor of English and comparative literature at Kanagawa University, Japan. She is the author of From Dog Bridegroom to Wolf Girl: Contemporary Japanese Fairy-Tale Adaptations in Conversation with the West and co-editor of Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale: Contemporary Adaptations across Cultures, both published by Wayne State University Press. She curated the exhibitions Fur Story at Leeds Arts University and Storymakers in Contemporary Japanese Art at Japan Foundation Sydney Gallery. She is currently writing a book on fairy-tale animals in contemporary art and picturebook illustration.


“Multispecies Fairy-Tale Library,” which I have started recently, is a project whose aim is to rethink human beings’ relationship with other species through a reclassification of tale types. Instead of separating Animal Tales from the rest of the folktales as the ATU index does, this project proposes to create a new category Multispecies Tales in which more than two species, including humans, play important roles in the development of narrative and to classify them into six groups according to the kinds of relations between characters belonging to different species. This new classification is only tentative, and I intend to develop this idea by using different methods. One of them is to organise a series of Multispecies Fairy-Tale Library exhibitions and workshops to discuss multispecies fairy tales with people with various social and cultural backgrounds. In this talk, I will give an outline of my plan to hold a picturebook exhibition and a workshop at a public library in rural Japan in March 2024. It will be my first attempt at holding such an exhibition, and I would very much appreciate your comments and suggestions for this project!