Rewilding Cinderella

02-04-2022 at 9.30am to 5.30pm

Location: Online

Audience: Public

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Storytelling Symposium

The George Ewart Evans Storytelling Centrethe Storytelling Choir, and Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival are pleased to announce collaboration on "Rewilding Cinderella", a one-day symposium of presentations, performances and conversation on the complex fluidities and wild encounters of the Cinderella cycle. The symposium will take place on Zoom on Saturday April 2nd, 2022. Tickets are free, but we welcome donations to Become, a charity for children in care.

As retelling of fairy tales continues to burgeon in the publishing industry, often exclusively responsive to European, Disney-forged variants, it becomes more crucial to comprehend both the multicultural and multispecies engagements  at the heart of these narratives. This symposium brings together renowned storytellers from across the world to explore variants of the ATU510 folk tale, and includes tellers and stories from Palestine, India, Australia, Iran, Sweden, Indonesia, the US and the UK. With this constellation of tales, we aim to foster conversation around forgotten diversities both among and within the stories.

While Cinderella is easily dismissed as an overly passive, fashion obsessed, deeply problematic role model for young women, her relationship to binaries of passive / active, male / female, human / non-human are far more complex and complicating in her many sibling-versions. They suggest a depth and complexity that can only be  revealed when both stories, and tellers, are situated in conversation with others. Exploring the persecuted heroine from the perspective of kin-maker, mediator, and ritualist, using the fairy tales as impulse to explore the fluid, shapeshifting nature of human and non-human relations, we are delighted to gather tellers from across the globe and to invite you into the conversation. 


9:30 – 9:40 am: Welcome: Prof. Joseph Sobol

9:40 – 10:00: Introduction: Dr Joanna Gilar: Cinderella, Complexity and Change

10:00 – 10:30 Panel 1: Unwinding the Persecuted Heroine

Chair: Gauri Raje

10:00 – 10:30: Dr Iris Curteis, Australia: Love Like Salt: Grief, resilience and healing via non-human systems

10:30 – 11:00: Dr Shivani Kanodia, India: Teja and Teji, Transformation, metamorphoses and village life in the Assamese Folk Tale

11:00 – 11:30: Q&A


11:45 – 1:15pm: Panel 2: Transforming Femininities and Veiled Narratives

Chair: Prof. Emily Underwood-Lee

11:45 – 12:15: Zahra Asfah, Iran: An Iranian Cinderella

12:15 – 12:45: Rebecca Lemaire and Hend Al Qattaa, Palestine: Sackcloth: A Palestinian Cinderella

12:45 – 1:15: Q&A


1:45 – 3:15: Panel 3: Untamed Others and Tamed Desires

Chair: Prof. Joseph Sobol

1:45 – 2:05: – Cooper Braun, US: Reimagining Prince Charming

2:05 – 2:25: – Amita Raval, UK: Fröken Skinn-Pels Rör I Askan: Miss Skin-Cloak and White Bear

2:25 – 2:45: – Taqarrabie, Indonesia: Puti Bungsu: A Minangkabau Randai Telling of Swan Maiden / Cinderella

2:45 – 3:15: Q&A


3:30 – 5:00 Panel 4: Vibrant Matter: Cinderella as Negotiator with the More-than-human

Chair: Dr Joanna Gilar

3:30 – 3:50: Nikki Hafter, UK: Exploring Aschenputtel via Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter

3:50 –4:10: Pyn Stockman, UK: Grief and wilderness, the Green Knight and the Queen of Crows

4:10 – 4:30: Sian Jones, UK: Trees and rites of loss: Cinderella as mourning ritual

4:30 – 4:45: Q&A

4:45 – 5:30: Closing Discussion

Rites of Absurdity and Need: Cinderella’s Relevance to Climate Crisis Conversation 

A round table conversation with symposium speakers and the storytelling choir