Miss Silvia Storti

Research project: Brutes, Beasts, and Beauties: from the Victorian to the Contemporary, a study of three villains and their interpretations in fairy-tale narratives

Abstract

My thesis explores retellings and adaptations of Charles Perrault's fairy tales (1697) in relation to contextual cultural changes, specifically what shifts these may have caused in the representation and reception of the villain characters. For decades, scholars have investigated the ways authors have revised and rewritten traditional fairy tales; my research focuses on fairy tale adaptations by Anne Thackeray Ritchie, Angela Carter, and some more recent authors, in order to explore how the interpretation of the villains was and is influenced by its context. While there is much scholarship on post-modern fairy tales, a look at the villains within the adaptation's historical circumstances has been largely ignored by scholars, if not in subordination to the heroes of the tales. I aim to bring the villains in 'Bluebeard', 'Little Red Riding Hood', and 'Sleeping Beauty' to the forefront as worthy of analysis in their own right.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Brutes, Beasts, and Beauties: from the Victorian to the Contemporary, a study of three villains and their interpretations in fairy-tale narratives

Biography

I am currently a PhD student at Kingston University, London, where I previously obtained my BA in English Literature with Drama. I have always been interested in language and philology, aspects that led me to the study of folklore and fairy tales. I pursued my interests at the Universita degli Studi di Padova first, then at Kingston and subsequently at the University of Nottingham, where I completed my MA in Viking and Anglo-Saxon Studies. It is my greatest aspiration to work in HE, and as a whole, my research aims to bridge the gap between the study of fairy tales and medievalism, something I started to explore in my dissertation and plan to continue working on in the future. 

Areas of research interest

  • Fairy tales and their retellings, reworkings, and adaptations
  • Medievalism in conjunction with fairy-tale narratives
  • Language and etymology

Qualifications

  • BA in English Literature with Drama, Kingston University, London
  • MA in Viking and Anglo-Saxon Studies, University of Nottingham

Conference papers

  • Beasts and brutes: the Other in fairy-tale villains – presented at "Difference: Fear, Fascination, Foreignness", University of Glasgow, 24th-25th May 2016
  • The Other in fairy-tale villains – presented at the Postgraduate Research Conference, Kingston University London, 5th April 2017
  • Voices in the Dark: Angela Carter's Radio "In-scapes" - presented at "Listening to Literature: a one-day symposium on Soundscapes", University of Exeter, 28th July 2017
  • The Re(d)Dress of Thought: Language in The Handmaid's Tale - presented at "The Handmaid's Tale: Gender, Genre, Adaptation: a two-day symposium", University of Worcester, 30th September–1st October 2017
  • A Dormant Tale: Fractured Femininity in Contemporary Retellings of "Sleeping Beauty" – presented at the Postgraduate Research Conference, Kingston University London, 14th May 2018
  • The Sound of Story: Fairy Tales for Radio - presented at "Symposium of Sound: ‘The rest is silence'", Durham University, 3rd-4th September 2018
  • Scarto di Fiaba: Making a Case for the Forgotten Tales - presented at "Sc[Arti]: Riflessioni sul residuo tra selezione e divergenza", Università degli Studi di Milano, 7th-8th-9th November 2018