War, myths and fairy tales

19 January 2017
War, Myths and Fairy Tales

The latest book by historians Dr Sara Buttsworth and Associate Professor Maartje Abbenhuis is their third co-edited publication to expand the boundaries of war studies.

War, Myths and Fairy Tales investigates the connections between war stories and fairy tales, through a critical examination of global literature.

The duo’s first co-edited publication was Restaging War in the Western World in 2008, which moved noncombatant perspectives to centre stage in an effort to destabilise the primacy of the combatant.

They followed this up with Monsters in the Mirror in 2010, which gave a comprehensive overview of postwar representations of the Nazi regime in popular culture, and asked why representations of Nazism are so entrenched in our culture.

War, Myths and Fairy Tales continues to extend the parameters of war studies beyond the battlefield.

“This collection asks numerous questions of tales of war and tales of wonder and hints at the many breadcrumb trails that connect them. It posits not only that warfare is a key element of the fairy tale genre as it has developed since the turn of the eighteenth century, but also that fairy tales offer important insights into modern warfare.”

Presenting original contributions and critical reflections that explore fairy tales, fantasy and wars — be they real or imagined, past or present — the ten essays in this collection engage with creative works in popular culture, stories of resistance, and the history and representation of global and local conflicts across multiple media.

Sara coordinates two courses that historicise conflict for our Tertiary Foundation Certificate programme, including an interdisciplinary course on monsters and moral panics. She contributed an essay on fairy tales and the 21st century American Dream to the Twilight and History collection in 2010.

Maartje is currently working on a global history of the Hague peace conferences, funded by a grant from the Marsden Fund.

Sara says that they are both very proud of their latest publication.

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