"The New Queer Fairytale: (Un)defining the Genre"

The verb "queer," when applied to a piece of literature has two separate meanings: the academic definition refers to queer theory, which questions all normative social epistemologies. In popular culture, "queering" is the literal addition of LGBTQIA+/queer-coded characters to a culturally pervasive narrative. Fairytales are fundamentally queer-coded in the sense that they question the rules and morals of their host communities while also allowing for flexible character tweaking. However, in the 1950s, the formation of a fairytale codification system assigned numerical identifiers to tale types, with the most overtly homoerotic stories branded as "perverse" and wiped from the canon. As Western society has moved toward greater acceptance of non-normative identities in the past fifty years, queerness has been reintroduced to the fairytale mainstream. Through trend analysis of six contemporary, YA, queer-coded fairytale retellings, I define themes, motifs, and epistemologies inherent to the new queer fairytale genre.

- Charli Brown '23