Call for chapters: Gender and the Male character in 21st Century Fairy Tale Narratives


Ms Natalie Le Clue, Department of Media and Communication, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa

Dr Janelle Vermaak-Griessel, Department of Media and Communication, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa

Call for Chapter Authors

What’s in a name? Not much if you’re Prince Charming. While the erstwhile indistinctive princes and heroes of fairy tales have enjoyed a bit of the spotlight in modern television and film narrative this exposure has not extended, as much, to the academic study of fairy tale men.

Over the last decade the male fairy tale character has received more attention in terms of fictional narratives for television and film. The inventive ABC television series Once Upon A Time treated audiences to a bevy of nuanced male characters. From the shady and complicated Rumpelstiltskin to the born-again hero Captain Hook to the multi- faceted Prince Charming, several fairly unknown characters were amplified to a level never experienced. This further extends to a plethora of contemporary stories which magnify the male character. These include, amongst others, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Tangled, Frozen, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, etc.

Ruth Bottigheimer writes: “the elements that make up the fairy tale genre were all in place before the 1550s,” (2009: 20). Therefore, it is entirely plausible that the concept of some fairy tale characters have transcended their ‘original’ genre and bled into several other fictional genres. As such, it should be noted that while this collection of chapters is premised on the male fairy tale character, and necessitates a clear link, it is not confined to this one genre of storytelling. The influence of fairy tales reaches far and wide. For example, elements of Bluebeard can be identified in the male character of the BBC television series /The Fall, /in the 2019 film /Serenity, /and, amongst others, in Ryan Murphy’s /American Horror Story: Cult. /Also, the narrative theme of the beauty and the beast is distinguishable in films such as Guillermo del Toro’s /The Shape of Water. /

This book intends to compile a collection of research on male characters in 21st century fairy tale narratives, which may include but is not limited to:

  • Alternative conceptualizations of ‘traditional’ male fairy tale characters Intersection between fairy tales and contemporary horror and/or science fiction films
  • The image of fairy tales in popular culture
  • The evolution of male fairy tale characters from series and film Gender representation and dichotomy of male fairy tale characters
  • Fan fiction identities, framing, freedom of identity, power structures, etc. Representation of life challenges and addressing/illustrating of societal issues

The book intends to be the first collection of chapters for which the focus falls uniquely on the contemporary male fairy tale character. In contemporary storytelling there exist rich representations of re-told and re-imagined male fairy tale characters. However, there concurrently exists a lack of academic study on this specific topic. Through the prism of an interdisciplinary approach, topics focused on race, disability, class, religion, sexuality, etc. are encouraged. The objective extends towards the inclusion of submissions from differing academic perspectives and disciplines which consist of, but are not limited to, the fields of gender studies, queer studies, fan studies, film and television studies, character analysis, etc.

Proposal Submissions – Due by 16 June 2022
Chapter proposals must include the following elements: *

  • Complete contact information and institutional affiliation for the
  • Author biography
  • A tentative title for the chapter;
  • A 300-word abstract;
  • A list of anticipated key references.
    Send proposals to the editors via email: Ms. Natalie Le Clue and Dr Janelle Vermaak-Griessel, (malecharactersbook /at/ The editors will notify authors regarding acceptance by 30 July 2022.


Bottigheimer, R.B. (2009). /Fairy Tales: A New History/. New York: State University of New York Press. P20.