Sunday, July 5, 2009

Visualizing Red Riding Hood (a paper)

I found this interesting paper from a 2006 issue of Moveable Type - a publication of the Postgraduate Society of the Department of English Language and Literature at University College London.

The post-graduate student, Sarah Bonner, takes a look at how society is interpreting the tale of Red Riding Hood through visual means and incorporating it even more into society's make-up.

From her paper:

In recent years contemporary artists have been appropriating and re-inventing traditional fairy tales. Subverting and interrogating received meanings, artists are challenging the traditional parameters of tales which convey ideas of gender role and racial identity. The fairy tale is being translated from literary text into visual culture. The artists recoding the tales address shifts in cultural attitude, engaging predominantly with issues of identity and discrimination. In this paper I examine the visual development of “Little Red Riding Hood,” investigating the manner in which the literary tale has been adopted by contemporary artists, how the visual responds to the textual, and cultural attitudes embedded in reiterations of the tale.
This is a pretty fascinating exploration for anyone interested in fairy tales being interpreted in a visual medium. While academic in tone, it's still very readable and looks at everything from advertising and fashion to artistic renderings.

You can read the whole paper (with some pics throughout) here.

She also cites her references - a handy list, should you wish to do some more study on the subject.
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