CFP: Confronting the Real in Fairy Tales (Humanities–Special Issue)

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: June 1, 2021.

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Special Issue Editor

Prof. Susan Redington Bobby Website1 Website2
Guest Editor

Department of Literature and Languages, Wesley College, Dover, DE, 19901, USA
Interests: fairy tale studies; adolescent literature; magical realism; goddess archetypes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Writer and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro writes: “Es imposible encontrar lo hermoso sin explorar antes todo lo terrible” (“It’s impossible to find the beautiful without first exploring everything that is terrible”). As scholars of fairy tales, we find ourselves inhabiting the liminal space between diverging paths. Deep in the midst of a forest clouded by fog, we are drawn to the path that leads to light and salvation, delving into the myriad meanings of the world of magic and the supernatural. However, the trail we often avoid is the one that leads to darkness. Here is the place from which fairy tales originate: the social, political, historic, economic, and cultural conditions that inspired these stories to be told. Marina Warner argues that “wishful thinking and the happy ending are rooted in sheer misery.” This collection of essays aims to examine the dark world of human experience that catalyzed the creation of fairy tales.

I am pleased to invite fairy-tale scholars, folklorists, historians, and others to submit for consideration essays that confront the real in fairy tales. I seek work that engages with classic and contemporary variants, single-author literary tales, and fairy-tale-themed films.

The essays in this Special Issue will illustrate Italo Calvino’s observation that “le fiabe sono vere” (“folktales are real”). Their resonance owes to their realism as much as to their wish fulfillment. For it is not only in walking the path of magic that fears, anxieties, and hardships may be vanquished, but also through taking the courage to confront the terrible things that lie in the darkness. 

Prof. Susan Redington Bobby
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • fairy tales
  • magic
  • supernatural
  • darkness
  • realism

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.


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