When the clock strikes twelve: the unexpected transformations of Cinderella

Bonner, Sarah (2017) When the clock strikes twelve: the unexpected transformations of Cinderella. In: Cinderella conference 2017: All about Cinderella: retellings in the cultural imagination, 9-10 June 2017, University of Bedfordshire, UK. (Unpublished) Item availability may be restricted.

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Abstract

This presentation will explore Cinderella the character, rather than the tale, and how she has become a cultural currency that exists in flux according to the social climate in which the tale is told. The traditional incarnation of the character carries with her tropes of femininity, specifically beauty, obedience and morality. These feminine ideals have been eternalised and internalised by young girls, and society more broadly, through repeated telling and viewing of the popularised versions of the traditional tale. The process of internalisation has led young women to perform the role of Cinderella and is one of many that teach young girls what it is to be a woman. The tale, distilled into the character, informs girls how to behave and what to expect of themselves and others. In more contemporary reiterations and incarnations Cinderella has become a vehicle to interrogate the traditional tropes of ideal femininity embodied in the fairy tale character. In this investigation I will take contemporary visual representations of the character and explore the different ways the tale has been interpreted in the twenty-first century. In the artworks addressed Cinderella will be revealed to us anew. Rather than the pervasive saccharine-sweet version turned out by Disney and its derivatives, the artists selected here return to the more moral and punitive literary origins to review the motivations and actions of Cinderella. What we see are a range of character representations ranging from the amazon to the alcoholic. Traditional illustrations and contemporary artworks from around the world will trace the trajectory of what it is to be Cinderella and through this how expectations of femininity have changed since the tale’s inception. Contemporary theories of performance, postmodernism and semiotics will provide the framework to understand the work featured.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments: Graphics and Photography
Additional Information: Dr Sarah Bonner, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Photography, Institute of the Arts, University of Cumbria, UK.
Depositing User: Sarah Bonner
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2018 17:07
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2018 01:07
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4185

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