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Janaina Tschäpe Untitled (Scream) (video still) 2004
Courtesy of the artist
Paula Rego The Wolf Chats Up Red Riding Hood 2003
pastel on paper
Photography Jodie Hutchinson
Typically, canonical fairy tales are a site of physical and sexual trauma for female protagonists. Whether virgin ingénue or wizened crone, women’s bodies are desired and dreaded by men who perpetuate their debasement. In selected versions of tale-types, Little Red Riding Hood strips for her lycanthrope paramour, mermaids are rendered disabled and a blushing bride discovers that her husband keeps a room stockpiled with his deceased wives. Consequently, the female body becomes the fulcrum of cause and effect, generating morals which emphasise the policing of women’s sexuality.
Join Dr Victoria Tedeschi on a tour of All the better to see you with as she investigates female sexuality and suffering in the fairy tale canon.
Dr. Victoria Tedeschi tutors in literary studies at the University of Melbourne and Deakin University. Her research has been published in international, peer-reviewed journals and has received numerous accolades such as the Australian Postgraduate Award, the Gwenda Ford English Literature Award and the Percival Serle Prize. She is primarily interested in fairy tale literature, eco-critical discourse and representations of women and the environment in popular culture.