CFP: Gender, Sex, Fantasy: 21st-Century “Cinderellas”

Hidden between the lines in fairy tales exists the history of fantasy about women and sexuality. Because of its world-wide popularity and rags-to-riches feel, the “Cinderella” fairy tale best demonstrates this literary historicity. Jack Zipes, Cristina Bacchilega, and others have argued for the significance of examining fairy tales and their adaptations to see what the driving force of each narrative is and what this might represent. In this collection, we will examine 21st-century “Cinderella” adaptations that explore gender, sexuality, and fantasy in new and exciting ways. These adaptations often challenge something in the original tale, expose inherent flaws, and extend the tale to the 21st century through shifting the rhetorical implications of archetypal figures (the glass slipper, the evil stepmother, the fairy godmother, Prince Charming, etc) and by self-reflexively granting different possibilities for their protagonists. These adaptations are very much compilations of desire – for agency, family, and even sex. How are gender relations construed in these texts, and how do these inform, respond to, and/or destabilize the heteronormative matrix? What position do the prince, the princess, the victim, the (dead) mother, the (ugly) stepsisters, and the (evil) stepmother hold in different adaptations of these texts, and how do they intertextually communicate with each other? How are these texts dialogic living documents, and how do they conscribe gender, sexuality, and social becoming? What do contemporary “Cinderella” adaptations do differently, and how might this represent something about our current sociopolitical climate?

With this as my focus, I am seeking scholarly, research-based articles that explore and analyze different 21st-century “Cinderella” adaptations. This collection of essays will create a conversation about the contemporary “Cinderella.”

Topics for consideration may include, but are not limited to:

  • Narrative stance and framing
  • Rags to riches stories
  • Speculative texts
  • Film studies
  • Manga and comics
  • Male Cinderellas
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Queer adaptations
  • Fairy godmothers
  • Evil stepmothers
  • Ugly stepsisters
  • The glass slipper
  • Transfigurement
  • Animals
  • Music and dance
  • Disney
  • Adaptation theory
  • Cinderella intertexts
  • Cinderella and race/ethnicity

All texts will be considered as long as the focus of inquiry is a 21st-century “Cinderella” adaptation. Several publishers have indicated interest in the collection but we will make a final decision when the collection is complete.


The deadline for proposals/abstracts is 31st July 2019.

Draft chapters of 5-8,000 words are due on or before 31st October 2019.

Final versions are due by 31st December 2019.

Please send 500-word proposals, including a working title, and a brief author bio to Suzy Woltmann ( by 30th July 2019. Queries are encouraged.