Fairytales and war - and the breadcrumb trails between

What does a story about two children lost in the woods, a house made of gingerbread and a witch have to do with war?  What can a dystopian vision of teenagers fighting one another to the death possibly have to do with a most beloved fairy tale? How might the intertwining of these two stories provide commentary on war and society?

Join us for Sara’s spirited talk about how the overlap between fairy tales and war stories is undeniable. Stories that valorise certain people as heroes and cast others as ogres are definitely in fairy tale territory. Fairy tales directly reference the consumption of children, the decimation of environments, soldiers cast adrift and the selfishness of kings who are motivated by greed and power. From Hansel and Gretel to The Hunger Games, the parallels here to wars, past and present are unavoidable.   


Dr Sara Buttsworth was born in Perth, Western Australia. She moved to New Zealand in 2003 after she married her Kiwi husband and gained her PhD. She has been teaching in a variety of capacities at the University of Auckland since 2004. While her training and much of her teaching is located in history, her research interests and approaches have always tended to be undisciplined. She has designed an entire course around unravelling yarns and how we knit monsters. And stitched to this is her research, which has focused primarily on issues of gender and representation and expanding the ways in which we think about war.

8:00pm @The Longroom, 114 Ponsonby Road, Auckland 1011

Also speaking at this location at 6:30pm is Liam Wotherspoon.