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Palgrave Macmillan

Fairy Tales on the Teen Screen

Rituals of Girlhood

  • Book
  • © 2017


  • First book-length study of the relationship between contemporary teen screen media and the fairy tale
  • Redeploys Victor Turner’s work on liminality for a feminist agenda
  • Thorough explication of liminality in the teen girl rite-of-passage narrative will provide a new and very productive method for thinking about girlhood onscreen
  • Covers a range of teen media, including film, television, and online media
  • Includes supplementary material:

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About this book

This book examines how the fairy tale is currently being redeployed and revised on the contemporary teen screen. The author redeploys Victor Turner’s work on liminality for a feminist agenda, providing a new and productive method for thinking about girlhood onscreen. While many studies of teenagehood and teen film briefly invoke Turner’s concept, it remains an underdeveloped framework for thinking about youth onscreen. The book’s broad scope across teen media—including film, television, and online media—contributes to the need for contemporary analysis and theorisation of our multimedia cultural climate.

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Table of contents (7 chapters)


“The classic fairy tales of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood or Sleeping Beauty may seem to offer the most conventional, conservative monuments of patriarchal culture. But, as Athena Bellas demonstrates in her dazzlingly erudite analysis, the modern ‘teen screens’ of cinema (Twilight, Aquamarine) and TV (Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl) produce provocative, ambivalent, sometimes radical responses to and revisions of these myths. Playful and incisive, lucid and subtle, Fairy Tales on the Teen Screen: Rituals of Girlhood heralds a genuine breakthrough in the feminist analysis of popular culture.” (Adrian Martin, Monash University, author of Mise en Scène and Film Style)

“Athena Bellas expertly illustrates that when screen girls activate their voice and gaze in the context of liminality and community, a counterintuitive link between fairy tales and feminism forms.  Addressing both broadly popular and niche cult texts, the book reminds us of the power of adaptation, revision, and trenchant feminist analysis.  A delight to read!” (Sarah Projansky, University of Utah, USA)

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

    Athena Bellas

About the author

Athena Bellas is a tutor, lecturer, subject co-ordinator and Honours supervisor in the Faculty of Arts and the Screen and Cultural Studies Department, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Fairy Tales on the Teen Screen

  • Book Subtitle: Rituals of Girlhood

  • Authors: Athena Bellas

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Literature, Cultural and Media Studies, Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-64972-6Published: 23 October 2017

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-87915-4Published: 25 August 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-64973-3Published: 10 October 2017

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: X, 250

  • Number of Illustrations: 20 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Genre, Youth Culture, American Cinema and TV

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