Moral philosophy and Nineteenth-Century German fairy tales

Ingrid Finnane

Ingrid FinaneA key idea of Enlightenment philosophy as described in Kant’s 1784 essay was having the courage to think and speak for yourself. Some people in that society had more barriers to speaking publicly and being heard than others. My research project considers the telling of fairy tales as an alternative way to speak about ethical experiences. In this paper I will present examples of fairy tales that illustrate experiences of silence. I will discuss how the selected tales show the impact of not being able to speak for yourself, how characters find ways to be heard after being forgotten, and also present a positive view of silence and stillness.

Ingrid Finnane is a PhD candidate in the School of Languages and Cultures and a research assistant in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. She previously completed a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Philosophy at The University of Queensland. Her research investigates ethics in German Enlightenment philosophy and in the Grimms’ collection of fairy tales.


Storytelling and solidarity: Nathalie Léger’s feminist ethos

Beth Kearney

Beth KearneyIn Exposition (2008), Suite for Barbara Loden (2012) and The White Dress (2018), Nathalie Léger writes about the violation of personal autonomies of three women artists, each from varying historical periods and sociocultural backgrounds. Léger’s experimental writing style uses first-person narration, intertextuality and comparison to unravel the stories that these women, their art and other works of art communicate, focusing in particular on stories of rape, murder, “feminine” submissiveness, youthful versus aging beauty, and objectification. Léger also adds a personal dimension by blending her own ideas and experiences with these stories. Adopting a feminist approach, I argue that Léger’s storytelling is an expression and enactment of feminist solidarity. For Léger, feminist literary storytelling is intensely personal and often empowering for the individual, but also something that occurs in dialogue and alongside other diverse voices; it moves beyond features that demarcate identity, recognising instead the common issues that unite women.

Beth Kearney is a French Studies PhD candidate in the School of Languages and Cultures. Her current research interests are francophone women's literatures (with an emphasis on life writing), interactions between photography and literature and feminist aesthetics. She has published in La Revue Dire, MuseMedusa, Sens public, Postures and has a forthcoming publication in Sociopoétiques.




About IASH HDR Seminar Series 2020

This seminar series, presented by the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, was established to give Higher Degree by Research students the opportunity to present their research to an interdisciplinary audience of humanities scholars. The seminars take the form of conference-style panels of three presentations, and will be presented via zoom.