Thesis Abstracts

Abstract PhD Thesis Dr Krissie Hunt

‘Reading Bodies and the Fairy Tale Gaze’

By Dr Krissie Hunt

Abstract PhD Thesis Dr Krissie Hunt

CIRCL PhD student Krissie Hunt passed her PhD on 09-05-2024 with her PhD thesis on ‘Reading Bodies and the Fairy Tale Gaze’. Supervisor: Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein; External Examiner: Professor Erica Burman of the University of Manchester; Internal Examiner: Dr Neil Cocks.

Abstract of thesis

In this thesis, I will be asking the question: what does it mean to read? This is the question that underpins my thinking and my readings. I will begin by reading the implications of the relationship between the gaze and the body, as well as shifts in perspective and the lack which is implicated in this split. I will be engaging with a range of fairy tales from both Hans Christian Anderson and Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, and I will be reading this split and deferral throughout my fairy tale analyses. I will also be engaging with texts that are not fairy tales, as these readings do not have to be limited by the bounds of one ‘type’ of text. I will be thinking about the problem of repetition as well as presence of absence, particularly in relation to disability theory discourse.
In the final section of this thesis, I will return to this notion of reading a body and what this means in problematising identity. I will be reading further sections of ‘The Little Mermaid’ and returning to Derrida in exploring ideas of denuding. I will be continuing to read division and deferral and returning to this notion of truth and revelation whilst asking ‘what does it mean to read’? Finally, I will think about the consequences of my readings in this way. I want to end on a reading to show that this is not just about fairy tales or literature or disability: this is what people are thinking about and this is why this is important.