Transfairytales: Transformation, Transgression, and Transhuman Studies in Twenty-First Century Fairy Tales

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


Literature and Languages

Date of Award

Spring 2018


This dissertation is a study of the overlap between posthuman studies and fairy tale retellings in young adult literature between 2011 and 2017 and the ways in which technology and subjectivity were both used to update these stories. This project functions in two realms of discourse: young adult novels and European and American fairy tales. The series are Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles, Danielle Paig's Dorothy Must Die, and Anna Sheehan's UniCorp. The fairy tale portion of the study examines tales collected by the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault as well as L. Frank Baum's American version of these traditionally European tales. Using feminist and Marxist approaches, I argue that several contemporary novel-length fairy tales are implicated in the reproduction of old fears such as abandonment and poverty; however, the addition of technology and science associated with posthuman and transhuman ideals reveal and comment upon more deeply entrenched cultural fears while they simultaneously privilege science and technology as transgressive tools.


Susan L. Stewart

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature