Molly Ferguson, Ball State University | Newberry

Molly Ferguson, Ball State University

Friday, November 13, 2020

11-12:30 pm CST 

Virtual Seminar via Zoom, Register for Link 

Irish Studies Seminar

Silence, Shame, and Escape in Contemporary Mermaid and Selkie Stories, Molly Ferguson
Irish writers have been repurposing mermaid and selkie stories in their work consistently in each literary wave and especially during moments of intense social change; their stories have become shorthand for addressing oppressive gender constructs. In this paper I address several recent reinterpretations of mermaid and selkie lore that expand the range of the original tales and revise them as feminist stories. These new versions acknowledge the violence in the folktale origins while also suggesting that the tales are ripe for subversion, revising folklore to change the valence of its messages.

Respondent: Donna Potts, Washington State University

Cost and Registration Information 

This event is free, but all participants must register in advance and space is limited. To register and request a copy of the pre-circulated paper, email Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.