Cristina Bacchilega


Cristina Bacchilega’s research and teaching focus on fairy tales and their adaptations, the translation and adaptation of traditional narratives in colonial and decolonial projects, gender and fairy tales, and mo‘olelo in translation. In Fall 2015, Bacchilega co-organized the symposium, “Creating Futures Rooted in Wonder: Bridges between Indigenous, Science Fiction, and Fairy Tale Studies,” at UHM and served as Graduate Program Director in the Department of English. In Spring 2016, she is a Fulbright Fellow teaching at the Universita' L'Orientale in Naples, Italy and conducting research on the 2015 film The Tale of Tales. In summer 2017, she was the co-organizer of an international conference at Wayne State University, "Thinking with Stories in Times of Conflict." Since 2013, Bacchilega is the co-editor with Anne E. Duggan of Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies; Drs. Christy Williams and Claudia Schwabe are the journal's review editors. Professional Service: Having served as an editorial board member of the journal Foklore (UK) since 2009, Bacchilega more recently joined the editorial board of Gramarye (journal of the Sussex Centre for Folktales, Fairy Tales and Fantasy), Estudis de Literatura Oral Popular/Studies in Folk Oral Literature (a multilingual electronic journal published in Catalonia, Spain), and journal Narrative Culture. Bacchilega has long been involved in the International Society for Folk Narrative Research, and is an elected Fellow of the American Folklore Society. She has been a reviewer of SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship Applications . Bacchilegaʻs service to the department has included being Department Chair for two terms (2001-2007); Acting Graduate Program Director in Spring 2013 and Fall 2014; and Graduate Program Director (2015-2018). What now? She continues to write about contemporary fairy-tale adaptations and to research historical and current practices of adaptation and translation that impact the circulation and interpretation of traditional narratives. She also continues to try to learn ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i in spite of her poor memory for vocabulary.  


Books.  Fairy Tales Transformed? 21st-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder (Wayne State University Press, 2013) Legendary Hawai‘i and the Politics of Place: Tradition, Translation, and Tourism (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007) was also issued in paperback in 2013 Postmodern Fairy Tales: Gender and Narrative Strategies (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997); and the co-edited Angela Carter and the Fairy Tale. Bacchilegaʻs has essays forthcoming in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, the Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-Tale CulturesThe Fairy Tale World, and Teaching Fairy Tales.  Bacchilegaʻs work is excerpted in The Classic Fairy Tales: A Norton Critical Edition (2017). Her recent essays include “Ideology” in Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from around the World (2016); “The Fairy-Tale Film in Italy” in Fairy Tale Films Beyond Disney: International Perspectives (2015); “Narrative Cultures, Situated Story Webs, and the Politics of Relation” in Narrative Culture 2.1 (2015);  “Fairy-Tale Adaptations and Economies of Desire: Querying ‘Snow White and Rose Red’ Intertextually” in The Cambridge Companion to the Fairy Tale (2015);  with John Rieder,“The Fairy Tale and the Commercial in Carosello and Fractured Fairy Tales” in Channelling Wonder: Fairy Tales on TV (2014); “Fairy Tales and the Ideology of Gender” in Marvelous Transformations: An Anthology of Fairy Tales and Contemporary Critical Perspectives (2012); “Whetting Her Appetite: What’s a “Clever” Woman To Do in the Grimms’ Collection?”  in Transgressive Tales: Queering the Grimms (2012); and “Folklore and Literature" in A Companion to Folklore Studies (2012). Bacchilega has published essays on Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter, Italo Calvino, Robert Coover, Nalo Hopkinson, Maxine Hong Kingston, Dacia Maraini, Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, and fairy tales in Hawai`i. With historian Noelani Arista and Sahoa Fukushima, she has studied nineteenth-century translations of The Arabian Nights into Hawaiian. With Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada and Donatella Izzo, Bacchilega co-edited “Sustaining Hawaiian Sovereignty,” a special issue (14.2) of Anglistica, a journal of international interdisciplinary studies (2010); see anglistica for the full text. Also available at Folktales and Fairy Tales: Translation, Colonialism, and Cinema co-edited by ku‘ualoha ho‘omanawanui, Noenoe Silva, Vilsoni Hereniko, and Cristina Bacchilega (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library, 2010).

Areas of Interest

Fairy-tale studies, folklore and literature, gender and fairy tales, translation studies, narratology, feminist theory and literature, folkloristics and colonialism, Hawaiian mo‘olelo in translation


Awards: Fulbright Teaching/Research Fellowship, 2016; Distinguished Scholarship Award, International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA), 2016; Chicago Folklore Prize, 2007; Guggenheim Fellowship, 2001. UHM awards: College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature Senior Faculty Excellence in Scholarship & Research Award, UHM, 2017; Board of Regents' Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1991; College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature Excellence in Teaching Award, 1988.


BA, University of Rome (Italy) MA, PhD, State University of New York at Binghamton


Spring Semester 2018
  • ENG-385: Fairy Tales & Adaptations

Fall Semester 2017
  • ENG-625E: Theories in Cultural Studies

Spring Semester 2017
  • ENG-385: Fairy Tales & Adaptations

Fall Semester 2016
  • ENG-780F: Comparative Literature – Folklore & Literature: (Re)Mapping Tales of Wonder and Enchantment