Making a Multispecies Fairy-Tale Library
What kind of multispecies story-scape may emerge if we make a library of multicultural fairy tales by classifying them according to the experiences of other-than-humans? When re-classified from a multispecies point of view, the same old stories may reveal hitherto unnoticed narratives that have been unfolding in the more-than-human world. In this essay, I will first point out the anthropocentric biases in the tale classification system known as the Aarne-Thompson-Uther tale type index, which has been used widely by international researchers working on folktales and other kinds of traditional narratives. I will then explore the possibilities of repurposing the existing classification system for designing a new framework that would better reflect other-than-human worldviews by shifting the focus from human-centred dramas to multispecies relationalities. Finally, I will explain my idea of making a Multispecies Fairy-Tale Library across different narrative traditions and suggest possible uses of this library for imagining a multispecies future.
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