© 2017

Fairy Tales on the Teen Screen

Rituals of Girlhood


About this book


 This book examines how the fairy tale is currently being redeployed and revised on the contemporary teen screen. The author redeploys Victor Turner’s work on liminality for a feminist agenda, providing a new and productive method for thinking about girlhood onscreen. While many studies of teenagehood and teen film briefly invoke Turner’s concept, it remains an underdeveloped framework for thinking about youth onscreen. The book’s broad scope across teen media—including film, television, and online media—contributes to the need for contemporary analysis and theorisation of our multimedia cultural climate.


fairytale teen screen little red riding hood twilight film television online media Victor Turner teenagehood girlhood

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

About the authors

Athena Bellas is a tutor, lecturer, subject co-ordinator and Honours supervisor in the Faculty of Arts and the Screen and Cultural Studies Department, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Bibliographic information


“The classic fairy tales of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood or Sleeping Beauty may seem to offer the most conventional, conservative monuments of patriarchal culture. But, as Athena Bellas demonstrates in her dazzlingly erudite analysis, the modern ‘teen screens’ of cinema (Twilight, Aquamarine) and TV (Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl) produce provocative, ambivalent, sometimes radical responses to and revisions of these myths. Playful and incisive, lucid and subtle, Fairy Tales on the Teen Screen: Rituals of Girlhood heralds a genuine breakthrough in the feminist analysis of popular culture.” (Adrian Martin, Monash University, author of Mise en Scène and Film Style)

“Athena Bellas expertly illustrates that when screen girls activate their voice and gaze in the context of liminality and community, a counterintuitive link between fairy tales and feminism forms.  Addressing both broadly popular and niche cult texts, the book reminds us of the power of adaptation, revision, and trenchant feminist analysis.  A delight to read!” (Sarah Projansky, University of Utah, USA)