‘Add a Sword’ Feminism and Fairy Tale

  • Darley, S. J. (Participant)
  • Sarah Cleto (Speaker)
  • Brittany Warman (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventPublic lecture/debate/seminar


Have you ever wondered why Alice was suddenly wearing full armor and a sword in the Tim Burton live action adaptation? Or why Snow White was tasked with leading an army in Snow White and the Huntsman? In this talk, Drs. Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman of The Carterhaugh School will explore the trend of ‘Add a Sword’ feminism, the phenomenon in which traditionally feminine heroines are equipped with swords and recast as military leaders in fairy-tale adaptations, especially film. What does this trend have to say about gender in fairy tales? About the composition of heroism? What are the benefits and costs of this trend in storytelling, and what other possibilities are currently out there?
Period21 Feb 2024
Event typeSeminar
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • feminism
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Fairy Tales