Negotiating a Shire: The Transformation of Local Values in the Society for Creative Anachronism

Negotiating a Shire: The Transformation of Local Values in the Society for Creative Anachronism

Suzanne Barber
Indiana University

Abstract:

The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international non-profit organization and is often depicted and discussed as a large homogeneous organization. Instead, in this work I have analyzed a smaller group, Loch an Fhraoich. Loch an Fhraoich, whose values and identity center around camaraderie and narrative and aesthetic coherence must attempt to balance these two often contradictory principles. This can be examined in light of narrative construction and maintenance. The Society for Creative Anachronism supports an official homogenous metanarrative.  At every level these narratives connect the individual and group to others, creating a network of relationships and shared narratives that help create a sense of unity and prevent a fracturing of voices and thus support the overriding metanarrative. In order to prevent this system from collapsing inward or fracturing apart, a certain amount of playful transgressive metalepsis and edgeplay must be allowed. The negotiation of this edgeplay is debated, and the style and amount tolerated is often a distinguishing mark between groups. Some key contestations that I have focused on where this debate occurs include the levels and types of anachronism allowed, the types of partying and practical jokes encouraged or discouraged, costuming, and the understanding of honor and chivalry. Continue reading “Negotiating a Shire: The Transformation of Local Values in the Society for Creative Anachronism”

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Sandra L. Beckett. Red Riding Hood for All Ages: A Fairy-Tale Icon in Cross-Cultural Contexts.

Sandra L. Beckett. Red Riding Hood for All Ages: A Fairy-Tale Icon in Cross-Cultural Contexts. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2008. Pp. ix+244, color prints, index. $29.95, paper.

Sara Cleto
George Mason University

Sandra L Beckett’s book, Red Riding Hood for All Ages: A Fairy-Tale Icon in Cross-Cultural Contexts, provides an indepth and informative critique of retellings of a familiar fairy tale. This is Beckett’s second book on Little Red Riding Hood retellings; her first volume, Recycling Red Riding Hood, was devoted to contemporary revisions intended for children. Red Riding Hood for All Ages, however, has a wider scope, addressing retellings targeted at children, adolescents, and adults, as well as crossover works intended for more than one age group. Continue reading “Sandra L. Beckett. Red Riding Hood for All Ages: A Fairy-Tale Icon in Cross-Cultural Contexts.”