Collaborative female relationships in modern day fairy tales

Kirstyn McDermott

PhD in the Faculty of Education and Arts

Collaborative female relationships in contemporary re-visioned fairy tales.

Kirstyn has a long career as a published creative writer, so it is no surprise that her practice-led PhD sits within the discipline of Creative Writing. She is writing a collection of novelettes that explore female relationships creatively within a fictional context, and undertaking a critical analysis of the depiction of such relationships (or lack thereof) within the fairy tale genre. Kristyn’s research highlights an overlooked area, not simply within fairy tales, but in cultural narratives as a whole: the lack of healthy, collaborative female relationships. “By drawing attention to this, I hope to encourage more balanced and realistic portrayals of women and their relationships to one another in creative writing.”

Kirstyn studies at FedUni, her local university, because it provides both a research community and "home base" that could not be matched by external studies. “I appreciate the sense of community and cross-discipline interaction that FedUni cultivates among its HDR candidates, as well as its ties with the wider creative community of Ballarat.”

Kirstyn encourages younger would-be researchers to be bold and to build a research community and support network from the very start, both from within their own discipline and beyond it. “Research works in odd ways, sometimes the most significant developments come from nosing down unexpected pathways and engaging with outside perspectives.”