Ruth B. Bottigheimer


Ruth B. Bottigheimer, Research Professor in the Department of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at Stony Brook University, State University of New York, is a leading historian of European fairy tales. Her conclusion that the most popular modern fairy tale plot originated in Renaissance Venice has been hotly contested and occasioned the October 2010 issue of the Journal of American Folklore. Her recent publications include Fairy Tales: A New History (2009), Gender and Story in South India, ed. with Lalita Handoo and Leela Prasad (2007), and Fairy Godfather: Straparola, Venice, and the Fairy Tale Tradition (2002). Past publications include The Bible for Children: From the Age of Gutenberg to the Present (1996), Grimm’s Bad Girls and Bold Boys: The Moral and Social Vision of the Tales (1987), and Fairy Tales and Society: Illusion, Allusion and Paradigm, ed. (1987), as well as articles on European fairy tales, the history of illustration, and the socialisation of children through Bible narratives. She also reviews widely, has contributed numerous encyclopedia articles, and has translated many scholarly articles into English.

She is a Life Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, held a seven-year visiting fellowship at Magdalen College Oxford 1997-2004), and has taught at Princeton University, Hollins University, and the Universities of Innsbruck, Göttingen, Siegen, and Vienna. An active member of professional organisations in the fields of folk narrative and children’s literature, she also serves on the editorial boards of scholarly journals in her fields and is continuing research in the history of early British children’s literature and the overall history of fairy tales in Europe and in nineteenth- and twentieth-century overseas colonies.

Ongoing research includes shifting relationships between magic and heroes and heroines in tales of the fantastic from ancient Egypt to the Renaissance, fairy tale authors’ prefaces to and comments on their own works (from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century), and the literary basis of fairy tales that have become so widely known that they are routinely used in film, commerce, and literature, as well as told by ordinary people.

1981 D.A. in German Literature and Language.

Prof. Bottigheimer's CV


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Fall 2015

2015 CAT Colloquium

Wednesday, October 28th, from 1:00 - 2:20 p.m.

Humanities Institute room#1008


Speakers and Titles:


Professor E.K. Tan, “From Exile to Queer Homecoming: Chen Xue’s A Wife’s Diary (2012)"


Yalda Hamidi, “'Diasporic Literature as a Feminist Genre: Re-reading Persepolis and Reading Lolita in Tehran"

Co-Sponsored Events:







Kadji Amin published "'Blesser' le spectateur blanc américain: Les Nègres aux États-Unis, 1961-64 et 2003" in Études françaises.

Kadji Amin has been awarded a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship on SEX at the University of Pennsylvania Humanities Forum for the 2015-16 academic year.

Kadji Amin has been awarded a Humanities Institute at Stony Brook Faculty Fellowship for Spring semester of 2015 for the completion of his book, Queer Attachments.

Raiford Guins "Punk archaeologists" explain that they went looking for more than just video-game cartridges in a New Mexico landfill.  

Nancy Hiemstra has been selected to receive the 2014-15 Graduate and Faculty Research Program in the Arts, Humanities and Lettered Social Sciences.

Robert Harvey has been appointed to the rank of Distinguished Professor.

Izabela Kalinowska-Blackwood is curating a film series at the IWM in Vienna.


Beth Tsai has been selected to receive the 2014-15 Graduate and Faculty Research Program in the Arts, Humanities and Lettered Social Sciences.

Kudos Newsletter 

        June 2015

The Humanities Institute

Cultural Analysis and Theory • Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5355 • Phone: 631.632.7460 • Fax: 631.632.5707
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