“The Charm was Broken”: Illness and Injury in the Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm and Mary De Morgan

The Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences and Reynolds Historical Library presented an exhibit by medical student and author Valerie Gribben (May 31, 2012). Gribben researched how the Brothers Grimm and Victorian authoress Mary De Morgan infused medical themes into their fairy tales from Snow White’s poisoned apple to the fabled healing power of the unicorn horn. In the UAB video below, Gribben is interviewed about her research amid the exhibit’s books by Mary De Morgan and posters of familiar fairy tales.



Valerie Gribben happened to be in London (April 2011) doing research about Mary De Morgan that resulted in the above exhibit.  A Royal Wedding between Kate and Will closed the library for the occasion. She joined the celebration and took photographs of British flags everywhere and attended the Royal Wedding from a very long distance, of course!

Gribben Attends Scholarly Conference on Fairy Tales

Once Upon a Time” and “Grimm” are enchanting small screen viewers, but for fairy tales with a scholarly twist, consider this conference in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the publication of the tales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. The Program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University hosted “Grimm Legacies” on February 3 and 4, 2012.  Designed by folklorist extraordinaire Maria Tatar, this symposium examined “the seemingly timeless and universal hold of the cultural stories collected by the Brothers Grimm.  Jack Zipes, Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, delivered the keynote address.” Valerie Gribben participated as a panelist and spoke on “Medicine and Märchen,” looking at the surprising interconnections between fairy tales and the medical field.