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Jack David Zipes (born 1937) is an American academic and folklorist who has published and lectured on the subject of fairy tales, their evolution, and their social and political role in civilizing processes. According to Zipes, fairy tales "serve a meaningful social function, not just for compensation but for revelation: the worlds projected by the best of our fairy tales reveal the gaps between truth and falsehood in our immediate society." His arguments are avowedly based on the critical theory of the Frankfurt School and more recently theories of cultural evolution.

Education and positionsEdit

Jack Zipes received a B.A. in political science from Dartmouth College in 1959 and an M.A. in English and comparative literature at Columbia University in 1960. From there, Zipes studied at the University of Munich in 1962 and the University of Tübingen in 1963. He earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature (with a dissertation on the Romantic hero in German and American literature) from Columbia in 1965.

After teaching American literature at the University of Munich (1966-1967), Zipes taught German literature and drama, comparative folklore and literary theory (specializing in the Frankfurt School) at New York University (1967-1972), the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (1972-1986) and the University of Florida (1986-1989) before moving to the department of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch at the University of Minnesota, where he was department chair (1994-1998) and is currently professor emeritus of German.[1] He has also held notable visiting professorships in the theater department of the Free University of Berlin (1978-1979) and the German department of Columbia University (1984).[2][3] He has translated the complete 1857 edition of fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. As of October 19, 2014, he has finished translating the first edition of 1812 and 1815.

Awards and HonorsEdit

  • College of Liberal Arts Scholars of the College, University of Minnesota, 1997
  • Fulbright
  • Guggenheim Fellow, 1988[4]
  • McKnight
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Thomas D. Clark Lectureship, University of Kentucky, 1993
  • International Brothers Grimm Award, 1999
  • Distinguished Scholar, International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, 1992

Zipes will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 World Fantasy Awards.[5]



  • Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales (1979)
  • Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion: The Classical Genre for Children and the Process of Civilization (1982)
  • The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (1987, updated with additional tales in both 1992 and 2002)
  • Beauties, Beasts and Enchantments: Classic French Fairy Tales (1989)
  • The Operated Jew: Two Tales of Antisemitism (1991)
  • Fairy Tale As Myth, Myth As Fairy Tale (1994)
  • Creative Storytelling: Building Community/Changing Lives (1995)
  • Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales, Children and the Culture Industry (1997)
  • Sticks and Stones: The Troublesome Success of Children's Literature from Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter (2000)
  • The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World (2002, 2003)
  • Speaking Out: Storytelling and Creative Drama for Children (2004)
  • Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre (2006)
  • The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films (2011)
  • Literature and Literary Theory: Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion (2011)
  • The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre (2012)
  • Grimm Legacies: The Magic Spell of the Grimms’ Folk and Fairy Tales (2014)


  • Political Plays for Children: The Grips Theatre of Berlin (1976)
  • Victorian Fairy Tales: The Revolt of the Fairies and Elves (1984)
  • Don't Bet on the Prince: Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England (1987)
  • Fairy Tales and Fables from Weimar Days (1990, updated and revised 2018)
  • Spells of Enchantment: The Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture (1991)
  • The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood (1993)
  • Outspoken Princess and the Gentle Knight: A Treasury of Modern Fairy Tales (1994)
  • Yale Companion to Jewish Writing and Thought in German Culture, 1096-1996 (1997)
  • When Dreams Come True (1998)
  • The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales (2000)
  • The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm (2001)
  • Italian Popular Tales (2001)
  • Unlikely History: The Changing German-Jewish Symbiosis, 1945-2000 (2002)
  • Aesop's Fables (2004)
  • Beautiful Angiola: The Great Treasury of Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales (2004)
  • Myth, Symbol, and Meaning in Mary Poppins: Children's Literature and Culture (2006)
  • The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature [4 volumes] (2006)
  • Beauties, Beasts and Enchantments: Classic French Fairy Tales (2009)
  • The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy Tale Films (2010)
  • The Golden Age of Folk and Fairy Tales: From the Brothers Grimm to Andrew Lang[6] (2013)
  • The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition (2014)
  • Fairy-Tale Films Beyond Disney: International Perspectives (2015)


  1. ^ "Jack Zipes, a scholar of fairy tales, has two Brothers Grimm books out". 27 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Faculty". Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2017-06-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation".
  5. ^ "2019 World Fantasy Awards Finalists". 25 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-19. Retrieved 2014-08-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit