Laura E. K. Von Wallmenich, Ph.D.
Directed Student Presentations and Achievements
Emily Havelka, Honor's Day Presentation
Nobody’s Meat: The Erotic Subversion of Angela Carter’s The Company of Wolves
Charles Perrault’s 1697 collection of fairy tales is often described as the original source for the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood.” However, the story existed long before that in oral forms. Much of the content was altered to serve Perrault’s interests and audience. By removing the strip teases, the marriage ceremonies, the disemboweling and the cannibalism that was part of oral versions of the tale, Perrault shaped the story into a narrative of sexual confinement, rather than sexual discovery. Perrault warned that little girls who cavort with strangers will be punished severely. The brothers Grimm did one better; for their “Little Red Riding Hood” is not only devoured for her sexual curiosity, but also rescued from that devastation by a benevolent patriarch in the form of the woodsman. These two versions of the tale use their narrative choices to shape “Little Red Riding Hood” into a cautionary tale of lost virginity, rather than the original story of celebratory sexual discovery. It is this earlier, liberatory narrative that Angela Carter seeks to restore in her postmodern revision of “Little Red Riding Hood.” In In "The Company of Wolves" Carter subverts the patriarchal narratives of Perrault and Grimm by recasting the erotic and the sexual as both natural and a powerful, transformative force.