Two Decades of Shrek

ONLINE (13.11.2021), 11. June 2021.

Twenty years ago a green Scottish ogre tore a page from his book of fairy tales, used it to wipe his backside and – arguably – changed animation forever.

In the years since, countless computer-animated features have adopted the Shrek series’ hallmarks, from its prominent use of popular songs and celebrity voice actors to its knowing perspective and sarcastic tone. What’s more, Shrek the character has transcended his origins to become an icon to a generation of independent online content creators, popping up in hundreds of surreal memes and viral videos.

Hosted by Middlesex University, this day-long interdisciplinary symposium aims to contextualise the 2001 film and the franchise it spawned, evaluate its legacy, and investigate why it was so impactful. Received in its time as a bold middle-finger to the Disney-dominated animation establishment, we’ll be using the benefit of hindsight to ask whether it affected lasting, significant change.

We’d like to invite proposals for 20-minute papers on topics including (but not limited to):

-  Shrek and the fairy tale
-  Shrek’s relationship with Disney
-  Representing gender, race and ethnicity in the franchise
-  The tech of Shrek
-  The film’s reception, influence and legacy
-  Voice and music in Shrek
-  Shrek merchandise and franchising
-  Performance and the body
-  Shrek as adaptation
-  Shrek and online fan cultures

Please send an email to s.summers@mdx.ac.uk containing your proposal as a word document or pdf. Include a title, a 100-200 word abstract, and a short biographical statement, as well as contact info and institutional affiliation where applicable.

We welcome submissions from postgraduate and early career researchers. Deadline for submissions is 11th June. Successful speakers will be notified by 2nd July.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Sam Summers & Lilly Husbands

Organisers