Jack Zipes, Climate Lit

Jack Zipes is professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1965 and has studied and taught at the University of Munich, the Free University of Berlin, the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, the University of Florida, the University of Frankfurt, Anglia Ruskin University, and the University of Minnesota. His focus has been on the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, German-Jewish history and literature, children’s literature, and folklore and fairy tales.

In addition to his scholarly work, he is an active storyteller in public schools and has worked with children’s theaters in Europe and the United States. In 1997 he founded Neighborhood Bridges, a creative storytelling program for inner-city schools, with the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, and he has continued writing and translating books related to storytelling. In particular, he has been strongly influenced by Gianni Rodari, whose book, The Grammar of Fantasy, he translated in 1997. He’s written two of his own books, Creative Storytelling: Building Community, Changing Lives (1995) and Speaking Out: Storytelling and Creative Drama for Children (2004).

Among his many awards are a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the International Brothers Grimm Award, the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Myth and Fantasy, a Leverhulme Fellowship from Anglia Ruskin University, and World Fantasy Convention Award for Lifetime Achievement (2019)

During his long career, Zipes has been the editor of diverse journals. He was a co-founder of New German Critique in 1972-1986), general editor of Routledge Studies in Children’s Literature and Culture (1998-2012), co-editor of The Lion and the Unicorn  (1990-2001),  co-editor of Palgrave Studies in Contemporary European Culture and History (2000-2010), and editor of Oddly Modern Fairy Tales (Princeton University Press, 2008-present).

Some of his recent publications include: Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre (2006), The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films (2010), The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre (2012), The Golden Age of Folk and Fairy Tales: From the Brothers Grimm to Andrew Lang (2013), and Grimm Legacies: The Magic Power of Fairy Tales (2014). He has also translated the first 1812/15 edition of the Grimms’ tales, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (2014) and Giuseppe Pitrè’s, Caterina the Wise and Other Wondrous Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales (2017).

Most recently he has published The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: An Anthology of Magical Tales (2017), Tales of Wonder: Retelling Fairy Tales through Picture Postcards (2017), Fearless Ivan and His Faithful Horse Double-Hump (2018), and Smack-Bam, The Art of Governing Men: The Political Fairy Tales of Edouard Laboulaye (2018), The Book of the Hundred Riddles of the Fairy Bellaria (2018), Ernst Bloch, the Pugnacious Philosopher of Hope (2019) The Giant Ohl and Tiny Tim (2019), Johnny Breadless (2020), and Charles Godfrey Leland and his Magical Tales (2020).

Ten years after his retirement from the University of Minnesota, he founded the publishing house, Little Mole & Honey Bear in 2018. He continues to live happily ever after.

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