Dr. Jack Zipes

Women's & Gender Studies

Dr. Jack Zipes

Academic Biography 

Jack Zipes is Professor Emeritus of German at the University of Minnesota and has previously held professorships at New York University, the University of Munich, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Florida. In addition to his scholarly work, he is an active storyteller in public schools and has worked with children’s theaters in France, Germany, Canada, and the United States. In 1997 he founded a storytelling and creative drama program, Neighborhood Bridges, in collaboration with the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis that is still thriving in the elementary schools of the Twin Cities.

His major publications include The Great Refusal: Studies of the Romantic Hero in German and American Literature (1970), Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales (1979), Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion (1983), The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood (1983), Don’t Bet on the Prince: Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England (1986), The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World (1988), The Operated Jew: Two Tales of Anti-Semitism (1991), Fairy Tale as Myth/Myth as Fairy Tale (1994), Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales, Children, and the Culture Industry (1997), Yale Companion to Jewish Writing and Thought in German Culture, 1066-1966 edited with Sander Gilman (1997), When Dreams Came True: Classical Fairy Tales and their Tradition (1999), Sticks and Stones: The Troublesome Success of Children’s Literature from Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter (2000), Unlikely History: The Changing German-Jewish Symbiosis, 1945-2000 edited with Leslie Morris (2002), Hans Christian Andersen: The Misunderstood Storyteller (2005), Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre (2006), Relentless Progress: The Reconfiguration of Children’s Literature, Fairy Tales, and Storytelling (2008), The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-tale Films (2010), and The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre (2012).

Regarded as a major American translator, he has published The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (1987), Beauties, Beasts, and Enchantment: Classic French Fairy Tales (1989), The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse (1995). He has also edited Spells of Enchantment: The Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture (1991), The Outspoken Princess and the Gentle Knight (1994), The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales (2000), The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm (2001), and The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature (2006). His most recent translations include Beautiful Angiola: The Great Treasury of Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales Collected by Laura Gonzenbach (2006), The Folk and Fairy Tales of Giuseppe Pitrè with Joseph Russo (2008), Lucky Hans and other Merz Fairy Tales by Kurt Schwitters (2008), and The Cloak of Dreams by Béla Balázs (2010), all which include long introductions. In 2013 he published a major anthology of nineteenth century folk tales under the title, The Golden Age of Folk and Fairy Tales: From the Brothers Grimm to Andrew Lang.

Early in his career, Professor Zipes was co-founder of the important journal New German Critique and is presently editor-in-chief of the Routledge book series Children’s Literature and Culture and co-editor with Erich Weitz of the Palgrave book series Studies in Contemporary European Culture and History. In 1997 he became the first Director of the Center for German and European Studies In addition to his administrative work, he has written numerous articles for various journals in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Italy, Slovenia, and France. 

Among his many awards are the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (1988-89), the Distinguished Scholar Award of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (1992), the Storytelling World Award: Storytelling Information (1996), the Scholar of College, University of Minnesota (1997-2000), the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (1998-1999), the Anne Devereaux Jordan Award for exceptional service to children and their literature, Children’s Literature Association (1999), the International Brothers Grimm Award, International Institute for Children’s Literature in Osaka, Japan (1999), the McKnight Research Grant (2000-2003), Schick Lecture Award of Indiana State University, Hoosier Folklore Society (2006), Katharine Briggs Award, Folklore Society, London (2007), and a Leverhulme Fellowship at the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England (2012-13).