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Research Seminar Series - The Cottingley Fairies of 1917: An event framed by celebrity?

Event information

START DATE 31 January 2018

Middlesex University Dubai

END DATE 31 January 2018

We are pleased to invite you to Wednesday’s research seminar. It will be held on January 31st from 4pm, at Middlesex University Dubai in the Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Knowledge Park. The Research Seminar Series was launched in 2008, and has featured more than 210 presentations to date. The seminars provide a forum for researchers to share their work. Presenters include faculty from Middlesex University Dubai and other universities in the United Arab Emirates, as well as researchers from other global institutions. This week’s presentation is:

The Cottingley Fairies of 1917: An event framed by celebrity?

Louise Edensor

Middlesex University Dubai


Working from the premise that ‘a celebrity always represents more than him or herself’ and is ‘the vehicle(s) for the creation of social meanings’ (Evans and Hesmondhalgh, 2005) this seminar seeks to explore how the framing in the media of, what would become known as the ‘Cottingley Fairy scandal’, was driven by the elite voices that took up the case. This paper will argue that the timing, the framing, and the involvement of early 20th Century celebrities contributed toward making this incident a self-fulfilling prophecy, having now settled itself firmly within British folklore.



Louise Edensor is senior lecturer in Media and Education and Campus Programme coordinator for the International Foundation Programme at Middlesex University. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Northampton, UK and her thesis addresses issues of the self in the writings of Katherine Mansfield. Louise has contributed to volumes of essays on Katherine Mansfield's writings and has worked as Editorial Assistant for Katherine Mansfield Studies, the journal of the Katherine Mansfield Society. Louise enjoys a close relationship with the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and welcomes internationally renowned authors to Middlesex each year.

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