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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

Once Upon a Time a Leather Jacket: Fashion, Identity and Hero’s Journey in Once Upon a Time TV series (2011-present) Seminar

Malgorzata (Gosia) Drewniok
16:00 - 17:30
24 February 2016
Harvard Suite (Room Number 3032), WSA

For more information regarding this seminar, please email John Armitage at .

Event details

This research is very much work in progress. In this presentation I will explore the changing identity of the protagonist of Once Upon a Time, Emma Swan, and how this transformation/journey is signalled by the leather jackets she is wearing throughout Season 1. Once Upon a Time (2011-present) is a TV series which involves fairy tale elements. Emma Swan finds herself in Storybrooke, a small town in Maine, US, but soon is told that all its inhabitants are actually fairy tale characters (including Snow White, Prince Charming, and Red Riding Hood) cursed to live ordinary life and who don’t remember who they are. This new project follows my doctoral research in changes of identity in Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series (1997-2003) and how they’re signalled in language. Emma Swan is told she is the only one who can lift Storybrooke’s curse, but she is a reluctant hero. Season 1 of the series focuses on her journey to acceptance of her fate. I want to argue that her progress is clearly signalled by her clothes. Once Upon a Time costuming, designed by Eduardo Castro, is very interesting – ranging from everyday clothing to larger-than-life fairy tale outfits shown in pre-curse flashbacks. I’m going to use Campbell’s Hero’s Journey framework and existing research on screen costumes, clothes’ meaning, and leather in particular to explore Emma’s numerous leather jackets and their significance.

Speaker information

Malgorzata (Gosia) Drewniok , WSA. Malgorzata (Gosia) Drewniok is a Teaching Fellow in Academic Study Skills with a PhD in Linguistics from Lancaster University (2014), and the Research Skills Module Convenor for MA Fashion Marketing and Branding. In the past she taught various linguistic modules, including language of advertising. At WSA she specialises in content and visual analysis. She has published on the language of Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series (1997-2003) and Yasmine Galenorn’s novels. Gosia has also delivered numerous conference papers and presentations internationally. Her research interests are: language of television, language of popular culture, language of advertising, fashion and image, and language of social media.

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