Folk Heterotopias in the Anthropocene: Fairy Gardens in North America

Sabina Magliocco (University of British Columbia)

This paper examines fairy gardens: assemblages of fairy-themed figurines and related objects typically constructed in public-facing outdoor areas. Designed to attract public attention, these assemblages combine mass-produced and hand-crafted items, juxtaposing them in ways that create new meanings and invite community participation. The author argues that these assemblages constitute folk heterotopias, disrupting cultural binaries by both reproducing them and inverting them. A creative response to climate grief, they unsettle urban and suburban landscapes with notions of enchanted nature, yet also reflect nostalgia for a precolonial, preindustrial past.

Part of 06-03 Folk Heterotopias [Hybrid], Friday, November 03, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm