The Supernatural in Literature and Film - Ghosts, Fairies, Aliens, Vampires, Monsters and Demons

  • Conference Call
  • Island Dynam­ics is seek­ing your par­tic­i­pa­tion in a Con­fer­ence about the Super­nat­ural in Lit­er­a­ture and Film – Ghosts, Fairies, Aliens, Vam­pires, Mon­sters and Demons, to be held March 29 – 31, 2014 in Ler­wick, Shet­lands, United King­dom.

    Objects of fas­ci­na­tion and horror

    This con­fer­ence will bring together researchers and prac­ti­tion­ers to dis­cuss the role of the super­nat­ural in lit­er­a­ture and film, past and present, worldwide.

    Ever since the dawn of lit­er­a­ture, the super­nat­ural has played a role in the sto­ries human­ity tells about itself. But how can we com­pare Medieval his­tor­i­cal writ­ing – with its nat­u­ral­is­tic nar­ra­tives of fairies, demons, and mon­sters – with present-​day writ­ten and film fic­tion con­cern­ing vam­pires, aliens, and ghosts? What are today’s read­ers to make of Medieval texts of a con­sciously fic­tional nature?

    Even in 12th Cen­tury Britain, the seri­ous author Ger­ald of Wales could crit­i­cise his ear­lier con­tem­po­rary Geof­frey of Mon­mouth for writ­ing lies, yet Ger­ald him­self delights in tales of demons and enchantment.

    Film and literature’s fas­ci­na­tion with the super­nat­ural is no less com­plex today: Whether ‘weird fic­tion’, Hollywood’s fairy tale reboots, ancient evils of Love­craft­ian hor­ror, lit­er­ary mys­ti­cism, the vam­pires and were­wolves of the Twi­light­books and movies, or the venge­ful ghosts and giant mon­sters that wreak habit­ual destruc­tion in Japan­ese cin­ema, pop­u­lar cul­ture has never been more magical.

    Talks, exhibits, and excursions

    29 – 30 March will fea­ture pre­sen­ta­tions by aca­d­e­mic del­e­gates on the sub­ject of the super­nat­ural in lit­er­a­ture and film. It will also be pos­si­ble to hear talks from the con­fer­ence Folk Belief and Tra­di­tions of the Super­nat­ural. There will also be talks and read­ings by authors of super­nat­ural fic­tion as well as the pos­si­bil­ity of pur­chas­ing books and films at exhi­bi­tion tables.

    On 31 March, del­e­gates will have the oppor­tu­nity to take part in excur­sions out­side of the town of Ler­wick and other events.

    Atten­dance, call for papers, & presentations

    If you are inter­ested in giv­ing an aca­d­e­mic pre­sen­ta­tion, please send an abstract (150−200 words) and biog­ra­phy (max. 100 words) to the con­venor Adam Gry­de­høj. All abstracts are sub­ject to peer review, and selected papers will be col­lected for pub­li­ca­tion. Note that the oral pre­sen­ta­tions on 29 – 30 March will be deliv­ered to a mixed audi­ence of aca­d­e­mics and non-​academics. Pro­pos­als for organ­ised pan­els of three to four pre­sen­ta­tions are wel­come: To pro­pose a panel, please e-​mail the con­venor abstracts and biogra­phies for all of the papers in the pro­posed panel.

    If you are inter­ested in giv­ing a talk as a prac­ti­tioner (author or film­maker) and/​or in hav­ing your prod­ucts for sale in the exhibitors’ area, please con­tact Adam Gry­de­høj at agrydehoj@​islanddynamics.​org for details.

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