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Island Dynamics Conference on Folk Belief and Traditions of the Supernatural
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3/25/2014 to 3/30/2014
When: 3/25/2014
Where: Shetland
United Kingdom
Contact: Adam Grydehøj

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Island Dynamics Conference on Folk Belief & Traditions of the Supernatural: Experience, Place, Ritual, & Narrative

25‒30 March 2014

Shetland, UK

Throughout history, scholars and laypeople have theorised on supernatural experience. Europeans have debated, for example, whether fairies should be identified as demons, Jungian archetypes, symbols of nature, a race of humans, childhood bogeymen, or liminality made manifest. Is precognition a blessing, curse, delusion, or transfer of spiritual energy? What about encounters with ghosts, gods, aliens, monsters, or the Virgin Mary? How comparable are traditions from different cultures? Where do we draw the line between religion, folk belief, science, and entertainment? This folklore conference will explore past and present supernatural traditions worldwide, focusing on how they relate to experience, place, ritual, and narrative.

"Folk Belief & Traditions of the Supernatural” has an innovative conference format. From the evening of 25 March to the afternoon of 28 March, the conference group will be based at remote and windswept cottages on the island of Unst, where we will speak with tradition bearers and visit sites of local legend. We will spend the last two nights in Shetland’s main town of Lerwick, where delegates will offer academic presentations to the general public.

To learn more and find out how to submit an abstract, please visit: Note that spaces are limited, and it is recommended that you register early.

This Island Dynamics conference is a collaboration of the Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology, Indiana University and the Anthropological Institute, Nanzan University.

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