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The Supernatural in Literature and Film: Ghosts, Fairies, Aliens, Vampires, Monsters, and Demons
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3/29/2014 to 3/31/2014
When: 3/29/2014
Where: Lerwick, Shetland 
United Kingdom
Contact: Adam Grydehøj

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Ever since the dawn of literature, the supernatural has played a role in the stories humanity has told about itself. But how are we to 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? Similarly, 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 criticizes his contemporary Geoffrey of Monmouth for writing lies, yet Gerald himself delights in tales of demons and enchantment. The fascination and horror of the supernatural in film and literature is no less complex today: Whether Hollywood’s various fairy tale reboots, the ancient evils of Lovecraftian horror, the vampires and werewolves of the Twilight series, or the vengeful ghosts and giant monsters that wreak habitual destruction in Japanese cinema, popular culture has never been more magical.

29-30 March will feature academic presentations by delegates. On 31 March, visiting delegates will take part in a coach tour of Shetland’s wild and magnificent natural and cultural heritage sites, guided by a local storyteller. The events of 29-30 March take place in association with the conference retreat "Folk Belief and Traditions of the Supernatural” ( No separate registration is required to hear talks belonging to this conference.

Any interested individuals may attend the conference by registering here. If you are interested in giving a talk, please send an abstract (150-200 words) and biography (max. 100 words) to Adam Grydehøj at 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.

The final deadline for abstracts is 1 October 2013, but to take advantage of early registration rates, you must submit your abstract by 1 June 2013 at the latest. For more information, got to

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