Posts Tagged ‘Vampires’
Call for Abstracts: “A ‘Supernatural’ History of Central Europe, 1870-present”
Editors: Eric Kurlander (Stetson U.) and Monica Black (U. of Tenn., Knoxville)
Deadline: August 1, 2012
Despite the ostensible “disenchantment of the world” proclaimed by Max Weber at the beginning of the twentieth century, Central Europe has a rich modern history of occultism, folklore, paganism, and popular religion. Yet the “supernatural history” of this ethno- culturally diverse region, extending from the Rhine and Baltic in the North and West to the Vistula and Danube in the South and East, has yet to be written. To be sure, the last twenty years have witnessed a renaissance of interest in Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish religious practice since the late-nineteenth century. With the exception a few excellent monographs on occultism and parapsychology, however, historians have been slow to investigate less conventional aspects of the “supernatural” in Modern Central Europe.
We seek abstracts from scholars interested in exploring the new spiritualities, unique metaphysical experiences and practices, and novel explanations of the world that stood somewhere between natural scientific verifiability and the shopworn truths of traditional religion, and which flourished across Central Europe in the wake of the Second Industrial Revolution. We are keen to see submissions that integrate social, political, and cultural history with “supernatural” thinking and practice, broadly conceived. We are especially interested in submissions that will extend their analysis and explorations beyond national boundaries, connecting people, ideas, experiences, and movements interculturally and transnationally.
Obviously, profound complexities inhere in the term “supernatural”—and no less so in terms like “popular religion,” let alone “superstition.” All of these terms bristle with invidious distinctions and reifications imposed by those seeking to draw sharp contrasts between “orthodox” and “heterogeneous” manifestations of religion and between “science” and “popular belief”—which for our purposes might refer to various methods of explaining, knowing, and experiencing the world that somehow draw on the numinous or the metaphysical. Not only has the presence and broad scope of such practices and ideas not yet been fully explored, but they have also not been properly integrated into larger histories of Central European culture, society, and politics—despite the fact that they have from time to time been the cause of considerable friction.
By bringing together scholars from German, Austrian, Hapsburg, and Slavic Studies, we hope to address questions central to the study of Central European politics, culture, and identity in new ways. What meanings can we assign to the renewal of interest in occultism, “pseudo-science,” and folklore studies in the decades around the fin-de-siècle? How does the waxing or waning of these fields relate to questions of war and peace, revolution and reaction, crisis and stability? How have differences between “science” and “pseudo-science” been articulated in various moments and why? How did folklore, occultism, “pseudo-science” and other “supernatural” practices function as alternatives to organized religion at various moments in the Central European past? How was a fascination with the “supernatural” reflected in popular culture and the arts from the nineteenth century to today? What roles have popular superstition and everyday rituals played in Central European attempts to negotiate the trials of the twentieth century? What role did such rituals––“political religion” or otherwise––play in the legitimization of fascism, communism, and other forms of authoritarian politics before and after 1945? What influence did “supernatural” ideas and practices have in generating policies of ethnic cleansing, eugenics, and imperialism, or how can they been seen as a response to those policies? What were the differences East and West of the Iron Curtain after 1945? What are the implications in terms of class, gender, identity, and ethnicity?
Potential topics may include but are not limited to:
“Pseudo-science” and parapsychology
Séances, spirit media, and communication with the dead
Clairvoyance and prophecy
Ghost stories and apparitions
Vampires, werewolves and other monsters
The horror genre, science fiction, and “fantastic” in film, art, and literature
If you are interested in contributing an abstract of not more than 500 words for consideration, please send it, along with your CV, to Monica Black (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Eric Kurlander (email@example.com) by AUGUST 1, 2012.
9th GLOBAL CONFERENCE
MONSTERS AND THE MONSTROUS
Saturday 10th September – Tuesday 13th September 2011
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom
CALL FOR PAPERS
This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary
project seeks to investigate and explore the
enduring influence and imagery of monsters
and the monstrous on human culture throughout
history. In particular, the project will have a
dual focus with the intention of examining
specific ‘monsters’ as well as assessing the role,
function and consequences of persons, actions or
events identified as ‘monstrous’.
The history and contemporary cultural influences
of monsters and monstrous metaphors will also be
Papers, reports, work-in-progress, workshops and
pre-formed panels are invited on issues related to
any of the following themes:
* The monster through history
* Civilization, monsters and the monstrous
* Children, childhood, stories and monsters
* Comedy: funny monsters and/or making fun of
monsters (e.g. Monsters vs. Aliens, the Addams Family)
* Monstrous Avatars or objects
* Monsters and subjectivity
* Monsters and Sexuality
* Making monsters; monstrous births, childhood
* Mutants and mutations and freaks
* Technologies of the monstrous (including
Role Playing Games)
* Horror, fear and scare
* Do monsters kill because they are monstrous
or are they monstrous because they kill?
* How critical to the definition of monster
is death or the threat of death?
* Human ‘monsters’ and ‘monstrous’ acts? e.g,
perverts, paedophiles and serial killers
* Revolution and monsters
* Enemies (political/social/military) and monsters
* Iconography of the monstrous
* The popularity of the modern monsters; the
Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein, Vampires, Cannibals
* The monster in literature
* The monster in media (television, cinema, radio, internet)
* Religious depictions of the monstrous
* Metaphors and the monstrous
* The problematic attraction and admiration of monsters
* Monstrous (In)Humanity / (In)Human Monstrosity
* Monstrous Politics
* Critical Theories on the Monstrous
Papers can be accepted which deal solely with
specific monsters. This project will run
concurrently with our project on Space and Place –
we welcome any papers considering the problems or
addressing issues on Monsters and Space and Place
for a cross-over panel. We also welcome
pre-formed panels on any aspect of the monstrous
or in relation to crossover panel(s).
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday
25th March 2011.
If an abstract is accepted for
the conference, a full draft paper should be
submitted by Friday 8th July 2011.
300 word abstracts should be submitted to the
Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word,
WordPerfect, or RTF formats, following this order:
c) email address
d) title of abstract
e) body of abstract
E-mails should be entitled: Monsters Abstract
Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain
from using any special formatting, characters or
emphasis (such as bold, italics or
underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to
all paper proposals submitted. If you do not
receive a reply from us in a week you should
assume we did not receive your proposal; it might
be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look
for an alternative electronic route or resend.
* Sorcha Ni Fhlainn
Hub Leader, Evil Hub, Inter-Disciplinary.Net
School of English, Trinity College, Dublin,
* Rob Fisher
Network F rounder & Leader,
* Stephen Morris
New York, USA
The aim of the conference is to bring together
people from different areas and interests to share
ideas and explore various discussions which
are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted
for and presented at this conference are eligible
for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected
papers may be invited to go forward for
development into a themed ISBN hard copy volume.
Some papers may also be invited for inclusion in
the Journal of Monsters and the Monstrous.
For further details of the project, please visit
For further details of the conference, please visit
Sponsored by: Inter-Disciplinary.Net