The Supernatural in Literature and Film

Venue: City of Macau

Location: Macau, Macau

Event Date/Time: Mar 26, 2015 End Date/Time: Mar 28, 2015
Registration Date: Oct 31, 2014
Early Registration Date: Aug 30, 2014
Abstract Submission Date: Aug 30, 2014
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Objects of fascination and horror.

Although tales of the supernatural are as old as literature itself, they have never fallen completely out of fashion but have instead kept pace with the times. Whereas the hero of the Medieval Beowulf poem vanquished beasts from beyond Anglo-Saxon civilisation and the knights in Spenser’s Early Modern Faerie Queen fought in an allegorical Holy War, the supernatural continues to shed light on its societal context in today’s literature and film. For instance, changing cultural and scientific trends have caused Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) to mean  something different from the diverse Translyvanian vampires of Murnau (1922), Universal Studios (1931), Hammer Films (1958-74), Polanski (1967), Coppola (1992), Brooks (1995), Argento (2012), and so on.

Yet the literary and cinematic supernatural cannot merely be regarded as an artistic technique for coping with human aspirations and fears; it also relates to genuine historical or contemporary religious and folk beliefs. Relative to their fictional reflections, such real-world beliefs may serve entirely different purposes—or indeed, no purposes at all.

From friendly ghosts to vengeful spirits, from dainty fairies to Lovecraftian horrors, from magic dragons to atomic monsters, the literary and cinematic supernatural has had an enduring influence on how we live our lives.

About the conference.

The Supernatural in Literature and Film will explore the role of the supernatural in literature and film throughout history. This international academic conference will take place in the tropical city-state of Macau, a special administrative region of China, on 26-28 March 2015.

The conference will feature presentations by academics and practitioners. It will also be possible to hear talks from the conference Vernacular Religion, Folk Belief, and Traditions of the Supernatural. On 28 March, delegates can participate in a post-conference tour of beautiful Lantau Island (Hong Kong), site of Tai O fishing village and the world’s largest seated bronze Buddha.

The deadline for abstracts is 30 August 2014.