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CFP: OGOM & Supernatural Cities present: The Urban Weird

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    Bill Hughes
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    @billhughes

    CFP: OGOM & Supernatural Cities present:  The Urban Weird – University of Hertfordshire, 6-7 April, 2018

    The OGOM Project is known for its imaginative events and symposia, which have often been accompanied by a media frenzy. We were the first to invite vampires into the academy back in 2010. Our most recent endeavour, Company of Wolves: Werewolves, Shapeshifters and Feral Humans enjoyed extensive coverage globally and saw us congratulated in the THES for our ambitious 3 day programme which included actual wolves, ‘a first for a UK academy’. Our fourth conference will be an exciting collaboration with the Supernatural Cities: Narrated Geographies and Spectral Histories project at the University of Portsmouth. Supernatural Cities will enjoy its third regeneration, having previously convened in Portsmouth and Limerick.

    The Open Graves, Open Minds Project unearthed depictions of the vampire and the undead in literature, art, and other media, before embracing shapeshifting creatures (most recently, the werewolf) and other supernatural beings and their worlds. It opens up questions concerning genre, gender, hybridity, cultural change, and other realms. It extends to all narratives of the fantastic, the folkloric, the fabulous, and the magical. Supernatural Cities encourages conversation between disciplines (e.g. history, cultural geography, folklore, social psychology, anthropology, sociology and literature). It explores the representation of urban heterotopias, otherness, haunting, estranging, the uncanny, enchantment, affective geographies, communal memory, and the urban fantastical.​

    The city theme ties in with OGOM’s current research: Sam George’s work on the English Eerie and the urban myth of Old Stinker, the Hull werewolf; the Pied Piper’s city of Hamelin and the geography and folklore of Transylvania; Bill Hughes’s work on the emergence of the genre of paranormal romance from out of (among other forms) urban fantasy; Kaja Franck’s work on wilderness, wolves, and were-animals in the city. This event will see us make connections with the research of Supernatural Cities scholars, led by historian Karl Bell. Karl has explored the myth of Spring-Heeled-Jack, and the relationship between the fantastical imagination and the urban environment. We invite other scholars to join in the dialogue with related themes from their own research.

    The conference will explore the image of the supernatural city as expressed in narrative media from a variety of epochs and cultures. It will provide an interdisciplinary forum for the development of innovative and creative research and examine the cultural significance of these themes in all their various manifestations. As with previous OGOM conferences, from which emerged books and special issue journals, there will be the opportunity for delegates’ presentations to be published.

    Abstracts (200-300 words) for twenty-minute papers or proposals for two-hour panels, together with a 100-word biography, should be submitted by 1 January 2018 as an email attachment in MS Word document format to all of the following:

    Dr Sam George, s.george@herts.ac.uk;

    Dr Bill Hughes, bill.enlightenment@gmail.com;

    Dr Kaja Franck, k.a.franck@gmail.com;

    Dr Karl Bell, karl.bell@port.ac.uk

    Please use your surname as the document title. The abstract should be in the following format: (1) Title (2) Presenter(s) (3) Institutional affiliation (4) Email (5) Abstract. Panel proposals should include (1) Title of the panel (2) Name and contact information of the chair (3) Abstracts of the presenters.

    Presenters will be notified of acceptance by 30 January 2018.

    Conference information

    Conference website:

    The Urban Weird 2018

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