Conference on

The Supernatural

in Literature and Film

29-31 March 2014, Unst, Shetland, UK

Download conference programme.

Objects of fascination and horror.

Ever since the dawn of literature, the supernatural has played a role in the stories humanity tells about itself. But how can we 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? 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 could criticise his earlier contemporary Geoffrey of Monmouth for writing lies, yet Gerald himself delights in tales of demons and enchantment. Film and literature’s fascination with the supernatural is no less complex today: Whether ‘weird fiction’, Hollywood’s fairy tale reboots, ancient evils of Lovecraftian horror, literary mysticism, the vampires and werewolves of the Twilight books and movies, or the vengeful ghosts and giant monsters that wreak habitual destruction in Japanese cinema, popular culture has never been more magical.

This conference brought together scholars from across the world to discuss the supernatural in literature and film.