29-30 March will feature presentations by academics and practitioners on the subjects
of the supernatural in literature and film as well as folk belief and traditions
of the supernatural. The conference will be held at North Unst Public Hall.
If you would live in Shetland and would like to attend the presentations, please
RSVP by writing to Robert Thomson at firstname.lastname@example.org by 22 March at the latest.
Label your e-mail ‘Supernatural’ to make sure that Robert sees it. Attendance (including
lunch) costs £7 per day.
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.