The Urban Weird 2018

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 are often 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.​

Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Owen Davies (University of Hertfordshire), historian of witchcraft and magic, on ‘Supernatural beliefs in nineteenth-century asylums’

Dr Sam George (University of Hertfordshire), Convenor of the Open Graves, Open MindsProject, ‘City Demons: urban manifestations of the Pied Piper and Nosferatu Myths’

Dr Karl Bell (University of Portsmouth), Convenor of Supernatural Cities, ‘Dark City, Daemonic Architectures: Towards a Cartography of the Urban Weird’

Adam Scovell, (Goldsmiths) BFI critic and Folk Horror film specialist will introduce a special urban weird screening

Delegates will engage with our Spectral Cities Tour and accompany us on a  magical and weird journey around St Albans and its environs. They will also be invited to participate in a special workshop on a Mancunian Boggart, led by Ceri Houlbrook (ECR , University of Hertfordshire). Using a wide range of material – from the pens of antiquarians to local ballads and oral histories – this workshop will trace the history and folklore of Boggart Hole Clough, where today, still, ‘there lurks that strange elf’.

Advice on Travel and Accommodation can be found here.

Click here for the full CFP and the opportunity to accompany us on our journey into the urban weird……..