This is rather late, I know, but I just wanted to give a brief account of the Halloween 2014 Spectral Visions event at the University of Sunderland, where I was honoured to be invited to give a keynote talk on paranormal romance. This talk—‘‘Demon Lovers: Embracing the Monster in Paranormal Romance’—is available to download here, and the accompanying slides will be posted soon (this is the long version of the talk and it hasn’t been scrupulously edited).
I’d like to thank Alison Younger, Colin Younger, Steve Watts, Stephanie Gallon, David Newton, and everyone else involved for organising such an inspiring event, and everyone present for being so welcoming and for their general enthusiasm.
After a welcome by Dr Steve Watts (Head of Culture), I began the evening by delivering my talk.
Next, Dr Alison Younger presented a fascinating—and, at times, gruesomely amusing—account of the body snatchers Burke and Hare and how they were created as monsters in popular culture, predominantly because of their Irishness.
We then had James Hogg and Robert Murray impressively demonstrating the Victorian martial art of Bartitsu.
This was followed by Michelle McCabe, who gave a fascinating talk on the Victorian murderer Mary Ann Cotton (‘she’s dead and she’s rotten’).
Finally, Dr Colin Younger read from one of his Gothic tales (published in the Spectral Visions anthology).