Call for papers: Gothic encounters with enchantment and the Faerie realm in literature and culture

      Comments Off on Call for papers: Gothic encounters with enchantment and the Faerie realm in literature and culture

University of Hertfordshire, 8‒10 April 2021.

The Open Graves, Open Minds (OGOM) Project was launched in 2010 with the Vampires and the Undead in Modern Culture conference.We have subsequently  hosted symposia on Bram Stoker and John William Polidori, unearthing depictions of the vampire in literature, art, and other media, before embracing shapeshifting creatures and other supernatural beings and their worlds. The Company of Wolves, our ground-breaking werewolf and feral humans conference, took place in 2015. This was followed by The Urban Weird, a folkloric collaboration with Supernatural Cities in 2017. The OGOM Project now extends to all narratives of the fantastic, the folkloric, the fabulous, and the magical. 

Our research from these conferences and symposia has since been disseminated in various publications. We have produced two edited collections of essays: Open Graves, Open Minds: Representations of Vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the Present Day (Manchester University Press, 2013) and In the Company of Wolves: Werewolves, Wolves, and Wild Children, ed. by Sam George and Bill Hughes (Manchester University Press, 2020) and two special issues of Gothic StudiesVampires and the Undead in Modern Culture special issue, 15.1 (May 2013) and Werewolves and Wildness special issue, 21.1 (Spring 2019).

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of OGOM, we turn our attention to fairies and other creatures from the realm of Faerie.

Keynote Speakers
Prof. Diane Purkiss (Keble College, Oxford), ‘Where Do Fairies Come From? Shifts in Shape’

Prof. Dale Townshend (Manchester Metropolitan University), ‘“The fairy kind of writing”:  Gothic and the Aesthetics of Enchantment in the Long Eighteenth Century’

Prof. Catherine Spooner (Lancaster University), ‘Glamourie: Fairies and Fashion’

Prof. Owen Davies (University of Hertfordshire), ‘Print Grimoires, Spirit Conjuration, and the Democratisation of Learned Magic’

Dr Sam George (University of Hertfordshire), ‘Fairy Lepidoptera: the Dark History of Butterfly-Winged Fae’

The conference will also feature A Fairy Workshop on networking and outreach in the field of folklore studies for postgraduate students and ECRS with Dr Ceri Holbrook (University of Hertfordshire; Magical Folk, 2018) and a mini Fairy Film Festival in St Albans. And, to complete the anniversary celebrations, there will be A Fairy Ball where delegates will be encouraged to abandon their human natures and transform into their dark fey Other.

There will be an opportunity to submit your paper for our OGOM publications.

Topics may include but are not restricted to:
‘The fairy kind of writing’ in 18C Gothic poetics
The Gothic fairy in Romanticism; Victorian fairies in art and literature
Dark fairies in paranormal romance
Fairies in YA literature
Fairies and urban fantasy
Fairies in ballads and medieval romance
Fairies on stage
Fairies in music
Faery, disenchantment, and modernity
Fairy folklore
Fairies, nature, and eco-Gothic
Cinematic fairies and the Gothic; Fairies and place
Utopia and the Otherworld
Gothic folklore; Goblins, hobs, and other malevolent fairy folk
Intertextuality and fairy narratives
Fairies and theology
Fairies and (pseudo)science
Light and shade: fairies, film, and optics
Fairy morality
The Faerie world and the aesthetic dimension
Fairy festivals and the carnivalesque
Changelings and identity
Fairies and the Other
Fairies and fashion
Fairies and nationalism
Fairy-vampires and other hybrids
Steampunk Fairies

Abstracts (200-300 words) for twenty-minute papers or proposals for panels, together with a short biography (150 words), should be submitted by 30 October 2020 as an email attachment in MS Word document format to all of the following:

Dr Sam George,; Dr Bill Hughes,; Dr Kaja Franck,; Daisy Butcher,

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 November 2020.

Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @OGOMProject  #GothicFairies