Thursday, December 16, 2021
11:30 am EST
5:30 pm EST
Three academic talks:
Gillian Polack: Jewish Cultural Representation in Novik’s Spinning Silver.
Foodways are integral to interpreting the use of food. How Jewish characters and culture are depicted in Spinning Silver through foodways demonstrates how Novik depicts cultures and religious values in the novel. Viewing foodways in the context of the culture of Jewish Lithuania in illuminates Novik’s invented Litvas.
Alison Baker: Folklore in Three British Children’s Fantasy Books.
In this paper I will be discussing the use made of three characters from folklore (the Black Dog, the Headless Horseman and the Brownie or Hob) in Briggs’ Hobberdy Dick, Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men. I will outline the use the authors make of folklore to underpin or under cut the sense of Britishness and social class.
Eugen Bacon: African Creation Mythologies.
Aligned with cultural influences on international genre works, this paper will gaze at creation mythologies in the African continent. It showcases the rich belief systems that carry across Africa and the diaspora, and that might inform current and future black speculative fiction.
Friday, December 17, 2021
11:30 am EST
One of the astounding things about the internet has been the way historians—both amateur and professional—have used it to research, write, and make available histories that have not been accessible before. Histories of the marginalized, oppressed, sidelined, and disappeared are now available as the stuff of story. This panel will discuss the pleasures, possibilities, and pitfalls of the new true stories writers are discovering and using.
4:00 pm EST
The concept of bloodsucking monster that looks (vaguely) like a person but actually feeds on people isn’t unique to European folklore. Let’s dive into mythology from around the world to explore other conceptions of the vampire and what makes them compelling.
Saturday, December 18, 2021
Early fairy tales tended to be very dark stories. The 1800s saw the emergence of lighter, more whimsical fairies. Walt Disney made them even more saccharine. Now we are starting to see a return to the more dangerous, untrustworthy Fae. From Grimm’s Fairy Tales to Sleeping Beauty, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and The Dresden Files, our panelists will discuss how the Fae have changed over the years.