Saturday, 14 August 2010

Vampire Conference in London (November 2011)

Vampires: Myths of the Past and the Future

An interdisciplinary conference organised by Simon Bacon, The London Consortium in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory, Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London

Deadline for submissions: 30 April 2011
Conference dates: 2nd-4th November 2011
Venue: Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London


Myths of vampires and the undead are as old as civilisation itself, wherever humans gather these 'dark reflections' are sure to follow. Whether as hungry spirits, avenging furies or as the disgruntled dearly departed, they have been used to signify the monstrous other and the consequences of social transgression. Embodying the result of a life lived beyond patriarchal protective proscription that quickly changes from dream to nightmare and from fairy tale to ghost story.
However their manifold and multifarious manifestation also provides a point of opposition and resistance, one that subverts majority narrative and gives agency to the disenfranchised and oppressed within society. This is seen most clearly in the late twentieth century where, in a plethora of filmic and literary texts, amidst a growing 'sympathy for the devil' the vampire is constructed as a site of personal and social transition. Here alternative narratives (e.g. feminist, ethnic, post-colonial discourses etc) find expression and ways in which to configure their own identity within, or in opposition to, the dominant cultural parameters revealing hybridity as the catalyst for future myth making.
In the course of the past century the vampire has undergone many transformations which now see them as a separate evolutionary species, both genetically and cybernetically, signifying all that late capitalist society admires and desires thus completing its change from an adhorational figure to an aspirational one; the vampire is no longer the myth of a murky superstitious past but that of a bright new future and one that will last forever.
This interdisciplinary conference will look at the various ways the vampire has been used in the past and present to construct narratives of possible futures, both positive and negative, that facilitate both individual and colelctive, either in the face of hegemonic discourse or in the continuance of its ideological meta-narratives.

Keynote speakers include:

Stacey Abbott
Milly Williamson
Catherine Spooner

We invite papers from a wide range of disciplines and approaches such as: anthropology, art history, cultural studies, film studies, history, literary studies, philosophy, psychology, theology, etc.

Possible themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Myths, fairy tales and urban legends
  • Cross cultural colonisation, vampiric appropriation and reappropriation
  • Cinema, Manga/Anime and gaming

  • Fandom, lifestyle, 'real' vampires and identity configuration

  • Minority discourse and the transcultural vampire

  • Genetics, cybernetics and the post human

  • Blood memory, vampiric memory and the immortal archive

  • Dracula vs. Nosferatu; Urban vs. Rural

  • Globalisation, corporations and 'Dark' societies

  • Immortality, transcendence and cyberspace

  • Old World/New World and vampiric migration

  • From stakes to crosses to sunlight

  • Blood Relations and the vampiric family

  • Abjection, psychoanalysis and transitional objects


Papers will also be considered on any related themes. Abstracts of 300 words should be submitted to Simon Bacon no later than April 30th 2011.

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