Thursday, 25 March 2010

Wild Signs

I haven't bothered to advertise my publications here, beyond putting them in an easily missed box at the bottom of the page, but I thought I would make the effort to note one new publication. I'm really pleased that the British Archaeological Report volume Wild Signs: Graffiti in Archaeology and History, ed. Jeff Oliver and Tim Neal, Studies in Contemporary and Historical Archaeology, 6 / BAR S2074 (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2010) is now out. It's been a while coming, but it's well worth the wait.
The book is expanded from the proceedings of a panel on graffiti at the 2005 TAG conference at the University of Sheffield. (TAG is Sheffield's The Archaeology Group). Jeff and Tim, who convened the panel, made a point of sending the Call for Papers over to the folklorists in the university. I gave a paper on Banksy's rat stencils and their relationship to folklore about rats, and I was glad I'd gone. It was a broad and diverse panel, and it triggered a lot of my subsequent interest in graffiti. Joxe Mallea-Olaetxe's photographs of obscene tree-carvings done by Basque herdsmen in Western American states really got me enthusiastic about occupational graffiti. I haven't seen the whole book yet, but I've had the pdf of my chapter and the illustrations are looking good (which matters in a book about graffiti).

Graffiti is one of those areas that's being studied in a lot of disciplines, and it's all too easy not to know what else is out there. So I'm delighted to know this is.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Ghost Questionnaire Closing Shortly

As I've mentioned before, I'm into my writing up now. I've also just been reminded that the period of fieldwork I'd agreed with the university Ethics Committee is about to expire. I will therefore be taking down my ghost questionnaire in the next two weeks. If you've been thinking about completing it but haven't got round to it yet, now is your last chance.

This post gives some background information to my research, if you want some idea of where I'm coming from. I'm interested in hearing from you whether you believe or not.

Friday, 12 March 2010

FLS AGM Conference on 'The Supernatural'

I'm looking forward to the Folklore Society AGM and Conference at Leeds Trinity and All Saints University College, Horsforth, Leeds. It takes place between 26 and 28 March, and is dedicated to 'The Supernatural'. You can still (just about) get the advanced booking rate. The registration details are available here. There is now a draft programme available. There's lots of interesting things I'd actually go and hear even if I wasn't giving a paper myself (which isn't true of all the conferences I've been to, I must say).
Friday 26 March
Registration opens at 2pm, and tea will be available. The Folklore Society AGM, which is restricted to FLS members only, is at 3pm. At 4pm Eddie Cass will give the President's Lecture, which is open to all. This is on the subject of 'Alex Helm and His Collection of Folk Performance Material'. It will be followed at 5pm by a wine reception, and dinner at 6pm.
Saturday 27 March
9:00 Jacqueline Simpson (FLS), 'The Ambiguity of Elves'
9:45 Ariella Feldman (University of Birmingham), 'Jane Eyre: Fairy and Witch Power: A Study of Gender'
10:30 Mikel J. Koven (University of Worcester) and Gunnella Þorgeirsdóttir (University of Sheffield), 'Televisual Folklore: Rescuing Supernatural from the Fakelore Realms'
11:15 Coffee
11:45 Nickianne Moody (Liverpool John Moores University), 'Contemporary Urban Fantasy and the Lessons of Folklore'
12:15 Maureen James (University of Glamorgan), '"Tatterfoals, Will-o-the-Wykes, and the Old Lad": Exploring Supernatural Beliefs in Lincolnshire'
1:00 Lunch
2:30 Peter Robson (University of Sheffield), 'Thomas Hardy's Ghosts'
3:15 Paul Cowdell (University of Hertfordshire), '"I Have Believed in Spirits, From That Day unto This ...": Oral Narratives, Belief, Literary Adaptation, and Transmission'
4:00 Tea
4:45 David Clarke (Sheffield Hallam University), 'The Supernatural Content of the MoD UFO Files'
The day's proceedings end at 5.30.
Sunday 28 March
9:30 David Hunt (FLS), 'Perception of Time in Folklore: Transitions between Mortality and Immortality'
10:15 Gideon Thomas (FLS), '"Lady Margaret Was Standing in Her Own Room Door ...": The Roles and Meanings of Revenants in a Selection of Traditional Ballads'
11:00 Coffee
11:30 Irene Petratou (Panteion University of Athens/Kapodistrian University of Athens), 'Supernatural References in Advertising: The Case of "Supernatural Women"'
12:15 Lunch
2:00 Close