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SUPERNATURAL 2021 : Supernatural Connections: An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

Lisbon, Portugal
Event Date: Mar 12, 2021 - Mar 13, 2021
Submission Deadline: Sep 04, 2020
Notification of Acceptance: Sep 18, 2020
Camera Ready Version Due : Jan 15, 2021


As a constant and chilling presence in individual lives and the popular imagination, the supernatural, as a cultural phenomenon, is prone to repeated revivals and resurrections. Like some uncanny revenant, the supernatural re-emerges at crucial historical moments, often transforming to reflect the concerns of its epoch. Recent times have seen a sharp rise in occult practice amongst millennials, many of whom have rejected more traditional spiritual systems in favour of Wicca, witchcraft and astrology. The past two decades have also witnessed a proliferation of supernatural fiction, encompassing everything from populist works like Supernatural (2005 – present), Twilight (2008-2012), The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018 – present) and Siempre Bruja (2019) to critically-acclaimed texts like The Babadook (2014), The Witch (2015) Under the Shadow (2016) and Suspiria (2018). The reawakening of interest in the supernatural poses a wealth of questions about why the occult has once again seized hold of the popular imagination, while, at the same time, gesturing backwards to earlier eruptions of supernaturalism (witch trials, outbreaks of demonic possession, the nineteenth-century vogue for Spiritualism, the New-Age occultism of the 1960s and ‘70s).

Call For Paper

Potential topics may address any of the following topics; however, we are open to any submission that investigates the supernatural:

~ Critiques and defences of the supernatural and related belief systems
~ Comparisons between contemporary and historical understandings of the supernatural
~ How creative practice shapes our perception of the supernatural (e.g. film, television, videogames, music, theatre, literature, art, etc.)
~ Impact of cultural, national, regional identity on perceptions of the supernatural
~ Ideological implications of the supernatural: how the supernatural reflects and informs political anxieties and general attitudes about the human body, race, gender, sexuality, class and nationality
~ Interface between science, technology and the supernatural
~ Commodifying the supernatural (dark tourism, spiritualists/fortune-tellers, etc.)
~ Supernaturalism and Indigenous cultures
~ Physiological/neurological perspectives on the supernatural
~ Impact of beliefs in the supernatural on everyday practices, and the implications of these practices
~ Interface between education and belief in the supernatural
~ Health, wellness and supernatural beliefs
~ Analyses of case studies of supernatural occurrences

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