Call for Conference Papers!

I don’t usually distribute press releases, due to my preference for original content—but I’m prepared to make an exception in this case, because this one deserves widespread circulation. Marius-Mircea Crişan e-mailed me a request on October 15, asking “Would you be so kind to help me in disseminating an international conference which will be organized by my department (Teacher Training Department, West University of Timisoara, Romania) in June 2015?”

Readers may recall Crişan from my “Overlooked Books #4” post. He’s the author of Dracula și reprezentarea ficțională a spațiului românesc and The Birth of the Dracula Myth: Bram Stoker’s Transylvania (both 2013) and was also kind enough to send me copies of those books.

He also told me that if anyone wanted to see about getting their own copies, they could contact him via a special e-mail address which I’ll hand over if you contact me in kind.

I also linked to his website, The Impact of a Myth: Dracula and the Image of Romania in British and American Literatures, in the “Overlooked Books #4” post, which its homepage explains is basically an extension of his PhD of the same name: “In this research I intend to study the complexity of the Dracula myth and its impact on the reflection of Romania in British and American representations.”

Does that project grab you? Have you ever wondered about the cultural impact of Dracula? It sounds fascinating to me. Explore Crişan’s website to see the scope of his research—I think you’ll be just as impressed as I am. So, without further ado, here’s the call-out Crişan sent me for his conference:


Dear colleagues,

I would like to invite you to submit a paper to a conference that my department is going to organise at Timișoara, Romania, in June 2015.

CALL FOR CONFERENCE PAPERS:

Workshop WHERE’S THE PLACE OF DRACULA:
(DE)CONSTRUCTING STEREOTYPES IN THE STUDY OF THE MYTHICAL SPACE IN LITERATURE AND THE ARTS

part of the International Conference Beliefs and Behaviours in Education and Culture, West University of Timișoara, Romania, 25-27 June 2015.

The study of literary texts may contribute to the (de)construction of stereotypes about people and places. Starting from the hypothesis that literature and myth simplify history and transform objective reality into subjective perception, we intend to discuss the relationship between space and imagination, including the situation in which a successful literary work may transform geographic reality into story, and the visit into a way of reading. We intend to discuss reading both as a hermeneutic practice and aesthetic experience, based on the impact of the work of art on the reader.

We open the discussion by the example of the Dracula myth, with the variety of its forms of manifestation (literature, film, visual arts etc.) and the representations of Transylvania in Western imagination, and we want to extend the debate to other spaces which are “transformed” by literary perception.

The workshop intends to open a debate on some issues such as, but not limited to:

  • Reading and feelings: subjective perceptions of geography and history;
  • The relationship between literature and film in the representation of the mythical space;
  • The importance of the Gothic in contemporary media representations: aesthetic experience and emotional impact;
  • Reading and stereotypes: empirical approaches to the reaction of the audience to narration or to the work of art;
  • The attraction of the audience to horror and violence: the identification with the fictional hero;
  • The association of myths (such as the Dracula myth or other myths revived in contemporary times) with real locations;
  • The contemporary uses of the Dracula myth: what does Dracula represent for Romanians, on the one hand, and for the Western readers, on the other?
  • Emotions and Identification;
  • Advantages and Disadvantages in using stereotypes in the study of the work of art;
  • Emotion and cognition in entertainment: the role of education.

The workshop is part of the International Conference Beliefs and Behaviours in Education and Culture, Timișoara, Romania, 25-27 June 2015.

Webpage of the workshop: http://www.dppd.uvt.ro/bbec/workshop-humanities.html

Website of the conference: http://www.dppd.uvt.ro/bbec/index.html

Keynote speakers:

Distinguished Professor Craig A. Andreson (Iowa State University and Director of Center of the Study of Violence)

Professor Donatella Abbate Badin (University of Turin)

Professor Brad J. Bushman (The Ohio State University and VU University Amsterdam)

Professor William Hughes (Bath Spa University)

Dr. Duncan Light (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Professor Tullio Scrimali (University of Catania)

The conference also includes other workshops (see the website http://www.dppd.uvt.ro/bbec/index.html ).

Please submit 100 word abstracts to our website:
http://www.dppd.uvt.ro/bbec/registration.php

or by email to:
Dr. Marius-Mircea Crișan (conference coordination, Humanities): [redacted]

Deadline for abstract submission: 10 December 2014.

We look forward to welcoming you in Timișoara.

With all best wishes,
Yours sincerely,
Dr. Marius-Mircea Crișan
The impact of the Dracula myth – on the image of Romania in British and American literatures


I recognise two of those keynote speakers: Duncan Light is the author of The Dracula Dilemma: Tourism, Identity and the State in Romania (2012) and William Hughes has a long, respected history in Gothic Studies and has authored works like, Beyond Dracula: Bram Stoker’s Fiction and its Cultural Context (2000) and co-edited Bram Stoker: History, Psychoanalysis and the Gothic (1998) with Andrew Smith.

Whatever comes of this is gonna be good: Crişan’s got the big guns lined up. In the meantime, I’ll sit back and dream and do the best I can for his exceptional project: share it around. If you know anyone who’d fit the bill, pass it along to them, too. If they want Crişan’s original e-mail forwarded along, I’m happy to do that, too. Just get the word out there.

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