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Popular Culture and the Deep Past 2019: Fairies and the Fantastic

PCDP 2019: Fairies and the Fantastic



February 22-23, 2019
Ohio Union, The Ohio State University

The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the Ohio State University is hosting a new Popular Culture and the Deep Past Event in honor of CMRS Director Emeritus Richard Firth Green, whose book, Elf Queens and Holy Friars (2016) has won the 2017 The Mythopoeic Society Scholarship Award for Myth and Fantasy Studies and the 2018 Medieval Institute Otto Gründler Book Prize.

We will have panels on the topic of Fairies and the Fantastic. In the Prologue to Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Tale, the narrator reminisces about a time when the land was full of fairies and the Elf Queen danced merrily on the green.  In the centuries since Chaucer, fairies, far from disappearing, have lived on in the popular imagination and its creations.  This conference is especially interested in Fairies and the Fantastic in the broadly conceived Medieval and Renaissance periods, but it also looks back to earlier examples of fairy belief or that explore the uses of fairies in later popular culture.  We have papers covering approaches from literary, artistic, cinematic, and gaming analyses, to historical and cultural investigations, as well as papers with broad geographical scope that examine the ‘presence’ of fairies outside Western Europe--in Scandinavia, Persia, and other parts of the world.

In keeping with the spirit of past PCDP events, the academic conference will be part of a broader ‘carnival’ of events and activities, including food- and culture-ways demonstrations; exhibits of artwork, books, and manuscripts; combat; gaming; and Cosplay.  We welcome proposals for non-academic presentations and activities.

Registration Form for event participants and attendees

Saturday Exhibitions

Schedule of Events

Friday, February 22 (in and around 180 Hagerty)

5:30 p.m. Book Giveaway Sneak Preview: featuring the collection of John Philip Lomax (Ohio Northern
University) -- outside 180 Hagerty Hall (open to students and faculty)

6:30 p.m. Popular Culture and the Deep Past Keynote and 12th Annual Francis Lee Utley Memorial Lecture

Introductory Remarks: David Staley, Director of the Humanities Institute 

Chris Woodyard, "The Many Roads to Fairyland" - 180 Hagerty Hall

7:30 p.m. Reception and Book Signing in the Hagerty Hall Cafe, featuring Shawn Schulte of Stauf's Coffee Roasters and his collection of Fantastic Teas, Tinctures and Other Fine Decoctions

Saturday, February 23 (downstairs in the Ohio Union)

(Saturday Exhibitions, listed below)

9:00 a.m. Registration and Refreshments

9:20 a.m. Opening Remarks

9:30 a.m. Sessions One and Two

Session One: Fairy Geographies (Milestones Room)

Juliana Amir, University of Akron, "Utopia of the Fairies: A Cultural Analysis"

Jeb Card, Miami University (Ohio), "The Good People Who are Not People: Extrahumans, Conceptions of Time, and the Archaeological"

Talia A. Perry, Carnegie Mellon University, "A Palimpsest of Worlds: Follies, Fairies, and False Prophets in the English Picturesque Garden"

Moderated by Darrell Estes, OSU Department of French and Italian

Session Two: Fairies in Contemporary Popular Culture (Maudine Cow Room)

Bethany Christiansen, Ohio State University, "Elf and Fairy Folk in the Serial Berserk Manga: Beyond Grimm's Dark and Light Elves"

David J. Gras, Independent Scholar, "Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts: The Power of Myth and Magic"

Travis Neel, Ohio State (Newark), "Neither Adult Stories nor Children's Stories but Something Better: The Work of Re-Enchantment in Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane"

Elizabeth Pafford, Kent State University, "'Here There Be Dragons….': The Role of Dragons in Western Popular Culture"

Moderated by Laura Pearce, OSU Center for Folklore Studies

12 noon: Discussion Panel -- Fan Studies and Popular Culture, following on material covered in Session Two (Maudine Cow Room)

Panelists include Maggie Jackson (OSU Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies), Lindsey Stirek (OSU East Asian Languages and Literature), and David Gras (Session Two, above)

12 noon - 1:15 p.m. Falconry Presentation with Joe Dorrian (Ohio School of Falconry) - 180 Hagerty Hall

1:30 p.m. Sessions Three and Four

Session Three: Fairies in Early Modern England (Milestones Room)

Trevor Babcock, University of Indiana, "Gloriana’s Progeny: From Spenser to Tinkerbell and Beyond"

Mira Kafantaris, Ohio State University, "The Perils of Strange Queenship in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene"

Meaghan Pachay, Ohio State University, "'a Fantasticall motion': Fairies, Magic, and Matter in Margaret Cavendish’s Natural Philosophy”

Natalie Weaver, Ursuline College, "Fairy Friends and Demons"

Moderated by Shaun Russell, OSU Department of English

Session Four: Fairies in Romance-Language Cultures (Maudine Cow Room)

Clarisse Scarlett Bernier, Middle Tennessee State University, "Everything Old Is New Again: How 17th Century Italian Fairies Find Their Way Into 21st Century Hollywood"

Sarah-Grace Heller, Ohio State University, "French Fairy Fashions"

Cori Lohstroh, Wright State University, "The Metamorphosis of Oral Folk Tales into an Outlet for Subversion and Agency in 17th Century FranceThe Metamorphosis of Oral Folk Tales into an Outlet for Subversion and Agency in 17th Century France"

Fernando Morato, Ohio State University, "The Cave of Abracadabro: Witchcraft in Early Modern Portugal"

Moderated by Elizabeth Davis, OSU Department of Spanish and Portuguese

3:30 p.m. Break and Refreshments

3:45 p.m. Sessions Five and Six

Session Five: Fairies in Britain and Empire in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries (Milestones Room)

Anindita Bhattacharya, Dublin City University, "'Let’s go to the land of the Lalpori': Child Agency and The Fairy Brigade in Bengali and Irish Children’s Literature in Juxtaposition"

Kaori Inuma, Hitotsubashi University, "Public Reaction to the Fairy Photographs: Interwar Journalism in Britain and the US"

Gregory Rabbitt, Kent State University, "The Consolation of Fairy: Trauma, Fantasy, and the Great War"

Emily Strand, Mt. Carmel College of Nursing, "The Perilous Realm: Faërie and the Fantastic in the Writings of J.R.R. Tolkien"

Moderated by Manny Jacquez, OSU Department of English

Session Six: Arthurian and Celtic Traditions (Maudine Cow Room)

Gregory Bronson, Motlow State Community College, "Fairy King at the Crossroads: The Intersection of Fae and Infernal in Sir Orfeo"

Morgan Daimler, Independent Scholar, "The Evolution of the Fairy Courts: from Scottish Ballads to Urban Fantasy"

Dominique DeLuca, Case Western Reserve University, "Magical Women and Painted Images in Arthurian Romance"

Richard Firth Green, Ohio State University Emeritus, "Gawain's Shield and the Quest for Protection"

Moderated by Jennifer Higgenbotham, OSU Department of English

6:00 p.m. Fairies and the Fantastic Concludes


Saturday Exhibitions

Creative Arts Room (Ohio Union): 9:30 - 5:30

- Calligraphy Guild of Columbus

- Sharon Mech - Fiber Arts

- Book Giveaway, featuring the collection of John Philip Lomax (Ohio Northern University)

- Shawn Schulte of Stauf's Coffee Roasters - Herbs, Tea Leaves, Coffee

- Danielle Demmerle - Making Chain Mail

Dance Room 1:

- The Confused Greenies of the Players' Patchwork Theatre Company, "The Hazards of Hunting Red Caps," a Commedia dell'Arte Fairy Farce

Did you know, due to a 1600 Naples law, that you don't have to pay rent if there's a Munaciello fairy living in your home?

Well, the scheming Brighella is going to make sure the miser Pantalone knows....

Performances at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Dance Room 2:

- The Medieval College of St. Brutus: Medieval Culture Demonstrations and Re-enactments

11:00 a.m. - Western European Fashion from the 1st century CE to the 15th century CE

1:30 p.m. - Armor and Combat Techniques from the Norman Period through the 14th century

4:00 p.m. - Fencing Styles from the Fior di Battaglia of Fiore dei Liberi, 14th c.

Lounge Area: All-Ages Coloring Station -- Fairies and Fantastic Creatures

General Information

Unless otherwise indicated, all events will take place in the Ohio Union, 1739 North High Street. Admission to all events is free and open to the public, though we do encourage attendees and presenters to pre-register, especially for the Friday keynote reception, so we have a general headcount for catering, etc. See the event schedule and/or the registration form (linked below) for further details.

Visitor Parking is available at the Ohio Union South Garage.
Registration Deadline: Monday, February 18, 2019, 5 p.m. EST
Hotel Accommodations:
  • A room block is available at the SpringHill Suites OSU/Columbus; click here for reservations until Tuesday, January 22, 2019.
  •  Check out https://visit.osu.edu/stay/ for details about other accomodations in the OSU-Columbus area, including the Blackwell Inn on campus.
Please contact graduate associates Steve Barker and Leyla Khansari at cmrs_gaa@osu.edu, or the main CMRS address at cmrs@osu.edu, for more information.
To join the discussion of panel construction and content, see the Facebook group. 

A big thank you to our co-sponsors!

The Center for Folklore Studies

The Department of English

The Department of French and Italian

The Department of History

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese

The Medieval and Renaissance Graduate Student Association (MRGSA)