Events

Coming up

For up-to-date information on upcoming events, please subscribe to our mailing list, or follow our Facebook or Twitter feeds.


Dr Darren Oldridge, ‘Fairies, Imps, Goblins and Bogies in Early Modern England’

Dr Darren Oldridge teaches History at the University of Worcester. He is a specialist in early modern religious history, with a particular interest in witchcraft and the Devil; his most recent books are The Devil: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press: 2012) and The Devil in Tudor and Stuart England (2nd edition: History Press 2010). At present he is writing a study of the supernatural in early modern England, to be published by Routledge next year.


Dr Steve O’Brien, ‘British and Irish Folktales’

Editor of the London Magazine, Visiting Fellow of Creative Writing at Chichester, and Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, Steve O’Brien will be presenting his latest work, a retelling of British and Irish folktales. Recent published work includes the poetry collections Dark Hill Dreams and Scrying Stone.


Kate Mosse, ‘The Folklore of Birds’

Kate Mosse is the multi-million bestselling novelist whose book Labyrinth was #1 in UK paperback for six months and was named one of the Top 25 books of the past 25 years by the bookselling chain Waterstones. Translated into thirty languages and adapted as a major television film on Channel 4 at Easter 2013, it was followed by the equally successful Sepulchre and Citadel, and several short story collections.


Previous events

Land Under Wave: Reading the Landscape of Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching books

Dr Jane Carroll (University of Roehampton), author of Landscape in Children’s Literature (Routledge, 2012) (and formerly Research Assistant at the the Sussex Centre), talks about her research on the role of landscape in children’s fantasy literature, and especially Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series.

The Marvel Comics version of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower

Robin Furth, Personal Assistant to Stephen King for five years, and author of The Dark Tower: A Complete Concordance and The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger: The Journey Begins (Marvel Comics, 2011), speaks about her experience of working with King, and translating his fantasy masterpiece into graphic novel form.

The American Fantasy Tradition

Prof. Tom Shippey, leading expert on Tolkien and modern fantasy (The Road to Middle-earth, J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century and The Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories).

Tolkien made fantasy mass-market in the 1960s. By doing so he consigned a pre-existing fantasy tradition in the USA, not to oblivion, but to the fringes. Fans know about its great authors – Leiber, de Camp, Anderson, Davidson, Vance – but the wider world of films and TV series has passed them by. This is our loss, for the American tradition was and is distinctive, imaginative, and above all funny. This talk will survey it, and make recommendations for unfamiliar but entertaining reading.

Talking of Grimm Girls

An illustrated talk by Dr Anne Anderson, Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Chichester, in conversation with Professor Bill Gray, Director of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy. Hear how the gallery’s exhibition ‘Grimm Girls: Picturing the “Princess”‘ came about, the themes within it and gain some insights into Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Free of charge but please book in advance – email galleryevents@chi.ac.uk or tel. 01243 816098.

Grimm Girls: Picturing the ‘Princess’

This exhibition will feature the illustrations of six familiar and much-loved fairy-tales – ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Snow White’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Rapunzel’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ – by Grimm, Perrault and other authors. As well as framed pictures, there will also be first edition books and other artefacts of various illustrators, among them Arthur Rackham, Charles Robinson, Mervyn Peake and Mabel Lucie Attwell. ‘Grimm Girls: Picturing the “Princess”’ is curated by Dr Anne Anderson, a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Chichester, in association with the University’s Department of English & Creative Writing and the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy.

  • Monday 25 November 2013, one-day Symposium of leading fantasy and fairy-tale experts. Kindly sponsored by Scrivener.

Session 1, E124 (4 – 5.30 p.m.), £5/£3 concessions

  • Maria Nikolajeva, ‘“Iron is stronger than grief, but love is stronger than iron”: Reading fairy-tale emotions through words and illustrations.’

  • Terri Windling, ‘Into the Woods: One Writer-and-Artist’s Journey into Fairy Tales’.

Session 2, Mitre lecture theatre, (5.45 – 7.30 p.m.), £5/£3 concessions

  • Jack Zipes, ‘Reinvigorating the Fairy Tale: Radical Visions and Feminist Interpretations in Paintings, Sculptures, and Photography’.

  • Followed by round-table discussion with all three speakers.

Tickets available from the University’s online store. For more information e-mail scfffevents@chi.ac.uk.

About our sponsor: Scrivener is a content-generation tool that enables users to outline and structure ideas, take notes, view research alongside writing and compose the constituent pieces of a text in isolation or in context. Visit http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php for more information.

Old, New, Borrowed and Blue: A Fairy-Tale Symposium

  • Tuesday 26 March 2013 Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester

  • Jack Zipes, Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota and founding father of the academic discipline of Fairy Tale studies, will give a lecture at the University of Chichester. He’ll be preceded by talks by children’s literature expert Nick Tucker and by Jacqueline Simpson, Visiting Professor of Folklore at the University of Chichester. This fairy tale symposium will run as follows

  • 3 p.m. Jacqueline Simpson: ‘Terry Pratchett, Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men’ (in Room 144)

  • 4.15 p.m. Nicholas Tucker: ‘Grimm Parents’ (in Room 144)

  • 6 p.m. Jack Zipes: ‘Once Upon a Time: Changing the World through Storytelling’ (Mitre Lecture Theatre)

More details to follow; if you have any queries please contact Heather Robbins at h.robbins@chi.ac.uk

From Steampunk to Pullman and beyond: Exploring the varieties of ‘punk’

  • Tuesday 5 March, 4.30 – 6 p.m., Room H144, Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester
  • Frauke Matz, Lecturer in English at Duisburg-Essen University, Germany, and author of He Simply Went to Pieces, presents this overview of steampunk, cyberpunk, mythpunk, etc.
  • Please note that this event was cancelled due to illness.

Storytelling, storywriting, storyprinting: Telling tales and the origins of children’s books

  • Monday 11 March 2013 5.15 – 7 pm in the Mitre Lecture Theatre, Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester

  • Ruth Bottigheimer and Matthew Grenby, Professors at New York and Newcastle respectively, will share the platform at the first ever joint event to be co-hosted by the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy (SCFFF) and the South Coast Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Research Group (SCERRG).

More details to follow; if you have any queries please contact Heather Robbins at h.robbins@chi.ac.uk

Sex, Lies and Videotape: The Brothers Grimm Experience

  • Wednesday 10 October 2012 5.15pm-6:30pm, Cloisters, Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester

  • Professional story-teller Janet Dowling presents the story of how the brothers Grimm cleaned up their act for contemporary readers … and what Disney did next.

Grimms’ Fairy Tales Study Day

  • The Children’s Books History Society is staging a Study Day on Saturday 13 October 2012 to celebrate Two Hundred Years of the Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales. The venue is the Church Hall of the Great Crown Court Church of Scotland in London’s Covent Garden. The speakers will be:

Brian Alderson on ‘The Making of the Kinder– und Hausmärchen’; Neil Philips on ‘The Influence of the Grimms’; Geoff Fox on ‘There’s Game in the Wind’; Nick Tucker on ‘How grim are the Grimms’ fairy-tale parents?’; David Blaimres on ‘The Role of the Forest in Grimms’ Fairy Tales’; Susan Bailes on ‘The Illustrators of Grimms’ Fairy Tales’.

The cost of the day is £20, which includes all refreshments including lunch. Further details and a booking form are available from:

Robert Kirkpatrick, 6 Osterley Park View Road, Hanwell, LONDON W7 2HH Tel. 020 8567 4521 Email: Rkirkpatrick.molesworth@virgin.net

Postgraduate Symposium at Return of the Ring

Tolkien Society conference 2012

As part of the larger Return of the Ring conference at Loughborough University (16th-20th August 2012), celebrating 75 years of The Hobbit, The Tolkien Society is hosting a dedicated postgraduate symposium on Tolkien studies on Friday 17th August 2012.

The interdisciplinary symposium is the first of its kind and serves to map current scholarship inspired by Tolkien by bringing together emerging scholars across disciplines of art, cultural studies, fantasy studies, gaming, linguistics, medieval studies, literature, film studies, fan studies etc. Post-doctoral or other early career stages scholars are also welcome. It is hoped that a selection of papers will be published as an edited collection following the symposium.

The symposium is led by an internationally renowned team of academics including Professor Martin Barker (International Lord of the Rings audience survey), Dr Dimitra Fimi (Tolkien, Race and Cultural History) and Professor Corey Olsen (‘the Tolkien Professor’). The format of the symposium is based around panels of postgraduate papers and so presents a unique opportunity to hear and be heard by one’s peers across the full range of Tolkien-related study. A networking lunch and an interactive group session, led by the academic team, complement the interdisciplinary approach and students will also have the opportunity to attend the keynote speech by Tom Shippey that evening.

We currently seek proposals for papers (20 mins) on any aspect of Tolkien related research. Proposals relating to gaming, fan films, adaptation, audience cultures etc. are welcome as well as more traditional areas of Tolkien study such as literature, linguistics and fantasy. Students should submit an abstract (max 300 words) and short biography paragraph to: symposium@returnofthering.org New extended deadline for abstracts: 29th February 2012

Tolkien: The Forest and the City

  • The School of English, Trinity College Dublin, September 21-22, 2012

  • Keynote Address: Professor Tom Shippey (St Louis University, emeritus): ‘The Goths and the Romans in Tolkien’s Imagination’’

  • Invited Lecturers: Professor Michael D. C. Drout (Wheaton College): ‘The Tower and the Ruin: The Past in Tolkien’ Professor Verlyn Flieger (University of Maryland): ‘Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Sentient Landscape in Tolkien’s Fiction.’ Professor Thomas Honegger (University of Jena): ‘”Raw Forest” and the “Cooked City” Lévi-Strauss in Middle-earth’ Professor Alison Milbank (University of Nottingham): ‘In a Dark Wood: Tolkien and Dante’’

  • Further details

Launch of new Sussex Centre journal Gramarye

  • Tuesday 29 May at 5.15pm in Cloisters, Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester. There will be readings by Steve O’Brien (Editor of the London Magazine, poet and Creative Writing Fellow at Chichester University) of new versions of British and Danish folktales. Prof. Bill Gray will also give a short talk about the history of the word gramarye. Entrance free. Copies of Gramarye on sale (£5).

Visual Images in Literary Fairy Tales: in and behind the text

  • Monday 16 April 2012 5.15pm-6:30pm, Mitre Lecture Theatre, Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester

  • Larisa Prokhorava of Kemerovo State University, Russia

Images of Witches: History, Fairy Tales, Films

  • Wednesday 21 March 2012 5.15pm-6:30pm, Cloisters, Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester

  • Willem de Blécourt is Honorary Research Fellow at the Huizinga Institute, Amsterdam, and author of Beyond the Witch Trials: Witchcraft and Magic in Enlightenment Europe, Witchcraft and Magic in Europe and Werewolves.

Folklore and Fantasy Conference

The Folklore Society and the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy are delighted to announce a joint conference on “Folklore and Fantasy” at the University of Chichester on Friday 13th to Sunday 15th April 2012.

CALL FOR PAPERS Deadline 27 January 2012

Many folktales are closely related to the fantastic – through subject matter, content and impulse. Folklore often deals with the fantastic, or turns to the supernatural to provide explanations for extraordinary events. Similarly, folklore has long been a major source of inspiration for fantasy literature, from authors like Kevin Crossley-Holland and Angela Carter and graphic novelists like Neil Gaiman and Bill Willingham who take on and re-present traditional stories, to authors like Lloyd Alexander Susan Cooper, Kate Thompson who draw on established tropes, to authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Susanna Clarke and Terry Pratchett who invent their own folk traditions. This three-day conf will explore, investigate and celebrate the relationship between folklore and fantasy. We welcome papers on all aspects of folklore and fantasy from the medieval to the modern and the post-modern. Topics may include but are not limited to: * Folklore of the fantastic * Invented Folklore in Epic Fantasy * Graphic novels * Urban Legends * Superstitions * The Gothic Tradition * Monsters, Bogies and Boggarts * Real and invented folk history * Medieval and Modern Travellers’ Tales * Folklore in Children’s Literature * World Folklore in American Fantasy * Celtic folklore in Popular Culture * Folklore on the Stage or on the Screen * The Commodification and ‘Disneyfication’ of Traditional Stories * Folklore in Art

Abstracts of 250 words for 20-minute papers should be sent to enquiries@folklore-society.com and to b.gray@chi.ac.uk

Fantasy, Ecocriticism and the Place of the Romantic Imagination

  • Wednesday 23 November 2011 5.15pm-6:30pm, Cloisters, Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester

  • Professor Bill Gray will give a talk based on material from Fantasy, Art and Life, the recently published third volume in his trilogy of books on fantasy literature (the others being Fantasy, Myth and the Measure of Truth and Death and Fantasy). Fantasy, Art and Life has just been issued in paperback, and will be available at a 25% discount at the talk.

Illustrating Fables

  • Wednesday 12 October 2011 5.15pm-6:30pm, Cloisters, Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester
  • John Vernon Lord, illustrator, author and teacher, has illustrated many classical texts, including Aesop’s Fables, The Nonsense Verse of Edward Lear; the Folio Society’s Myths and Legends of the British Isles, and Epics of the Middle Ages. In addition, he has illustrated many classics of children’s literature including Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark. He has made extensive contributions to the world of contemporary poetry and narrative, and has written and illustrated several children’s books, which have been published widely and translated into several languages. His book The Giant Jam Sandwich has been in print for over thirty years. As a university professor John Vernon Lord has lectured on the art of illustration for over 40 years and is pre-eminent in the field. Most recently he has been working on Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass.

Mervyn Peake Centenary Events in Chichester

  • July 2011 University of Chichester
  • A conference entitled “Mervyn Peake and the Fantasy Tradition” to be held in the University of Chichester on 15 – 17th July 2011, to mark Peake’s 100th birthday and the publication of Titus Awakes, Maeve Gilmore’s conclusion, as she envisaged it, of her husband’s Titus Groan or Gormenghast trilogy.
  • Speakers to include Joanne Harris, Peter Winnington, Brian Sibley, Colin Manlove, Farah Mendlesohn, Katherine Langrish and Sebastian Peake.
  • Two exhibitions of Peake’s illustrative works to be held in Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery and The Otter Gallery concurrently with the conference.

“Enter Caelia, the Fairy Queen in her night attire”: Shakespeare and the Fairies

  • 24 May 2011 5.15pm-6:30pm, Room tbc, Bishop Otter Campus, College Lane, University of Chichester
  • Michael Hattaway, Emeritus Professor of English Literature, University of Sheffield, is editor of A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture; The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s History Plays and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Drama and Shakespeare in the New Europe.

Fairy Tales in Print. A Troubled History

  • 1 March 2011 5.15pm-6:30pm, Room tbc, Bishop Otter Campus, College Lane, University of Chichester
  • Nicholas Tucker, honorary Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies, University of Sussex. His books include: The Child and the Book: Psychological and Literary Exploration; Family Fictions: Contemporary Classics of Children’s Literature; The Rough Guide to Children’s Books; and Darkness Visible: Inside the World of Philip Pullman

From translation to rewriting: text and image in Angela Carter’s The Fairy Tales of Perrault and The Bloody Chamber

“The Cave” by Mervyn Peake, World Premiere, Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell

  • 19 October-6 November 8:00 pm, Tuesday-Saturday
  • This unsettling and powerful play by Mervyn Peake – author of Gormenghast – is a dark, inquisitive look at the nature of authority and its effect on the human condition.
  • There will be a post-show discussion with the writer’s son, Sebastian Peake, chaired by writer Neil Norman on Tuesday 26 October.
  • More details at The Cave

The Legend of Spring-heeled Jack: Urban Folklore in Victorian Popular Culture

Terry Pratchett: A Vast Consumer of Folklore

  • 12 October, 2010 5.15pm-6:30 pm, Mitre Lecture Theatre, Bishop Otter Campus, College Lane, University of Chichester
  • Dr. Jacqueline Simpson
  • This will be Jacqueline’s Inaugural Lecture as Professor of Folklore at the University of Chichester

Surreal Friends

  • 19 June – 12 September 2010 Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, UK

Deloitte Ignite 2010: A Three Day Festival of Contemporary Arts

  • 3-5 September, 2010 Royal Opera House, London
  • Curated by internationally renowned pianist, composer and auteur Joanna MacGregor
  • Inspired by the theme of forests: forests as a place of quiet, reflective beauty, mystery and discovery, as places of fairytale narrative, as well as metaphorical spaces
  • Features an event by writer and cultural historian Professor Marina Warner, entitled “Into the Woods,” a series of films, animations and performances exploring the light and darkness of fairytales

Festival in the Shire

  • 13-15 August 2010
  • Pafiliwn Bont, Pontrhydfendigaid, Ystrad Meurig, Ceredigion, SW 25 6BB. See Festival in the Shire. The Festival in the Shire will be the most comprehensive event ever held for the fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, with a conference, a fan exposition of original art, rare books and memorabilia as well as a large festival with stalls and entertainment.

Anti-Tales: The Uses of Disenchantment Symposium

  • 12-13 August, 2010 University of Glasgow Arts and Humanities Graduate School
  • An interdisciplinary research forum and subsequent publication of proceedings (Cambridge Scholars Publishing) based around the currently under-researched notion of the ‘anti-tale.’ The anti-fairy tale has long existed as a shadow of the traditional fairy tale genre.
  • Plenary speakers include Dr. Anna Kérchy (Senior Assistant Professor, University of Szeged) and Professor Aidan Day (Professor of English, University of Dundee)

Leonora Carrington’s Magic Tales (Talk at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester)

  • Thursday 29th July 2010, 6:00pm
  • Alongside her paintings Leonora Carrington has also produced an extensive body of writing such as ‘The Debutante’, ‘Little Francis’, ‘The Hearing Trumpet’ and ‘The Invention of Mole’. Her stories are imaginative, surreal, and often funny. The distinguished writer, critic and historian Professor Marina Warner introduces Carrington as a writer.

George MacDonald: Master of Fantasy, Seer of Arundel

The Case for Owen Barfield

  • 3 June, 2010 6:00pm – Magdalen College, University of Oxford
  • “Not only a decisive influence on both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, but also in his own right an original interpreter of Coleridge’s thought, Owen Barfield is highly relevant to the aims of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy.”
  • Prof. Fanfan Chen (Professor, Department of English, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan)
  • Owen A. Barfield (only grandchild of Owen Barfield, presently publishing both existing and previously unavailable works by Barfield)
  • The event is organised by the Owen Barfield Literary Estate to mark the opening of the Owen Barfield archive at the Bodleian Library, Oxford University

England – the land without folklore?

The Supernatural, Folklore Society Conference

  • 26-28 March – Leeds Trinity University College, Horsforth, Leeds

The Rose on the Ash-Heap

  • 25 March 2010, 1.30-5.30 pm – St. Ethelburga’s, 78 Bishopsgate, London
  • Owen Barfield, Independent Scholar

Race and the Fantastic

  • 17-21 March, 2010the IAFA (Orlando Airport Marriott, Orlando, Florida)

Dragon Tails or Tales of Gragons and Woodland Wyrms (A Folk-Arts Theatre Production for Children)

  • 6 March 2010, 2:00 pm – Clair Hall Studio, Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3DN
  • Alison Williams-Bailey
  • More information at The Root and Branch Theatre Company

The Dragons of England

Exhibition on illustrations by Mervyn Peake

De-Disneyfying the Fairy-Tale Film

  • 3 February, 2010, 4:00-6:00 pm – House Auditorium in Mary Allan Building, Homerton College, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Jack Zipes (University of Minnesota, USA)

The Undomestic Witch: Scottish Witches, Fairies, and Old Religions

  • 9 February, 2010, 5:15-6:30 pm – Mitre Lecture Theatre, University of Chichester
  • Dr. Diane Purkiss (Faculty of English, University of Oxford/ Fellow and Tutor, Keble College Diane Purkiss

At the Back of George MacDonald

From Fata to Fairies

Comments are closed.