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Call for Papers: The Fabled Coast

The Fabled Coast

Coastal and Maritime Folklore, Superstitions and Customs

Deadline 25th January 2019

Conference Saturday 27th April 2019

at the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tale and Fantasy, University of Chichester

For centuries, the unfathomable deep has been subject to all manner of speculative imaginings, from fantastical sea-monsters and hybrid creatures coveting mortal souls, to great underwater kingdoms and phantom islands. The coast as meeting point between the land and the sea is similarly host to an abundance of folktales: selkies casting off their sealskins, fairies abducting the unsuspecting from the shoreline, and whole communities cursed for exhausting their natural resources through hunting and fishing.

Taking its name from Sophia Kingshill’s and Jennifer Westwood’s seminal book The Fabled Coast, this conference will explore the abundance of folktales, legends, myths, songs and re-imaginings associated with coastal areas and maritime traditions and practices around the world.

Possible topics include but are not restricted to:

  • The collation, dissemination and migration of stories pertaining to the sea and shore
  • Early modern accounts of the sea, overseas exploration, etc.
  • The 19th-century boom in collecting coastal and maritime folklore
  • Aquatic entities and fantastical ocean zoology
  • Magical geography
  • Wonderous sea voyages
  • Sea-lore, customs and superstitions
  • Fact and fakery
  • Environmental and ecological cautionary tales, fishing, sealing and whaling in folklore
  • Modern and contemporary engagement with coastal and maritime folklore and myth, including literature, music, art, performance, design, cinema, television and cosplay.

Please send 200-word abstracts for 20-minute papers along with a brief biography of 50-100 words to VLESLIE1@stu.chi.ac.uk and H.Robbins@chi.ac.uk.

Keynote speaker: Sophia Kingshill

Folklorist, playwright and author, Sophia has written extensively on the coastal folklore of Britain, including The Fabled Coast: Legends and Traditions from around the Shores of Britain and Ireland, co-written with Jennifer Westwood (Random House), and Mermaids (Little Toller Books).

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