Proposed regular events include a series of research seminars, public lectures, exhibitions and performances at the University of Chichester on aspects of folklore, fairy tales and fantasy, including visual culture, performing arts, media and music. These events which are aimed at the general public as well as specialist researchers, include:
- an international conference in collaboration with the Folklore Society entitled ‘Folklore and Fantasy’ in July 2012 (Keynote speakers included Kate Forsyth, Jacqueline Simpson)
- an international conference entitled ‘Mervyn Peake and the Fantasy Tradition’ marking the centenary of author and illustrator Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) in July 2011, exploring the elements of fantasy, the gothic and literary nonsense in relation to his work, with the aim of bringing Peake in from the margins of the literary and artistic canon (Keynote speakers included Joanne Harris, Colin Manlove, Farah Mendlesohn, Sebastian Peake, Brian Sibley, Peter Winnington)
- an international conference in collaboration with Kingston University entitled ‘After Grimm: Fairy Tales and the Art of Story Telling’ in 2012, to celebrate the bicentenary of the publication of the Grimm Brothers’ *Children’s and Household Tales* with contributions from expert practitioners of Literary History, Comparative Literature, Children’s Literature, Creative Writing, Folklore Studies, Language Studies, Social and Cultural History, etc ((Keynote speakers included Donald Haase, Farah Mendlesohn, Neil Philip, Marina Warner, Jack Zipes)
- exhibitions of artworks by Mervyn Peake in galleries in Chichester
- exhibitions in other galleries and museums about the fantastic visual imagination (for example, fairy-tale and fantasy illustrations)
- drama and other performing arts.
The primary focus of the project will be Sussex as a rich source of folklore as well as the home of many creative writers and artists working with fairy-tale and fantasy material.
We are keen to hear from early career researchers, postgraduate students as well as advanced undergraduate students who would be interested in organising, convening and/or publicising these events. They will be designated as “Research Associates” for the Centre in the long term.