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Extended Deadline: Beasts of the Sky: Strange Sightings in the Stratosphere

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Extended Deadline: Beasts of the Sky: Strange Sightings in the Stratosphere

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Location: St Mary's University, Twickenham

Taking place in the drawing room of Horace Walpole’s Gothic mansion in Strawberry Hill, this symposium will discuss the sky as space, as well as the creatures associated with it, whether monstrous or mundane, in popular culture. The sky is a privileged locale in popular genres, from science fiction, horror and dystopian film; in animation as well as live action; to natural history programming on television.

Sometimes the sky is linked to the archaic, in myth and with prehistoric airborne creatures; at other times it is the site for our projections of the future, extra-terrestrial or otherwise. In both cases, our representations invariably mediate social and cultural anxieties that are current, even if projected into the distant past or far future. In documentary and natural history, the earth’s flying creatures are seen to be imperilled by global warming and the anthropocene. In popular genres of cinema and in animation, airborne creatures provide opportunities for bravura displays of spectacle.

Keynote lecture: Dr Chris Pallant, Canterbury Christ Church University

Call for papers

Extended deadline: Tuesday 2 May 2018

We welcome submission of abstracts on any related topic in film, media and cultural studies. Submissions from perspectives on popular genre cinema, transnational screen media, animation, fandom and audiences will be particularly encouraged. The symposium organisers will compile selected papers with a view to publishing an edited collection, following interest from an academic publisher.

The conference day will close with a book launch for the first publication from our conference series: Beasts of the Deep: Sea Creatures and Popular Culture (2018), John Libbey Publishing.

Submit a maximum 500-word abstract by Friday 20th April 2018 to:Dr Jon Hackett and Dr Seán Harrington at


For more information about this event please contact

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