Final Poster - Copy

‘A Fiend in the Furrows’ is a three-day conference in association with the School of English and the Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities at Queen’s University Belfast, exploring ‘folk horror’ in British and Irish literature, film, television, and music. The event will include academic papers, film screenings, musical performances, and readings.

Supernatural and horrific aspects of folklore inform the Gothic and weird writings of
M.R. James, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood and Lord Dunsany, where philosophical and religious certainties are haunted and challenged by the memory of older cultural traditions. Folklore has a profound and unsettling impact on the imaginative perception of landscape, identity, time and the past. Folk memory is often
manifested as an intrusive and violent breach from an older repressed, ‘primitive’ or
‘barbarous’ state that transgresses the development of cultural order. Gothic and
weird fictions are burgeoning as the focus of serious academic enquiry in philosophy
and literary criticism, and the genres continue to have an impact on popular culture.

Through the writing of Nigel Kneale and Alan Garner, among others, the tradition
has influenced British and Irish horror cinema and television, being revived and reimagined in films such as Quatermass and the Pit (1967), The Devil Rides Out (1968), Witchfinder General (1968), Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971), The Wicker Man (1973), and more recently in Wake Wood (2010) and Ben Wheatley’s Kill List (2011) and A Field in England (2013). The conference will examine ‘folk horror’ texts, films and music in their period context and the implications for British and Irish culture’s understanding of their own unsettled pasts.

It will feature papers examining topics such as:

  • Late 19th century Gothic literature
  • Early 20th century weird fiction
  • Modernism and weird fiction
  • The ghost story
  • Contemporary horror and fantasy fiction
  • Children’s literature
  • Folklore collectors and redactors
  • Folklore and the supernatural
  • Primitivism, atavism, degeneration
  • Rural and urban folklore
  • Horror cinema and television
  • Folkmusic


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17 thoughts on “Home

  1. This looks set to be an important milestone on the journey to establish Folk Horror as a defined genre, worthy of study. I for one am looking forward to attending (assuming of course that there *is* a 2014 and the Dark Winter forces which now threaten us don’t overcome the land). Well done to Queen’s.

  2. I have tried to send my proposal to the specified address but it is sent back to me with the message “Delivery to the following recipients failed.”
    Is there an alternative address where one can send the proposal?

  3. Agree with Stephen Gray. The resurgence in folk horror is tremendous and this is recognition of its impact on modern culture. I hope that this perspective will address some of the reasons why now, in 2014, its importance has become so relevant and its artefacts so pervasive. Folk horror has become itself – a resurrection of the past.

  4. For anyone who has not yet has the pleasure, Scottish horror film ‘Lord of Tears,’ 2013, is an excellent example of the “supernatural and horrific aspects of folklore” in film.

  5. Hi folks. I would love to attend this, but as I’m on the other side of the pond in Atlantic Canada, it’s not likely to be. I was wondering if this is going to be recorded in any fashion so those of us not so lucky to there for the event might still enjoy it.


    • Hi Jeff, many thanks for your interest in the conference. We may record aspects, we are currently thinking about that. But in the long term we hope to work towards a publication so we can disseminate the fantastic research we’re gathering.

  6. Hello,

    just went to book some flights for this, as I live in London. So expensive! And with 2 nights in a hotel/b&b I just can’t afford to come. So gutted- I even looked at ferries but a trip to Liverpool/Holyhead adds up to about the same.

    If anyone is looking for a ‘reporter’ or reviewer and would like to pay my travel/accommodation to the conference then please get in touch. I will write you something excellent in return!

    If I don’t make it then I hope it goes well. Let’s hope something like this happens in London soon.


  7. Hope it’s all going wonderfully well. Wish I was there. Are you filming any of it?

    Yes, it is surprisingly expensive to get to Belfast from the south of England. Are you going to run the conference again next year? If I book flights sooner it’ll be cheap, cheap!

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