“She-Wolf” Conference at the University of Manchester UK, Sept. 9-10

A. Quinton — Jun. 9th 2010

I was recently contacted by Dr. Hannah Priest, who would like to spread the word about a werewolf-related conference happening in the UK this September. I’ll get out of the way and let Dr. Priest explain:

The conference is entitled She-Wolf: Female Werewolves, Shapeshifters and Other Horrors in Art, Literature and Culture (but She-Wolf for short). It’s on Thursday 9th – Friday 10th September 2010, at the University of Manchester, UK.

The conference is being run by myself, Dr. Hannah Priest (University of Manchester), and a final year PhD student, Carys Crossen. I recently completed a PhD on monstrous characters in medieval romance, and Carys is working on her thesis on post-1800 werewolves. The idea for the conference came when I was working on gender and werewolves in medieval texts. I was struck by the fact that all the werewolves I was looking at were male. As a big fan of Buffy and Ginger Snaps, I knew that there were female werewolves out there… and I thought it was about time people started talking about them.

Since I started planning the conference, there’s been a bit of a female werewolf invasion. A number of new books, TV series and films have appeared. So obviously I wasn’t the only person who noted their absence. As a sister-event to the conference, we’re going to have a discussion panel with some writers who are currently working with female werewolves (and vampires) in their own work, and we’ll be discussing the challenges and attractions of such female monsters.

At the conference itself, we’ll have papers on Terry Pratchett, Angela Carter and contemporary fantasy fiction – of course. But we’ve also got speakers lined up to talk about 1940s cinema, Roman literature and Scottish witchcraft narratives. It’s going to be a fascinating few days.

For information on registration, or to find out more about the event, you can contact Hannah Priest at hannah.priest@manchester.ac.uk

You can also visit the conference’s web site, where you’ll find a registration form and a programme of talks and speakers. Registration for students is £40 and £70 for everyone else. The deadline for getting your form in is 5:00 P.M. Friday, August 6th. If you’re in the area you should go; I know I would! See a summary of the programme after the jump– there’s some pretty cool stuff up for discussion.

These items are current as of this post and are subject to change. Check the conference web site for the most up-to-date programme.

Session 1: Monstrous Sexuality (Chair: Carys Crossen)

Tim Snelson (University of East Anglia): ‘Women Can Be Wolves Too’: The Cry of the Werewolf (1944), the Female Monster and the Contested Bodies of Wartime Women

Kerstin Frank (University of Heidelberg): Angela Carter’s Wolf-Girls: Power Struggles, Transformation and Gender in her Rewritings of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’

Eva Bru-Dominguez (University of Birmingham): Reclaiming Desire: the She-Wolf in Mercè Rodoreda’s Death in Spring

Museum Workshop:

Monstrous Material Culture (led by Sam Alberti and Bryan Sitch)

Session 2: Shapeshifting Sisters (Chair: Hannah Priest)

Linda McGuire (Independent Researcher): Magical Transformations: Owl Women and Sorcery in Latin Literature

Geoff Holder (Independent Researcher): Were-Cats, Were-Deer and Were-Whales: Female Shapeshifting in Scottish Witchcraft Narratives

Laura Wilson (University of Manchester): Dans Ma Peau: Shape-shifting and Subjectivity

Session 3: Of Otherness and Conformity (Chair: Linda McGuire)

Brian Feltham (University of Reading): Imagined Identities – The Woman in the Wolf Suit

Shannon Scott (University of St. Thomas): Lycanthropic Representations of Native Americans in Henry Beaugrand’s ‘The Werewolves’

Carys Crossen (University of Manchester): ‘The Complex and Antagonistic Forces that Constitute One Soul’; Religious Conviction versus Feminist Principles in Clemence Housman’s The Werewolf

Keynote Address: Peter Hutchings (Northumbria University)

The She-Wolves of Horror Cinema: Marginality, Transformation and Rage

Session 4: Fantasy and the She-Wolf (Chair: Brian Feltham)

Nickianne Moody (Liverpool John Moores University): Supernatural Hierarchies: The Place of Werewolves in the Paranormal Romance and Contemporary Urban Fantasy

Hannah Priest (University of Manchester): I Was a Teenage She-Wolf: Boobs, Blood and Chocolate

Jacquelyn Bent and Helen Gavin (University of Huddersfield): An Überwald Werewolf Howled in Patrician

Session 5: Creating the She-Wolf (Chair: Nickianne Moody)

Jazmina Cininas (RMIT University): The Girlie Werewolf Hall of Fame: Historical and Contemporary Representations of the Female Lycanthrope

Chantal Bourgault du Coudray (University of Western Australia): ‘You Should Write a Werewolf Screenplay’: Meeting the Challenge

Allison Moon (Independent Researcher): Courting the Lunatic Fringe: Shapeshifting at the Vanguard of Queer Activism and Post-Gender Feminism

  • Kinkyclawz

    Ooh this sounds amazing! Gonna try for a holiday from work for this, to celebrate she-wolves everywhere! ARRROOOO!
    ^^ KC

  • Roukas

    Although this post doesn’t contain any references to Bruce Willis or breakdancing, it’s probably the coolest thing you’ve featured here yet. Angela Carter, evolution of the Red Riding Hood mythos, all with a female angle that doesn’t sound like it’s borrowed from a hardcore feminist’s PC gynocracy? Damn, dude. My mind is writing a mini contributing essay already, and I’m re-reading the whole program with mischievous Daffy Duck eyes. Too bad it’s all the way over in the UK, but I’ll follow it as best as I can.

  • Mac

    Oh man, why do I have to live in the states? I wish they were going to stream the conference or at least offer footage from it later.

  • Sorry about the UK setting guys! But that’s just where I live I’m afraid!

    Mac – that’s a fantastic idea. I’m not sure how I’d do it with the (very limited) budget I’ve got… but my thinking cap is most definitely on.

    And Roukas – thank you. I’ve never been the coolest anything before!


  • Mac

    Hey Hannah! Good to see you on here!

    I definitely understand a limited budget. Streaming everything could be a little more tricky, but you could always see if someone would be willing to at least record the segments with something like a FLIP video camera. The quality isn’t supreme, but it’s passable. From there, FLIP cams can be plugged directly into a computer so that the footage could be uploaded.

    I don’t know how much visual material the presentations will contain, but there’s always the option of running a sound recording so folks can at least listen to the discussions later.

    As a woman and a werewolf-obsessed nutter, I’d take whatever I could get. The conference sounds like it will be amazing!

  • Thanks Mac. Rest assured I have added it to my list! But in case you’re interested there will be a book following the conference. And possibly a new anthology of short stories as well. We’ve got a conference blog if you want to follow our progess on these!

  • Elizabeth Clark

    I found out about this too late, but it’s still exciting. I did my MA thesis on female werewolves in recent film and television. You can read it here:

    Wish I could have made the conference! I hope it went well.

  • Downloaded! Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth!