Academics will get a chance to hear papers on “full-moon masculinities”, “werewolves and white trash” and “re-wilding” the wolf at a conference to be held this week.
Claimed to be “the first time werewolves have been welcomed into the academy”, The Company of Wolves: Sociality, Animality, and Subjectivity in Literary and Cultural Narratives – Werewolves, Shapeshifters and Feral Humans at the University of Hertfordshire from 3-5 September has been convened by Sam George, senior lecturer in literature at the institution.
It is also the third event in the wider Open Graves, Open Minds project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which explores the theme of the undead in art and literature, and how this relates to wider issues of gender, technology and consumption. Earlier conferences have considered vampires and the heritage of Bram Stoker.
This week, more than 50 academic papers will consider topics ranging from the work of the “gothic” novelist Angela Carter to the wolf’s re-emergence in Europe and plans to re-introduce them in the UK.
There will also be werewolf-related games and lantern shows, and a visit to the Hertfordshire grave of “Peter the Wild Boy”, a feral child who became a “human pet” of the royal court in the 18th century.