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Digital Folklore: hybrid conference

  • 30 June 2024
  • online and at Kings College London

Digital Folklore

The Folklore Society’s Annual Conference, a hybrid conference in collaboration with the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London

Friday 28 to Sunday 30 June 2024

Online and at King’s College London, Strand Building, Strand, London WC2B 4BG, UK

Digital and networked technologies offer a wealth of new modes of folklore genre, performance and transmission. Digital folklore has accelerated in recent decades with the increased popularity of the internet and social media platforms, yet emerged much earlier in the 1970s with the introduction of new technologies such as the photocopier and, latterly, email, to the workplace. Alongside these new folklore forms, the digital has given rise to the emergence of new communities and the development of new ways of ‘doing folklore’. Digital folklore has thus greatly added to, challenged and disrupted folklore studies. This conference explores various aspects of digital folklore, ranging from forms, transmission and communities to the methods and approaches of undertaking folklore studies of digital vernacular culture.

Conference fees and Registration: Reduced rates apply to: Conference speakers; Folklore Society members; Seniors; Students; Unwaged/Low Earner.  Free for: Student speakers; Kings College London students; Kings College staff attending online (£30 in person)

In-person participants: Bookings now closed. Full conference: £110 reduced rate; £160 standard rate. Day rates also available: Contact us for details

Catering: tea and coffee will be provided in breaks, but not lunches or other meals.

Accommodation: is not provided, but a brief list of some hotels and hostels can be downloaded here (we don’t recommend any in particular)

Online participants: Full conference: £80 reduced rate with Promo Code; £100 standard rate. Day rates also available: Contact us for details

To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/digital-folklore-hybrid-conference-tickets-837543654617?

To get the Promo code for reduced rate online tickets: log in to the Folklore Society Members area at https://folklore-society.com/members-only or email us at https://folklore-society.com/about/contact/

The online meeting will be via Zoom and the link will be sent via Eventbrite to everyone registered as online participants, and we will email it to in-person participants who would like it

Programme (download the pdf Programme and Abstracts booklet)

Friday 28 June

13:00: Registration, Kings College London, Strand Campus

13:30: Conference opening

14:00-15:30: Session 1: Contextualising the Digital in Folklore

Hannes Mandel: Digital Folklore avant la lettre: William John Thoms’s mid-nineteenth-century social media network. [in person]

Kathleen Ragan: From Folktales to Facebook: A systems approach to the study of narrative across evolutionary time. [in person]

Stella Wisdom: Digital Disruption of Traditional Publishing and Broadcasting Channels: The rise, popularity and preservation of folklore zines, podcasts, livestreams and sound walks in the twenty-first century. [in person]

15:30-16:00: Break

16:00-17:00: Session 2: Methodology

Chris Douce & Tamara Lopez: The Folklore of Software Engineering: A methodology for study. [in person]

Gabriele de Seta: An Algorithmic Folklore: Vernacular creativity in times of everyday automation. [in person]

17:00-17:30: Video Essay: Siobhan O’Reilly: (Dis)Comfort and Liminal Spaces. [online]

17:30-18:30: Drinks reception

Saturday 29 June (parallel sessions all day)

09:00: Registration

09:30-11:00: Parallel Sessions 3A and 3B

Session 3A: Photography

David Clarke & Andrew Robinson: In The Eye of the Beholder: Digital folklore and the Calvine UFO photograph. [online]

Dipti Rani Datta: Folk Photography in the Age of Social Media in Bangladesh: An introduction to the changing landscape. [online]

Daria Radchenko: Heaven as News Screen: Semiotic ideologies of natural phenomena on social media. [online]

   Session 3B: From Analogue to Digital

Meghna Choudhury: From Parchment to Pixels: Digital transformation of Indian oral narratives and reinterpretation of The Panchatantra in the digital landscape. [online]

Maryam Magaji: Remediation in Hausa Folktales on YouTube. [online]

Angelika Rüdiger: Monitoring the Transformations of Gwyn ap Nudd online. [in person]

11:00-11:30: Break

11:30-13:00: Parallel Sessions 4A and 4B

Session 4A: The Weird and the Horrific

Dawn Brissenden: British Cryptids: The continuation of belief online. [in person]

Erika Kvistad: Imaginary Prisons: Maze horror and Minotaur horror in digital folklore. [online]

Aphrodite-Lidia Nounanaki: AI-generated ‘Scary Stories’ and Creepypastas on TikTok:  A new version of digital ‘narratives’. [online]

   Session 4B: Rituals and Celebrations

Catherine Bannister & Yinka Olusoga: Playing in the Digital Posthuman: Culture, custom, and the ‘entangled’ child through a folklore lens. [in person]

Catherine Bannister, Fiona Scott, Shabana Roscoe & Yao Wang: ‘It was definitely a Pokémon-themed Christmas that we had’: How do children and families sacralise and desacralise elements of digital play during celebratory times? [in person]

Aušra Žičkienė: Round-Number Birthday Celebrations For Seniors In Lithuania: An audiovisual narrative online and contemporary musical folklore. [online]

13:00-14:00: Lunch break

14:00-15:30: Parallel Sessions 5A and 5B

Session 5A: Public Authority and Public Health

Simon Gall: The Institutional Harnessing of Vernacular Authority in Traumatic Times: The use of Scots language in NHS Grampian’s online public health communications during the COVID-19 pandemic. [online]

Andrea Kitta: God Gave Me an Immune System: Religious belief, anti-masking, and anti-vaccination sentiments online in the United States during COVID. [in person]

Hanna-Kaisa Lassila: Public Shaming and Vernacular Disciplining on Social Media as Entertainment. [online]

   Session 5B: Memes

Paul Cowdell: Memes: When the digital world put the human back into the non-material. [in person]

Tina Paphitis: Cheeky! The cultural and political history of some digital folklore. [in person]

Oleksandr Pankieiev: (De)Constructing Hero Motifs in the Digital Folklore of the Russo-Ukrainian War. [in person]

15:30-16:00: Break

16:00-17:30: Parallel Sessions 6A and 6B

Session 6A: Conspiracy Theories

Diana Coles: Warming Pans and Moonbumps: Mythologising the royal family. [in person]

Tim Tangherlini: Parler Games: Conspiracy theory, conspiracy and insurrection. [online]

Marc Tuters: Folk Narratives of Distrust: On the socio-technical dynamics of conspiricization. [online]

   Session 6B: Art and Aesthetics

Gunnella Thorgeirsdottir: To Meme or not to Meme: How is the Question. [in person]

India Lawton: Little Red Riding Hood Online: Visual arts exploring the woods metaphor and the suppression of the female voice in the digital world. [in person]

Ruby Sage McGowan: Goblin Lore to Goblincore: How old stories inspired a new generation’s online identity. [in person]

Sunday 30 June (parallel sessions until 11:30)

09:00: Registration

09:30-11:00: Parallel Sessions 7A and 7B

Session 7A: Humour

Ian Brodie: Has TikTok Saved Jokes? The presence of joke-telling in short-form online video. [in person]

Drake Hansen: Your Flop Era is Showing: Notes on the aesthetic creations of a camp TikTok community [in person]

Lauren (LG) Fadiman: ‘To the FBI agent watching me through my phone’: Social media, the surveillance imaginary, and the erotics of observation in a Twitter joke cycle. [in person]

   Session 7B: Transforming Bodies and Sacrality

Sophia Kingshill: Digital Dualism: The online Doppelgänger and its analogues. [in person]

Helen Frisby: Digital Deathways in Twenty-first Century Britain. [in person]

Sonia Prodan: Sacred (Online) Space: The journey of faith from offline to virtual veneration. [online]

11:00-11:30: Break

11:30-13:00: Session 8: Narrative Communities

Nicolas Le Bigre: Emergent Folk Narrative Forms in Online Commentating. [in person]

Maria Isabel Lemos: Posting ‘nos tradison’. Mapping diasporic digital networks and cultural flows. [online]

Francesca Padget: Fandom Folklore: Exploring identity formation and community in fanfiction culture. [online]

13:00: Conference ends