Skip to main content

IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 1146: Encounters with the Supernatural: Vampires and Other Marginal Figures

Wednesday 5 July 2023, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Chris Latham, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 1146-aThe Wolf as Werewolf or Vampire?: Haunting the Romanian Imagination from Old Folk Stories, Traditions, and Beliefs to Dracula's Myth
(Language: English)
Alexandra Costache-Babcinschi, Centre d'Études Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale (CESCM), Université de Poitiers / Universitatea București
Index terms: Language and Literature - Comparative, Medievalism and Antiquarianism, Mentalities
Paper 1146-bDuendes: A Folkloric Study of Fallen Angels
(Language: English)
Ilinca-Simona Ionescu, Facultatea de Limbi și Literaturi Străine, Universitatea din București
Index terms: Anthropology, Folk Studies, Language and Literature - Spanish or Portuguese
Paper 1146-cCruel Crushes: Emotional Violence against Supernatural Women in the Legendary Sagas
(Language: English)
Felix Lummer, School of Social Sciences University of Iceland Reykjavík
Index terms: Language and Literature - Other, Language and Literature - Scandinavian

Paper -a:
Bram Stoker's Dracula is worldwide famous nowadays. But so are Vlad the Impaler and the vampire myth from Transylvania. How are they related and what is the source of this successful story? Our paper will focus on the Romanian legends, myths, traditions and superstitions that might have inspired the Irish author when he created the famous character. Also, we intend to bring light to this 'dark' world that is Romanian vampire mythology, and distinguish between real Romanian medieval, and 19th-century folklore and Bram Stoker's imagined Transylvania.

Paper -b:
The Spanish folk spirit duende belongs to a network of 'small gods' that permeate medieval treaties on demonology. While some scholars viewed them as devils, others had a more nuanced approach. Duendes were part of a legion of fallen angels whose sins were not as grave. Thus, unlike devils, they were allowed to occupy a middle ground between heaven and hell, living alongside humans, in the natural elements. In this process, duendes gained attributes typical of other beings, such as the Roman lares. My paper tackles the intricate characteristics of these creatures in multiple late medieval sources that attempt to integrate them into the dominant belief system.

Paper -c:
Depictions of violence in medieval literature at large has been the cause of much scholarly interest. Like many other Old Norse saga genres, the legendary sagas too have found themselves subjected to the said focus. Yet, little attention has been paid to male emotional violence against marginalised women. Focusing specifically on the legendary sagas, this paper will examine several case studies of emotional violence against supernatural women used by men. It is proposed that the momentarily union with and subsequent abuse of these women fits not only the masculine focus of the sagas and to further the plot, but could also be understood as a comment on the perceived 'value' of these women on the periphery.