Friday, 16 December 2011

Why'd they get the chop?

Nerds in Babeland
I noted several papers 'missing' from Vampirismus und magia posthuma im Diskurs der Habsburgermonarchie (2011) and wondered what happened to 'em.

I contacted one of the book's editors, Christoph Augustynowicz, asking, 'What are the reasons their contributions weren't incorporated into the anthology'?1

He responded in a promptly: 'thank you for your interest, the paper of Berhard Unterholzner is included, the others didn’t deliver their papers – simple as that.'2

I double-checked Niels' listing for the Unterholzner contribution—he was right. It's there. Whoops! However, in the same e-mail, I also asked if he could put me in touch with Sigrid Janisch, 'as I'm very interested in reading her paper'. True story. But no reply to that query. Ah well. She's not an easy woman to find. If you're reading this, Sigrid, drop me a line!

On the plus side, I had successfully tracked down Thede Kahl, who told me, 'I have never send a paper for that conference. I presented some aspects, but did not find the time to fromulate [sic] my ideas in a written form.'3

So, no conspiracies. No under-par papers. They're 'missing' simply because they weren't submitted. Mystery solved.

A real shame, though. I've found a document presenting summaries of the papers. Karin Barton's 'Der Habsburger Floh: Zur Kultur- und Literaturgeschichte eines vampirischen Insekts' (The Habsburg flea: notes on the cultural and literary history of an insect vampire) provided 'a brief survey of flea-literature in the Holy Roman Empire, starting with the late medieval and pseudo-Ovidian Carmen de pulice which combines the motifs of sex and death with vampiric overtones, to the prominent Renaissance trope of the war between fleas and their allegedly preferred hosts, women.'

Thede Kahl's discussion, 'Bewahrung und Verdrängung von Vampirgeschichten in Nordgriechenland und Südalbanien' (Perpetuation and suppression of narratives of vampires in northern Greece and southern Albania) cited 'examples of the three regional languages (Aromunian, Albanian, Greek) for the loss of an oral tradition on different levels', promising to 'show, what the processes of forgetting have in common, as well as how the attitudes (conservation, suppression) of the narrators and the audience differ.'

Lastly, Sigrid Janisch's 'Was ist ein Vampir im Habsburger Reich des 18./19. Jahrhunderts? Ein Vergleich anhand von Enzyklopädien' (What is a vampire in the 18th and 19th Habsburg Monarchy? A comparison on the basis of encyclopedias), noted 'The contemporary vampire image considerably differs from the one of the 18th and 19th centuries. The paper focusses on the changes of some aspects of this image and its development as a whole.' I'm sure it would've provided a fascinating insight into the vampire 'evolution' in popular Western consciousness.

As an added bonus, here's the conference's programme guide, so you'll know who spoke when! If you needed to know such a thing, that is.

1. A Hogg, 'Vampirism and magia posthuma papers‏', Thursday, 15 December 2011 12:29:35 AM, <>.

2. C Augustynowicz, 'AW: Vampirism and magia posthuma papers', Thursday, 15 December 2011 10:44:43 PM, <>.

3. T Kahl, 'AW: Vampirismus und magia posthuma paper‏', Wednesday, 14 December 2011 7:50:20 PM, <>.

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