CFP: Interdisciplinary Symposium on Gef, the ‘talking mongoose’: “If you knew what I know, you’d know a hell of a lot!”
Senate House Library, University of London, Thursday 10th April 2014 (p.m.)
In the autumn of 1931, one of the most bizarre episodes in the annals of British paranormal history commenced. An Isle of Man farmer, his wife, and their teenage daughter all claimed that a talking animal – a weasel or mongoose – was a regular visitor to their farm, displaying apparent gifts of clairvoyance and telepathy. Soon, the story had become an international Press sensation. Over the years, journalists, authors, spiritualists, psychic investigators (notably Harry Price and Nandor Fodor), and psychologists have all attempted to make sense of the family’s claims. Was it a simple case of fraud, a psychiatric matter, or a genuine paranormal episode? No one explanation has yet sufficed to account for what has become known as the case of Gef, the Talking Mongoose.
This interdisciplinary symposium invites diverse responses to this extraordinary episode in cultural history, the people at its heart and its subsequent treatment and exploration. We would particularly encourage practitioners and researchers from the following disciplines to consider reviewing the case:
• Literary study
• Cultural study
• Local history
• Media studies
• Mythology and folklore
• The Paranormal
Please send abstracts of 300 words for 15-20 minute papers to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 25th. Requests to submit papers to be read in absentia will be considered.
All applicants will be notified of the selected programme by March 12th.