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Exploring the Extraordinary

  • 2012-09-21
  • 2012-09-23
  • York, UK
Registration is now open for the 4th Exploring the Extraordinary conference, which will take place in York (UK) on the 21st-23rd September. Exploring the Extraordinary is an interdisciplinary network for those engaged/interested in research into the 'extraordinary' - topics often regarded as paranormal, supernatural, religious, transcendent, ecstatic, exceptional, mystical, anomalous, magical, or spiritual.

This year's conference papers will include

*History, Spiritualism and psychical phenomena
*Parapsychological approaches to paranormal belief and experience
*Revenants in folklore and society
*Spiritual healing and landscape
*Magical performances, magical geographies
*Experiencing alternate realities and entity encounters
*Ghosts and place
*Music and the extraordinary
*Philosophy, the paranormal and questoning spiritual reality
*Extraordinary experiences, emotions and ethics.

FRIDAY, 21st September

1.00-1.15 Introduction

1.15-1.45 ‘The spectacular supernatural: Victoria Spiritualism and the rise of modern show business’ Simone Natale (University of Cologne)
1.45-2.15 ‘Extraordinary claims, uncanny history: Testing historical interpretations of Spiritualism and the First World War’, Ben McDonald (University of Melbourne)
2.15-2.45 ‘Reconstructing Seaford: A historical methodology to trace the rise of the psychokinetic theory of the poltergeist phenomenon’, Christopher Laursen (University of British Columbia)

2.45-3.00 Break

3.00-3.30 ‘A qualitative study of anomalous telephonic experiences’ Callum Cooper (University of Northampton)
3.30-4.00 ‘The nature and quality of child-parent relationships as predictors of adult paranormal and new age beliefs’ Dr Paul Rogers (University of Central Lancashire)

4.00-4.15 Break

4.15-4.45 ‘Listening for vampiric and ‘other’ worldly voices: Navigating dark occultural cyberspace in search of the extraordinary’ Dr Sean O’Callaghan (University of Lancaster(
4.45-5.15 ‘Revenant revolutions’ Jonathan Ferguson (Leeds Royal Armouries)

6.30-8.00 Dinner

Evening Activity: Films
8.00 The Fortean tales of Lapis Lazu, Christopher Laursen (University of British Columbia)
8.30 Science and spirit(s), Prof Charles Emmons (Gettysburg College)

SATURDAY, 22nd September

10.00-10.30 ‘Exploring extraordinary geographies: The overlapping spaces of the practical, the social and the otherworldly’, Dr Nadia Bartolini, Dr Sara MacKian & Dr Steve Pile (Open University)
10.30-11.00 ‘Crystals, angels and a discourse of healing: Exploring extraordinary therapeutic landscapes,’ Dr Sara MacKian (Open University)

11.00-11.15 Break

11.15-11.45 ‘GHosts, guests and hosts, and how to make them’ Sarah Sparkes (University of London)
11.45-12.15 ‘English heretic: An application of magical psychogeography and modern necromancy’ Andy Sharp
12.15-12.45 ‘Expressions of spirithood: Performance and the manifestation of spirits,’ Jack Hunter (University of Bristol)

12.45-2.00 Lunch

2.00-2.30 ‘In the light and shadow: Turning the dead to keep the world alive,’ Dr Christel Mattheuws (University of Aberdeen)
2.30-3.00 ‘The shamanic journey: Ordinary into extraordinary reality’, Dr Zoe Bran
3.00-3.30 ‘Magic, materialism and mushrooms: Psilocybin mushrooms user’s constructions of the reality of psychedelic entity encounters’ James Thompson (University of Bath)

3.30-3.45 Break

3.45-4.15 ‘“Knock, knock… who’s there?” Orientating to spirits in the spatial and personal environment’ Rachael Hayward (University of York)
4.15-4.45 ‘Ghostly interventions: Revenant landscapes and para-places’ James Thurgill (Royal Holloway University of London)
4.45-5.15 ‘The material remains of presence on an excavated hauntscape: A transductive ethnography of a spectral soundscape’ John Sabol

Evening Activity: Dinner and Social Evening
7.00 Dinner venue tbc

SUNDAY, 23rd September

10.00-10.30 ‘Noise and the infinite’ Adam Potts (Newcastle University)
10.30-11.00 ‘Paramusicology: The fusion of music and the paranormal’ Dr Melvyn Willin

11.00-11.15 Break

11.15-11.45 ‘Religion and the paranormal in pragmatist philosophy,’ Dr Guy Bennett-Hunter (University of Edinburgh)
11.45-12.15 ‘It takes one to know one: Imaginal cognition and the question of spiritual reality’ Dr Angela Voss

12.15-12.30 Break

12.30-1.00 ‘Emotion, extraordinary experience and ethics’ Dr Madeleine Castro (Leeds Metropolitan University) & Dr Hannah Gilbert (York St John University)

1.00 Lunch

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Registration is £80 (£60) for full conference, or £40 (£30) per day, which includes lunch and refreshments.
Email  for a registration form.

For further information check the conference homepage at

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