Asian Folklore, Folk Horror and the Gothic (Part 1)

deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Gothic in Asia Association
contact email: 

Asian Folklore, Folk Horror and the Gothic

Conference dates: 14-15 September, 2022Conference venue: NCCU, Taipei, Taiwan // Online (hybrid)

Conference website: https://gothicfolklore.wordpress.com/

The Gothic in Asia Association (GAA) is delighted to announce its first double event organized in cooperation with the National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taiwan. The events will be run without membership or event fees. The first part will take place in Taipei, Taiwan on September 14-15, 2022 and it will take the form of a round table discussion with audience participation. The second part of the event, on October 19-20, 2022 is envisioned as a more traditional conference.

Both events will examine the ways in which Asian folklore, folk horror and Gothic narratives intersect with each other. Folklore is often said to be the origin point of the Gothic. As a complicated category containing stories of ghosts and monsters intimately attached to cultural practices and literary texts and landscapes, folklore is a source of inspiration for strange stories in many Asian contexts, both in the past and in the present. Animistic beliefs, supernaturalism, mediums and shamanic practices underpin the way in which folklore and Gothic texts are produced and consumed. Folklore is also intimately attached to the landscape, as it elucidates the relationship between humans and their environs. Asian folklore abounds with horrifying ecologies in haunted landscapes populated by people and spirits. 

In researching this field more deeply, this event aims to contribute new ideas about connections between Asian folklore and the Gothic. In addition, it aims to create educational materials so that this research can be disseminated to a broader audience.

It will achieve this by considering topics such as:

  • Literary/film/television retellings of Asian folklore narratives
  • Asian ghost and monster lore
  • Modern iterations of monsters in Asian contexts
  • Aspects of gender in Asian folklore and horror
  • Folklore and folk horror in Asian cinema/television
  • Asian folklore in global/transcultural narratives
  • Asian folklore and crime fiction
  • Eco-Gothic and the Anthropocene in Asia
  • Folklore and Asian modernity
  • User-generated fiction and Internet-based lore in Asia
  • Viral videos as lore in Asia
  • RPGs and ARGs inspired by Asian folklore
  • Asian folklore and gaming
  • Asian folklore and Orientalism or appropriation
  • Urban/rural divide in Asian folklore and horror
  • Rituals and traditions in Asia
  • Shamanism/animism in Asia
  • Asian folklore in colonial/imperial contexts
  • Asian folklore, war and conflict
  • Folklore of Asian forests or wilderness spaces
  • Littoral and maritime folklore in Asian contexts
  • Teaching and learning related topics

Scholars from all regions of the world are invited to this double event by participating in both or either part. We welcome multidisciplinary approaches to wide-ranging aspects of Asian folklore, folk horror and the Gothic in texts ranging from anthropological and ethnographic studies, folk tales, urban legends, literature, films, television series, documentaries, press reports, manga/anime, computer games, and podcasts.

Participants are also invited to explore texts belonging to (or translated into) different languages and cultures representing local, global, and transcultural approaches across a variety of media, including adaptations, interpretations, and genre crossings. 

Please send a brief expression of interest identifying the topic you want to explore (not exceeding 100 words) to the event organizers at gothicinasia@gmail.com by 31 July 2022.

Please note that while all participants are welcome to be an active audience, the number of speakers in the round table will be limited in order to better moderate the discussion. Participants will be given further details of the event by early/mid-August.

Please also indicate whether you would be interested in attending the event in Taipei or whether you prefer to participate in the event online. Please note that Taiwan is currently restricting arrivals to residents and visa holders and has quarantine rules in place. This is a developing situation and we will update participants of any changes. 

These are the inaugural events of the Gothic in Asia Association. We envision that the Association will become a useful and lively space for future cooperation among scholars