2017 Annual Conference of the International Association for Comparative Mythology

we are happy to draw your attention to the Annual Conference of the International Association for Comparative Mythology, which this year will take place at our home base, here in Edinburgh, from June 8th to June 10th.

The conference, which recently announced its call for papers, picked a rather intriguing primary theme for this edition: ‘Creatures of the Night: Mythologies of the Otherworld and Its Denizens’. Papers may also also include Myth, State and Nationalism, as well as ‘free topic’ submissions.

Further information will be posted regarding locations nearer the time.


Event – film screening and panel discussion

THE LAST STORYTELLER (2002) Written and Directed by Desmond Bell  (52 min)
Event date: Friday 17 February
Time:  13:00
Location: G.03, 50 George Square


Synopsis :  An imaginative look at the tradition of folk lore collection in Ireland in which film maker, IASH Fellow Des Bell draws upon the magic of silent cinema to retell some of the uncanny tales collected by  Sean O Eochaidh for the Irish Folk Lore Commission.

There will be a panel discussion after the screening.

Louise Milne, art historian and film maker, holds posts at Edinburgh College of Art and in the Film School at Edinburgh Napier University. She is the author of ‘Carnivals and Dreams; Pieter Bruegel and the history of the imagination’.

Liv Willumesen is Professor of History at the University of Tromsoe in Norway. She is a witchcraft scholar and the author of ‘Witches of the North. Scotland and Finnmark’

Desmond Bell, film maker and cultural theorist, is a visiting fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. His film ‘The Enigma of Frank Ryan’ was selected for the World Film festival, Montreal and broadcast on Irish television.

Margaret MacKay (Chair) , is Honorary Fellow in Celtic and Scottish Studies and the University of Edinburgh and has extensive fieldwork experience of folklore collection.

The film represented Ireland in the 2003 Venice International Film Festival and was screened on RTE television.

Organised by Celtic and Scottish Studies and IASH

Forthcoming Talk


The Astrological Worldview’

Dr Jane Ridder-Patrick

Thursday 3 December 2015
Main Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh College of Art (Old Building)

Start time: 5.00pm



Astrology – the astronomical_clockcorrelation of events and movements in the heavens with events and qualities on earth – has been practised by every major civilisation since time immemorial and despite being banished from Western mainstream culture in the late seventeenth century it still flourishes today, albeit as a marginalised practice. This talk will investigate the secret of astrology’s tenacity and explore the astrological worldview, demonstrating how it has been used over the years and some of its present day applications.