Saturday, November 21, 2015

NEACIS 2015 Session

The Area is proud to sponsor a second session this year at the annual conference of the New England region of the American Conference for Irish Studies. The conference is being held at the University of West Haven on Friday, 20 November, and Saturday, 21 November.

NEACIS 2015 Conference
Saturday, November 21st: Session 6 (Kaplan 203, 3:45-5:00 PM)
Horrors of the Irish Imagination: Papers from the Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Legend Area of the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association
Organized by Michael A. Torregrossa, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Legend Area Chair

Chair: Christopher Dowd, University of New Haven

1. “Francis Crozier and the Mysterious Disappearance of the Franklin Expedition”
Donald Vescio, Worcester State University

Don Vescio is a faculty member of Department of English at Worcester State University.  After serving ten years as Worcester State’s Chief Information Office/Vice President of Information Technologies and two years as Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing, Don now focuses his energies on teaching undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of disciplines.  His research interests are in critical theory, narratological analysis, and information design. 

2. “Louis MacNeice’s Bogeymen”
Samuel Robertson, Suffolk County Community College 

Sam Robertson is an Associate Professor of English at Suffolk County Community College.  He received his Ph.D. from New York University.  Though he teaches a wide range of courses, and considers himself a Generalist, his specialty is twentieth-century Northern Irish poetry.  He has written on such figures as John Hewitt, Louis MacNeice, Michael Longley, and Derek Mahon.  He lives in Brooklyn and enjoys spending summers in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

3. “There’s Something Rotten in Denmark Ireland: Irish Zombie Media and the Irish ‘Other’ ”
Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University

Dr. Kristine Larsen is Professor of Astronomy and Faculty Coordinator of the Copernican Observatory and Planetarium at Central Connecticut State University. Her teaching and scholarship focus on the intersections between science and society, including science education, the history of science, and scientific motifs in literature, television, and film. Her research on popular culture has focused on The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, the Resident Evil series of films, Lost, Harry Potter, Dominion, and The Last Mimzy, and in particular the fantasy works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Andrzej Sapkowski. She is the author of Stephen Hawking: A Biography and Cosmology 101, and co-editor of The Mythological Dimensions of Doctor Who and The Mythological Dimensions of Neil Gaiman. Her twenty-five year career as a science educator has been recognized by the 2014 Connecticut Science Center's Petit Family Foundation Women in Science Leadership Award, the 2013 Walter Scott Houston award of the North East Region of the Astronomical League, the 2007 Distinguished CCSU Alumni Service Award, and the 2001 CCSU Excellence in Teaching Award.

4. “Have the Irish Doomed Civilization?: Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Its Enduring Legacy in the  21st Century”
Michael A. Torregrossa (Independent Scholar) 

Michael A. Torregrossa is a graduate of the Medieval Studies program at the University of Connecticut (Storrs). His research interests include adaptation, Arthuriana, comics and comic art, medievalism, monsters, and wizards. Michael has presented papers on these topics at regional, national, and international conferences, and his work has been published in academic journals and edited collections. Michael is founder of The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain and co-founder, with Carl James Grindley, of The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages; he also serves as editor for these organizations’ various blogs and moderator of their discussion lists. Besides these activities, he is currently Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Legend Area Chair for NEPCA, a position he has held since 2009, and organizes sessions for their annual conference in the fall (and other conferences like this one) and maintains the area’s blogs.

For more information on the Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Legend Area of the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association please visit our blog at

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