Hertfordshire’s Open Graves Open Minds Project launching new book

Updated: Jun 13, 2021

By Chloe Olivia Sladden

The Open Graves Open Minds project will launch their new book, In the Company of Wolves: Wolves and Wild Children, on the 29th February. It will be launched at art deco Odyssey cinema in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

‘In the Company of Wolves’ delves into the cultural significance of  wild children, who some believe to have been raised by wolves, and where wolves may have been placed as cultural symbols in debates regarding wilderness and nature. A collection of essays on werewolves (including their depictions in literature, folk tales and the media) and other shapeshifting creatures. This will conclude with the transition of wolves from animal to human, in formats such as fashion, poetry and art.

Sam George, Senior Lecturer in Literature and convener of Open Graves, Open Minds, University of Hertfordshire, commented: “We’re celebrating the importance of storytelling and myth –  never stray from the path, never eat a windfall apple, and never trust a man whose eyebrows meet in the middle!! And we’re also conveying a more serious message. The book will see us uncover the wolf behind the werewolf. Our accounts of children raised by wolves will redeem the image of the big bad wolf that filled our childhood nightmares and prepare the ground for the reintroduction of the wolf in parts of the UK in the twenty-first century – it’s very exciting.”

A special screening of  the British gothic fantasy horror film ‘The Company of Wolves’ will form part of the launch, which is ‘based on Angela Carter’s lycanthropic reworking of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ according to the press release. The film was directed by Neil Jordon, and stars Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Sarah Patterson and Stephen Rea.

This year will mark the ten year anniversary of the Open Graves Open Minds project, which is run by the University of Hertfordshire. University researchers have looked into literature, media and art, at depictions of undead creatures (such as Vampires), before looking into depictions of shape shifting creatures (like werewolves) along with other supernatural creatures. Those attending the launch will have the chance to try a werewolf themed cake, made especially to celebrate the project’s anniversary.

You can find out more about the launch and book your tickets here.

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