Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

"Putting the Supernatural in its Place" On Wednesday's Access Utah

Just exactly where do we find the supernatural in the contemporary world? It's both pervasive--everywhere--and specific--a particular somewhere. Otherworldly traditions and stories still spread through oral narration. They pervade mass media and the digital world and often form the stuff of hypermodern folklore--the stew of folk, popular, consumer, and digital culture that constitutes much of contemporary life. People also imbue specific places--from the local haunted house or cemetery to whole towns or cities--with supernatural manifestations or significance.

"Putting the Supernatural in Its Place" explores zombies, vampires, witches, demented nuns, mediums, and ghosts in their natural (and unnatural) habitats while making sense of the current ubiquity of the supernatural on the Internet, in movies, tourism, and in places like New Orleans. We'll talk about these, as well local folklore, such as St. Anne's Retreat, in Logan Canyon.

This unique study of how we locate the supernatural sheds light on why certain sites and their stories captivate us. It demonstrates how pondering the supernatural can bring a better understanding of the places we create and inhabit. Joining us today on the program is Jeannie Thomas, Department Head of English at Utah State University, and editor of the book, along with Lynne McNeill who contributed a chapter to the book.

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.