Francesca Stavrakopoulou

Keynote Speaker 1

Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion, University of Exeter, UK

Francesca Stavrakopoulou's academic career began at the University of Oxford, where she studied Theology and went on to earn her doctorate in Hebrew Bible. She spent a further three years teaching and researching in Oxford as a post-doctoral fellow, before joining Exeter's Theology and Religion team in 2005. She was appointed to a personal chair in 2011. Francesca’s research is primarily focused on biblical traditions and ancient religious practices most at odds with Western cultural preferences, especially those bound up with the materiality and sociality of the body – whether living or dead, divine or human. The author of a number of books, her most recent, God: An Anatomy (Picador/Knopf 2021), won the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for non-fiction and was shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize. Francesca has also worked in television and radio, making various programmes on religion, archaeology, and the Bible, including the BBC TV documentary series Bible’s Buried Secrets.

Francesca Stavrakopoulou's academic career began at the University of Oxford, where she studied Theology and went on to earn her doctorate in Hebrew Bible. She spent a further three years teaching and researching in Oxford as a post-doctoral fellow, before joining Exeter's Theology and Religion team in 2005. She was appointed to a personal chair in 2011. Francesca’s research is primarily focused on biblical traditions and ancient religious practices most at odds with Western cultural preferences, especially those bound up with the materiality and sociality of the body – whether living or dead, divine or human. The author of a number of books, her most recent, God: An Anatomy (Picador/Knopf 2021), won the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for non-fiction and was shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize. Francesca has also worked in television and radio, making various programmes on religion, archaeology, and the Bible, including the BBC TV documentary series Bible’s Buried Secrets.

W. Scott Poole

Keynote Speaker 2

Professor of History, College of Charleston

Professor of History / College of Charleston: Scott Poole is author of Satan in America: The Devil We Know (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010). His work focuses on the intersection of American horror narratives with class conflict, systemic racism and sexism, as well as the myth of American exceptionalism. A Bram Stoker nominee for his biography of H.P. Lovecraft, he is best known for his books Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting and Wasteland: The Great War and the Origins of Modern Horror. His most recent book is Dark Carnivals: Modern Horror and the Origin of American Imperialism (2022).

Professor of History / College of Charleston: Scott Poole is author of Satan in America: The Devil We Know (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010). His work focuses on the intersection of American horror narratives with class conflict, systemic racism and sexism, as well as the myth of American exceptionalism. A Bram Stoker nominee for his biography of H.P. Lovecraft, he is best known for his books Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting and Wasteland: The Great War and the Origins of Modern Horror. His most recent book is Dark Carnivals: Modern Horror and the Origin of American Imperialism (2022).