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Profs and Pints presents: “Tales from Netherworlds,” an evening with Baba Yaga and other dark denizens of the imagination, with folklorist Philippa Rappoport of George Washington University.
[Under current District of Columbia regulations attendees will be required to wear a mask except while eating or drinking. The Bier Baron will be requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test from the previous 72 hours for entry. It also will be requiring ticketed event attendees to purchase a minimum of two items, which can be food or beverages, including soft drinks.]
The traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain—now known as Halloween—marked the opening of a door between our world and the world of deities and the dead. In honor of that day’s approach, Philippa Rappoport returns to tell Slavic folktales about journeys to a strange netherworld beneath us.
The ticket to taking such a trip is being in possession of a magic doll. A mysterious element of folktales in Russia and other East Slavic nations, they’ll open doors in the earth for you. Beware, though. Although you might escape danger on one side, you’re likely to face it on the other.
Professor Rappoport will tell the tale of one heroine, Vasilisa the Beautiful, whose doll-aided plunge into a netherworld leads her to confront the witch Baba Yaga and a host of ooglie booglie spirits. She’ll take us on a journey of our own, exploring what such folktales tell us about beliefs about women, witches, fairy godmothers, and magical helpers. We’ll tour netherworlds as places where we can find both terror and refuge. You’ll be surprised by how relevant much of what you’ll encounter is to spiritual beliefs and practices all around us today.
Professor Rappoport has also wowed Profs and Pints audiences with talks about Russia’s house spirits and treacherous mermaids. Her latest effort will change how you think about Halloween. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, or $13 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)