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Profs and Pints presents: “Tales from Netherworlds,” with folklorist Philippa Rappoport of George Washington University.
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 the Profs and Pints stage 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 common 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, Vasilia 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 refuge and terror. 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 previously wowed Profs and Pints audiences with talks about Russia’s snow maiden and its treacherous mermaids. Her latest effort will change how you think about Halloween, even if your journeys don’t take you much farther than homes that give away candy bars.
Advance tickets available at https://profsandpintsnetherworlds.brownpapertickets.com/