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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Postmodern Theory, Science Fiction and Race

In Science Fiction Culture, Camille Bacon-Smith comments that: “…when the ethnographer asks the question, ‘What does postmodern culture look like?’ the obvious place to find the answer is the science fiction community.” As a genre that embraces the impossible, science fiction/fantasy is fast becoming recognized as a genre well suited to demonstrate the cultural contradictions postmodern theory highlights.

Postmodern Theory also problematizes the idea of race, exposing it as a constructed aspect of identity. However, ethnic American authors have consistently written postmodern and science fiction/fantasy texts that challenge or question notions of racial identity in order to draw attention to issues of racial representation. This panel seeks to make connections between postmodern theory, racial identity and the genre of science fiction/fantasy in order to draw conclusions about the future of race in a postmodern culture.

Submissions can address (but are not limited to) any of the following: Representation of race in postmodern texts and/or science fiction/ antasy texts, postmodern theory and the science fiction/fantasy genre, ethnic American contributions to postmodern theory and/or
science fiction/fantasy.

By June 30, 2012, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words via email as a word document to:

Call for Chapters:
On the Highway to Hell and Back: Critical Essays on the Television Series Supernatural

One-page Abstracts Due June 20th, 2012

First complete draft (15-20 pages plus works cited) due by September 20th, 2012.

Supernatural, now in its seventh season, has gained a cult status and has spawned comic books, novels, fan fiction, and an assortment of companion books.  Like other cult TV shows before it, such as The X-files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel, part of the series’ success lies in the way it combines plot and character with serious investigations of folklore, myth, religion, psychology, and family dynamics.  Supernatural’s story arcs have dealt with, and commented on, issues as diverse as fan culture, sexual orientation, father/son conflict, the changing nature of the U.S. family, and the Apocalypse.  This collection of critical essays will be thematic in nature, focusing on the social, psychological, philosophical, religious and mythic themes of the series.  Specifically it will examine how the series addresses horror in a postmodern context through character and story as well as the recurring use of symbols and plot devices such as the music, cars, the crossroads, biblical texts and religious icons.

Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Representations of mythic and folkloric themes: fairy tales, non-Western folklore, urban myth/legend, shape shifters
  • Representations of religious themes: God/gods, angels, demons, Satan, Book of Revelations, Western and non-Western religious themes etc
  • Monsters and the monstrous in Supernatural
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Representations of mortality: personifications of Death, reapers, ghosts
  • Family: fathers/sons, mothers, family/domesticity as safety, family as danger/curse  hunting as “family business.”
  • Post-modernist themes: self-referential humor, the writer as God, representations of fans and fanfiction in the series
  • Literary themes: Dracula, Biblical stories, vengeful spirits, the woman in white
  • Music in Supernatural: original soundtrack and Dean’s “car tunes”

Please contact Susan A. George ( and Regina Hansen ( with questions or brief description (no more that 50 words) of your topic and a current CV before submitting an abstract.  One-page Abstracts Due June 20th, 2012.  First complete draft (15-20 pages plus works cited) due by September 20th, 2012.