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Monthly Archives: August 2012

16th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities
University of London, Birkbeck
March 22 and March 23, 2013
Cultural Legalities of Science Fiction (Stream)

Recent developments in scholarship have seen a renewed interest in the relationship between law and science fiction (Tranter 2011, Travis 2011). In particular, there has been an emphasis on the ability of law to articulate entities previously found exclusively in science fiction (Karpin 2006, Travis 2011). It is in science fiction that the question and problem of the human has often originally been represented.

Uniquely, science fiction has the ability to sketch out new entities of ‘person’ and question their relationship to ‘human.’ This takes place on a number of different levels. Firstly, the concept of the human is questioned on the genetic level through the creation of entities such as clones (Tranter and Statham 2007), cyborgs (Harraway 1991) and the admixed embryo (Karpin 2006, Travis 2011). Secondly, the human in science fiction is routinely questioned on the essential level through the use of language, will and rationality by non-human entities such as artificial intelligence (Solum 1992, Tranter 2007, Hubbard 2010) and Aliens in texts such as District 9, The Matrix, Battlestar Galactica.

These narratives also raise trenchant questions about our own technological culture and what it means to be included or excluded from the realms of humanity. In this way science fiction can be seen as a cultural negotiation for – and, in some instances reinterpretations of – the human.

Themes addressed could include:

  • What can science fiction  tell us about cultural perceptions of the human in terms of fluidity, embodiment or hierarchy?
  • How does science fiction open up dialogue about law, enhancement and the post-human? Indeed are these themes unique to science fiction?
  • How important is science fiction to understanding the future of humanity and human relations with technology?
  • Are science fiction blockbusters necessarily conservative in their understandings, deployment or articulation of law and the human?
  • How far do science fictive portrayals of the non-human alien correspond to national and international norms of alien and citizen?
  • How do legal understandings of the human manifest themselves in science fiction?

Submission Guidelines

  1. Only original plays never before produced are eligible.
  2. Plays must contain a fantastical element.
  3. The play, exclusive of title and cast pages, may be no more than ten pages. This means 7-10 pages in 12-point font. Longer plays will not be considered.
  4. The play should have minimal props and costumes.
  5. Assemble script as follows:
    • The first page is a title page with the play’s title, author’s name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. (This is the only place the author’s name should appear.)
    • The second page should contain a cast of characters and time and place information.
    • The third page will be the first page of the script. The other pages of the play follow.
    • The name of the play and the page number should appear on every page.
  6. The play’s running time must be 10 minutes or less.
  7. Only the top three finalists will be notified of judging results. All plays are judged through a blind submission process by a panel of judges. The top three finalists will be notified by February 1. The judges reserve the right to choose fewer than three finalists.
  8. Authors agree to permit the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts to produce a directed reading of their contest-entry play if the conference should wish to do so. Authors retain copyright and full ownership of their plays.
  9. Deadline: Submissions must be received by midnight October 31.
  10. Submissions should be sent as Word-compatible e-mail attachments to the IAFA 2nd Vice President:

Sydney Duncan

Download this call for submissions!

When the French first translated Dante, the Italians responded with the now-common saying, “traduttore, traditore” (translator, traitor). Today, many view adaptation with similar distrust—a modern version of the Italian aphorism might be “adapter, adulterer”—but recent adaptation studies tend to concern themselves less with issues of fidelity and more with questions of quality. Texts and their adaptations engage in an epistemic dialogue with one another, revealing the reciprocally intertextual nature of their relationship. Transformed texts are like the children of their literary forbears, and the care with which they are crafted might make “adapter, adopter” a more appropriate description of the adapter’s role.

ICFA 34 will explore the ubiquity of adaptation in all its Fantastic forms. In addition to essays examining our Guests’ work, conference papers might consider specific adaptations, adaptation theory, translation, elision and interpolation, postmodern pastiche, transformation and metafictionality, plagiarism and homage, audience and adaptation, franchise fiction, or the recent resurgence of reboots, retcons, remakes, and reimaginings. Panels might discuss the intersection of fantasy and adaptation, the question of fidelity, the relationship between adaptive creation and target audiences, the impact of fan fiction, the popular reception of adapted classics, the perils of translation, or the challenges of adaptation and multiple media. If everything must adapt or die, then join us in Orlando and put off death for another year.

The official call for papers is available now!!

Harry Harrison, one of the great SF fans and writers, died last night at home after a lingering illness. Harry was active in founding SF fandom itself as a teenager in the 1930s, and attended the first World SF conevntion in 1939. After serving in the military, he returned to the US in 1946 and became an artist and illustrator in the comics industry, and later, in the 1960s, wrote scripts for Buck Rogers in Europe. He edited SF magazines, began to write fiction in the early 1950s, and after the late 1950s lived most of his life with his family abroad, in Mexico, Denmark, England and Ireland. He founded the organization World SF, and held the first conference in 1976 in Dublin. He was a citizen of the world.

With his friend Brian Aldiss, he edited many anthologies, including an influential Years Best SF series from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s, a series with a distinctly literary cast. He wrote famous SF novels and was a popular figure in the field, always contentious and passionate and fast-talking and often quite funny. He was my friend for decades and I will miss him.

David G. Hartwell on behalf of the Board.

To ALL 2012 Banquet Goers who were unfortunate enough to order the chicken

The new General Manager of the Orlando Airport Marriott, Chris Donahue came on board only a few days before IAFA 2012, and as a result had to deal with the banquet chicken disaster. Not only has he profusely apologized for this year’s terrible chicken entrees, but he has also taken significant, concrete steps to make amends and to assure IAFA and you that this situation will not be repeated. First and most immediate, he has refunded the cost of all the chicken dinners. The IAFA will in its turn issue to every conferee who purchased a 2012 chicken dinner banquet ticket, a coupon good for one banquet ticket for either 2013 or 2014. (We will not extend the date further because we really cannot carry such a large financial liability for more than two years.) Second, the GM will hire a new chef to work exclusively with our conference next year to make sure that every IAFA function measures up to Marriott’s high standards, as happened in 2011 when we had an excellent Guest Chef from Marriott headquarters. Third, in an addendum to our 2013-2015 contract he has put in writing that should the hotel fail to live up to our expectations that we may impose financial penalties and/or abrogate the contract.

I hope you will agree with me that this is a handsome settlement of a terrible condition and will join me in giving the new GM every opportunity to show that this hotel’s Banquet functions will indeed match the excellence of the superb staff and the fine facility.

Donald Morse
IAFA Conference Chair

Panel at the International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo. May 9-12, 2013
Organizer: Helen Young
Moderator: Carol L. Robinson

For a work of contemporary fantasy literature to be compared with those of J. R. R. Tolkien can be either compliment or condemnation; the juxtaposition might suggest a major, original contribution to the genre or imply a work is merely derivative. Yet if Tolkien had one of the first words on fantasy and medievalism he did not have the last. Author Steven Erikson recently described himself and other writers of epic fantasy as “post-Tolkien” in The New York Review of Science Fiction and lamented the tendency of some scholars to not realise that “we’ve moved on.” This panel seeks papers which explore the ways in which twenty-first century fantasy literature deploys ‘the medieval’ with all its relics, forms and incarnations. Papers may or may not directly contrast and compare with Tolkien’s practice. The panel asks, for example, how contemporary trends in technology, society, politics, and culture intersect with and influence contemporary writers, readers, and critics in their re-imaginings of medieval material. Are there shifts in the genre as a whole? Tolkien drew largely on the European Middle Ages as do his imitators; is this changing as Eurocentric views become increasingly problematic and the world is ever more globalised? How do technological developments and the explosion of multi-media fantasy products including film, television and video-gaming engage with literature? How do representations of race, gender, and class intersect with medievalism in contemporary fantasy? Is the idea of an ‘authentic’ Middle Ages important? How do writers research the past and approach their sources? Papers which address these or any other topic related to the theme of the panel are invited. They might address short stories, novels, comics and graphic novels, series, authors and/or their oeuvres, or the genre as a whole, as well as adaptations for or from film, tv, gaming, and fandoms including fan-fiction.

Please send a 250-300 word abstract for a 20 minute paper, a brief biography, and a conference Participant Information Form ( to the organizer, Dr Helen Young by Monday 10th September 2012. Abstracts etc are best emailed to

Section on Popular Culture and Mass Media for the Latin American Studies Association

A new Section on Popular Culture and Mass Media has been approved for the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) for 2013. The endorsement of at least 50 current LASA members are needed for the Section to start working next May during the conference.

If you are interested, send a brief email stating your support for the section, name and academic affiliation to ASAP. Please circulate among your colleagues. Time is running out!

CFP: Science Fiction and Fantasy SW/TX PCA/ACA (12/1/12; 2/13-16/2013)

Join us for the 34rd Annual Southwest/Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Associations Conference, February 13-16, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Area chairs of the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture/American Culture Associations ( invite paper or panel proposals on any aspect of science fiction in print, film, or other media.

Proposal submission deadline: November 16, 2012

Any and all topics will be considered. Past presentations have covered a variety of topics including British sci-fi TV, Fan Studies, Race, gender, sexuality, and socio-economic class, science fiction and fantasy and pedagogy, adaptation and a variety of texts from the Harry Potter books to the film Splice to Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Submit 250-word paper or 500 word panel proposals to the 2013 SWTX Presenter Database. Choose the area “Science Fiction & Fantasy – General.” This online submission database will be available after September 15. If you are experiencing difficulties with the website, please email your proposal to the address listed below.)

Direct questions to: Ximena Gallardo, or Rikk Mulligan,

Early Bird Registration Deadline is December 31, 2012.

Conference hotel:
Hyatt Regency Albuquerque
330 Tijeras
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: 1.505.842.1234
Fax: 1.505.766.6710
Conference Rate Reservations can be made through

For more details on the conference, please visit the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture/American Culture Association:

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter: and @swtxsffchairs

More about the SF&F Area:
With an average of 70+ presenters annually, The Science Fiction and Fantasy Area of the Southwest and Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association is one of the most dynamic and well attended areas at the conference. Numerous book and article publications have originated from our panels.

The Area was founded in 1995 by Prof. Richard Tuerk of the Texas A&M University-Commerce (formerly East Texas State University) and author of Oz in Perspective (McFarland, 2007). The Area is currently chaired by Ximena Gallardo C. of the City University of New York-LaGuardia and co-author of Alien Woman: The Making of Lt. Ellen Ripley (Continuum: 2004); Rikk Mulligan of Longwood University, author of “Zombie Apocalypse: Plague and the End of the World in Popular Culture” (End of Days, McFarland 2009); Tamy Burnett of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, co-editor of The Literary Angel (McFarland, 2010); Brian Cowlishaw of Northeastern State University, author of “No Future Shock Here: The Jetsons, Happy Tech, and the Patriarchy” (The Galaxy is Rated G, McFarland: 2011); and Susan Fanetti. Though the co-chairs consult on submissions, Ximena and Rikk are primarily responsible for the general organization of the conference panels and coordinate special panels, Tamy coordinates annual special topics related to SFF television, this year including Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, and Doctor Who, Brian reviews and organizes the literature panels and other special topics (this year Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games), and Susan coordinates the Whedonverse panels (Buffy, Firefly, Angel).

Area Co-Chair Names: Tamy Burnett, Brian Cowlishaw, Susan Fanetti, Ximena Gallardo, Rikk Mulligan.

Call for Papers
The 2013 Joint Eaton/SFRA Conference
Science Fiction Media
April 10-14, 2013

Riverside Marriott Hotel
Riverside, California

This conference—cosponsored by the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy (UC Riverside) and the Science Fiction Research Association—will examine science fiction in multiple media. The past several decades have witnessed an explosion in SF texts across the media landscape, from film and TV to comics and digital games. We are interested in papers that explore SF as a multimedia phenomenon, whether focusing on popular mass media, such as Hollywood blockbusters, or on niche and subcultural forms of expression, such as MUDs and vidding. We invite paper and panel proposals that focus on all forms of SF, including prose fiction, and that address (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  • Mainstream Hollywood vs. Global SF Cinema
  • SF Comics and Manga
  • SF Anime and Animation
  • SF on the Internet and the World Wide Web
  • Multimedia “dispersed” SF narratives
  • Fandom, Cosplay, Mashups, and Remixing
  • Broadcast and Cable SF Television
  • SF Videogames
  • World’s Fairs, Theme Parks, and other “Material” SF Media
  • Short-form SF film
  • Afrofuturism
  • SF and/in Music
  • SF Idiom and Imagery in Advertising
  • Webisodes and TV Games
  • SF Art and Illustration

The conference will also feature the fourth Science Fiction Studies Symposium on the topic of “SF Media(tions),” with speakers Mark Bould, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr., and Vivian Sobchack. Keynote speakers and special guests will be announced as they are confirmed; see the conference website at <> for periodic updates.

Conference sessions will be held at the newly remodeled and centrally located Riverside Marriott Hotel, with rooms at a reduced conference rate ($109). For more about the hotel, see their website at < hotel-information/travel/ralmc-riverside-marriott>. A block of rooms will also be available at a discount ($139) at the historic Mission Inn Hotel and Spa two blocks from the Marriott: <>. Rooms in both hotels are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Abstracts of 500 words (for papers of 20-minutes in length) should be submitted by September 14, 2012. We also welcome panel proposals gathering three papers on a cohesive topic. Send electronic submissions to conference co-chair Melissa Conway at <> with the subject heading: EATON/SFRA CONFERENCE PROPOSAL. Please include a brief bio with your abstract and indicate whether your presentation would require A/V. Participants will be informed by December 1 if their proposals have been accepted.

European Fandom and Fan Studies, 10 November 2012
One Day Symposium, Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis and University of Amsterdam Department of Media Studies

Call for Papers

Fan Studies is growing but primarily focused in North America. This one day symposium at the University of Amsterdam seeks to explore the state of Fan Studies and the variety of Fandoms focused within the broader social and geographic boundaries of Europe. Inter-disciplinary papers are invited to explore the nature of the field itself or how different fandoms function within Europe. Potential avenues of exploration may include how Fan Studies is represented, studied, and received within European universities, by funding bodies and publishers. Papers on Fandoms may explore how European (English and non-English speaking) fans of European and non-European objects of fan appreciation participate in fandom, the differences between internet fandoms and local/national/international fan practices, and the different objects of fan appreciation.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Transformative Works
  • Fan History
  • Fan Infrastructures
  • Fan Charity and Activism
  • Fan Cultures and Identities
  • Impact on Public Policy and Industry Practice
  • Economies within Fandom and/or Fan Studies
  • Students as Fans
  • Fan Studies within Higher Education courses
  • Crossing national, cultural, and language boundaries in Fandom and Fan Studies

The symposium is associated with a special issue of the Journal of Transformative Works and Cultures tentatively slated for 2015, with full papers due January 1, 2014.

Event Details

The symposium will be held in the centre of Amsterdam, easily accessible from Amsterdam international airport.

Submission Process

Please send a 300 word abstract along with a short (100 word) biographical note to Anne Kustritz ( or Emma England ( by 10 September.