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Monthly Archives: May 2014

I would like to announce the winners of the sixth annual R.D. Mullen Research Fellowships, which are funded by the journal Science Fiction Studies in the name of our late founding editor to support archival research in the Eaton Collection at UC Riverside. The committee—chaired by me and consisting of Jane Donawerth, Joan Gordon, Roger Luckhurst, and John Rieder—reviewed a number of excellent applications and settled on a slate of three winners for 2014-15:

·      JAMES MACHIN is a PhD student in Arts and Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London. His dissertation offers a cultural history of “weird fiction,” with a focus on its “Golden Age” of 1880-1940. He has had articles published in The Victorian and East-West Cultural Passage and has a review forthcoming in the Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies. While at the Eaton, he will explore the legacy of nineteenth-century decadence in Weird Tales magazine and will also examine the recently acquired archive of William Hope Hodgson’s papers.

·      STEVEN MOLLMANN is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. His dissertation examines scientists in Victorian literature and the way that thinking like a scientist is represented as a visual practice. He has had articles published in English Literature in Transition and Gaskell Journal and has presented his work at numerous conferences. His time in the Eaton will be spent reading rare future-war stories from the turn of the twentieth century, investigating the ways in which science and scientists were mobilized in fictional scenarios of large-scale conflict and revolution.

·      HANNAH MUELLER is a PhD student in German Studies at Cornell University, where she is pursuing Minors in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Film Studies. She has had chapters published in books on gender in Sherlock Holmes stories and on nudity in “quality television” series and has also done extensive translation work. While at the Eaton, she will examine materials relevant to her ongoing study of “transformative media fandom,” with particular attention to the influence of media fans on the representation of female and sexual minority characters in popular culture.

I am very grateful to my committee for their work in vetting the applications, and my congratulations to the three winners.—Rob Latham, UC Riverside

Deadline: 22 August 2014

This is why the properly aesthetic attitude of the radical ecologist is not that of admiring or longing for a pristine nature of virgin forests and clear sky, but rather of accepting waste as such, of discovering the aesthetic potential of waste, of decay, of the inertia of rotten material that serves no purpose.

                                                                    — Slavoj Žižek, Living in the End Times

This special issue of NANO begins with a question: in what new ways can trash and waste be acknowledged or conceptualized today?

Contemporary critics are eager to laud sustainability and to celebrate modern and postmodern arts and practices that make inventive use of the wastes of industrial production and the trash of consumer capitalism. These possibilities provide compelling ways to grasp late capitalist culture because it seems to offer a potential answer to an almost unimaginable problem: the ceaseless, ubiquitous, and disastrous production of waste. Some practices of collection and creative reuse in collage, collections, and found-object arts create stunning acknowledgements of the sheer and generally unacknowledged scale of waste (think, for instance, of work of artist Vic Munoz so well documented in the film Waste Land). However, endlessly celebratory emphases on isolated examples of re-use and recycling risk becoming profound disavowals, as if such reuse solved the problem and absolved us of responsibility. Put simply, is this celebration of arts or practices that incorporate or recycle waste simply making us feel better about waste problems that we cannot adequately solve by making some waste useful? Are there ways—through art—to acknowledge or conceptualize waste that would do more than celebrate such recuperations?

How can artists, philosophers, theorists, activists, and others produce new ways to acknowledge or envision events and phenomena like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, radioactive wastelands like Fukushima or Bikini Atoll, the animal wastes of feedlots, the water wastes of fracking, or the mountains of trash produced by consumer culture? How can such new conceptualizations address biopower, in which whole populations are controlled by the industrial production of waste or by the dumping of waste? How can new ideas address the ways in which some populations are themselves figured as potential waste or treated as waste, living out what Giorgio Agamben names “bare life.”

In this special issue, we seek critical reports or multimodal notes (up to 3,500 words) that sketch new strategies, modes, or practices of acknowledging waste.

Potential topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • Representations of waste
  • New trash aesthetics
  • Trash beyond the dialectic of recycling
  • Trash and populations
  • Mapping waste
  • Collections of trash and waste
  • Waste and the sublime
  • Populations and waste
  • Waste and abjection
  • Wastelands
  • Waste and power

Please refer to the sidebar on right side of this page for submission details and preferences. Direct any questions to the Special Issue co-editors: David Banash (d-banash AT and John DeGregorio (ja-degregorio AT

Keywords: Each author is asked to submit 5 keywords to accompany their submission.

Schedule: Deadlines concerning the special issue to be published in NANO:

  • 22 Aug. 2014: notes due
  • Oct. 2014: Comments and peer review complete
  • Dec. 2014: Pre-production begins

 We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Below is a CFP for a panel on fantasy and politics I am putting together for a conference on 24-25th October in Atlanta:”Medievalisms on the Move” Medievalism folks are open to work on genre, and it would be great to have some contributions from folk who aren’t Medieval Studies specialists (although they are also welcome of course). The deadline is quite soon, on the 2nd of June. In light of that, if you’re interested but not able to provide an abstract by then, an indicative title with abstract to follow would be fine. Contact me off list at <helen.young AT> with abstracts, expressions of interest, or queries.

All best,

J. R. R. Tolkien¹s work is widely associated with a conservative political outlook and approach to identity questions such as gender and race. Scholars have challenged the basis of this association, but it remains powerful in wider culture: for the fantasy genre in particular, “Tolkienian” is synonymous with “medievalist” and with conservatism.

Rather than engaging with Tolkien¹s work itself, this panel will explore ways in which the conservative connotations of “medieval” in the fantasy genre, are being challenged in the twenty-first century. It will examine the ways that medievalisms in fantasy have changed, or remained the same, in the five decades since the first US paperback edition of Lord of the Rings kick-started the genre as a published phenomenon. Are writers, and other creators, simply reproducing the perceived link between political conservatism and medievalism, are they challenging it, or are their engagements more complex?

Papers might ask how contemporary trends in technology, society, politics, and culture influence contemporary writers, readers, and critics as they take up medieval material and the idea of the Middle Ages. Are there shifts in the genre as a whole? Tolkien drew on the European Middle Ages, as do his imitators; is this pattern changing as Eurocentric views become increasingly problematic and the world is ever more globalised? How do questions of identity, including but not limited to, gender, race, dis/ability, and sexuality play out in medievalist fantasy worlds? What impact has the rise of digital media had? What voices, other than Tolkien’s, have shaped the medievalisms of the fantasy genre? The panel invites contributions not only on fantasy fiction, but also games, films, and television series, reflecting the multi-media nature of the genre.

Dr Helen Young
DECRA Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of English
University of Sydney



NAVSA’s annual Donald Gray Prize for best essay published in the field of Victorian Studies is named after Donald J. Gray, Culbertson Professor Emeritus in the English Department of Indiana University. Professor Gray received his PhD at Ohio State University, where he completed his dissertation under the direction of Richard Altick, and began teaching at Indiana University in 1956. At Indiana, Professor Gray received the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award, its Distinguished Service Award, and the President’s Medal of Excellence; in 1997, he received the MLA award for professional service. He was a dissertation director of legendary responsiveness, acuity and stamina, having directed over 75 dissertations. Professor Gray is the editor of the Norton Pride and Prejudice and Alice in Wonderland; with George Tennyson he edited Victorian Poetry and Prose for Macmillan. He also served as editor of the journal College English and, beginning in 1957, as the Book Review Editor of Victorian Studies, helping the founding editors steer the journal through its early years. From 1990-2000 he served as principal editor of the journal. He retired in 1998. The Gray Prize honors his remarkable achievements as editor and graduate-student teacher.

NAVSA is now seeking nominations for the Donald Gray Prize for best essay published in the field of Victorian Studies.   The prize carries with it an award of $500 and will be awarded to essays that appeared in print or online in journals from the previous calendar year. Essays may be on any topic related to the study of Victorian Britain.   Note that the actual date of appearance trumps the date given on the issue itself since it’s common for journals to lag behind official issue dates. (The prize is limited to journal essays; those published in essay collections are not eligible.) The winner will also receive complementary registration at the NAVSA conference at which his or her award will be announced. Anyone, regardless of NAVSA membership status, is free to nominate an essay that appeared in print between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2013.   Nominations will also be solicited from the Advisory Board of NAVSA and the prize committee judges; self-nominated essays are equally welcome.   Authors may be from any country and of any institutional standing.

To nominate an essay, please submit by Tuesday, 20 May 2014: (1) a brief cover sheet with complete address and email information for both the essay’s nominator and its author, and (2) a digital copy of the essay (in .pdf, .doc or .docx) to the Executive Secretary of NAVSA, Deborah Denenholz Morse, at the following e-mail address:

The winning essay will be selected according to three criteria: 1) Potential significance for Victorian studies; 2) Quality and depth of scholarly research and interpretation; 3) Clarity and effectiveness of presentation. The judges will choose one essay for the award, with one honorary runner-up also selected, when appropriate, and will provide a short paragraph for use in announcing the award. If the judges are deadlocked, the decision is thrown to the NAVSA Executive Council.



So, that’s gone.

Airport Hilton


Past ICFA attendee, Dracula scholar, and Romanian historian Radu Florescu has died. More information is available here.

Dear colleague:

Volume 55.1 (2014) of Extrapolation is now available on the website at

Extrapolation is a leading international journal publishing academic work on the specialized popular culture genres of science fiction and fantasy. You can keep up to date with the journal by clicking here to sign up to new issue alerts, and can learn more about the title at its website page here.

This issue contains:


p. i

DOI: 10.3828/extr.2014.1

“Two Sought Adventure”

p. 1

Mark Barr

DOI: 10.3828/extr.2014.2

On the Look-Out for a New Urban Uncanny

p. 25

Lars Schmeink

DOI: 10.3828/extr.2014.3

Critiques of Colonialism in Robin Hobb’s Soldier Son Trilogy

p. 33

Helen Young

DOI: 10.3828/extr.2014.4

Fear of a Stupid Planet

p. 51

James Campbell

DOI: 10.3828/extr.2014.5

Alien as a Comic Book

p. 75

Nicolas Labarre

DOI: 10.3828/extr.2014.6

Reviews of Books

p. 95

Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, Wan Tang, William Dynes, et al.

DOI: 10.3828/extr.2014.7

Kindest regards


I write to ask for your help with an important project in development in the MLA publications program. We are beginning preparation of the volume Approaches to Teaching the Works of Octavia E. Butler , edited by Tarshia L. Stanley, and would very much like your input.

Please see the survey and call for essay proposals available on the MLA Web site at . As with other books in the MLA series Approaches to Teaching World Literature, this one will contain a discussion of the most important and useful materials available to teachers—in this case, of those on the works of Octavia E. Butler—but will be composed largely of essays by instructors. The deadline for completing the survey and submitting an essay proposal is 1 July 2014, and the survey results and proposals will be sent directly to the volume’s editor.

You are receiving this message because you belong to an MLA division or discussion group whose members we believe might be interested in contributing to this volume, and we encourage you to pass it along to other colleagues who may be interested. We would appreciate your assistance with this project and look forward to hearing from you.


Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Director of Scholarly Communication

Modern Language Association of America

“Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I send the call for an interesting 3 years-doctoral grant on “Techno and Media Ecology of Digital Culture” – this grant is situated at the Digital Culture Research Lab (DCRL) of Leuphana, University of Lueneburg (focus „Re-Thinking the Technological Condition“, whose director I am) as well as at my new Chair of Media Culture at Leuphana’s Institute of Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media (ICAM). Especially participating at the DCRL is a great opportunity for a doctoral candidate, I guess.

And let me please add: this call is completely open! Maybe you know somebody who could be interested in, and please let it circulate.

(And this might be interesting only for some of you: there is an additional german call for another doctoral grant in “Media Studies” at my chair at Leuphana:

Be aware: This is a different call for a different grant!)

Call for Reviewers

The following books are available for review in Extrapolation. As always, if we haven’t worked together before, please send me an email explaining who you are and why you are qualified to review a particular book. Thanks!

Charles L. Adler. Wizards, Aliens & Starships: Physics & Math in Fantasy & SF.
Karen Burnham. Greg Egan.
Gerry Canavan and Kim Stanley Robinson, eds. Green Planets: Ecology & SF.
Thomas Clareson & Joe Sanders. The Heritage of Heinlein.
Robert Horton. Frankenstein. (Cultographies Series.)
Lauren J. Lacey. Women Writing Fantastic Fiction.
Peter Lang. Ukranian Science Fiction.
Frenchy Lunning, ed. Mechademia 8: Tezuka’s Manga Life.
Joshua Raulerson. Singularities: Technoculture, Transhumanism & SF in the 21st Century.
John R. Stilgoe. Old Fields: Photography, Glamour and Fantasy Landscape.
J.P. Telotte. Science Fiction TV. (Routledge Television Guidebooks).
Jeffrey Weinstock, ed. The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters.