Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: July 2014

CFP: Special Issue of Slayage on Firefly/Serenity / Contact: Michael Goodrum & Philip Smith

Dear Whedon Studies Association Members,

Issue 13.1 of Slayage (Spring 2015) will be a special issue devoted entirely to Firefly/Serenity. It will be guest-edited by Michael Goodrum and Philip Smith, editors of the forthcoming volume Firefly: Academic Approaches to Joss Whedon’s Series to be published by Rowman and Littlefield.

It has been over ten years since Joss Whedon’s Firefly (2002-03) was first screened. Although the narrative covers only one season and a film, the series has enjoyed a long afterlife through comic books, roleplaying games, and the fan community. It has also enjoyed a steady flow of academic responses even if, at times, it has remained somewhat under-represented compared with Whedon’s other work.

The editors seek original contributions concerning Firefly/Serenity. Papers should show a strong awareness of existing academic scholarship on the series and film (including the existing Slayage special issue from 2008). Preference will be given to proposals which take an original approach and/or engage with more recent additions to the Firefly ‘verse, particularly the Serenity comics.

Individuals who are interested in contributing should send a 200-300-word abstract/proposal by August 15, 2014. Submissions will be due September 30, 2014. Please send your proposal to

Final papers will be 5,000 – 7,000 words in length and in Modern Language Association (MLA) style.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Mitch & Phil

NEMLA 2015

full name / name of organization: 

Chamutal Noimann – BMCC City University of New York

contact email:

We seek proposals for an approved panel for the 2015 NEMLA conference in Toronto.

Through consistent creation of powerful female heroines the likes of which we have never seen in Victorian literature, Steampunk has emerged as a strong feminist voice that addresses contemporary and current discourses on femininity simultaneously and rethinks our ideas of Victorian gender roles. This panel seeks to examine how Steampunk Young Adult and graphic novels subvert Victorian patriarchy and Empire by creating an alternate past that reimagines them both. Please submit 300-word abstract and bio.

Area: British, Women’s and Gender Studies

Deadline for abstracts Sept. 30, 2014

Session ID: 15117
Session Format: Panel
Link to session submission:

2014 New England Regional Meeting
American Conference for Irish Studies
November 21-22 at Wheaton College, MA
Submissions due August 31, 2014 to

Beyond the Pale: Alienation, Sites of Resistance, and Modern Ireland


The 2014 NEACIS (New England Region of the American Conference for Irish Studies) meeting will be held at Wheaton College on 21-22 November. We welcome proposals for individual papers and panels focusing on all aspects of Irish Studies. Especially welcome are papers that address the conference theme of “Beyond the Pale: Alienation, Sites of Resistance, and Modern Ireland.”

The conference this year wishes to explore the broad theme of alienation and resistance in the construction of national identity. The conference expects that this theme will generate a range of papers addressing everything from broad themes (such as the role of urban space in the construction of modern Ireland or transnational culture as a challenge to and an extension of nationalism) to more specific papers addressing major literary figures (Joyce, Yeats, and Heaney come to mind) and significant historical moments (such as the Easter Rising, and its forthcoming centenary). Following are some possible topics:

  • Transnational culture / Transatlantic Narratives
  • Provincialism and Parochialism
  • Citizenship and the Nation State
  • Urban Ireland and sites of resistance
  • The Easter Rising
  • Rural Ireland and the nation state
  • Alienation and Irishness
  • The trope of the pale in Irish history and/or literature
  • Seamus Heaney’s poetic voice and national character
  • James Joyce, alienation, and urban Ireland
  • Unionism and Nationalism
  • The economic crisis and cultural resistance
  • Failure and the history of Irish resistance

Note for IAFA members: A member has posted to IAFA looking for people to put together a panel on vampires.

Please e-mail paper and/or panel proposals to Jim Byrne ( by August 31st, 2014.

Please note that all who attend the NEACIS must be members of the ACIS with dues paid through the end of the year.

If you have any further questions about the conference, please contact Jim Byrne ( in the English Department at Wheaton College.


Focusing on the Post(-): An Interdisciplinary Perspective

October 24-25, 2014

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida


The focus of this conference is on what it means to be post-, post, or Post, or whether anyone, any place, or indeed anything can ever be truly “post” after an initial phase. Join us as we explore the state of academic inquiry and discourse in studies that focus on “after” effects, identities, and locations. We are interested in examining how the post makes itself known in a variety of disciplines and ideas, and we have conceived the conference in an attempt to allow for papers that wish to focus on the post itself, on the post under erasure, or on the trace of the past as it locates itself within the post in all areas of study. All scholarly work will be considered, but papers that focus on post-colonialism, post-modernism, post-structuralism, post-race, and post-humanism are especially welcomed. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Animal Studies
  • Computer Technology
  • Critical Race Studies
  • Cybernetics
  • (Dis)ability Studies
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Justice
  • Feminist Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Media and Popular Culture
  • Post 9/11/Security/Surveillance Culture
  • Post Apocalypse
  • Post Print/Digital Media
  • Queer Studies
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Sexual Politics

Guest of Honor: Dr. Sherryl Vint

Sherryl Vint has published widely on science fiction, including most recently Science Fiction: A Guide to the Perplexed. She is a Professor of Science Fiction Media Studies and Co-Director of the Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Program at the University of California, Riverside, and an editor for the journals Science Fiction Film and Television and Science Fiction Studies. Her current research is on biopolitics and science fiction.

Scholarly work by both faculty and students from all disciplines is welcomed. The goal of this conference is to cross disciplinary boundaries, unifying perspectives on identity, culture, languages, linguistics, and across world literatures.

To apply: Please e-mail a 500 word abstract (for presentations of 20 minutes in length) before August 1, 2014 to Proposals should include the participant’s name, institutional affiliation, e-mail, and phone number. Proposals for panels are also welcome.

Decisions on abstracts will be sent no later than August 15, 2014.

The Ph.D. in Comparative Studies is an interdisciplinary program in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. For more information, please visit

With dozens of nonfiction books on Joss Whedon’s works from Buffy toAvengers, one critical area has been ignored: Whedon’s comics. In fact, he’s written several series for Marvel and DC, along with independents and the many issues of Angel, Buffy, and Serenity comics for IDW and Dark Horse. While a few isolated essays have tackled Buffy season eight or Whedon’s X-Men run, there is no anthology devoted to only Whedon comics. Now that’s about to change.

Essays on any aspect of Whedon’s comics (as described below) are welcome. The completed essays should be 4000-5000 words. Essays must adhere to MLA format and be friendly and approachable, yet academic in scope and content. New papers or presented conference papers rather than reprints are appreciated. This collection is not yet under contract, but I have several interested publishers who are awaiting a list of essays to be included. McFarland, who publishes most of the Buffy criticism collections, will likely be on board.

Proposal Guidelines: Please send a 350-500 word summary of your proposed essay pasted into your email, along with a short professional bio or cover letter.

Direct inquiries and proposals can be sent to Valerie Estelle Frankel, pop culture author and professor, at valerie at with a subject of WHEDON SUBMISSION.

Abstracts are due Aug 31, Complete papers Nov 30, 2014.

Essays on both canon and “less official” Whedon comics are welcome, as are comparisons between Whedon comics and other comics or other Whedon works. Discussion of comic conventions from canon to art to gender issues are also appreciated.  Other areas, like comparing Whedon’s Avengers movie, Agents of SHIELD, Doctor Horrible, or other shows to comics are also possible. On the shows, Buffy is compared to Spider-Man, Superman and Power Girl, Angel is compared to Batman so much Boreanaz was offered the role, Dark Willow parallels Dark Phoenix, Cordy and Fred are called Wonder Woman, and Xander and Giles are compared to Jimmy Olsen and Alfred…there’s paper material there, too. This anthology welcomes established Whedon scholars as well as enthusiastic new writers.

Which comics are Whedon’s? Canon comics include the following Whedon products (as Whedon wrote or supervised them).



Tales of the Slayers

Tales of the Vampires

Buffy: The Origin (reprinted in Buffy Omnibus 1)

Angel: Long Night’s Journey (#1-4) (reprinted in Angel: Omnibus 1)

“Always Darkest” (reprinted in Myspace Dark Horse Presents #4 or available online)

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight (Whedon wrote #1-5, 10, 11, 16-19)

Angel: After the Fall, Angel: The End, and spin-offs

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Nine (Whedon wrote #1-2)

Angel & Faith

Buffy Season Ten and Angel & Faith Vol. 2  2014-

See for a more elaborate Buffyverse comics guide and reading order.


Astonishing X-Men vol. 3: (#1-24) & Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1 (reprinted as the collections Astonishing X-Men: Gifted, Dangerous, Torn, Unstoppable)

“Teamwork” (in Giant Size X-Men #3, available online)


Serenity: Those Left Behind

Serenity: Better Days

Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale

“Serenity: Firefly Class 03-K64 – It’s Never Easy” (available online) by Zack Whedon

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind by Zack Whedon


Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories by Zack Whedon


“Some Steves” (in Stan Lee Meets The Amazing Spider-Man #1)

Runaways vol. 2 (#25-30) (reprinted as Dead End Kids)

Superman/Batman #26 (p. 20-21)

Sugarshock 1-3 (reprinted in Myspace Dark Horse Presents #1)

Please contact Valerie Estelle Frankel at valerie @ with any questions.

Call for papers – ‘Rethinking Early Photography’: 16th-17th June 2015, University of Lincoln

Keynotes: Kate Flint, Lindsay Smith, Kelley Wilder

Attitudes to photography have undergone a radical shift in recent times. Partly in response to these contemporary changes, historians, curators and photographic practitioners have begun to re-examine older forms of photography: exploring the wide variety of historical technologies and techniques, finding surprising ways in which images were manipulated and determining how an ideology of photographic realism was maintained. Yet there remains a need for scholars to explore questions of early photographic ‘authorship’, singularity and objectivity in much greater detail.

Scholarly studies of nineteenth-century photography have been heavily influenced by later theoretical constructions. As an alternative, Daniel Novak has posited a ‘Victorian theory of photography’. Yet this theory remains unelaborated. Similarly, Elizabeth Edwards and others have called for a move away from the traditional Art History model of analysing photography. This interdisciplinary conference will explore the question of what such an analysis, and such a theory, might look like.

Possible questions and areas of interest for the conference include:

•           How do technological narratives influence our understanding of photography?

•           Photography as a business; photographers as workers.

•           The hegemony of nineteenth-century photographic realism, and resistances to it.

•           Can/should we do away with the Art History model of photography?

•           Alternatives to the photographer-as-author model of photographic exhibition and analysis.

•           To what extent can we think of photography as being separate to other print and visual media?

•           The role of photography in the creation of nineteenth-century celebrity.

•           Early photography as represented in literature, art and film.

•           Photographs as networks; photographs as objects.

•           When does ‘early’ photography end?

•           Does digital photography allow us to ‘read back’ the performativity of images from earlier periods? How might the revival of Victorian photographic techniques by current practitioners influence historians?

Organisers: Owen Clayton, Jim Cheshire, and Hannah Field.

To submit proposals for 20 minute papers, please send an abstract of 200-250 words to<>. The deadline is 12th Jan 2015, 5pm (GMT).

Call for chapters: ‘Mediated Pedagogies’

What stories are told about teaching and learning on television? And how do these stories, in fictional and factual genres, reflect, refract and construct myths, anxieties and pleasures about teaching and learning?

This edited collection will examine the ways in which particular representations explore, engage with and model pedagogic assumptions and approaches. The chapters could explore, but are in no way restricted to, for example:

        •       the construction and implications of different pedagogic models, e.g., training, apprenticeship, experiential, reflective;

        •       assumptions and tensions around teaching, learning and being a learner;

        •       evidence of ‘education’ – cultural capital, factual recall, know-how, know-how-to;

        •       the political economy of TV – public service/commercial contexts and pedagogic representations;

        •       how particular ‘learning journeys’ are manifested;

        •       the relationships between particular representations and wider educational policy debates;

        •       learning relationships (tutor/student, mentor/mentee etc.);

        •       the modelling of pedagogy/andragogy/heutagogy;

        •       historical/generic shifts and consistencies;

        •       the generation of dialogue between TV texts and their paratexts;

        •       manifestations of power, oppression and emancipation.

This brief list gives some idea of programmes that are explicitly concerned with education and pedagogic contexts, but should not be read as prescriptive or limiting – representations of teaching and learning will also be found in less obvious places.

Jamie’s Dream School

Mr Drew’s School for Boys

Tool Academy

Educating Essex/Yorkshire

Bad Education


Summer Heights High

Waterloo Road

Big School


The Unteachables


Fresh Meat

The Wire

The Last Chance School

The Roux Scholarship

Chef’s Protege


Ladette to Lady

Hidden Talent

Faking It

In the first instance expressions of interest are welcomed in the form of a 200-300 word outline proposal for a chapter, together with a very brief biography. Writers of the most interesting proposals will then be contacted with a view to developing the outline into a 5-6,000 word chapter.

Please note that there is no contract with a publisher at this stage, although Palgrave Macmillan have expressed interest in the proposal. A further approach will be made when a compelling package of outlines has been assembled.

Expressions of interest by October 1st 2014 please, and informal queries and discussion welcomed in the meantime.

Call for Papers: ‘Victorian Modernities’

Co-sponsored by the Centre for Victorian Literature and Culture (University of Kent) and the Dickens Project (University of California, Santa Cruz) at the University of Kent

25-27 June 2015

With keynote speakers Professor Jonathan Grossman (UCLA) and Dr Ruth Livesey (Royal Holloway) and featuring a magic lantern show performed by Joss Marsh and David Francis from the Kent Museum of the Moving Image

On 9 June 1865 at 3.30pm, Charles Dickens came close to losing his life when the South Eastern train in which he was travelling from Folkestone to London derailed while crossing a viaduct near Staplehurst in Kent. While Dickens and his travelling companions – Ellen Ternan and her mother – survived, ten passengers were killed and forty were injured. The accident affected him greatly, and he continued to suffer ‘sudden rushes of terror, even when riding in a hansom cab’, as he confessed a year after the event. The grim ghost story that emerged from this traumatic experience to be published in All the Year Round – ‘No. 1 Branch Line. The Signalman’ – contrasts markedly with the ebullient celebration of railway speed in ‘A Flight’ – his earlier account of travelling from London to Paris for Household Words. While Dickens’s early responsiveness to the symbolism of the railway and embrace of the connections enabled by new technological and industrial processes may have made him a ‘leader of the steam-whistle party par excellence’ as Ruskin claimed, his writing also resonates with many of the anxieties and instabilities we associate with modernity.

The 150th anniversary of the Staplehurst railway accident in June 2015 provides us with an occasion to reflect upon the ambivalence that distinguished the Victorians’ multifaceted engagement with the complex concept we now refer to as modernity. We welcome proposals that address any aspect of Victorian modernities and especially encourage interdisciplinary approaches. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • ·      Modern mobilities: transport, travel and tourism
  • ·      Victorian New Media: print, audio and visual technologies
  • ·      Cosmopolitanism and the Victorian global imagination
  • ·      Industrial fatigue, shock and trauma
  • ·      Victorian advances in science and medicine
  • ·      Neo-Victorianism
  • ·      Commodity culture and consumerism
  • ·      Modern spaces and temporalities, including the city
  • ·      Victorian avant-garde movements and/or new genres
  • ·      New Victorian social types: new women, decadents, dandies etc
  • ·      Narratives of belatedness, decay, apocalypse or nostalgia: challenges or resistances to modernity in the Victorian period

Deadline for proposals (20 minute papers): 31 January 2015

Please submit 300 word abstracts for 20 minute papers to:

Enquiries can be sent to Cathy Waters ( or Wendy Parkins (

Call for Papers: Special edition of Symbiosis: A Journal of Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations on the ‘Irish Transatlantic: Act of Union (1800) to the Present Day’

The Autumn 2015 issue of Symbiosis: A Journal of Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations will take as its focus the literary and cultural exchange between Ireland and the Americas from the Act of Union (1800) to the present day. We seek to provide a window onto the expansive and multifarious nature of Irish transatlantic studies, publishing a range of articles which illustrate the depth and breadth of contemporary scholarship in this area. Despite the unquestionable historical, material and political connections between these two geographical locations, the Irish dimension to transatlantic studies is often overlooked. Burgeoning interest in transatlantic studies has led to the publication of innovative book series on the topic; while this is an exciting move in scholarship, the number of texts that display sustained engagement with Irish transatlantic concerns is surprisingly low. Similarly, although the historiography of the Irish diaspora is a rich field, transatlantic Irish literary and cultural studies is an uneven area of inquiry; notably, while the Famine years have received plentiful commentary, there is a dearth of scholarship considering the decades preceding this.

We hope to touch upon emergent areas of enquiry, such as spatial mappings of Atlantic geography attendant to the richly rhizomatic nature of transatlantic exchange; examinations of Irish-American ethnic identity informed by critical race studies; and the impact of digital humanities on the field at large. The editors’ research interests lie in early nineteenth century and contemporary literary culture so they would be particularly receptive to articles investigating transatlantic exchange within these periods.

Potential topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Methodologies and/or mappings for Irish transatlantic study
  • Transatlantic applications of (post)colonial theory
  • Gender across Atlantic space
  • Religion and spiritual practices
  • Transatlantic intersectionality
  • The role and function of literary form
  • Effects of the Act of Union on the publishing trade
  • Transatlantic circulations and critical receptions of texts
  • Exchange of correspondence and letters
  • Areas of consonance and dissonance between cross-currents of diasporic and migrant experience
  • Northern Irish exchange with North America
  • Replication and development of local and/or regional Irish identities after migration
  • The Big House in literary and cultural imagination(s)
  • Transatlantic medical humanities
  • Cultural performance, theatre and performing arts (particularly music and dance)
  • Contemporary constructions of Irish-American identity in popular culture
  • Critical race studies and ‘white innocence’
  • Irish folklore and Celtic mythology within North America

We are seeking articles of between 5,000 and 7,000 words in length (inclusive of notes and bibliographic material), written in accordance with MLA style. Deadline for submissions: 31st December 2014; submissions should be sent to and

The Speculative Literature Foundation is looking for volunteer jurors willing to read roughly 10-15 applications each (a few pages, along with a writing sample up to 10,000 words), over the space of about a month for the Gulliver Travel Research Grant. (You would be joining other jurors already working for the grant.) One writer will be awarded $800 for the travel grant to be used to cover airfare, lodging, and/or other travel expenses to assist in speculative literature research for their work.

Jurors should enjoy reading and/or writing science fiction and fantasy, and be capable of judging literary quality in a work. If interested, please send a brief note to with the subject line: JUROR. Include a paragraph or so on what your qualifying background would be to serve as a juror. Please note: the SLF is currently entirely volunteer-staffed, so jurors won’t be paid; all of our funds go directly to program support. However, you would be doing a service to the field of speculative literature, and you can, of course, list this volunteer work on your resumes and c.v.’s.