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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Itinerant Theatres Workshop • German Historical Institute London • 18-19 November 2015

In the nineteenth century, theatre was one of the most popular and important means of entertainment. Although only major cities could sustain more than one playhouse, theatrical touring companies brought successful plays to smaller towns and sometimes even performed in the countryside. Most of these troupes stayed within their country of origin, but some ventured further afield and performed before audiences of other cultural backgrounds. For instance, British touring companies travelled throughout the entire British Empire, while Parsee itinerant theatres performed before diverse audiences all over India and as far away as Southeast Asia.

This raises some interesting questions, not least for the history of emotions. Popular theatre entertained by addressing the emotions of its audiences: comedies appealed to humour, melodramas to fear and compassion. Emotions being culturally constructed, what happened when a play was performed in a different cultural context? How were humour, melodrama, and other genres translated? And what were the local (perhaps vernacular) idioms that mediated the feelings that genres are (in theory) supposed to make legible to an audience? How did touring companies adapt their repertoires? And if they did not, what kinds of cultural work were they doing by expecting audiences to comprehend their plots, idioms, and, of course, genres?

The workshop wants to address these questions by looking specifically at touring companies that crossed cultural borders, like, for example, European companies in Asia and South America, Parsee companies in India and Asian companies in Europe. It asks how these troupes were set up, which audiences they catered to and how these audiences perceived the performances.

We welcome proposals for twenty-minute presentations. Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, along with a short CV, by 30 June 2015 to both Kedar Kulkarni (Max Planck Institute for Human Development) at and Tobias Becker (German Historical Institute) at Accommodation during the conference will be covered. Up to 200€ for airfare will be reimbursed to those traveling within Europe; 800€ for those traveling from elsewhere.


German Historical Institute

17 Bloomsbury Square

London WC1A 2NJ

Tobias Becker
German Historical Institute, London

Kedar A. Kulkarni
Max Planck Institute for Human Development
Center for the History of Emotions

Speculative fiction covers a broad range of narrative styles and genres. The cohesive element that pulls works together is that there is some “unrealistic” element, whether it’s magical, supernatural, or even a futuristic, technological development: works that fall into the category stray from conventional realism in some way. For this reason, speculative fiction can be quite broad, including everything from fantasy and magical realism to horror and science fiction—from Gabriel García Márquez to H.P. Lovecraft to William Gibson. This panel aims to explore those unrealistic elements and all their varied implications about society, politics, economics, and more. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract, a brief bio, and any A/V needs by May 29, 2015 to Lisa Wenger Bro, Middle Georgia State College,

Those accepted must be members of SAMLA in order to present.

SAMLA will be held at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center in Durham, NC this year from November 13-15

November Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25, 2015

International two-day conference at the University of Southern Denmark, SDU

The fantastic is today’s most popular and significant genre in entertainment media. Among its developments are George R.R. Martin’s fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire and its HBO adapted series Game of Thrones; the Hunger Games film series based on Suzanne Collins’ books; The Walking Dead in comics and television; the new Disney princesses in Brave and Frozen; the rebooted superheroes emerging in games, comics, and film series; religious-themed stories in blockbuster cinema; among games are LOL and WOW. The fantastic has reached new audiences and achieved mainstream status.

Fantastic genres include fantasy, science fiction, horror, and the fairy tale, and today’s transmedia storytelling generates new versions, hybrid forms, and new audience engagements. Multiple media platforms and participatory audiences call for new theorizations of the fantastic as it expands, transforms, and migrates across media, be they grand cinemas or intimate cell phones. This raises questions about medium specificity: what does the fantastic look and feel like in different media and how do stories – affectively and aesthetically – behave when changing form? What significant developments demand our attention, from mash-up narratives to TV genre hybrids? How do audiences engage with the fantastic across media? How does the increase of female authors and female characters influence the fantastic? And, finally, the relation between imagination and the fantastic calls for re-conceptualization: Is the fantastic conservative or subversive, or can its appeal be explained by other factors?

You can go to the conference site here and read more about keynotes and speakers:

For questions contact:


Terry Pratchett’s death earlier this year brought into sharp relief three things: The depth of his fans’ devotion, the high esteem in which he was held by fellow authors, and the lack of scholarly attention paid to his work so far. This academic oversight is not only surprising in the light of Pratchett’s success – with total sales of over 70 million and translations into 37 languages, he was one of Britain’s bestselling novelists – but, more importantly, due to the richness of his work. A truly postmodern author, Pratchett rejuvenated the fantasy genre with his highly distinctive and influential narrative style, technical and scientific wit, stylistic and narrative creativity, as well as social, political and philosophical commentary. The aim of this collection is to give a broad overview both of the multidimensionality of Pratchett’s work and of the insightful scholarship surrounding it and to provide a solid launching point for future engagement with his work.

From scholars working within or across the disciplines of literature, media theory, sociology and related fields, we invite proposals for chapters that address

  • Pratchett’s narrative style (e.g. parody, pastiche, intertextuality, irony, humour, genre subversion, dialogue, satire, imagery)
  • Content analysis (in terms of e.g. philosophy, technology, death, science, religion, social commentary, moralism, education, gender, race)
  • Biographical aspects of Pratchett’s life and work (e.g. his disability, social activism, reader‐ writer‐approach)
  • Mediality of Pratchett’s work (e.g. franchise, multimediality, use of social media)
  • Terry Pratchett fandom (e.g. gaming, conventions, internet affiliation and impact).

    Interested authors should send a 300‐word abstract, 100‐word biography, and a sample of a previously published chapter or article to Marion Rana (marirana@uni‐ by August 1, 2015. Please feel free to contact Marion with any questions regarding this call.