Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: August 2015

National Conference

March 22–25, 2016

Seattle, WA

Deadline for Abstracts is November 1, 2015

Pulp magazines were a series of mostly English-language, predominantlyAmerican, magazines printed on rough pulpwood paper. They were often illustrated with highly stylized, full-page cover art and numerous line art illustrations of the fictional content. They were sold for modest sums, and were targeted at (sometimes specialized) readerships of popular literature, such as western and adventure, detective, fantastic (including the evolving genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror), romance, and sports fiction. The first pulp Argosy, began life as the children’s magazine The Golden Argosy, dated Dec 2, 1882 and the last of the “original” pulps was Ranch Romances and Adventures, Nov. 1971.

The Pulp Studies area exists to support the academic study of pulp writers, editors, readers, and culture. It seeks to invigorate research by bringing together scholars from diverse areas including romance, western, science fiction, fantasy, horror, adventure, detective, and more. Finally, the Pulp Studies area seeks to promote the preservation of the pulps through communication with libraries, museums, and collectors. With this in mind, we are calling for papers and panels that discuss the pulps and their legacy.

Possible authors and topics:

• Magazines: Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Wonder Stories, Fight Stories, All-Story, Argosy, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Spicy Detective, Ranch Romances and Adventures, Oriental Stories/Magic Carpet Magazine, Love Story, Flying Aces, Black Mask, and Unknown, to name a few.

• Editors and Owners: Street and Smith (Argosy), Farnsworth Wright (Weird Tales), Hugo Gernsback (Amazing Stories), Mencken and Nathan (Black Mask), John Campbell (Astounding).

• Influential Writers: H.P. Lovecraft, A. E. Merritt, Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, C. L. Moore, Fritz Leiber, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Robert Bloch, Donald Wandrei, Clark Ashton Smith, and Henry Kuttner. Proposals about contemporary writers in the pulp tradition, such as Joe Lansdale and Michael Chabon are also encouraged. New Weird writers and others, such as China Mieville, whose work is influenced by the pulps, are also of interest.

• Influences on Pulp Writers: H. Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sax Rohmer, and Jack London were all influences, along with literary and philosophical figures such as Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Friedrich Nietzsche, Edgar Allen Poe, and Herbert Spencer.

• Popular Characters: Conan of Cimmeria; Doc Savage; Solomon Kane; Buck Rogers; Northwest Smith; The Domino Lady; Jiril of Joiry; Zorro; Kull of Atlantis; El Borak; The Shadow; The Spider; Bran Mak Morn; Nick Carter; The Avenger; and Captain Future, among others. Also character types: the femme fatale, the he-man, the trickster, racism and villainy, etc.

• Artists: Popular artists including Margaret Brundage (Weird Tales), Frank R. Paul (Amazing Stories), Virgil Finlay (Weird Tales), and Edd Cartier (The Shadow, Astounding).

• Periods: The dime novels; Argosy and the ancestral pulps; Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, and the heyday of the pulps; the decline of the pulps in the 50s and 60s; pulps in the age of the Internet.

• Theme and Styles: Masculinity, femininity, and sexuality in the pulps; the savage as hero, the woman as hero, the trickster as hero, colonialism in the pulps, racism and “yellow peril,” Modernism in the pulps, etc.

• Film and Television: Possible topics could include film interpretations such as Conan the Barbarian, pulp-inspired television such as Amazing Stories, and new work based in the “pulp aesthetic” such as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

• Comics: Comic book incarnations of pulp magazines and series; “new weird” reinventions of the pulps such as the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The Watchmen; comic adaptations of old pulp series such as The Shadow, The Spider, Doc Savage and others.

• Cyberculture: Cyberpulps such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies and pulp-influenced games such as the Age of Conan MMORPG or the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game.

These are but suggestions for potential panels and presentations. Proposals on other topics are welcome. For general information on the Pulp Studies area, please visit our website:

How to Submit Proposals: Proposals must be submitted through the official PCA conference website:

Please send all inquiries to:

Justin Everett, PhD

Director of Writing Programs

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

600 S. 43rd St.

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Jeffrey H. Shanks, RPA

Southeast Archeological Center

2035 E. Paul Dirac Drive

Johnson Building, Suite 120

Tallahassee, FL 32310

Brian Aldiss: pioneer of British sci-fi

Brian Aldiss, one of the pioneers of British science fiction, has written or edited more than 100 books. He has met Dylan Thomas, John Masefield and T S Eliot, been a drinking buddy of Kingsley Amis (“Kingsley would land one in a lot of trouble, I have to say”), and shared a Jacuzzi with Doris Lessing. He spent years enduring the caprices of Stanley Kubrick as they worked on a screenplay of Aldiss’s story “Super-Toys Last All Summer Long”, a project that eventually became Steven Spielberg’s A.I. – “a lousy film,” he says.

Writing, Film and New Media
9 – 10 June 2016.
Leiden University, The Netherlands

Keynote speakers:
Professor Robert Miles (University of Victoria)
Professor Roger Luckhurst (Birkbeck – University of London)
Professor Tanya Krzywinska (Falmouth University)
Lesley Megahey (director of the BBC film Schalken, the Painter)

The Leiden Research Institute for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) invites
proposals for papers that address continental connections in
English-Language Gothic Writing, Film and New Media. The aim of the
conference is to explore the representation and function of
continental European cultures, peoples and nations in English-Language
Gothic culture from the 1790s to the present. While the first wave of
British and Irish Gothic fictions developed and solidified the idea of
continental Europe as a fitting setting for Gothic Romance, little
sustained research has been done so far on the ways in which the
function and representation of the continent in English-language
Gothic culture has developed and changed since the seminal first-wave
fictions, and to what extent these developments and changes have had
an impact on the formation of British and Irish but also Australian
and American national, cultural and individual identities, for
instance. The ongoing debate in British politics and society
concerning the possibility of an EU referendum in 2017 seems to
warrant a scholarly investigation concerning the reputation and
representation of continental European culture in Gothic fiction. Such
political realities underscore the topicality and relevance of the
conference theme, and suggest that now is the right time to explore
how, why and to what extent Gothic representations of continental
Europe have played a part in the long, complex an often difficult
(love/hate) relationship between Britain, Ireland and the European
mainland, as well as the still often noted “special relationship”
between Britain and the USA. Paper topics can include, but are not
limited to:

Continental Europe as a socio-political ‘other’
Continental magic v. Anglo-American Enlightenment
Continental rationalism v. British and/or American Sensibility
The revolutionary continent in English-Language Gothic texts
The bohemian continent and the British artist
Haunting the continent: Gothic Tourism
Continental landscapes and the Gothic labyrinth
Language barriers in Gothic story-telling
Visualisations of and interactions with the Continent in British and
American “New-Media” texts

Please send a 200-word abstract, including a working title and brief
CV to
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 1 November 2015.
Notification of participation: 21 December 2015.

Victorian Popular Fiction in the 21st Century (Roundtable at NeMLA, Hartford, CT, USA March 17-20, 2016)

An ever increasing interest in Victorian popular fiction prompts us to ask why have we in Victorian Studies become so invested in the popular in recent years? How have certain theoretical fields such as gender studies, material culture/thing theory, post-colonial theory, etc. contributed to this rapid increase in interest? What does the popular do for us as scholars that the “canon” does not, or can we still think in terms of canonical and non-canonical texts in Victorian Studies? Is it still possible to think of a standard Victorian canon in a post-Google age when so many previously unavailable texts are now available at the tips of our fingers? How is the inclusion of the popular in the classroom changing Victorian Studies for our students? 

Topics might include:

  • Sensation fiction (Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Mrs. Henry (Ellen) Wood, Rhoda Broughton, Charles Reade)
  • Adventure fiction (Frederick Marryat, M. P. Shiel, R. M. Ballantyne, Bessie Marchant)
  • Speculative fiction (Edward Bulwer-Lytton)
  • Spiritualism, Mesmerism, or the Occult (Margaret Oliphant, Florence Marryat, Helena P. Blavatsky, Andrew Lang, Richard Marsh, Marie Corelli)
  • Drama and melodrama (George Meredith, Fanny Kemble, Caroline Norton, George Du Maurier, Fanny Stevenson, Lloyd Osborne, Dion Boucicault, Gilbert and Sullivan)
  • Satire and parody
  • Mystery and Detective fiction (E. W. Hornung, Charles Warren Adams, George W.M. Reynolds)
  • New Woman fiction (Amy Levy, Ouida, George Gissing, Mona Caird, Charlotte Mew, Sarah Grand, Olive Schreiner)
  • Sentimental or religious texts (Catherine Gore, members of the Booth Family, George MacDonald, Charlotte Yonge)

This roundtable welcomes submissions that address these questions and many more from scholars whose work examines the spectrum of Victorian popular fiction. Please submit a 250-word abstract and a one-page CV. Submit abstracts online by September 30th at