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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Voting for the next IAFA President and 1st Vice President is now open.  Please click the following link to read the candidate’s statements and place your vote.  Elections will close on January 10, 2016 and the winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

Vote Here


Sherryl Vint (Professor, University of California, Riverside)

Science is at the centre of daily experience in twenty-first century life. Fusion of science and the cultural imagination define moments of intense technological change, such as the Space Race of the 1950s or our own looming era of synthetic biology. This book series seeks to publish groundbreaking research exploring this productive intersection and its consequences for our present and future.

We seek proposals for manuscripts dealing with any aspect of science in popular culture in any genre. We understand popular culture as both a textual and material practice, and thus welcome manuscripts dealing with representations of science in popular culture and those addressing the role of the cultural imagination in material encounters with science. How science is imagined and what meanings are attached to these imaginaries will be the major focus of this series. We encourage proposals from a wide range of historical and cultural perspectives.

Downloadable CfP with contact information for series editors:

Where realism was the signature feature of earlier Victorian fiction, mid-to-late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century writers increasingly embraced fantastic modes. Rosemary Jackson, in her 1981 Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion, inaugurated the now-ubiquitous truism of literary studies that late Victorian fantastic narratives frequently hold strong – and often covertly revolutionary – metaphorical relations to social concerns. Supernatural and symbolic texts are ideal sites for encryption of radical queries and pervasive anxieties related to gender, sexuality, religion, medicine, science, ethnicity, substance abuse and colonialism (to name a few).

This is an especially persistent trait – one manifested and developed in many directions in the Edwardian and early Modernist fantastic. In supernatural thrillers, ghost stories, science fictions, and amorphous fantasias, counter-cultural angsts find substitutive satisfactions and conflated expression.  The uncanny effects of fantastic literature enable this; indirection, obscuration and innuendo are ideal mediums for saying-not-saying things. Indeed, whatever energies crescendo in fantastic literature are exactly those that  realism – by default – tends to eclipse, reduce, or normalize.  Experiments in form and language, from aestheticism to Modernism, only add to the covert power of fantasy.

Given the substantial scholarship dedicated to non-realist representations written by male writers, this book project will specifically explore women-identified writers’ uses of the fantastic from 1860-1930. Writers like Ouida, Vernon Lee, Virginia Woolf, Rebecca West, Mary Butts, Elizabeth Bowen, and Sylvia Townsend Warner used narratively polymorphous fantastic sub-genres to dramatize their particularly activist arguments and ideas. This provided the flexibility to explore not only the darkest corners of the external world, but also the deepest subterranean secrets of the mind. For not only did women-identified writers wield these forms’ easy strategic cover to subvert the status quo, but they also used them to explore the gendered psyche’s links to imagination, pathology and creative, personal and erotic agency. In addition to providing dynamic presentations of female and gender-queer subjectivity, these texts also illuminate intriguing and complex relationships to key moments in gender(ed) history.

This collection will be submitted to an already-enthusiastic selective academic press.

We invite submissions that engage in any related issues, including the following:


  • Fantastic figures (ghosts, mummies, werewolves, vampires).
  • The evolving genre and forms of the fantastic/supernatural
  • Occult communication networks: Annie Besant, Emma Hardinge Britten, Helena Blavasky, and the women of the Golden Dawn
  • The shifting meaning/purpose of the female fantastic from mid-century (Elizabeth Gaskell, Margaret Oliphant, Florence Marrayat, Charlotte Riddell) to the fin de siècle  to the 20th-century
  • The transatlantic, global, or colonial supernatural
  • The role of the fantastic or otherworldly in conceptualizations of gender and sexuality
  • Nationhood, the “fantastic” other, race, and empire
  • Nationalism, Fascism, Socialism and other political movements
  • Pacificism, war, and trauma
  • The fantastic in periodical and print culture
  • Visualizing or depicting the fantastic through illustrations, art, performance, photography and film
  • Science, pseudo-science, psychoanalysis, medicine, and the supernatural
  • Mental illness, Addiction, and Social Deviance
  • Relations of Fantastic to Aestheticism, Decadence, Symbolist, Surrealist, Modernist or other movements
  • Female-authored sources for and/or reactions to more “canonical” fantastic literature
  • Female academic influences on the Classical and/or “Oriental” imagination (Jane Harrison and Margaret Murray, for example)

Abstracts should be 500 words, exclusive of a selected bibliography and brief author’s bio. Final papers should run between 4,000 – 6,000 words (inclusive of endnotes and works cited) and be formatted in current MLA style. Revisions may be requested as a condition of acceptance. Please send all queries to the editors (Dr. Elizabeth McCormick, Dr. Jennifer Mitchell, and Dr. Rebecca Soares) at

Submissions Guidelines and Timeframe

By February 15, 2016:

  • Send one electronic copy of your 500-word abstract to;
  • Include a selected bibliography of 10 sources;
  • and a brief bio of less than 250 words.

By March 15, 2016:  We will notify applicants of our decisions.

By July 15, 2016  Full papers are due.


Rebecca Soares, Ph.D.


Honors Faculty Fellow

Barrett, the Honors College

Affiliated Faculty, Department of English

Arizona State University


6th Annual Ravenclaw Conference 2016

Sept 19-23 (during our 6th annual Edinboro Potterfest)

Edinboro University


We invite submissions from faculty and students on the wide range of USA societal issues raised in the Harry Potter saga.  Paper topics or panel discussion should focus on any of the following:

  • prison issues, death penalty issues, the use of brutal interrogation techniques, the national security surveillance state, the use of mass media to control and influence opinion and public policy (Azkaban &The Ministry)
  • the war with death through organ transplants, cryonics, and cloning (Horcruxes and The Resurrection Stone)
  • diversity vs. purist cultural issues, feminism, education system issues, discrimination against behavioral or appearance abnormalities (Hogwarts)
  • the sports culture “balance” between the value of individual talent vs. team success, the tradition of excluding females from full contact (coed) sports (Quidditch Pitch)
  • adoption and foster care, child abuse, bullying (Dursley Cupboard)
  • care and treatment of other creatures (Hagrid’s Hut)
  • national health care issues (Madam Pomfrey)
  • war on public education?  war on higher education? (Hogwarts School)


Submissions could also be discussions of articles published in the Sociology of Harry Potter (2012).  Our Keynote Speaker will be Professor Jenn Sims.


An abstract with a 200 word maximum should be submitted by faculty and students.  Students submitting paper proposals should also submit their paper along with their abstract.  Deadline for consideration: Sept 2, 2016.  Papers accepted and presented will be included in our conference Proceedings. Past presentations can be accessed online via our website:


Submissions should be sent to: Dr Corbin Fowler,

For more information, contact Dr Fowler via email or phone (814) 602 1694.


Presentations will be given throughout the week of Sept 19-23, afternoon and evening sessions.

Contact Info:

Dr Corbin Fowler, Department of English and Philosophy, Edinboro Unviersity, Edinboro, PA 16444

Contact Email:

General Eds.: Travis Rozier & Bob Hodges


Deadline extension: Our first round netted some excellent submissions, but we are extending the deadline for proposals to January 18, 2016.


Keynote: The Weird & the Southern Imaginary will introduce the aesthetics and generic conventions of the Weird to cultural studies of the U.S. South and the region’s local, hemispheric, and (inter)national connections. Contributions from literary critics, film and popular culture scholars, philosophers, and critical theorists will consider forms of the Weird in a range of texts (literature, art, film & television, comics, music) from, about, or resonant with conceptions of different South(s).


Description: S. T. Joshi periodizes Haute Weird Fiction from 1880-1940, and China Miéville describes how the paradigm of Haute Weird Fiction, especially in its foremost practitioner H. P. Lovecraft, invokes horror, alterity, and/or awe on a cosmic scale, which seeps into the mundane experiences of cognitively ill-equipped scientific or academic protagonists. The Weird aesthetic, especially pre-World War II, is often inextricable from revanchist horrors of democracy, political revolution, miscegenation, and female or other non-normative sexualities, although Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s recent Weird compendium stresses the “darkly democratic” aspect of a C20 and C21 Weird tradition that spans nations, genders, genres, and levels of literary status.


Representations of the U.S. South as an irrational or reactionary space draw on what Deborah Barker and Kathryn McKee describe as the southern imaginary, a fluid reservoir of topoi referencing an enduring material history of land appropriation, coercive labor practices, carceral landscapes, racial and commercial mixing, extralegal violence, and insular patriarchies. The Weird & the Southern Imaginary will explore Weird South(s) of national aberrance and cosmic otherness.  For example, the first television season of True Detective melds the conservative politics and religious fervor often equated with the South to vaster hints of conspiratorial and cosmic horror in a postindustrial Louisiana swampscape.


The dark fantasy of the Weird diverges sharply from the usual monstrosities of horror and speculative fictions as well as many modes of southern representation: the gothic, the grotesque, the uncanny, the ghostly or hauntological, or the folkloric, modes with longstanding southern associations and almost as longstanding critical fatigue for Southernisits. The Weird can also bridge Southern Studies and its old associations with recent work in object-oriented ontology, ecotheory, other new materialisms, and nihilist philosophy as well as apocalyptic popular cultural fixations.


Submission Guidelines: All proposed essays should address the concepts of the Weird and the South, however understood. Essays should be written in English, but can be written about texts read or viewed in other languages. We will also accept work on texts in translation. We are looking for critical essays (5,000-8,000 words). If you are interested in contributing an essay to the collection please send us a 300-500 word abstract.


Possible Topics:  (Feel free to combine topics or propose a topic not represented in the list)

  • Weird South(s) in U.S. literature
  • International Weird Fiction & southern imaginary, subtly connected or not
  • Race & the southern imaginary in Weird Fiction
  • Political or cultural reaction & Weird South(s)
  • Weird carceral practices & the southern imaginary (Franz Kafka “In the Penal Colony”)
  • Environmental transformation or degradation & Weird South(s)
  • The nonhuman or posthuman in southern literature (Matthew Taylor)
  • Dark ecology (Timothy Morton) & southern landscapes, swampscapes, etc.
  • Nihilism, extinction, or the recalcitrance of the world (Eugene Thacker) & the South(s)
  • C19 South & proto-Weird Fiction (Ambrose Bierce, Charles Chesnutt, Edgar Allan Poe)
  • The Weird associations of the South & the Antarctic (Poe, Herman Melville, Lovecraft)
  • R. H. Barlow in Florida, his Weird Fiction, or his correspondence with Lovecraft
  • Robert E. Howard in Texas, his Weird Fiction, or his correspondence with Lovecraft
  • Weird Appalachia (Lovecraft, Manly Wade Hopkins’s Silver John stories, Fred Chappell)
  • Henry S. Whitehead’s Weird West Indian tales
  • Eudora Welty & Weird Fiction (Mitch Frye)
  • Weird Fiction, modernist literary strategies, & the South (William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston “Uncle Monday”, Flannery O’Connor)
  • The Weird in Latin American Boom fiction (Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Augusto Monterroso), its forbearers (Jorge Luis Borges), or its successors (Junot Díaz, Jamaica Kincaid)
  • Contemporary or New (South) Weird (Poppy Z. Brite, Moira Crone, Stephen Graham Jones, Caitlín Kiernan, Joe Lansdale, Joyce Carol Oates, Jeff VanderMeer)
  • Weird southern comics (Alan Moore et al. Saga of the Swamp Thing, Garth Ennis et al. Preacher
Contact Info:

Travis Rozier / Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz /; Bob Hodges / University of Washington /

Contact Email: