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Monthly Archives: August 2016

The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts Announces its 10th annual Jamie Bishop Memorial Award for a critical essay on the fantastic written in a language other than English. The IAFA defines the fantastic to include science fiction, folklore, and related genres in literature, drama, film, art and graphic design, and related disciplines. For more information on the award and on past winners, please see  (please note the updated submission criteria, below).


Submission criteria:

  • Essays should be of high scholarly quality, as if for publication in an academic journal.
  • We consider essays from 3,000-10,000 words in length (including notes and bibliography).
  • Essays may be unpublished scholarship submitted by the author, or already published work nominated either by the author or another scholar (in which case the author’s permission should be obtained before submission).
  • Essays must have been written and (when applicable) published in the original language within the last three years prior to submission.
  • An abstract in English must accompany all submissions; an English translation of the title of the essay should also be included.
  • Only one essay per person may be submitted each year.
  • Submissions must be made electronically in Word format.


Deadline for submissions: September 1st Extended to September 15, 2016


Prize: $250 U.S. and one year’s free membership in the IAFA to be awarded at the annual International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts held each March. Winning essays may be posted on the IAFA website in the original language and/or considered for publication in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts ( should they be translated into English.


Please direct all inquiries and submissions to:


Amy J. Ransom

Professor of French

Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures & Cultures (FLLC)

305 Pearce Hall

Central Michigan University

Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859

Call for Papers: 2017 Special Section of Letras Hispanas on

“Contemporary Iberian Ecocriticism and New Materialisms” 

Editor: Luis I. Prádanos, Miami University 

Deadline: June 1, 2017 

The global proliferation of ecocriticism and environmental humanities is significantly enriching the depth and scope of literary and cultural studies worldwide. Iberian cultural scholars will definitely benefit from participating in this vibrant global debate as well as contributing to it. This special section aims to provide a platform for consolidating the theoretical and critical convergence of Iberian cultural studies and environmental humanities. We will consider essays dealing with contemporary Iberian cultural manifestations that are informed by theoretical and critical approaches related to the environmental humanities in general (e.g. ecocriticism, ecofeminism, animal studies, posthumanism, new materialisms, etc.)

Letras Hispanas: Revista de Literatura y Cultura is a peer-reviewed, open-access online journal. Authors must submit a detailed abstract (300-500 words in English or Spanish) by March 1st to the special section editor, Luis I. Prádanos ( Please indicate in your email the subject line “Special Section of Letras Hispanas.” Authors will be selected for inclusion in the Special Section based on the strength of their abstracts, but publication is contingent upon review of the completed manuscript. All completed manuscripts must be submitted by June 1st. Manuscripts will be accepted in English and Spanish. All submissions should be between 5000 and 8000 words in length (including the List of Works Cited) and must adhere to the latest edition of the MLA Style Manual. All submissions will be subject to the regular double-blind review process of Letras Hispanas (the special section editors are responsible for finding external reviewers) and will follow the standard norms and processes for peer-reviewed publications.

Futures Near and Far: Utopia, Dystopia, and Futurity

Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Phillip Wegner, University of Florida Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar




2016 marks the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s philosophical treatise Utopia. More’s book posed fundamental questions about governance, ethics, economics, and globalization at a volatile moment in European history, between the onset of European exploration and colonization of the New World and the beginnings of a radical intellectual revolution known as the Enlightenment. Utopia established a genre of philosophical inquiry and a realm of literary studies that thrives in contemporary intellectual discourse. In the spirit of More’s inquiries into the social and the political, scholars and artists have since taken up the task of rehearsing possible Utopian futures and, inversely, considering frightening dystopias.



In the spirit of More, the University of Florida English Graduate Organization invites abstracts for its 16th annual conference Futures Near and Far: Utopia, Dystopia, and Futurity, to be held October 20th – 22nd, 2016. EGO wishes to address the lasting impact and influence of More’s Utopia across various fields and discourses. Papers and creative work need not deal with More’s work itself; we encourage any and all explorations of utopia, dystopia, and futurity.


Our conference takes up that last concept, “futurity”, as the ever-arriving moment in which visions of utopia and dystopia come to determine the far off as they affect the near and now.  We likewise then seek work that analyzes new technologies and cultural turns that bring the future to the present as they question how our present will deviate into potential futures. We hope to pay particular attention to the ways in which these phenomenons both have presently realized utopian and dystopian pasts as well as investigate future utopian and dystopian possibilities.


This interdisciplinary conference welcomes individual and panel submissions from varying fields, including, but not limited to: literary studies, film and media studies, rhetoric and composition, creative writing, narratology, cultural studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, critical theory, comics and visual rhetoric, and philosophy.


Possible presentation topics include, but are certainly not limited to:


– More and Utopia

– Utopian studies

– Contemporary utopias

– Utopia revisions/rewritings

– Science fiction/future history

– Historical fiction/historiography

– Marxist literary criticism

– Feminist literary criticism

– Psychoanalytic criticism

– Eco-criticism

– Dystopia

– Dystopian YA

– Queer futurity

– Latinx-futurism

– Afro-futurism

– Cyberpunk

– Post-humanism

– Animal dystopias/futurity

– Obsolescence

– Apocalyptic fiction

– Speculative fiction

– Narrative and poetry

– Race and ethnicity

– Gender and sexuality

– Film and digital media

– Science and technology

– Disability studies

– Area studies



Please submit an abstract of up to 250 words for a 20-minute presentation to by September 7th. Along with your submission, please include your contact information, university affiliation (if applicable), and 3-5 keywords that describe your presentation topic. For panel proposals, please submit panelist abstracts along with a panel rationale and description. Lastly, please indicate any audio/visual requirements you may have. Authors of accepted papers will be notified the week of September 12th.


For questions concerning the conference, please contact the University of Florida’s English Graduate Organization at

There is a metaphysical gravity that pulls consciousness towards the incomprehensible darkness of ‘dread,’ like the impulse to willingly dive into the abyss, as into something utterly unknown – an analogy made famous by Kierkegaard in The Concept of Dread. But what is dread, exactly, and what are the cultural, philosophical and physical significances of a genre that uses dread as its primary structure of feeling? Is ‘horror’ even a genre? Can it be encompassing of dread, terror, angst or revulsion? Contributions are invited for an edited anthology titled Something Stirs in the Shadows: Textualising Horror and Theorizing the Indian, which will focus on horror – body, dispositional, supernatural, cultural or cosmic – as the silence of philosophy, a (non)genre hard to pin down.

This volume will have two primary focii: horror as a (non) genre, and the Indian Horror Experience. The first concerns itself with the (in)validity of horror as the nihil negativum(negative nothingness), and will consist of theoretical attempts to come to grips with horror as a genre, while the second will consider the Indian Horror Experience as a canon which confirms/negates/problematizes the postulations of Part I. The anthology will therefore be open to horror narratives (literary, cinematic, musical, performative, et al) across time periods and spaces that engage with the Indian experience, as well as broader theorizations on the status of horror as a signifying narrative category.

The anthology attempts to fill the critical gaps that exist both with respect to the study of popular genres in India as well as more holistic theorisations on horror. It is targeted primarily at an academic audience and should act as a companion for the study of national and international genre narratives. It will, however, attempt to find new forms of engaging with horror as well – the interview, the graphic essay and other nontraditional ways of academic writing – and should, therefore, also be of interest to a non-academic audience concerned with a seemingly straightforward ‘consumption’ of horror. It will be published with a leading academic press. Written articles should be around 3000-7000 words (including notes and bibliography) and in English. Graphic essays and contributions in other non-traditional forms may be wordless or follow other narrative patterns. Contributions for Part 1 should have a strong theoretical underpinning and should engage with horror as whole or specific aspects of horror, while those for Part 2 should delve into significant issues of the Indian Horror Experience in whatever ways seem fit.

Possible topics for Part 1, on horror as a genre, include, but are not limited to:

What constitutes horror? Is it a genre or a mood/sentiment/structure of feeling? Is anything that engenders the emotion of “art-horror” (Noel Carroll, The Philosophy of Horror, or the Paradoxes of the Heart) generically “horror”?
Do the narrative delights of horror stem from form and/or content, its syntactical and semantic elements, or is it open to historical vagaries and reader response?
Horror as a philosophy- Is it binding, in Lovecraft’s words, “…to leave our humanities and terrestrialism at the threshold,” to appreciate the credo of horror? Is horror anti-humanistic?
Horror as space of theorizing – Julia Kristeva, for instance, takes horror as the manifestation of the resistive semiotic elements in classic literary texts in Louis Ferdinand Celine
The transnationality of horror
Genre deviations – comic horror, giallo, video games, etc.
The economics of horror
Postmodernity and horror

Possible topics for Part 2, on the Indian Horror Experience, include, but are not limited to:

Genre deviations in India
Cinema and the evolution of horror
Horror in vernacular/Indian-English literatures
Horror and folk narratives
Histories of the horror genre in India
Colonial/Post-colonial approaches to horror
Indian society, politics and horror
Psychoanalysis and Indian horror
Religion and horror

Abstracts of no more than 500 words are invited by October 15, 2016, to

Please attach a current CV with institutional affiliation along with your abstract.

Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by October 29, 2016. The deadline for completed articles is April 1, 2017.

Editors: Dibyakusum Ray (NIT, Silchar) and Sudipto Sanyal (Techno India University)

Contact Info:
Dibyakusum Ray (Assistant Professor, English, NIT Silchar, Assam, India)

Sudipto Sanyal (Assistant Professor, English, Techno India University, Kolkata, India)

Contact Email:

Submissions open for a Superhero Anthology

Behind the Mask is Meerkat Press’ next themed anthology and it’s all about superheroes! But not how they saved the world this time. We’re more interested in the ordinary day-to-day challenges facing these extraordinary individuals: growing up, growing old, relationships, career struggles, parenting. How they cope with that age-old desire to fit in when, let’s face it, they don’t.

We want superhero stories with originality, diversity, and strong character development that celebrate the genre but manage to push its boundaries as well. Fun, quirky, serious, happy, sad: any tone will do, and we plan to have a nice variety. But bring us something fresh and relevant to this crazy world we live in today.

So without further ado, here are the details!

Short Fiction (3K to 6K words) for Behind the Mask: A Superhero Anthology

We are currently seeking short stories for our next short fiction superhero themed anthology, Behind the Mask.

Submission Deadline 9/15/16

Submission Guidelines:
Include a cover email containing genre, word count, brief bio, and contact information
Please confirm that your story has not been published before
Attach your complete story using Proper Short Story Manuscript Format (Meerkat exceptions: Times New Roman preferred, one space after period, italics are okay, em dashes are okay)

We accept .doc, .docx, .txt and .rtf files.

We do not accept reprints.

We do accept simultaneous submissions for short stories (but ask that you contact us immediately if your story is accepted elsewhere).

Send to with subject line: Superhero – Genre – Title – Author

Payment: We pay .02 to .08 per word for short fiction.

Final selections will be made in October-November 2016.

Behind the Mask Final Lineup Announced!

Short Entries on Economics in Science Fiction and Fantasy

deadline for submissions:
January 1, 2017

full name / name of organization:
Economics in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Researchers are invited to submit short entries on individual works of SFF, exploring their economic themes, to be included in a new online resource (

Preference is for entries on SFF that makes explicit use of the terminology of economics, finance, accountancy or business management, and/or SFF which strongly resonates with the themes already developing in the database, including scarcity/post-scarcity, money and currency, game theory, inter-polity trade, finance and performativity, automation and labour, gender and class, financialization and gamification, and enterprise and entrepreneurship. Excerpts from previously published books, articles or reviews will be considered. Both academic writing and more informal writing aimed at a general audience are acceptable.

The focus of the database is fiction but some entries on film and other media may also be included. Please keep submissions below 800 words.

Call for Papers: New American Notes Online NANO Issue 12 on Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Deadline: February 1, 2017
Special Issue: Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Narrative, Characters, Media, and Event
Guest Editors: Jason W. Ellis, Alan Lovegreen, and Sean Scanlan
This thing [Star Wars] communicates. It is in a language that is talking to young people today, and that’s marvelous.
–Joseph Campbell in conversation with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth (1988)
 There are certainly many more themes in The Force Awakens that speak to us, and help us to learn more about these characters and what makes them tick.
–Dan Zehr, “Studying Skywalkers” column on (May 18, 2016)


It is the aim of this special issue of NANO to address the significance of the latest installment of Star Wars by exploring its narrative, characters, media, and event. Across nearly four decades, audiences spanning generations have experienced Star Wars through films, television programs, books, video games, special events such as the annual “celebrations,” and other storytelling media, including action figures and LEGO. Following Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, George Lucas’ production company, audiences experienced a new transmedia event and a continuation of the old stories with the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens in 2015. Joseph Campbell’s earlier observations about the first film raises new questions that deserve to be answered about the latest: How does this new film communicate? What language does it use? And, to whom is it speaking?


One way to approach these issues of communication and language is through the convergence of the film’s narrative and characters, especially how the transmission of this convergence gets revealed through a variety of media as an event. For example, how does the film’s narrative respond to, continue, and challenge those that it follows? And what about the cast of characters—some returning and some new? What do these characters and their performance of the narrative have to say about the here-and-now as well as the past? Of course, the narrative is told through media, which includes different film technologies, digital distribution, DVD and Blu-Ray discs, websites, video games, and apps. And stepping back for a larger perspective, the release of the film and its transmedia supporting elements inform The Force Awakens as an event, in part orchestrated by Disney/Lucasfilm, and in part connected to contemporary events, including #oscarssowhite, #womeninfilm, and #paygap. Furthermore, how does its event(s) relate to those of the past, including specifically those centered on the release of the earlier films and subsequent events awakening fans’ nostalgic enthusiasm. The Force Awakens’ considerable box office performance and tie-in successes signal how significant this film (and its progenitors) is, and it is the aim of this special issue to explore the promise and pitfalls of its cultural influence.


This issue welcomes multimodal essays up to 4,000 words (excluding works cited) exploring topics relating to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, including but not limited to the following:


* transmedia storytelling and The Force Awakens (including “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens” publications, such as Chuck Wendig’s novel, Star Wars: Aftermath, and comic books Star Wars: Shattered Empire and Star Wars: Poe Dameron
* media transformation and adaptation (e.g., comparing the film with Alan Dean Foster’s novelization)
* materiality and The Force Awakens (e.g., LEGO, play, and collecting)
* Star Wars fandom and cosplay
* Star Wars reference materials and publications
* and the official Star Wars app
* Star Wars videogames including LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars Battlefront, and the now defunct Disney Infinity tie-ins
* Jakku Spy VR experience
* Star Wars Celebration and ComicCon special events
* social and political movements’ coinciding/connecting with The Force Awakens
* the hero’s journey and the heroes’ journeys
* movement and storytelling
* vehicles as characters
* nostalgia and familiarity
* inclusive casting/characters
* droids and aliens
* hidden bodies/cgi characters (e.g., Maz Kanata/ Lupita Nyong’o and Captain Phasma/Gwendoline Christie)
* race and gender in The Force Awakens
* terrorism, insurgency, war, and militarism
* surveillance


Direct questions to the Special Issue co-editors: Jason W. Ellis [], Alan Lovegreen [], and Sean Scanlan [].


NANO is a multimodal journal. Therefore, we encourage submissions that include images, sound, or video in support of a written argument. These multimodal components may consist of objects and data sets that go beyond traditional media. The multimodal components of the essay must be owned or licensed by the author, come from the public domain, or fall within reasonable fair use (see Stanford University Libraries’ Copyright & Fair Use site, and the U.S. Copyright Office’s Fair Use site, for more information. NANO’s Fair Use Statement is available on its submission page,


For questions about video, audio, or image usage, please contact NANO:


NANO uses modified MLA (Modern Language Association) formatting and style.


Keywords and abstract: Each author is asked to submit 5 keywords and a 150-word abstract to accompany their submission.


Schedule: Deadlines concerning the special issue to be published in NANO:
* Submission deadline: February 1, 2017
* Complete comments and peer review June 2017
* Pre-production begins August 2017

Uses of Fantasy in Changing Media Landscape

October 20–21, 2016, University of Jyväskylä

Jyväskylä, Finland


In recent years, fantasy fiction has gained popularity in different mediums. For instance, in television fantastic or speculative themes are more visible than ever before, and – as television scholar J. P. Telotte has noted – they are even invading the so called reality television. The Uses of Fantasy seminar focuses on the uses and users of fantasy in contemporary culture and contemporary representation of fantasy in different cultural mediums. In other words, the seminar concentrates on the reception, representation and meaning of fantasy in a changing media landscape. The seminar is organised by the project Uses of Fantasy – The World Hobbit Project in Finland in cooperation with the University of Jyväskylä and The Research Centre for Contemporary Culture.


We invite presentations and panels on the uses and users of fantasy as well as on the contemporary representations of fantasy on different mediums, such as literature, television, film, comics and graphic novels, games and new media. These may include but are not limited to:

– Audience responses and the meanings of fantasy; affective attachments to fantasy; fantasy fandom and other participatory user practices

– Adaptation and transmedia; representing fantasy via different mediums

– The cultural meanings of fantasy; representations of cultural phenomena through fantasy; the politics of fantasy (e.g. in relation to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, class, disability etc.)

– Fantasy and narration; fantastic characters; fantastic genres (science fiction, horror etc.)


Proposals for scholarly papers from any academic discipline that seek to examine, interrogate, and expand research related to any aspect of uses of fantasy, in any medium are welcome. Papers will be allowed a maximum presentation time of 20 minutes.


Our keynote speakers will be:


Associate Professor Susana Tosca from the IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Professor Emerita Liisa Rantalaiho from the University of Tampere, Finland

Professor Emeritus Martin Barker from Aberystwyth University, UK


Please submit a 500-word proposal describing the content of your proposed paper, and few words about yourself and your research (including your current affiliation) to  hobbitprojectfinland(at) The deadline for the proposals is September 5, 2016.


If you have any questions about the seminar, please contact hobbitprojectfinland(at)


For more information, see

Graduate Journal aspeers Calls for Papers on “American Monsters”

October 23, 2016

Subject Fields:
American History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies, Literature, Graduate Studies

“The monster notoriously appears at times of crisis,” Jeffrey Jerome Cohen states in his Monster Theory. At first glance, Cohen’s assertion conveniently seems to fit the headlines by various venues–liberal and conservative–that all express a presumed crisis of the US Republican Party by referring to their 2016 presidential nominee as a “monster.” However, Cohen has a different kind of crisis, and different kinds of monsters, in mind, and a broader analytical trajectory to follow: For him, American culture as such can be read “from the monsters [it] engenders.”

Understood as a spectacular anomaly, a cultural shorthand that points at deeper turmoils, American culture has its fair share of monsters indeed. Whether we think of race, a social problem declared ‘dead’ by the post-race discourse, as a zombie roaming the land as deadly as ever, or whether we think of Barbara Creed’s seminal work on the perception and portrayal of femininity as ‘monstrous,’ categories of difference tend to express themselves with recourse to the figure of the monster and the logic of monstrosity. In fact, as Michael Rogin points out, monsters are “a continuing feature of American politics.” As such they are worthy of critical attention.

For its tenth issue, aspeers thus dedicates its topical section to “American Monsters” and invites European graduate students to critically and analytically explore American literature, (popular) culture, society, history, and politics through the monsters they beget. With a host of disciplines–ranging from economy and political science to history, media studies, literary and cultural studies, and beyond–engaging such monstrosity in various forms, we welcome papers from all the fields, methodologies, and approaches that comprise American studies as well as inter- and transdisciplinary submissions. Potential paper topics could cover (but are not limited to):

The literary figure of the fantastic monster, the zombie, the vampire, the alien, the cyborg, or the ghost, as tropes that do cultural work.

The forms of (racialized, gendered, etc.) othering involved in portraying social or cultural outsiders as monstrous.

Political rhetoric demonizing and dehumanizing the opponent.

The trope of the monster in various nonfictional discourses, such as law enforcement, medicine and psychology, and many others.

The pleasures and anxieties negotiated through representations of monsters, in genres such as horror, fantasy, science fiction, dystopia, (post)apocalypse, etc., and in media like novels, films, TV, graphic novels, or video games.

aspeers, the first and currently only graduate-level peer-reviewed journal of European American studies, encourages fellow MA students from all fields to reflect on the diverse meanings of monsters for American culture. Please note that the contributions we are looking for might address or go beyond the topical parameters outlined above. We welcome term papers, excerpts from theses, or papers specifically written for the tenth issue of aspeers by 23 October 2016. If you are seeking to publish work beyond this topic, please refer to our general Call for Papers. Please consult our submission guidelines and find some additional tips at

Contact Info:
aspeers: emerging voices in american studies

ISSN: 1865-8768
American Studies Leipzig
Beethovenstr. 15
04107 Leipzig, Germany

Contact Email:

deadline for submissions:
December 15, 2016

full name / name of organization:
Martin Japtok/Rafiki Jenkins

contact email:

We invite essays on any aspect of Octavia Butler’s multi-faceted work, from her continued exploration of the topics of domination, slavery, symbiosis, and exploitation, to her ecological vision, to her exploration of gender systems, to genre considerations, etc. etc. Essays from 3000 to 6000 words are recommended, but no strict word limit (MLA format).

Please send essays to either Martin Japtok ( or Rafiki Jenkins ( by December 15, 2016.