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Collection of Essays on Transgressive Women in Global Speculative Fiction, Film, and Digital Media

deadline for submissions:
December 30, 2016

full name / name of organization:
Valerie Guyant/ Montana State University & Kate Aho/ University of Wisconsin

contact email:

The interconnection of speculative fiction, transgressions against social norms, gender studies, and global perspectives is compelling because speculative fiction allows for a unique approach to social critiques. The worlds that are created in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dystopian futures allow the genre to explore new or imaginative societies, detached from existing or historical social structures. Such an environment of speculation has led many authors to utilize the genre to comment on women’s concerns. Many of these works have, understandably been extensively critically examined.

Exploring the conversation further, the editors solicit critical approaches for our anthology that examine female characters in contemporary writers of speculative fiction, film, or digital media who are underrepresented in present scholarship, emphasizing the global reach of speculative fiction. We specifically request essays that examine female characters who operate outside social norms [either real world norms or those of their created cultures] and whose transgressive behavior is transformative and critically interesting. We are especially interested in global perspectives, global representations of authors, including Hiromi Goto, Marcela Sola, Irmtraud Morgner, Vandana Singh, Nalo Hopkinson, Zoran Drvenkar, Rinsai Rossetti, Karen Lord, Malinda Lo, Serenity Alyanna Edward, and Alex Garland, as well as subgenres such as anime [including ONA], manga, horror, steampunk, and slipstream works.

In no way should this be considered an exhaustive list. Particularly engaging ideas about underrepresented creators in fiction, film, and all digital media from any locale are encouraged.

We are NOT accepting critical explorations of well-known authors or film makers who have already been the focus of significant critical work.

Facets of transgression may include gender performance and breaking bounds of gender normativity; issues regarding motherhood, reproduction, and other-mothers; enacted or experienced violence; non-heteronormative, non-monogamous sexuality; the questioning or embracing of religion; and any behavior which breaks, bends, or questions other social paradigms. Our intent is that this anthology will contribute to an understanding of global uses of speculative fiction as a prism for examining the intersectionalities and problematization of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, concentrating on characters who engage women’s concern and female-identified characters including transgender women, androgynes, queered, or transgressive gender.

The anthology will be divided into overarching themes of gender performance and sexuality; violence and peace; identity formation and othering; and mothering, reproduction, and other-mothering. While essays that engage any of these topics are solicited, other considerations of transgressive female characters in speculative fiction are welcome, as are email inquiries to the editors.

Having received strong interest in the collection from Gylphi Press, we invite abstracts of 400-500 words [excluding sources cited], along with a CV and tentative list of sources, to both and by December 31, 2016.

Please note: Graduate students and independent scholars are strongly encouraged to submit.

If accepted, contributors will be invited to submit completed essays of approximately 6000 words.