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Monthly Archives: May 2017

CfP: Breaking out of the Box: Critical Essays on the Cult TV Show Supernatural

Lisa Macklem and Dominick Grace seek proposals for a refereed collection of essays on the CW cult horror show Supernatural.

“What’s in the box?” Dean Winchester asks in “The Magnificent Seven,” episode one of the third season of Supernatural, to the befuddlement of his brother Sam and their avuncular mentor Bobby Singer, but to the delight of fans who revel in the show’s wry meta elements. Dean is of course quoting Detective Mills, Brad Pitt’s character in the thriller Se7en (1995), directed by David Fincher. Throughout its twelve-year run (to date), Supernatural has revelled in breaking out of the limitations usually implied by a television show, breaking out of the box in numerous ways. Acknowledging the popularity of the meta-play in the show, current showrunner Andrew Dabb promised the most meta-finale ever for the season twelve finale. One of the most noteworthy examples of this predilection is the extensively meta elements of the season five apocalypse plotline, which featured the character Carver Edlund (his name derived from series writers Jeremy Carver and Ben Edlund) in several episodes. Edlund is a novelist who has written supposed works of fiction that in fact document Sam and Dean Winchester’s lives, thoroughly breaking the fourth wall. Edlund is the pseudonym of Chuck Shurley—who turns out to be God, making one of his rare mainstream television appearances. However, this meta plot element represents only one of the myriad ways Supernatural has broken out of the box. Season five, episode eight (“Changing Channels”), transports Sam and Dean into the worlds of several television shows, while season six, episode fifteen, “The French Mistake,” carried the conceit further, having Sam and Dean visit the “real” world, in which they are characters in the TV show Supernatural. Season eight and nine feature as main villain the appropriately-named Metatron, the scribe of God trying to write himself into the position of God—in effect plotting in both senses of the word. Season eight also featured, in episode 8 (“Hunteri Heroici”), Warner Brothers style cartoon gimmickry, and the upcoming season thirteen promises an animated crossover episode with Scooby Doo. Season ten’s 200th episode is yet another recursive metanarrative, featuring a highschool student trying to mount a musical adaptation of the Carver Edlund novels. In short, despite its horror trappings, Supernatural has been decidedly postmodern in its liberal use of pastiche, meta, intertextuality, and generic slippage. This collection is interested in exploring the ways Supernatural breaks boundaries. Topics of potential interest include but are not limited to

Explicitly meta elements in Supernatural
Supernatural and fandom: interpenetrations
God, Metatron, and other Supernatural authors
Role and role-playing
Generic slippage (comedy; found footage; the musical episode)
Allusion and intertext in Supernatural
Non-Supernatural (e.g. the episodes with no fantasy elements)
Supernatural and genre TV
reality and retcon: how the show has shifted and redefined its own rules
casting and self-consciousness (e.g. the use of celebrity guest stars such as Linda Blair, Rick Springfield, etc.)
Importance of music throughout the show

Proposals of 300-500 words should be submitted to Lisa Macklem ( or Dominick Grace ( by October 1 2017. Final papers should be between 5,000 and 7,000 words long and written in conformity with MLA style and will be due by May 1 2018. McFarland has expressed interest in this collection, with a contract forthcoming.

At home with horror? Terror on the small screen

deadline for submissions:
June 30, 2017

full name / name of organization:
The Melodrama Research Group/University of Kent

contact email:

The Melodrama Research Group presents:

At home with horror? Terror on the small screen

27th-28th October 2017

University of Kent

Keynote speaker: Dr Helen Wheatley (University of Warwick)


The recent horror output on TV and the small screen challenges what Matt Hills found to be the overriding assumption ‘that film is the [horror] genre’s ‘natural’ home’ (Hills 2005, 111). Programmes such as American Horror Story, Penny Dreadful and The Walking Dead are aligned to ‘‘quality TV’, yet use horror imagery and ideas to present a form and style of television that is ‘not ordinary’’ (Johnston 2016, 11). Developments in industrial practices and production technology have resulted in a more spectacular horror in the medium, which Hills argues is the ‘making cinematic’ of television drama (Hills 2010, 23). The generic hybridity of television programmes such as Whitechapel, and Ripper Street allow conventions of the horror genre to be employed within the narrative and aesthetics, creating new possibilities for the animation of horror on the small screen. Series such as Bates Motel and Scream adapt cinematic horror to a serial format, positioning the small screen (including terrestrial, satellite and online formats) as the new home for horror.

The history of television and horror has often displayed a problematic relationship. As a medium that operates within a domestic setting, television has previously been viewed as incompatible with ‘authentic’ horror. Television has been approached as incapable of mobilizing the intense audience reactions associated with the genre and seen as a medium ‘restricted’ in its ability to scare and horrify audiences partly due to censorship constraints (Waller 1987) and scheduling arrangements. Such industrial practices have been seen as tempering the genre’s aesthetic agency resulting in inferior cinematic imitations or, ‘degraded made-for-TV sequels’ (Waller 1987, 146). For Waller, the technology of television compounded the medium’s ability to animate horror and directed its initial move towards a more ‘restrained’ form of the genre such as adapting literary ghost stories and screening RKO productions of the 1940s (Ibid 1987). Inferior quality of colour and resolution provided the opportunity to suggest rather than show. Horror, then, has presented a challenge for television: how can the genre be positioned in such a family orientated and domesticated medium? As Hills explains, ‘In such a context, horror is conceptualised as a genre that calls for non- prime-time scheduling… and [thus] automatically excluded from attracting a mass audience despite the popularity of the genre in other media’ (Hills 2005, 118).

Helen Wheatley’s monograph, Gothic Television (2006), challenges the approach of television as a limiting medium for horror, and instead focuses on how the domestic setting of the television set is key to its effectiveness. Focusing on the female Gothic as a domestic genre, Wheatley draws a lineage from early literary works, to the 1940s cycle of Gothic women films and Gothic television of the 1950s onwards. Wheatley argues for the significance of the domestic setting in experiencing stories of domestic anxiety for, ‘the aims of the Gothic drama made for television [are] to suggest a congruence between the domestic spaces on the screen and the domestic reception context’ (Wheatley 2006, 191).

Developments in small screen horror are not restricted to contemporary output. In his work on the cultural history of horror, Mark Jancovich argues that it was on television in the 1990s where key developments in the genre were taking place (Jancovich 2002). Taking Jancovich’s work as a cue, Hills develops his own approach to the significance of horror television of the 1990s. Hills cites Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X Files as examples of programmes striving to mobilise the genre’s more graphic elements while existing as a ‘high-end’ cultural product: ‘authored’ TV that targeted a niche fan audience (Hills 2005, 126).

Taking these recent developments into account, the aim of this conference is to engage with such advances. Can we say that it is on the small screen where critical and creative innovations in horror are now being made? How has the expansion of satellite television and online sites impacted on the genre? How has the small screen format developed the possibilities of horror? Is the recent alignment with ‘quality TV’ evidence of horror’s new mainstream status? This conference will also reflect on seminal works on television horror and revisit the history of the genre. In addressing these questions the conference will underline the importance of the small screen for horror, within the study of the genre and of the medium, and ask: is the small screen now the home of horror?

Topics can include but are not limited to:

The seasons and horror on the small screen

Gothic television

Gender and horror

Historical figures and events in small screen horror

Small screen horror as an ‘event’

Adaptation from cinema to small screen ‘re-imaginings’

Production contexts

Censorship and the small screen

Serialisation and horror production

National television production of horror

The impact of Netflix and Amazon Prime

TV history and horror

Literary adaptations

Children’s TV and horror

Genre hybridity


Teen horror

Stardom and horror

Please submit proposals of 400 words, along with a short biographical note (250 words) to by Friday 30th June 2017. We welcome 20 minute conference papers as well as submissions for creative work or practice-as-research including, but not limited to, short films and video essays.

Conference organisers: Katerina Flint-Nicol and Ann-Marie Fleming

CfP: Science Fiction Beyond the Western Tradition
Deadline 1st September 2017

“Science fiction is the major non-realistic mode of imaginative creation of our epoch. Why? Because science and technology are continually changing the conditions of our existence. And because science […] is the principal way modern culture locates us imaginatively in time and space.” (H. Bruce Franklin, 2007)

Over the past fifty years, science fiction has established itself as a serious genre, one which invites formal academic inquiry, while creatively underpinning our personal and social trajectories in an ever-increasingly technoscientific world. Science fiction narratives, whether in literary or cinematic registers, help us to understand ourselves, our societies, our politics and our world, by experimenting with alternatives, possibilities, and communing with the ever-present (and variously embodied) Other. Furthermore, as the critical history of science fiction in the Western tradition has clearly demonstrated, science fiction texts are culturally revealing in that they often key into and illuminate social concerns, anxieties, and the anticipated shapes of futures yet to come.
While science fiction in the Western, English-speaking tradition continues to dominate scholarship within the field, we are interested in applying the same critical principles to science fiction outside of the West. It is our intention to produce a high-quality introductory reader to serve as a starting point to the genre in non-Western cultures, nations and regions, with an emphasis on scholarship produced both on and by non-Western writers and academics. We hope that by investigating science fiction outside of the West, readers may gain insight into the genre across a range of cultural traditions, while also developing new and informed perspectives on these cultures themselves. Outside of analyses concerned primarily with historical development or generic conventions, questions to consider may include (but are not limited to):

• What is the creative or critical function of science fiction?
• How does science fiction enable specific cultures to express or explore themselves?
• What alternatives does science fiction pose? To what? And why?
• How does science fiction intersect with issues of nationalism, language, religion, gender or cultural identity?
• What do science fictional futures reveal about the way a nation looks forward?
• How do science fiction texts communicate concerns or needs regarding technology, science, environment, evolution, progress, identity, politics, etc.?
We are interested in high-quality academic writing on science fiction literature or film texts by authors or directors from anywhere outside of the Anglophone West and Europe. We are also interested in historical / survey chapters that can provide an overview of science fiction practice in a particular nation, culture or region.

Notification of acceptance: 30th September 2017
Full chapters due: 15th January 2018
Planned submission of manuscript: 1st March 2018

At this time, we are particularly seeking proposals on work produced in Latin America, South-East Asia, and the Arab world.

We hope to cover a wide range of historical periods, media, styles and themes; we realise that science fiction outside of the West has evolved differently in different cultures – our ability to document these differences will be one of our collection’s strengths. As such, while we hope to receive chapters on well-known names such as LiuCixin, Nnedi Okorafor, Lauren Beukes et al., we are also relying on our contributors to bring to our readers’attention new and/or lesser-known texts that may be considered generically and culturally relevant. We take a flexible view of what constitutes a ‘text’: literature may be expanded to include graphic novels, comics, manga, etc.,while film may also cover television and new media such as videogames.

Submission procedure:
Researchers are invited to submit a 350-500 word proposal outlining the content and aims of their chapter, on or before 1st September 2017. Authors will be formally notified of their acceptance by 30th September 2017. Full chapters will be expected before the 15th January 2018. Chapters will be subjected to a double-blind peer review.
Please submit proposals as Word documents to both and, using the subject line “Science Fiction Beyond the Western Tradition”.

Inquiries may be directed to either or

Dr Yomna Saber, Qatar University
Dr Amy Christmas, Qatar University

Suvin Today?

A Roundtable Discussion

The Society for Utopian Studies (November 9-12, 2017 in Memphis, TN)

Proposal Deadline: July 8, 2017

Co-Organizers: Gerry Canavan and Hugh O’Connell

Nearly 45 years ago in December 1972, Darko Suvin published the signal sf studies text, “On the Poetics of the Science Fiction Genre.” It was this article that (in)famously introduced “SF as the literature of cognitive estrangement,” and which was later expanded for the equally trailblazing Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre (1979). Writing in the introduction to the recent Ralahine Classics edition of Metamorphoses, Gerry Canavan notes that although sf studies certainly predated this text, its publication was a watershed moment, delimiting a foundational discourse for science fiction studies. Indeed, whether in agreement or in strict opposition to Suvin’s work, it is still rare to find sf criticism that does not set out from Suvin. However, in recent years, the “Suvin Event,” as it has come to be known, seems increasingly to garner detractors with ever more calls to dislodge the Suvinian paradigm from the heart of sf studies. These works often proceed in the name of a more nuanced attention to the socio-historical function of genre studies, as a dismissal of the hierarchical ordering of speculative forms, or as an end to sf as a particular form with a particular vocation altogether. Yet Suvin did more than offer a formal definition of sf. While much has been written, particularly in relation to the notion of “cognition” and the formal gatekeeping rigidity of Suvin’s work, the utopian and radical historical materialist aspects of Suvin’s work are often lost or submerged by a long critical commentary that has fixated on its structural weaknesses (whether real or perceived). And this occlusion perhaps goes doubly so for his work in the historicization and internationalization of sf studies.

Therefore, with the 45th anniversary of “On the Poetics” upon us, not to mention the recent republication of the long out of print Metamorphoses in 2016, this informal roundtable discussion invites contributors to re-engage with the Suvin Event.

· In the words of Rhys Williams, how can we continue to break down the walls that Suvin’s “paradigm threw up” and that keep its still vital “living concepts petrified,” in order to free them for contemporary sf criticism?

· Or, following Patrick Parrinder, if the utility of the Suvin moment was already exhausted by 2000, not to mention the more recent withering critique by fellow marxist China Miéville, what is left to salvage from the Suvin Event?

· At the proposed end of the Suvin Event, what surprisingly new utopian anticipations await us?

· What aspects re-emerge – whether in new or altered form – after the updatings, alterations, and critiques?

· What parts of Suvin’s work have been under-attended?

· What has been left undiscovered – or is left to rediscover – at this late moment of zombie neoliberalism and the slow violence of its concomitant environmental apocalypse?

· How – or even, can – we conceive of sf’s utopian impulse in the post-Suvinian critical zeitgeist?

· Alternately, have the critics got it wrong?

We invite participants that take up these or any other aspects of Suvin’s work and the debates over the Suvin Event.

A note about the format: This session is being proposed as an informal roundtable discussion. Rather than the usual 20 minute, written presentations, contributors will be asked to keep their opening comments to a brief 5 minutes. Gerry Canavan, editor of the 2016 Ralahine Classics edition of Metamorphoses of Science Fiction, will then act as a respondent. Our intent is to provide more time for panelists to interact and discuss ideas with one another as well as with audience members than in the usual conference panel setting.

Please email Gerry Canavan ( and Hugh O’Connell ( with a brief (250 words) synopsis or proposal for participation in the roundtable by July 8, 2017.

Essays for Collection on Supergirl Television Series–Under Contract

deadline for submissions:
June 1, 2017

full name / name of organization:
Tim Rayborn and Melissa Wehler

contact email:

McFarland Publishers, an independent book publisher devoted to a wide variety of topics, including history, sports, and pop culture, will be releasing a collection of essays on the CW television series Supergirl. Tim Rayborn and Melissa Wehler will take on the role of editors.

Tim has written three books for McFarland (The Violent Pilgrimage, Against the Friars, and A New English Music), and co-edited an anthology of studies of the series Jessica Jones, to be published by McFarland in 2017. He has a PhD from the University of Leeds (UK), and has written numerous articles for magazines and journals, as well as an ongoing book series for Skyhorse Publishing. Melissa is the Dean of Humanities and Sciences, Central Penn College, Summerdale, PA. Her publications include book chapters in various edited collections, including “‘Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky’: Neil Gaiman’s Extraordinarily Ordinary Coraline,’” in A Quest of Her Own: The Female Hero in Modern Fantasy (McFarland, 2014) and “The Haunted Transatlantic Libertine: Edmund Kean’s American Tour” in Transnational Gothic: Literary and Social Exchanges in the Long Nineteenth Century (Ashgate Publishing, 2013).

Supergirl is now in its second season. It began life on CBS, but was moved to the CW at the end of season 1 to bring it into the same continuity as Executive Producer Greg Berlanti’s other DC Comics television shows (Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow). It has generated many positive reviews, though some feel that season two has shifted its tone somewhat from the first, particularly in keeping its female characters as the main focus.

The show explores a variety of topics, including women’s lives and roles (as a government agent, as the CEO of a media empire, as a police detective, as president, and as one of the most powerful beings on earth), the sister relationship between Kara and Alex Danvers (often held to be the heart of the show), the importance of family (regardless of how that family is created), issues concerning immigration and refugees, and LGBTQ representation (Alex’s coming out story arc and her subsequent relationship with detective Maggie Sawyer).

There is a wealth of material from the show that can be thoroughly examined. In assembling a collection of essays, we would like to see a variety of topics, particularly centered on gender studies, LGBTQ studies, and related psychology and sociology. Possible subjects might include:

The positive portrayal of women in these various and important roles
The portrayal of women as many of the show’s best villains
Subverted gender roles
LGBTQ representation in Alex’s highly-praised coming-out story arc
The “Sanvers” romance and its positive impact on LGBTQ communities and fandom
The role of family in the show (Alex and Kara as sisters; their relationship to their mother, Eliza; J’onn as a surrogate father to them both)
Thematic similarities and differences between seasons one and two, related to any of these topics
Sociological studies, such as which themes resonate with modern viewers, especially women and the LGBTQ community.
Essays must be in American English and spellings, fully cited with end notes, and bibliography, all in accordance with the current Chicago Manual of Style (the preferred style manual for this collection). The length of each contribution should be between about 6,000 and 8,000 words, unless there is a good reason that a given essay should be shorter or longer. Please use clear, concise writing, not overly academic jargon or dense prose.

Peer review will be conducted after the collection is submitted, currently scheduled for October, 2017. Accordingly, the deadline for final chapter submission is July 15, 2017, to allow us time to edit properly. Submissions before that deadline are, of course, most welcome and helpful. Season 2 has not yet finished, but contributors are welcome to submit proposals now about their topics before the season finale airs in early May. All proposals must be submitted by mid-May (final date to be decided).

If contributors wish to include images not in public domain or text excerpts from copyrighted materials requiring written permission to reproduce, they will be expected to obtain such permissions on their own, and pay the required reproduction fees (if needed); McFarland cannot reimburse for this expense. We will need hard copies of each such permission. McFarland also prefers that contributors not use extended quotations of dialogue from episodes, as well as images/screen captures, as these require additional permission/fees from the television network and can delay publication, unless contributors can obtain said permissions and pay fees themselves.

Potential contributors should submit a one- to two-page proposal including a potential title, a short description of the topic(s) for your essay, a brief summary of your background and qualifications, and contact information.

Please email your proposals to Tim at:

Organic Systems: Environments, Bodies and Culture in Science Fiction

deadline for submissions:
May 31, 2017

full name / name of organization:
London Science Fiction Research Community (Birkbeck + Royal Holloway)

contact email:

Though often understood in ecological terms, the word ‘environment’ can also be viewed more widely as the surroundings and conditions of a specific system—whether they be mechanical, biological, social or chemical. Culture arises from and then informs these systems, becoming itself a further component of environments. Science fictional texts have explored the interactions between culture, environments and bodies on a wide spectrum of scale: from the level of a planetary biosphere or climate system (e.g. terraforming) to a single body or organ (e.g. genetic engineering). This conference will gather Science Fiction researchers, critics, authors and readers together to discuss intersections between cultural and organic systems in all forms of SF media. Potential topics for presentation include, but are not limited to:

Interactions between culture, ecosystems and organisms;
Rhetorics, stylistics and tropes common to ecological SF;
Ecological SF’s relationship to its context of production;
Living worlds (e.g. the Gaia hypothesis);
Analogical connections between smaller bodies (e.g. humans) and larger (e.g. cities, planets, universes);
Environmental utopian and dystopian themes;
The technological versus the natural in environmental systems;
The relationship between socio-political systems and the environment;
The impact of radically altered bodies and conceptions of the body on culture, and vice versa;
The aesthetic and conceptual significance of modes and subcategories such as Biopunk and Ribofunk;
Interrelations between posthuman theories and texts and different types of technological and environmental change;
Transhumanism, both as a movement and an ideology;
Connections between SF media and the geohumanities.
The conference will also feature a keynote session with environmental humanities researcher Chris Pak, as well as a panel discussion with award-winning SF authors Gwyneth Jones, Paul McAuley and Adam Roberts.

Conference organisers: Francis Gene-Rowe (PhD, Royal Holloway, University of London), Rhodri Davies (PhD, Birkbeck, University of London), Aren Roukema (PhD, Birkbeck, University of London).

This conference is supported by the Centre for Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck College (University of London) and the Department of English, Royal Holloway (University of London)

Submit abstracts of up to 300 words for 20 minute papers by 31 May 2017 to Please include a brief biography of no more than 100 words. Applicants will receive a response by 1 July.


SAMLA 2017, November 3-5, Atlanta, Georgia

This CFP invites papers dealing with fictional representations of outer space, intergalactic travel, and other worlds. This panel is particularly interested in discussing why some texts about outer space remain central within scholarly and popular discourse while others fade into obscurity. Does the value of intergalactic fiction derive from its scientific and technological realism and its ability to, according to Hugo Gernsback, inspire “scientific fact and prophetic vision”? Or, does the staying power of these speculative fictions come from their complex worldmaking and engagement with empire and colonization (as in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series)? What determines whether we return to someone’s vision of life beyond the boundaries of Earth? We will consider space travel narratives from various decades and types of media including novels, short fiction, film, television, games, and music. By June 2, please submit a 250-word abstract, brief bio, and AV requirements to Andrea Krafft, Georgia Institute of Technology, at

For additional CFPs and conference information, please visit

Roger Schlobin and the IAFA: A Remembrance

C.W. Sullivan III

Roger Schlobin, ICFA 24, photo courtesy of FAU Library Special Collections, the Robert A. Collins Collection

In 1978, I attended and read a paper at the “International Symposium on Creatures of Legend” in Omaha, Nebraska. It was there that I saw, on a sheet of paper thumbtacked to a corkboard, the announcement of “The First International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts,” Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. I went, and Roger Schlobin may well have been the first person I got to know there. Roger was already emerging as an important scholar, perceptive critic, and demanding editor in the field of fantasy literature. But as I think about Roger in these days since his passing, I am struck by how singularly important he was to ICFA and then IAFA (the conference came first and then the organization, oddly enough) and to many individuals in the group.

ICFA was fairly small in those days, and the regular returners were an even smaller group. Roger and I got to know each other initially through shared interests, especially medieval British literature (each of us had earned a PhD in that area) and fantasy literature. We also liked talking about cars, both of us “gear heads,” I suppose, and Roger’s progress with his Datsun 280Z (which he still had) or my adventures with my Mazda MX-6 (which I still have) were always important topics between us.

But Roger was also a social and intellectual force in the organization, introducing people with like interests to each other (Canadian scholar Nick Ruddick and myself, for example) and organizing groups to go out to dinner. Roger would get six or eight people together, and we would go somewhere he had picked (he had a good nose for restaurants) and sit around a big table and talk. Roger would preside, directing without dominating the conversation, and all of us would return to the hotel having had a great time. Throughout the years, even after his official duties were over, Roger would continue to be a social force.

Roger mentored or encouraged or pushed me into a more active role within the organization. I was on the original organizational committee for the IAFA and then moved up through the ranks to be a division head, vice president (with Don Palumbo as president), and president (with Nick Ruddick as vice president). I spent years on the Executive Board as a result of holding those offices and never forgave Roger for all the work I had to do. OK, I am kidding about that. Roger’s continuing interest in and concern for the health of the organization and the conference meant that he was always around—socializing, mentoring, encouraging, and influencing people he thought would be “good for the conference” and for the organization.

If Roger did not have the original idea for the Graduate Student Award, now the David G. Hartwell Emerging Scholar Award, he was its selection committee chairperson for a number of years and drew great pleasure from coming up to the podium at the banquet and announcing the graduate student winner. If he made more of a performance of the presentation of the award than some people liked, it was because he felt that the award was important and that its presentation was a serious event, honoring the future of scholarship, the future of the organization.

I do not know how many ideas for ICFA/IAFA came from Roger in discussions with Bob Collins, Tim Sullivan, and Donald Morse, but Roger’s one year as president may be the role for which he should be most remembered. In 1984-1985, the IAFA went independent from previously sponsoring organizations and moved the conference from Boca Raton, Florida, with some encouragement from Hap Henrikson, to Beaumont, Texas. As an independent academic organization and conference IAFA/ICFA was dependent for its success on membership dues and conference registrations, the latter being funds that would not be fully available until after the conference. Roger, as President, and the redoubtable Donald Morse, as Hotel Liaison, guaranteed to the conference hotel that they would be personally and financially responsible if not enough guests showed up to cover the expenses of the conference rooms, the conference meals, and the conference banquet. The discussions between Roger and Donald about how to hold a respectable conference as cheaply as possible are the stuff of legend. I kidded Roger and Donald over the years about risking “Their Lives, their Fortunes, and their Sacred Honors” (as we read in medieval narratives) for IAFA and ICFA, but that bit of humor was not far from the truth. If not for Roger and Donald, who more than stepped up at that crucial moment, we might not be approaching the 40th meeting of the ICFA in 2019.

Roger Schlobin and Donald Morse, ICFA 6, 1985, photo courtesy of FAU Library Special Collections, the Robert A. Collins Collection

Roger was absent from the last few years of the conference, and I am sorry for that. I have a feeling that he had begun to feel out of the loop, that he no longer mattered to the conference and the organization. If so, that was everyone’s fault and no one’s fault; an organization moves on, and running IAFA and putting on ICFA year after year is a full-time job for the Executive Board. Some years ago, when all the former presidents save Jules Zanger and Marshall Tymn could be or were going to be at the conference, I proposed that their oral histories be recorded. The proposal was rejected, and although there are some archives, we, as an organization, have lost much important information as we have since lost Bob Collins, Mike Levy, and Roger Schlobin.

I retired from East Carolina University in 2011 and had seen Roger only on occasional visits to Greenville since then. We had planned to have some kind of 75th birthday blowout in 2019 (he was two weeks younger than I, both of us June 1944 babies—and I never let him forget that), but, sadly, that celebration will not now happen. As John Donne wrote, “Any man’s death diminishes me,” and I think that Roger Schlobin’s death diminishes us all, especially the “us” that is the IAFA and the ICFA. Let us remember him.

The presentation of the first Collins award to Bob Collins by Roger Schlobin as IAFA President, ICFA 6, 1985, photo courtesy of FAU Library Special Collections, the Robert A. Collins Collection

deadline for submissions:
May 21, 2017

full name / name of organization:
Justin Wyble, Chaminade University of Honolulu

contact email:

This panel seeks any and all papers related to science fiction, especially in relation to this year’s theme of sight, visuality, and ways of seeing.

Individual paper presentations will be between 15 and 20 minutes long. Please submit proposals via the online system by May 21, 2017. The PAMLA 2017 Conference will be held at the lovely Chaminade University of Honolulu (with the official conference hotel being the Ala Moana) from Friday, November 10 to Sunday, November 12.

Paper proposals must be made via our online system found here:

Any questions can be sent to the above email address.

deadline for submissions:
May 21, 2017

full name / name of organization:
Daniel Ante-Contreras, University of California, Riverside

contact email:

This session is interested in both analysis of games and the gaming industry and the visibility and role of “video game studies” as an institutional entity. It seeks papers willing to engage with the intersections of visuality and play in games and game studies as they are and as they might be.

Individual paper presentations will be between 15 and 20 minutes long. Please submit proposals via the online system by May 21, 2017. The PAMLA 2017 Conference will be held at the lovely Chaminade University of Honolulu (with the official conference hotel being the Ala Moana) from Friday, November 10 to Sunday, November 12.

Paper proposals must be made via our online system found here:

Any questions can be sent to the above email address.