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Monthly Archives: June 2017

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at 200 (Science Fiction Studies, Special Issue)

deadline for submissions:
August 1, 2017

full name / name of organization:
Nicole Lobdell and Michael Griffin

contact email:

Science Fiction Studies is currently soliciting proposals for a July 2018 special issue celebrating the bicentennial of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), a work that forever changed the genre of science fiction. In Frankenstein, Shelley experimented not only with subject matter, new scientific inventions and their many terrifying and horrific possibilities, but also narrative and form. Her use of multiple frame narratives, nested one within another, was a notable shift from the eighteenth-century novels she grew up reading, and her merging of popular culture’s fascination with science and the Gothic broadened the emerging genre of science fiction. Her refusal to provide a clear didactic lesson left readers to judge for themselves the actions of Victor Frankenstein, and the ending left the Creature’s fate unclear, the possibility of its survival forever impacting future readers and writers. Adaptations and appropriations of Shelley’s narrative and form have become staples of science fiction, and as such, Frankenstein holds a celebrated spot as a creative source that inspires subsequent science fiction.

Shelley’s novel did not always enjoy the critical acclaim and canonical status that it now holds. Nonetheless, Frankenstein continues to resonate and influence the definitions, forms, narratives, and media of contemporary science fiction and contemporary authorship. In what ways does Frankenstein’s influence transform how authors and readers understand the limits of science fiction? How do the genre-bending and metafictional components of Frankenstein influence definitions of science fiction? What does Frankenstein have to say about the current political climate and global issues such as citizenship, immigration, and war? These questions have inspired this call for papers, and the editors envision this special issue as a celebration of Mary Shelley, the legacy of Frankenstein, and the light it continues to cast on science fiction since its publication. Essays that explore the intersections of recent science fiction novels and critical approaches are particularly encouraged, as are essays that consider cross-media adaptations of Frankenstein or Frankenstein-inspired narratives. Other potential topics could include:

Adaptations (art, comics, theatre, videogames, etc.,)
Animal Studies
Culture of 1818 & 2018 (citizenship, immigration, war)
Digital Humanities
Digital Media
Disability Studies
Medical Humanities
Popular Culture
Science and Technology (AI, robotics, etc.,)
Visual Culture

Please send proposals (300-500 words) by 1 Aug. 2017 to Michael Griffin ( and Nicole Lobdell ( Completed papers (6000-8000 words) will be due by 1 Oct. 2017.


deadline for submissions:
August 1, 2017

full name / name of organization:
Michael G. Cornelius and Sherry Ginn

contact email:


Science fiction has always indicated that it is a matter of when—not if—some kind of Apocalypse will occur. When it does, what will happen to the organisms that inhabit Planet Earth? Will humans revert to some type of proto-human? Will they “rise” to the occasion and create something better? Will the strong survive, only to subjugate the weak? Will we come together as human beings to build new civilizations, or devolve as a species competing for scant resources in an environment inhospitable to our very existence? Science fiction has long explored the means and outcomes of apocalyptic cataclysms, and scholars have likewise expended considerable time and energy considering the artistic, cultural, and intellectual responses to the worst possible catastrophes the human mind can devise.

Michael G. Cornelius and Sherry Ginn are proposing a new collection of essays specifically to examine various televisual treatments of the Apocalypse. We are particularly interested in the serialization of the end of the world. The Apocalypse, after all, is an event, a singular happening with a cause, an outcome, and a response. Yet the nature of television prolongs some or all of these aspects of the end. Television allows for an extended examination of this singular (and singularly defining) event. What has this extended observation indicated about humanity? How does the nature of the Apocalypse alter when we revisit it week after week? What does it mean when the end of the world might never actually end?

Below you can find a suggested listing of series that we would like to see discussed. This list is by no means exhaustive, and we welcome essays on any series that meets the post-Apocalyptic theme in some capacity or another. We are hoping for works that reflect the storied variety of series that have depicted some version of the Apocalypse on television, not simply those that are currently on the air. The editors plan on accepting only one essay per series (though we will also look at essays that tackle the subject matter more broadly as well). Please send a 500-word abstract and CV by the deadline indicated below.

The deadline for formal proposals is 1 August 2017, with notification of acceptance by 10 September. A first draft is expected by 1 January 2018 with final drafts due 1 June 2018. The collection is to be published by Lexington Books (a subsidiary of Rowman & Littlefield).

Please email with your proposals and any questions you may have concerning the project.

Sherry Ginn, PhD

Rowan Cabarrus Community College

1531 Trinity Church Rd

Concord, NC 28027


Casshan (1973-1974)

Planet of the Apes (1974, TV series)

The Changes (1975)

Survivors (1975-1977)

Ark II (1976)

Battlestar Galatica (1978-1979)

Thundarr the Barbarian (1980-1981)

The Tripods (1984-1985)

V (1984-1985)

War of the Worlds (1988-1990, TV series)

Not with a Bang (1990)

Woops! (1992)

Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (1993-1994)

Earth 2 (1994-1995)

Dragon Flyz (1996-1997)

Deepwater Black / Mission Genesis (1997)

Crusade (Babylon 5 spinoff, 1999)

The Last Train (1999)

Blue Gender (1999-2000)

Thunderstone (1999-2000)

The Tribe (1999-2003)

Chris Colorado (2000)

Cleopatra 2525 (2000-2001)

Dark Angel (2000-2002)

2030 CE (2002-2003)

Jeremiah (2002-2004)

Desert Punk (2004-2005)

Battlestar Galatica (2004-2009)

Jericho (2006-2008)

Grand Star (2007-2008)

Casshern Sins (2008-2009)

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009)

Survivors (2008-2010)

Power Rangers R.P.M. (2009)

Life After People (2009-2011)

V (2009-2011)

The Walking Dead (2010-)

Terra Nova (2011)

El Barco (2011-2013)

Falling Skies (2011-2015)

Day Zero (2011-)

Revolution (2012-2014)

Under the Dome (2013-2015)

Attack on Titan (2013-)

Dominion (2014-2015)

Guardians Evolution (2014-2015)

Knights of Sidonia (2014-2015)

The 100 (2014-)

The Last Ship (2014-)

The Leftovers (2014-)

The Strain (2014-)

Z Nation (2014-)

The Refugees (2015)

You, Me and the Apocalypse (2015-2016)

12 Monkeys (TV series, 2015-)

Between (2015-)

Fear The Walking Dead (2015-)

Into the Badlands (2015-)

The Last Man on Earth (2015-)

Zoo (2015-)

Aftermath (2016)

Containment (2016)

3% (2016-)

Colony (2016-)

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress (2016-)

Travelers (2016-)

Van Helsing (2016-)

Extinct (2017-)

(Call for Papers)

“The one test of the really weird is simply this—whether or not there be excited in the reader a profound sense of dread, and of contact with unknown spheres and powers.”
—H.P. Lovecraft, “Supernatural Horror in Literature” (1927)

“This whole world’s wild at heart and weird on top.”
—David Lynch, Wild at Heart (1990)

For H.P. Lovecraft, the weird conveys “a subtle attitude of awed listening, as if for the beating of black wings or the scratching of outside shapes and entities on the known universe’s utmost rim.” Taking its cue from Lovecraft’s enduringly influential conceptualization, this conference examines and broadens the notion of weirdness towards an ecology and geography of the weird as a new field of theoretical and practical resonances. What we call THE AMERICAN WEIRD comprises not only an aesthetics evoked by literary practices or films from the genres of the gothic or horror, but also by other forms of cultural expression, such as music, sculpture, photography, and performance art. The conference theme also aims to address new theoretical perspectives on humanity’s relation to the world, perspectives that have recently been proposed by what might be called the “new demonologists” (e.g. Graham Harman, Eugene Thacker, and others).

Against the backdrop of new ontologies and epistemologies of the weird, the following questions will form the conceptual backbone of THE AMERICAN WEIRD: What are the ecologies and geographies of the weird today, and how are they conceived, perceived, and reworked? Which strands of contemporary critical theory and philosophy have engaged in a dialogue with the discourses of and on the weird, and what is specifically “American” in THE AMERICAN WEIRD? If weirdness is more than a mere index of parody and/or subversion, how might one conceive of a politics or an ethics of the weird?

These and related questions on THE AMERICAN WEIRD will be explored in a three-day conference at the University of Göttingen. Possible topics, which can come from different genres, historical periods, and/or media include, but are not restricted to:

– American literature from Charles Brockden Brown and Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories to the authors of “the new weird,” like Jeff VanderMeer, China Miéville, and Thomas Ligotti. What are the aspects and intricacies of the literary evolution of the weird in America? What is specifically American about this evolution? What has changed in weird literature since the publication of Lovecraft’s essay on “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” on both a poetic and political level?
– the sculptural work of artists such as Lydia Benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Charles Ray, and others. How does this type of artistic practice negotiate normativities and weirdness? How do the materials, size, and content matter of their art contribute to the way they subvert viewing habits and expectations?
– the music of THE AMERICAN WEIRD, from the musical instruments of Harry Partch, via artists like Tom Waits or Mike Patton, all the way to the tunes of Joanna Newsom and the “New Weird America” or “Freak Folk” movement, and the protagonists of so-called “outsider music” such as Daniel Johnston or Wesley Willis. What exactly is necessary to make music weird or “outsider”? Is it the actual music, the self-presentation of the artists, their perception (or lack thereof), their non-affiliation with the industry?
– the photography of Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman, and others. What are the liminal spaces that open up between the camera’s alleged “reality effect” and evocations of weird America and its “freaks”? How does Sherman challenge notions like subjectivity and objectivity and what effects and affects are contained in her “vomit pictures”?
– the eco art, land art, or bio art of Robert Smithson, Joe Davis, and others. How do these practices expand the notion of what counts as art, where it begins and ends? What and where are the locales in which it takes place, grows, and decays? Does the participation of plants or bacteria in a dynamic artwork redistribute agencies in the process of creating art and constitute a truly hybrid mode of being beyond the nature-culture divide?
– the filmic visions of Tod Browning, David Lynch, David Cronenberg, and others, as well as recent TV-series that resonate with the aesthetics of the weird, such as True Detective, The Walking Dead, and Stranger Things. How to film the weird? Is there a moving image of American weirdness?
– the comics and graphic novels of Robert Crumb, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, and others. How to picture THE AMERICAN WEIRD in separate panels and what is specific about this kind of narrating weirdness?
– the different theoretical approaches which assess the cultural productions of THE AMERICAN WEIRD, from subcultural discourses to contemporary materialism, ecocriticism, and realism. What is the function of the weird as a concept vis-à-vis notions of the uncanny, the grotesque, the abject, and the carnivalesque? What are the milieus, theories, histories, and practices of THE AMERICAN WEIRD?

We invite scholars of American studies and related fields such as cultural studies, film and media studies, comparative literature, art history, and philosophy to submit a short abstract (approx. 300 words) and a short bio-statement by August 15, 2017 to the conference organizers Julius Greve ( and Florian Zappe ( The conference will take place from April 12-14, 2018 at the University of Göttingen and is organized by the North American Section of the English Department in cooperation with the Institute for English and American Studies of the University of Oldenburg.

Imagining the History of the Future: Unsettling Scientific Stories
27-29th March, 2018 | University of York, UK

The future just isn’t what it used to be… not least because people keep changing it. Recent years have seen a significant growth of academic and public interest in the role of the sciences in creating and sustaining both imagined and enacted futures. Technological innovations and emergent theoretical paradigms gel and jolt against abiding ecological, social, medical or economic concerns: researchers, novelists, cartoonists, civil servants, business leaders and politicians assess and estimate the costs of planning for or mitigating likely consequences. The trouble is that thinking about the future is a matter of perspective: where you decide to stand constrains what you can see

With confirmed plenary speakers Professor Sherryl Vint (University of California, Riverside, USA) and Professor Charlotte Sleigh (University of Kent, UK) this three-day conference will bring together scholars, practitioners, and activists to explore ways in which different visions of the future and its history can be brought into productive dialogue.

Focused on the long technological 20th Century (roughly, 1887-2007) and looking particularly at the intersections between fictional/narrative constructions of the future, expert knowledge, and institutional policy development, the themes of the conference will include but are not limited to:

The relationship between lay and expert futures, especially futures produced by communities marginalised in public dialogue by ethnicity, gender, sexuality, species or political orientation

How have different forms of fiction (novels, films, games, comics) created different visions of what’s to come? How have their audiences responded to and shaped them?

The role of counterfactuals/alternate histories, as well as factional accounts and popular science: how have different forms of writing positioned the future?

What’s the relationship between past and present scenario planning in government or commerce? How have they fed into wider cultural conceptions of impending developments?

Disciplinary influences: how have different academic disciplines – sciences, humanities, arts, social sciences – fed into developing futures? Has this changed over time?

The role of futures past: how can we recover them, and what do they tell us about futures present? What are the forgotten or marginalised sites of future-making

How have different themes – time, the apocalypse, the individual, among others – changed over the last century of future-thinking?

We invite proposals based broadly on these themes. Individual papers should take the form of 20 minute presentations, but we would also be delighted to consider three or four paper panel submissions on a related topic, workshops or round-table discussions.

Proposals for individual papers should include an abstract of no more than 250 words, together with a short author biography (100 words). Panel proposals should also include a short (150 words) commentary on the overall theme. Please email proposals to (as email attachments in Word format) by FRIDAY 15th SEPTEMBER. Authors will be notified of decisions by Friday 27th October. Prospective organisers of other formats should contact the steering committee by email as soon as possible to discuss possibilities.

Please direct all enquires to

This is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded event, run by the Unsettling Scientific Stories project based at the Universities of York, Aberystwyth and Newcastle.

Please click here for more information.

To mark the 200th anniversary, in 2018, of Mary Shelley’s novel, we invite articles for a special issue, examining the impact of Shelley’s creation on the development of sf. Following Brian Aldiss’ critical intervention in Billion Year Spree (1973), this is a relationship that has often been explored, so we would like to encourage contributions that investigate the afterlives of Shelley’s novel within the sf genre in new and innovative ways. Topics may include (but are not confined to) the following areas:

Critical and historiographical reassessments of the relationship between Frankenstein and sf
Re-workings/rewritings of the Frankenstein myth within contemporary sf
Performing Frankenstein on screen, stage and in music
The Frankenstein legend and contemporary portrayals of scientists
The Frankenstein myth and the popular communication of science
Adapting the Frankenstein story to new media – graphic novels, videogames, etc.
New and contemporary theoretical approaches to the Frankenstein myth
Mary Shelley and her creation in contemporary women’s sf

Articles should be approximately 6000 words long and written in accordance with the style sheet available at the SF Foundation website. The deadline for entries is Monday, 29th January 2018. Entries should be submitted to

Please click here for more information.

Call for Papers: Special Issue of the European Journal of American Culture: American Horror Story

Guest Editors:
Harriet Earle, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Jessica Clark, University of Suffolk, UK

This call for papers seeks submissions that engage with the television series American Horror Story (produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk) as part of a Special Issue for the European Journal of American Culture. Over six seasons (so far), American Horror Story has received massive popular and academic interest for its bold and often apposite reworkings of a wide range of cultural tropes and folk stories, set against uniquely American backgrounds and played out through a distinct cast of characters.

Papers should be between 6000-8000 words and the deadline for final submission is 31st January 2018.

Papers should be submitted to the Special Guest Editors Harriet Earle and Jessica Clark via

Submissions to this journal could include, but are not limited to, critical interrogations of:
– Horror, supernatural and the gothic
– Fame and celebrity culture
– The development of American popular culture (i.e. television)
– Intersectionality, imagery and representation: femininity, masculinity, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, class, age, etc.
– Colonisation and Colonialism
– Immigration and the Melting Pot
– Madness and mad politics
– Emotion and affect
– Violence and/or sexual violence
– Queer bodies, identities and selves
– American Institutions and Institutionalisation
– Sex, sexual bodies and sexual pleasure/desire
– The American family
– Producing television: production, editing, soundtrack and aesthetics.
– Audience reception, review and fan production

The list is by no means exhaustive and we are happy to consider any piece which works with some/all of the current six series of American Horror Story or those which cross series boundaries with a strong thematic focus at their centre.

Please consult the European Journal of American Culture website (HERE) for more information about the journal and its formatting guidelines. This special issue follows the ethos of the European Journal of American Culture as a whole: we aim to reflect the interdisciplinary and international nature of contemporary studies of American Culture.

All authors are welcome to submit abstracts: from PhD candidates and early career researchers, to established academics. We look forward to receiving abstracts for consideration.

The series is due to be published in June 2018.

Publication schedule:
Submission of abstracts: 10th September 2017
Notification of abstract acceptance: 24th September 2017
Submission of full posts: 31st January 2018
Publication date: June 2018

Technofeminism: (Re)Generations and Intersectional Futures
Special issues of Computers and Composition and Computers and Composition Online

Deadline for proposals is July 1

Some of the most pivotal technofeminist work appeared in print in the mid-to-late-1990s, addressing gender/ed politics, design, and uses of technology, sexist behavior and feminist interventions online, women’s cyberspaces, and issues of power and representation. In the 20 years since this work emerged in computers and composition, have we kept the promises of those early works? How have we extended its values and visions? What technofeminist work remains to be done? How have changes in digital environments (e.g., the emergence of social media tools) shifted the context of technofeminist work?

We invite authors to submit a proposal for either a print manuscript to appear in a special issue of Computers and Composition or a webtext to appear in a special issue of Computers and Composition Online. Proposals might address issues including but not limited to:

● the state of technofeminism(s) and cyberfeminism(s) in rhetoric and composition today
● feminist principles that shape contemporary computers and writing culture, research, and practice
● intersectional feminisms and computers and writing theory, methodology, practice, and pedagogy
● issues of mentoring and intergenerational technofeminism
● approaches to feminist composing practices and pedagogies in/around/and online spaces
● intersections of feminism and queer, critical race, decolonial, and disability theories—and/or other cultural and social justice theories—in computers and writing
● explorations of post(techno)feminism/postrace/posthumanity
● discussions of feminism(s) and activism in digital spaces
● technofeminist responses to public policy
● revisits to early technofeminist concerns and tactics for contemporary import (e.g., is gendered technology still a thing? How is trolling and flaming an old and new concern? How is access an old and new concern? What feminist interventions are still effective? What else can we do?)

Timeline: Proposals due July 1, 2017; notification of acceptance on August 1, 2017; manuscript and webtext drafts due December 15, 2017

Proposal submission: Inquiries and questions are welcome; otherwise, please send your submissions to Jacqueline Rhodes (Michigan State University,, Angela Haas (Illinois State University,, and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss (Michigan State University,

Anthropocene Responsibility

deadline for submissions:
July 31, 2017

full name / name of organization:
Chase Pielak, Ph.D. / Auburn University

contact email:

Anthropocene Responsibility

We are seeking proposals of 500 words by July 31, 2017 for essays to be included in an edited collection on the possibilities of responsibility in the anthropocene era.

Does responsibility end in an apocalypse or does subjectivity somehow change as a result of it? We believe that the possibility ends in some form of shared subjectivity that dethrones anthropocentrism (following the arguments made by animal studies critics in the last decade, e.g. Matthew Calarco and Janelle Schwartz). Drawing from literary and film depictions of apocalypse, this book will imagine new approaches to responsibility in the Anthropocene in light of the possibilities or potentialities of apocalypse. These readings may well engage climate change, politics, culture broadly conceived, etc., however, we hope that they will be grounded in relevant texts and films.

From Mary Shelley’s The Last Man onward through The Walking Dead (and perhaps before or after) there runs an anthropocentricism-busting thread. The problematic of catastrophic apocalypse is that it invalidates, at its end, the possibility of responsibility—of responding—because it reduces the possible set of external beings to whom we might respond. When human animals cease to call out demanding recognition (or misrecognition), there seems to be no need to respond. The question is a serious one because Derrida and others would argue that responsibility is key for subjectivity, for perhaps even personhood (as in The Gift of Death and The Animal that Therefore I Am). Responsibility governs how we relate to other creatures, both of the human variety and other species, and perhaps even to things, as recent proponents of thing-theory might suggest. Or perhaps it is simply anthropocentrism that is posthumous.

The premise of the Anthropocene is that humans have become aware of the possibility that we will destroy our species. Through climate change, or Kellis-Amberlee virus, or (pick a poison here) we will cease to be as a species. This possibility, this imagined perhaps, becomes rather an extancy having been conceived, a birth before the fact, infecting the possibility of subjectivity. In effect, like Keats, we are already living a posthumous existence.

Some questions to consider might be:

How might we reimagine subjectivity in light of the Anthropocene possibilities of apocalypse, which seem to reduce the possibility of grounding subjectivity in radical responsibility?

How can we choose to live in the apocalypse and toward what end? The possibility of ethics, even apocalyptic ethics, seems to be invalidated.

Without responsibility how do we relate, and to what?

How might we respond to the last man case? (And does the presence of only one other human, real or imagined, change the case study?) Surely it must, as the possibility of responsibility moves from internal to external.

If we imagine the end of subjectivity, has it already ended? I.e. if a human can be imagined as irresponsible, as no longer a subject, might they in fact already be irresponsible?

For more information, please contact Chase Pielak ( or Deborah Christie (

Call for Chapters: Philip K. Dick, Here and Now

Deadline for submissions: July 31, 2017

Full name: David Sandner, California State University, Fullerton

Contact email:

In Spring, 2016, California State University, Fullerton hosted a singular Philip K. Dick Conference, bringing scholars from around the world to the place where he left his manuscripts and papers. We currently seek chapter submissions to join the strong core work from the conference in an edited volume that reinvents the study of major American author Philip K. Dick now that he is considered to be a major 20th-century American author. Where previous scholarly collections set out to explain why we should read Dick, our collection interrogates why we must and do—why he has become a touchstone for our culture today.

Philip K. Dick, Here and Now reinitializes and extends the study of a major American sf author whose reputation has undergone a profound transformation since his death. At Dick’s death, exactly one work was in print—Bladerunner, the movie tie-in, with its original title in small letters underneath. Now? Everything is in print. The Library of America collects Dick’s novels and more, even the hard to find, once-unpublishable Exegesis, so important to Dick, that has received scant critical attention. We live in a phildickian present.

Our collection divides into two sections: Rebuilding PKD concentrates on new studies of Dick’s literary works from a wide variety of recent critical perspectives; Building an Icon reassesses Dick’s legacy from the vantage point of his extraordinary rise in reputation. We seek essays for either section, but are particularly interested in proposals for the first section grounded in new perspectives on Dick’s work through such critical lenses as trauma studies, ecocriticism, monster studies, cultural studies or, of course, theoretically grounded science fiction studies; or interrogating his representations of gender, race, or class; or reassessments of material culture or spatiality in Dick’s work. This list is by no means exhaustive or meant to be prescriptive and we are happy to consider any proposal which places new critical approaches to Dick’s work at its center.

We hope to include chapters by authors from a variety of disciplines and viewpoints, reflecting the contemporary study of Philip K. Dick and science fiction. Please submit a 500-word chapter abstract and a biography of no more than 250 words by July 31st to:

All proposed abstracts will be given full consideration, and submission implies a commitment to publish in this volume if your work is selected for inclusion. If selected, complete chapters will be due by November 30th.

All questions regarding this volume should be directed to:

Our editorial team includes editor David Sandner and associate editors Jaime Govier and Christine Granillo. We look forward to receiving an exciting array of abstracts and to working with selected authors on this important project, aiming to offer imaginative ways of re-conceptualizing Philip K. Dick Studies across a variety of critical approaches.

Dear IAFA members,

The Board is pleased to welcome our two new Division Heads:

Valerie Savard will shadow Kyle Bishop as Division Head of Film and Television for the coming conference and start her term at the awards banquet in 2018; and Christy Williams will be the Division Head for our new division of Fairy Tales and Folk Narratives starting her term immediately.

Many congratulations Valerie and Christy! We look forward to working with you.

Very best wishes,
Isabella van Elferen