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Monthly Archives: September 2017

CFP for CRAS, High Fantasy, Political Dreams, and the Mainstream: Reflections on Game of Thrones.

deadline for submissions:
December 15, 2017

full name / name of organization:
Canadian Review of American Studies

contact email:

The Canadian Review of American Studies (University of Toronto Press) is seeking papers for a special issue on the Game of Thrones fantasy series.

With nearly 11 million viewers and a staggering one billion illegal downloads of the most recent season, HBO’s television adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series has entered the pantheon of cultural phenomena. Yet, the success of GoT belies the fact that its generic underpinnings have historically been considered a niche category of fiction, one that seldom dominates mainstream discourses. The popularity of GoT may thus suggest a cultural shift, particularly in the realm of prestige television, away from realist fiction, such as The Wire, Oz, and The Sopranos, and a turn towards explicit escapism. But what does GoT offer an escape from? What does GoT posit as an alternative? Or does GoT function as allegory, establishing a lens through which to re-contextualize the milieu in which its audience watches, discusses, organizes viewing parties for, and is otherwise consumed by the series?

With a focus on GoT, this special issue of Canadian Review of American Studies invites a reconsideration of the role of fantasy in the contemporary American moment.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

The politics of dreams and fantasy
The relationship between history, memory, and fantasy
Gendered violence and power (im)balances in fantasy
The role of the non-human in imagined pasts
Racial dynamics and representation
Spectacle and political intrigue
Affect and the ethics of representation

Please send inquiries for this special issue to the editors, Jonathan Chau and Chris Vanderwees.

Final papers due by December 15, 2017.

Planetary Cultural and Literary Studies: New Epistemologies and Relational Futures in the Age of the Anthropocene

deadline for submissions:
October 15, 2017

full name / name of organization:
Research Center for Planetary Literary and Cultural Studies, Université de Montréal

contact email:

**Le français suivra**

Co-chairs: Simon Harel, Heike Härting, and Imen Boughattas (Université de Montréal)

(An Interdisciplinary and Multilingual Conference on Planetary Literatures and Culture—March 22-23, 2018, Université de Montréal)

Planetary Cultural and Literary Studies has been an emerging field of research in the humanities over the past few years. Although closely related to the environmental and digital humanities and to global indigenous research agendas, the rise of planetary studies is also a response to the various ideological predicaments of cosmopolitan cultural studies, globalization and postcolonial studies. This conference seeks to disentangle these predicaments and to help articulate a number of approaches towards an institutional and communal practice of Planetary Cultural and Literary Studies. To this end, the conference explores new ways of thinking the planet, planetary life, space and time, human and non-human relations in the era of the Anthropocene.

The Anthropocene designates a fracture in planetary history. It is the first time in the planet’s history that humans are responsible for having changed its geological and ecological constitution. As a concept and geological era, the Anthropocene provides a direct link between human culture and behavior and the possible demise or survival of the planet. While this uncertainty of our planetary future has prompted a rise of scientific debates and conferences across the natural, social and hard sciences, the humanities have yet to engage in a sustained critical and interdisciplinary inquiry into the cultural and human consequences of the Anthropocene. If the Anthropocene requires us to rethink our inherited notions of time, it also invites us to rethink the tropes and narratives through which we understand and share the planet. As such theorists as Christian Moraru, Pheng Cheah, and Masao Miyoshi have suggested, the notion of the planet conceptually designates a relational world-system, a non-anthropocentric and open structure characterized by multiplicity, complexity, multifariousness, and constant metamorphosis. Thus, the planet emerges as an ethico-political and narrative project characterized by multiple indigenous and cultural adjacencies. It engages in discursive and aesthetic strategies of re-worlding space, language, and subjectivities. What this conference seeks to explore, therefore, are the ways in which literatures and art from various cultural contexts contribute to the making of multiple, relational, resisting and/or competing planetary futures and imaginaries.

Questions to be discussed include:

How do we imagine the ways in which cultural and social relationships that map the planet in myriad and often unequal ways are responding to and are changing at the dawn of this new planetary era? Do we find ourselves at the crossroads of the global and the planetary, the human and nature, or are we immersed in irreversible crises? How do we imagine planetary communities of the human and the nonhuman? How do we imagine the planet from the “brink” (Matthew Omelsky), through an apocalyptic abyss? How do we imagine new non-anthropocentric possibilities and futures? How does planetary time differ from global time and space? How do we imagine collectively shared, more justly distributed and inhabited planetary space? What constitutes a planetary consciousness? Who creates it how and to what end? How does a “postmodern planetary consciousness” (Paul Gilroy) differ from a postcolonial planetary consciousness? What does it mean to see and articulate the planet, as Spivak argues, as a figure of “alterity”? How do contemporary and period-based literary and cultural texts/ images configure planetary time, connectivity, crisis and reconstitution? What is the place of planetary cultural and literary studies in academic and public communities and institutions?

Keywords and topics to be addressed:

– Planetary futures and geological time in culture and literature (e.g., “postcrisis” narratives/fictions [Omelsky])

– “Archeologies of” Planetary “Futures” and “other Science Fictions” (Fredric Jameson)

– Literary, social and cultural imaginings and re-imagings of the Anthropocene (as theme, genre, and aesthetics)

– planetary modernities and/or beyond planetary post-modernism

– the “planetary geographical imagination” and “trans-local relationalities” (Tariq Jazeel)

– “geo-piety” (Gilroy) and “feeling planetary”/ the making of a planetary consciousness

– Afroplanitarity/ African Science Fiction

– “Species thinking” (Dipesh Chakrabarty) and interspecieism/ the human and the nonhuman/bioart

– Intersections of planetary and post-race epistemologies

– Cyborgs, bioconnectivity, and other genders in a planetary world

– The relevance or obsoleteness of area studies in relation to the rise of planetary studies

– Planetary urbanisms and digital commons

– Critical social and cultural relationality and translocal resistance movements

– Planetary philosophies and cultural practices from and through the brink (emphasizing indigenous and non-Western philosophies of the planet, universality, and relationality)

– Imagining social relationships through outer space exploration

Submission Guidelines:

Please submit abstracts of up to 300 words for 20-minute-long papers that address any of the issues or questions listed above. Abstract and papers may respectively be written and given in English or French. We also invite proposals for collaborative panels that take an innovative approach to the received conference format, individual performances, films, videos, short plays, or/and poster presentations. For collaborative panels we ask that a designated chair of the panel submit an abstract/rational for the panel as a whole and attach the abstracts of the individual panelists.

We will also organize a plenary session for current graduate work on the given topics and invite doctoral nearing the completion of their research project to submit an abstract of their work.

Deadline for all submissions: October 15, 2017

Submission address:;

Please submit your abstract via email and as a Word document attachment. Please do not include your name and institutional address on the abstract and use “PlanetaryFutures.2018-Abstract” as the subject heading.

Notification of acceptance: by October 31, 2017


Appel à contributions

Études culturelles et littéraires planétaires: Nouvelles épistémologies et avenirs relationnels à l’ère de l’anthropocène

(Un colloque interdisciplinaire et multilingue sur les études littéraires et culturelles planétaires–– Les 22-23 mars 2018, Université de Montréal)

Coprésidents: Simon Harel, Heike Härting, and Imen Boughattas (Université de Montréal)

Les études culturelles et littéraires sur la planétarité constituent un domaine de recherche émergent dans les humanités au cours des dernières années. Bien qu’étroitement liée aux humanités environnementales et numériques et aux programmes de recherche autochtones mondiaux, l’émergence des études sur la planétarité est aussi une réponse aux différents problèmes idéologiques liés aux études culturelles sur le cosmopolitisme, à la mondialisation, et aux études postcoloniales. Ce colloque vise à éclaircir ces problèmes et à envisager un nombre d’approches vers une pratique institutionnelle et communale des études culturelles et littéraires planétaires. À cette fin, le colloque examine de nouvelles façons de penser la planète, la vie planétaire, l’espace et le temps, et les relations humaines et non-humaines à l’ère de l’anthropocène.

L’anthropocène désigne une fracture dans l’histoire planétaire. C’est la première fois dans l’histoire de la planète que les êtres humains sont responsables d’avoir changé sa constitution géologique et écologique. En tant que concept et ère géologique, l’anthropocène fournit un lien direct entre la culture et le comportement humain et la disparition possible ou la survie de la planète. Bien que cette incertitude de notre futur planétaire ait donné lieu à de nombreux débats et conférences scientifiques dans les sciences naturelles, sociales et exactes, les sciences humaines doivent encore se livrer à une enquête critique et interdisciplinaire soutenue sur les conséquences culturelles et humaines de l’anthropocène. Si l’anthropocène exige que nous repensions notre représentation du temps, il nous invite également à repenser les tropes et les récits à travers lesquels nous envisageons et partageons la planète. Comme le suggèrent des théoriciens tels que Christian Moraru, Pheng Cheah et Masao Miyoshi, la notion de « planète » désigne, sur le plan conceptuel, un système-monde relationnel, une structure non anthropocentrique et ouverte qui se caractérise par la multiplicité, la complexité, la pluralité et la métamorphose constante. Ainsi, la planète émerge-t-elle comme un projet éthico-politique et narratif caractérisé par de multiples contiguïtés autochtones et culturelles. La « planète » fait place à des stratégies discursives et esthétiques destinées à remondialiser (re-worlding) l’espace, le langage et les subjectivités. Cette conférence vise à explorer le rôle de l’art et des littératures de divers contextes culturels dans la conception d’avenirs et imaginaires planétaires multiples, relationnels, résistants, et/ou concurrents.

Les questions qui seront abordées incluent:

Comment peut-on imaginer les manières avec lesquelles les relations culturelles et sociales qui tracent la planète de façons multiples et souvent inégales sont en train de changer à l’aube de cette nouvelle ère planétaire? Est-ce que nous nous retrouvons à la croisée du global et du planétaire, de l’humain et de la nature, ou sommes-nous immergés dans des crises irréversibles ? Comment peut-on imaginer les communautés planétaires humaines et non humaines? Comment peut-on imaginer la planète en nous situant au « bord » (Matthew Omelsky) d’un abîme apocalyptique? Comment peut-on imaginer de nouvelles possibilités et des avenirs non anthropocentriques? Comment la temporalité planétaire diffère-t-elle de la temporalité et de l’espace de la mondialisation ? Comment peut-on imaginer un espace planétaire collectivement partagé et équitablement réparti? Qu’est-ce qui constitue une conscience planétaire? Qui crée cette conscience ? Comment la créer et à quelle fin ? Comment une « conscience planétaire postmoderne » (Paul Gilroy) diffère-t-elle d’une conscience planétaire postcoloniale? Qu’est-ce que cela signifie d’envisager la planète en tant que figure de «l’altérité,» comme l’affirme Spivak ? Comment les textes littéraires et culturels contemporains configurent-ils le temps, la connectivité, la crise et la reconstitution planétaires? Quelle est la place des études culturelles et littéraires planétaires dans les communautés et institutions académiques et publiques?

Mots clés et axes de réflexion:

Le futur planétaire et le temps géologique dans la culture et la littérature (par exemple, les récits de l’après-crise (postcrisis) [Omelsky])
« Archéologies du futur » planétaire et « de la science-fiction » (Fredric Jameson)
Les représentations et imaginations littéraires, sociales, et culturelles de l’anthropocène (en tant que thème, genre, et esthétique).
Les modernités planétaires et/ou au-delà du post-modernisme planétaire.
« L’imagination géographique planétaire » et les « relationalités translocales » (trans-local relationalities) (Tariq Jazeel).
La « géopiété » (Paul Gilroy) et le fait de « se sentir planétaire » (“feeling planetary”) / la création d’une conscience planétaire.
L’afro-planétarité et la science-fiction de l’Afrique.
“Species thinking” (Dipesh Chakrabarty) et “interspecieism” / l’humain et le non-humain / le bio-art
Les intersections entre les épistémologies planétaires et la théorie « post-race ».
Les cyborgs, la bio-connectivité, et autres genres dans un contexte planétaire.
La pertinence ou l’obsolescence des études régionales (area studies) par rapport à la montée des études planétaires.
Urbanismes planétaires et agoras numériques.
Relationalité sociale et culturelle critique et mouvements de résistance translocaux.
Philosophies et pratiques culturelles planétaires (mettant l’accent sur les philosophies autochtones et non occidentales de la planète, de l’universalité, et de la relationalité)
La représentation des relations sociales à travers l’exploration de l’espace.
Modalités de soumission:

Veuillez soumettre des propositions de communications d’environ 300 mots en français ou en anglais. Nous vous invitons également à soumettre des propositions de panels collaboratifs avec des approches novatrices (performances individuelles, films, vidéos, pièces de théâtre, présentations d’affiches, etc.). Pour les panels collaboratifs, nous demandons qu’un président désigné du panel soumette un résumé du panel dans son ensemble en y joignant les propositions des autres panélistes.

Nous organiserons aussi une séance plénière pour les travaux de recherche en cours qui portent sur l’une des thématiques mentionnées ci-dessus, et invitons les doctorants en voie de terminer leurs thèses à soumettre un résumé de leurs travaux.

Date limite pour toutes les soumissions: Le 15 octobre 2017

Veuillez envoyer votre proposition par voie électronique sous forme d’un document Word aux adresses suivantes :;

Votre nom et votre adresse institutionnelle ne doivent pas apparaître dans le document. Veuillez inscrire « FutursPlanétaires.2018-Proposition » dans la ligne Objet.

Décision du comité: Le 31 octobre 2017

CFP: Children and Popular Culture
by Patrick Cox, H-NET VP and Editor
CFP: Global Studies of Childhood

Special Issue: Children and Popular Culture

Guest Editor: Patrick Cox, Rutgers University

Childhood and youth are always contested notions, but perhaps nowhere more than in popular culture. Popular culture offers representations of children and youth as, among other things, wise, dangerous, evil, innocent, sexual, doomed, and in various states of “in progress.” Popular culture is also the broad site of much child agency, where children and youth produce texts from novels to YouTube channels to websites, blogs, and zines, frequently outstripping their adult contemporaries in technological savvy and communicative capability. Popular culture for children is by turns condescending to the youngest audience, crass, pedantic, and appropriated by adults for their own pleasure. Elements of popular culture are designed to educate and socialize children; others are manipulated by children as political activism. These turns call into question and trouble conceptions not only of “the child” but of “popular culture” itself and propose a compelling nexus of questions befitting both Childhood Studies and Popular Culture Studies.

In this special issue, authors are invited to consider intersections of popular culture by, for, and about childhood, both broadly construed. We will explore both the impacts of popular culture on youth and childhood and the very real impacts of children and youth on popular culture. All disciplinary approaches are welcome, including but not limited to textual and visual analysis, ethnographic work, studies of children’s popular material culture, historical readings, comparative analysis of texts, and consumer and communication studies.

Additionally, contemplations of the interstices between Childhood Studies and Popular Culture Studies as academic endeavors are encouraged. The two fields have been in limited conversation with one another, perhaps separated by epistemological and methodological concerns, yet the available data seems like a rich vein for insight. While both fields are multi-disciplinary and continuously evolving, Childhood Studies maintains very clear traces of its roots in social sciences, while Popular Culture Studies is still found more often housed in the Humanities. The two fields each have at their center subjects that have at times made it difficult for them to be taken seriously as sites of academic inquiry. With different questions at their core, how can the two fields interact? Put another way, how do we study this multitude of texts?

Topics for this special issue might include:

Popular culture and education, whether intentional or inadvertent;
Children’s popular culture as grown-up nostalgia;
Youth vs. adult perspectives on popular culture;
Children and youth as producers of popular culture;
New media as empowering or oppressive;
Capabilities for communication and interconnectivity;
Adult consumption of children’s popular culture;
Children’s consumption of decades-old popular culture;
Definitions of youth in popular culture;
Nostalgia through revivals and reboots;
Social media;
Diminishing space between children’s and adult popular culture.

The guest editor welcomes submissions of articles via the journal submission system on its SAGE Publishing site. See “Submission Guidelines” here:

Deadline for submissions: December 1, 2017.

Please send any queries to guest editor Patrick Cox at

Economics and SF

deadline for submissions:
March 31, 2018

full name / name of organization:

contact email:

How does SF represent and reflect on economic life?

How do finance, value, exchange, production, and the everyday economic reality of people’s lives appear in SF? How might SF contribute to the ongoing evolution of economics? And what might creators of science fiction, as custodians of radical visions of social organisation, learn from economics at this critical moment?

Vector is pleased to invite proposals for short articles (2,000-4,000 words) exploring science fiction in relation to any and all themes related to economics, as well as economic history, economic sociology, economic anthropology, economic humanities, finance, political economy, IPE, and other adjacent disciplines and fields.

Please submit abstracts of 200-400 words to by 31 March 2018.

We particularly welcome proposals to explore women’s writing and/or writing by BAME authors. As well as articles, we would also be interested in hearing ideas for unusual and/or innovative forms of contribution, and other informal thoughts and queries.

Here are just a few texts which may be worthy of consideration:

Margaret Atwood, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth
Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower
Cory Doctorow, Walkaway
Ursula K Le Guin, The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia
Karen Lord, Galaxy Game
Kim Stanley Robinson, Mars Trilogy
Lionel Shriver, The Mandibles
Charles Stross, Neptune’s Brood
Starhawk, The Fifth Sacred Thing
Nalo Hopkinson, ‘Money Tree’
Tim Maughan, ‘Zero Hours’
Michael Swanwick. ‘From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled…’
Frederik Pohl, ‘The Midas Plague’
Jo Walton, ‘The Panda Coin’
Although issue’s focus will mainly be science fiction, we are also open to other genre works, e.g. Max Gladstone’s Craft series, Anne McCaffrey’s Pern, Sherwood Smith’s King’s Shield, Terry Pratchett’s Making Money, Karina Sumner-Smith’s Towers trilogy, and themes such as magic and economics, economies of honour in epic fantasy, etc.

Is mainstream economics in crisis? The discipline is interrogating its own foundations with increasing ferocity. Pressure is growing, from inside economics, and especially from without, to diversify methods and perspectives — and perhaps even to think thoughts that economics has traditionally deemed unthinkable. In this connection, we would also love to see proposals from contributors from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds — including, of course, economists — as well as interdisciplinary collaborative work.

Vector is the critical journal of the BSFA. It is edited by Polina Levontin and Jo Lindsay Walton. Please direct submissions to, and queries to

The Journal of Science Fiction is accepting submissions for a special issue on Afrofuturism to be published on January 31, 2018.

The Museum of Science Fiction’s annual convention, Escape Velocity, will be hosting literary programming on the subject at this year’s event (September 1-September 3, 2017), and due to the popularity of the topic and the research interests of the JOSF team, we have decided to compile a special issue aggregating essays on science and speculative fiction literature, film, comics, and popular culture which address the experience of blackness. We seek academic articles of 5,000 to 8,000 words, short reflection pieces of 500 to 1,000 words, and book reviews of 500-750 words.

We welcome submissions focusing on any and all aspects of Afrofuturist culture. We hope to include African, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean authors, texts, and perspectives. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

The nomenclature of Afrofuturism: the modern relevance of the term, its origins, and its history
The critical study of race theory, gender, and/or sexuality in Afro-diaspora texts
Authors (including but not limited to the following):
Steven Barnes
Octavia Butler
Maryse Condé
Samuel L. Delaney
Tananarive Due
Jewelle Gomez
Nalo Hopkinson
NK Jemisin
Nnedi Okorafor
Ben Okri
Ishmael Reed
Charles R. Saunders
Colson Whitehead
Ytasha L. Womack
Films, such as Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther, Coney’s Space Is the Place, Nance’s An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Bodomo’s Afronauts, or Sayle’s Brother from Another Planet (to name only a few of the many possibilities)
Queer futurities
Neo-Slave Narratives
Book Reviews
Special consideration will be given to essays addressing literature, theory, and contemporary texts and trends. The deadline for submissions is October 9, 2017.

Please submit completed essays through the MOSF Journal of Science Fiction website, To submit your work, click “About” > “Submissions: Online Submissions”, create an account, and follow the submission prompts.

**We will also consider the submission of proposals (250-500 words), but preference will be given to drafts and completed pieces.**

Call for Papers: Monsters and Monstrosity A Special Issue of The Popular Culture Studies Journal

Thanks to Norma Jones for supporting special issue. Please consider submitting and share widely.

Call for Papers: Monsters and Monstrosity
A Special Issue of The Popular Culture Studies Journal
Guest Editor: Bernadette Marie Calafell, University of Denver

Scholars, such as W. Scott Poole and Kendall Phillips, have argued that monsters, particularly those in horror, reflect or correspond to the cultural anxieties of a society. These cultural anxieties are often connected to struggles for power around race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability. Thus, historical context and power are central to studies of monstrosity. Given that we are immersed in what may be considered a horror renaissance, both in film and television, increasing violence against people of color in the U.S., and dangerous and toxic performances of white femininity and masculinity, this is a ripe moment to explore the relationship between monstrosity and popular culture, both literally and figuratively. Thus, this special issues solicits manuscripts that take interdisciplinary approaches to explore the theoretical and methodological possibilities of monstrosity. What can employing monstrosity as a theoretical framework or analytical tool contribute to the study of popular culture? Key questions driving this special issue include: What can monstrosity teach us about Otherness? How can it be used resistively? Conversely, how can monstrosity be used as a tool of oppression? In what ways we can be unpack figures, such as Donald Trump, through the lens of monstrosity? What constitutes monstrosity? How might we understand history differently through the construct of monstrosity? What are the necessary future directions for the study of monstrosity and popular culture? Critical rhetorical, critical qualitative (including critical auto-methodologies), and performative approaches to monstrosity are welcomed.

Potential areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

Twin Peaks and monstrosity
Monstrosity and comics
David Lynch’s uses of monstrosity
NBC’s Hannibal
Adult Swim
Monstrous remakes
History and monstrosity
Afrofuturism and monstrosity
Monstrosity and agency
Monstrous bodies
Monstrous consumption
Monstrosity and adolescence
Monstrosity, menstruation, or menopause
Fatness and monstrosity
Excess and monstrosity
Chicanxfuturism and monstrosity
Celebrity culture and monstrosity
Performance and monstrosity
Wrestling and monstrosity
Intersectional approaches to monstrosity
Feminist possibilities of monstrosity
American Horror Story
Queerness and monstrosity
Monstrosity and sports
Disability and monstrosity
Class and monstrosity
Game of Thrones
Monstrous politicians and politics
The 2016 U.S. Presidential election
Autobiography and monstrosity
Monstrous methodologies
Hybridity and monstrosity
White femininity and monstrosity
Monstrosity and military culture
Monstrosity and toxic masculinities
Monstrosity and white masculinity
Monstrosity and religion
Monstrosity and temporality
Chicana feminism and monstrosity
Monstrosity and Orientalism

Questions can be directed to Bernadette Calafell at Please electronically send submissions (three documents, MS WORD, MLA) to Bernadette Calafell via email at by December 1, 2017.

1) Title Page: A single title page must accompany the email, containing complete contact information (address, phone number, e-mail address).
2) Manuscript: On the first page of the manuscript, only include the article’s title, being sure not to include the author’s name. The journal employs a “blind review” process, meaning that a copy of the article will be sent to reviewers without revealing the author’s name. Please include the works cited with your manuscript.
3) Short Bio: On a separate document, please also include a short (100 words) bio. We will include this upon acceptance and publication.

Essays should range between 15-25 pages of double-spaced text in 12 pt. Times New Roman font, including all images, endnotes, and Works Cited pages. Please note that the 15-page minimum should be 15 pages of written article material. Less than 15 pages of written material will be rejected and the author asked to develop the article further. Essays should also be written in clear US English in the active voice and third person, in a style accessible to the broadest possible audience. Authors should be sensitive to the social implications of language and choose wording free of discriminatory overtones.

For documentation, The Popular Culture Studies Journal follows the Modern Language Association style, as articulated by Joseph Gibaldi and Walter S. Achtert in the paperback MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (New York: MLA), and in The MLA Style Manual (New York: MLA). The most current editions of both guides will be the requested editions for use. This style calls for a Works Cited list, with parenthetical author/page references in the text. This approach reduces the number of notes, which provide further references or explanation.

For punctuation, capitalization, hyphenation, and other matters of style, follow the MLA Handbook and the MLA Style Manual, supplemented as necessary by The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). The most current edition of the guide will be the requested edition for use.

It is essential for authors to check, correct, and bring manuscripts up to date before final submission. Authors should verify facts, names of people, places, and dates, and double-check all direct quotations and entries in the Works Cited list. Manuscripts not in MLA style will be returned without review.

We are happy to receive digital artwork. Please save line artwork (vector graphics) as Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) and bitmap files (halftones or photographic images) as Tagged Image Format (TIFF), with a resolution of at least 300 dpi at final size. Do not send native file formats. Please contact the editor for discussion of including artwork.

Upon acceptance of a manuscript, authors are required to sign a form transferring the copyright from the author to the publisher. A copy will be sent to authors at the time of acceptance.

Before final submission, the author will be responsible for obtaining letters of permission for illustrations and for quotations that go beyond “fair use,” as defined by current copyright law.

Territory, Issue VII – Alternate Earths

Maps of the earth might be the most ubiquitous and recognizable type of map, but they also might be the most misleading and the most contested. There is the technical matter of projecting the planet, a three-dimensional object, onto the representational space of a two-dimensional plane, but at a more foundational level, we wonder: what is Earth?

Even the simplest answers aren’t so simple. The earth is round, but has been argued—often elaborately and compellingly—to be flat, hollow, expanding, eternal, illusory, embedded in platonic solids, resting on the back of a turtle that’s resting on the back of a larger turtle, and so on. The earth has seven continents and five oceans, but these are constantly shifting. The earth’s seven continents were once one, but this too is an argument, a narrative constructed from fossil records and glacial deposits. Many argue the earth is headed for destruction while others deny this claim. Many argue the earth is 4.5 billion years while others, less than 10,000.

Earth as planet, resource, globe, home, miracle, stage, habitat, mother, matter, worry, birthplace, and resting place. The earth is the ground beneath our feet, but it is anything but sure. There is always the possibility of an alternate earth, one that inverts, flattens, or otherwise undoes this sense of groundedness and centrality. The question is not whether alternate earths exist, but which you choose to inhabit.

Here are a few we find especially intriguing: Agartha & the hollow earth, Another Earth (2011), Antiterra, Atlantis, Aztlán, alternate histories, bhavacakra, The Books of Genesis & Revelations, brane cosmology, cli-fi, Cosmographia, creation myths, deep time, disaster films, The Drowned World, East of West, ecopoetics, ecumenopoles, eras & epochs, eschatons, the expanding earth, fictional universes, the flat earth & its societies, flood myths, geocentrism, The Global Village, heat death, heliocentrism, Hyperborea, hyperobjects, landfill, the last glacial maximum, Lemuria, ley lines, mappa mundi, Mother Earth / Gaia, Mu, the multiverse, Panthalassa, parallel universes, Pax Germanica, post-apocalyptic fiction, Saṃsāra, sea-level rise, The Southern Reach Trilogy, spirit worlds, supercontinents, T-O maps, terraforming, tidal islands, Waterworld (1995), the world tree, Yggdrasil, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union.

Issue VII will be published February 2018. To learn how to contribute, read our submissions guidelines.

Brian W. Aldiss, O.B.E., ICFA 7, photo by Robert A. Collins

Brian Aldiss’s 1995 essay collection The Detached Retina carries a dedication to “my esteemed friends of the IAFA team,” and he goes on to name more than a dozen individuals, many of whom are still ICFA regulars or past officers. He often described ICFA as his American home, and he became the conference’s “permanent special guest” after being invited by conference founder Robert Collins to his first ICFA in 1982.  A distinguished literary essayist and historian (The Trillion Year Spree: The True History of Science Fiction), as well as one of England’s great novelists and short story writers, he received the Association’s first Distinguished Scholarship Award in 1986, and in 1999–on the conference’s 20th anniversary–was finally invited as Guest of Honor. On August 19, Aldiss died at his home in Oxford, shortly after celebrating his 92nd birthday.

Brian was clearly proud of his involvement with ICFA, and his 1993 novel Remembrance Day begins with an academic conference in Fort Lauderdale that looks suspiciously familiar to anyone who attended the conference during the Fort Lauderdale years (there are even a couple of thinly-disguised sketches of IAFA folks).  With his characteristically ironic sense of humor, he called his fictional academic organization “The American Stochastic Sociology Association”. He also took understandable pride in his ability to secure some of ICFA’s most distinguished guests.  As he wrote in his 1998 autobiography The Twinkling of an Eye, “I have been able to invite several Guests of Honour over the years–Roger Corman for one, who came with his wife and was a winning presence.  The modest Robert Holdstock also shone.  Tom Shippey, long overdue, made a triumphal appearance in 1996. But perhaps the greatest success was Doris Lessing.  Her sharp good humour pleased everyone.”  There can be little doubt that Brian’s enthusiastic support helped cement the international reputation of the conference, helping it immeasurably to live up to its name.  The very first issue of The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts included an essay by Brian, who wanted to help the journal gain attention upon its launch.

Robert A. Collins, Judith Collins, Brian W. Aldiss, O.B.E., ICFA 17, photo by David G. Hartwell

But for those who attended the conference during the Aldiss years, his unflagging energy and good humor, thoughtful and provocative participation in the academic sessions and panels, frequently hilarious readings, and original plays sometimes almost seem to overshadow his literary eminence, and the many ways in which he connected the conference to the grand traditions of fantasy and science fiction.  As a young bookstore clerk in Oxford, he became friends with C.S. Lewis, who loaned a copy of Aldiss’s early novel Hothouse to his friend J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote Aldiss a generous letter praising the work. He later became literary editor of the Oxford Mail, and eventually counted among his friends major literary figures from Kingsley Amis to Doris Lessing. He received an Order of the British Empire, a Grandmaster Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America, an honorary doctorate from Liverpool University, Hugo, Nebula, and BSFA Awards, and a special World Fantasy Award. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and an early inductee into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in Seattle. His novels include not only science fiction classics like Greybeard, Hothouse, Non-Stop, and the epic Helliconia trilogy, but also more experimental works such as Report on Probability A and Barefoot in the Head and non-fantastic literary novels such as his “Squire Quartet”– Life in the West, Forgotten Life, Remembrance Day, Somewhere East of Life.

He had two major engagements with Hollywood.  In 1990, the famously low-budget director Roger Corman chose an adaptation of Frankenstein Unbound for his first directorial effort after nearly twenty years (Brian showed some rather hilarious rushes from the unfinished film before the special effects had been added, with the costumed actors walking through an ordinary parking lot ). In 1982, Brian signed a contract with Stanley Kubrick–who had contacted him a few years earlier after reading Billion Year Spree, the first edition of Brian’s history of science fiction–and this led to a long and sometimes contentious series of discussions about adapting his story “Super Toys Last All Summer Long” into a film. Although Kubrick never completed the film before he died, the project was later revived by Steven Spielberg as A.I., though Brian was no longer involved.

Brian W. Aldiss, O.B.E. and Sharon Baker, ICFA 3, photo by Robert A. Collins

It was easy to forget all this in light of Brian’s irrepressible antics at ICFA–dancing on the banquet tables with a young French scholar, being wheeled into a reading wearing a toga, at one point finding a thoroughly illegal way to obtain one last bottle of wine long after the bar had closed, and providing an apparently endless supply of anecdotes and memories of his experiences in Oxford, in the “Forgotten Army” during the campaign in Burma (now Myanmar) during World War II, and in science fiction; one of his funniest stories involved an unlikely and out-of-control gathering of science fiction writers in Rio in the late 1960s. There were times when Brian seemed nearly out of control as well.   Surely one of the funniest performances at IAFA was his reading of a story called “Better Morphosis,” about a cockroach who wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into Franz Kafka; Brian even recruited a chorus of IAFA scholars to perform sound effects for the tale. But he was not always quite so frivolous. Some of his short plays, often performed only at ICFA, were serious business, such as his tribute to Philip K. Dick called, as I recall, “Kindred Blood in Kensington Gore”, as were most of his readings and contributions to panel discussions. One of the most enlightening debates I had ever heard about the Hiroshima bomb was between Brian–who was convinced he might have been part of the invasion of the Japanese mainland had the war continued–and the scholar H. Bruce Franklin, who had written a book arguing that the bomb partly represented America’s infatuation with superweapons.

Certainly, the many writers and scholars who first met Brian at ICFA understood his stature as a major figure in literature; many of us had been reading him since childhood. When Jane Yolen was guest of honor in 1990, Bill Senior and I had the chance to introduce her to Brian in the elevator at the Hilton; they shook hands, Brian got off at his floor, and Jane looked at us and said “I’m never washing this hand again.”  That was not uncharacteristic of responses toward Brian; writers in the science fiction and fantasy fields knew they were meeting a legend, even if not all the younger attendees had grown up reading his fiction as we had. It only took a night or two of drinks by the pool to convince us that this legend was also a boon companion, a terrific raconteur, and a loyal friend not only to ICFA itself, but to many of us who got to know him there.

Brian W. Aldiss, O.B.E. and Carol McMullen Pettit, ICFA 21, photo by Robert A. Collins