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Monthly Archives: March 2018

The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts is accepting applications for the position of Head of the Children’s and Young Adult Literature (CYA) and International Fantastic Literatures (IF) Divisions. Those interested in applying must send a cover letter explaining their interest in and qualifications for the position, and a current CV, to the First Vice-President, Isabella van Elferen at, no later than 15 May 2018.

Division Heads are appointed by the President, on the recommendation of the First Vice-President, who chairs the Council of Division Heads, after formal discussion and majority vote of the Board. The terms are for three years. Both the CYA and the IF Division Heads will “shadow” the current Heads until their appointment begins at the conclusion of the conference in 2019.


· Each Division Head organizes and supervises all conference activity within a subdivision of fantastic scholarship. Division Heads work under the guidance of the First Vice-President.

· Division Heads are responsible for recruiting session proposals and papers and are responsible for formatting these to the requirements of the First Vice-President.

· Division Heads are responsible for forwarding all information to the First Vice-President in a timely fashion.

· Division Heads have the responsibility to check the draft program for accuracy and AV needs.

· Division Heads are expected to liaise with other Division Heads and the First Vice-President. The First Vice-President is the final arbiter of the program under the aegis of the Executive Board.

· At the conference the Division Heads oversee sessions in their respective Divisions and collect suggestions for future topics, special guests, etc.


· A track record of publications and presentations in the field of CYA or IF

· A track record of conference organisation and/or research management

· Collaborative and teamwork mentality

· Interpersonal skills

For more information on the CYA and IF divisions, the position of Division Head, or the IAFA, please email Isabella van Elferen,

Call for Contributions

Utopianism, Feminism, Environmentalism and Political Thought [Working Title]: Essays in Honor of Lucy Sargisson on the Occasion of Her Retirement

Edited by Raffaella Baccolini and Lyman Tower Sargent

Proposals/Abstracts Welcome

Due June 15, 2018

Submission Deadline

January 15, 2019

Lucy Sargisson recently retired as Professor of Utopian Studies at the University of Nottingham, and we invite submissions in any of the areas in which she worked, particularly,

Contemporary Feminist Utopianism
Intentional communities, particularly cohousing, ecovillages, and New Zealand communities
Environmentalism and Utopianism
Political Thought and Utopianism
Twenty-first Century Utopianism

We invite essays on all aspects of the utopian tradition that either respond to her work or take new directions related to her work.

A list of her publications is available on request from

Please send a 100-250-word abstract by May 15, 2018 to: and

Once acceptance letters are sent, full essays (approximately 6000 words) will be due by December 15, 2018.

CfP: Monumenta Mythica. A Journal of Modern Myths, Legends, & Folklore
(Einreichung bis 15.04.2018)

The myths, legends, and folklore of the world are both timeless and timely, giving context to the courses of nations and meaning to personal moments. They are reenacted in formal tableaux and reified in cosplay. They inform our religions and our television. They are us.

Monumenta Mythica, a new, online, peer-reviewed, open access journal from the Fandom and Neomedia Studies
(FANS) Association, is pleased to publish this Call for Papers (see below for German and Spanish). We also accept
reviews of works relevant to the fields of Monumenta Mythica as well as short documentary films.

The field is broadly construed and may include, but is not limited to:

• Popular religion
• Heroic cosplay
• Retellings and reinterpretations
• Twice-told tales
• New myths and legends
• Cultural syncretism
• Video game gods
• Modern medievalisms
• Reenactments and reenactors
• Folklore in film
• Infamous hoaxes
• Urban legends

We also accept reviews of media (books, graphic novels, films, video games, etc.) dated no more than three years
before the review submission. Documentaries submissions will be considered on a case by case basis and must
have English subtitles if primarily in another language. Documentaries may be no more than 15 minutes in total

All submissions must include an English abstract of no more than 250 words provided by the author. Article, review,
and other submissions may be made in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, or Japanese.
Successful submissions may be published in English, the original language, or both, at the discretion of the author.

All translations are the responsibility of the author. We are working on expanding the list of languages eligible for inclusion and welcome assistance in this matter, with special invitation to those fluent in Arabic, Chinese, and Hindi to join us as reviewers.

Please submit abstracts, papers, and reviews (with translation if relevant) with current CV to us for consideration.

The submission deadline is 15 April 2018. Authors of successful submissions will be notified by 1 May 2018. In
addition to publication in Monumenta Mythica, authors of accepted papers will be invited to present their work at the annual FANS Conference. All conference presentations will be in English. Successful documentary submissions will also be screened at the conference.

Authors may submit multiple items for simultaneous consideration.


SCIAFA Representative Elections

As Sarah Fish and I come to the end of our terms as Student Caucus Representative and Vice-Representative, we would now like to welcome any (self) nominations for our replacements.

As Student Caucus Representative and Vice-Representative, you will serve a two-year term beginning in 1 August 2018 and ending in 31 July 2020. You must currently be a graduate student to run; however, if you are in your last year as a student and will be on the job market for the second half of the term, that is acceptable (for instance, Sarah Fish was a PhD candidate for the first year of her term but is now a professor).

Any and all graduate students will be welcome to vote on the nominations. Traditionally, the candidate with the most votes becomes Representative, and the runner-up becomes Vice-Representative.

The formal position descriptions are as follows:

Job Description: Student Caucus Representative

Formal titles: Representative of the Student Caucus of the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (SCIAFA)/ SCIAFA Representative to the Executive Board of the International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA)

The SCIAFA Representative is elected by the student body of the IAFA. During the two-year term, the Representative is responsible for addressing and advocating for the needs of student members of IAFA. This responsibility includes representing student membership on the Executive Board of the IAFA (the SCIAFA Representative is serves on the Executive Board). The Representative must attend biannual board meetings during their term and participate in the Board’s online discussion list. At the conference, the Representative will run SCIAFA programming, including the a SCIAFA-sponsored panel and the SCIAFA Mentorship Program. The Representative is expected to attend all IAFA business meetings, as well as most Board-sponsored events. The SCIAFA Representative should remain visible and accessible for the duration of the conference both to assist and guide fellow students as well as to assist fellow Board members, organizers, and volunteers.

Job Description: Student Caucus Vice-Representative

Formal title: Vice-Representative of the Student Caucus of the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (SCIAFA) (formerly the Shadow Representative)

The SCIAFA Vice-Representative is an elected position. The Vice-Representative runs for the full SCIAFA Representative position, and the Vice-Representative position is filled by the runner-up. The duty of the Vice-Representative is to assist the Representative, including stepping in for the Representative in the event of emergencies or scheduling conflicts. The Vice-Representative is expected to attend all SCIAFA and Board-Sponsored events at the annual conference, but does not attend the summer board meeting (though the Vice-Representative should be available to attend in the Representative’s place if needed). In recent iterations, the Vice-Representative has been responsible for coordinating the conference’s Newcomer Meet Up.

If you are interested in nominating yourself for the position of Student Caucus Representative, please email your name, school affiliation, a brief bio, an explanation of why you believe you would be a good fit for the position, and a picture to:

Nominations are due by 10 pm on Saturday, 31 March.

I will post all nominations to the SCIAFA Facebook Page, which can be found here:

Voting will begin on 2 April and end on 15 April at midnight.

The winners’ term will begin on 1 August.

If you have any questions about the position(s), you can email me ( or Sarah ( I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,

Amanda Rudd

Student Caucus Representative, 2016-2018


University of Mannheim, Oct 5-6, 2018

The body has become central to practices of self-tracking and self-improvement. Quantifying the self, for example by counting steps, calories, tracking sleep patterns, heart rate, blood pressure etc., aims at optimizing the body. Moreover, new technologies have made it easier and thus more pervasive to monitor, analyze, and control the body as a project. Although self-improvement through quantification can serve to enhance physical performance and well-being, many users are unaware of the economic value of their data. While providing access to a deeper knowledge of the self, our own data and by extension, our bodies, are turned into a commodity, particularly when data is correlated to create specific marketing profiles or when quantification is used to adjust bodies to normative standards. This quantified data of the self is instrumental in unlocking the body’s potential as a laboring body, and in turn, disciplining the individual according to market demands and biopolitical agendas. In this conference, we want to draw critical attention to the role that the laboring body plays in practices, discourses, and literary as well as other cultural representations of the quantified self. Moreover, we want to shed light on the ways that data collection and production redefine what passes as labor, including notions of immaterial and free labor in an increasingly virtual work environment.

We invite abstracts that address but are not limited to the following questions:

What function does quantification have in conceptualizing the body as a laboring body?
How does quantification contribute to disciplining the body?
How have practices of self-tracking, self-monitoring, and self-optimization evolved historically?
How does literature contribute to the redefinition of the laboring body in the context of self-quantification?
What are the specific benefits of literature in imagining, reflecting on, and negotiating the implications of self-tracking practices on the individual and society?
What can an American Studies perspective contribute to the discourse on the quantified self as a laboring body?

Please send abstracts of no more than 350 words to by May 15, 2018.

This conference is part of the DFG project ‘Probing the Limits of the Quantified Self: Human Agency and Knowledge in Literature and Culture of the Information Age’

Conference organizers: Prof. Dr. Ulfried Reichardt, Dr. Regina Schober, Stefan Danter, Juliane Strätz

Context is for Kings – An Edited Collection on Star Trek: Discovery

51 years after Star Trek: The Original Series first aired on U.S. American TV, Star Trek: Discovery is updating the franchise for the 21st century. Like TOS was in the 60s, Discovery is firmly rooted in the zeitgeist and current political climate—a fact that has led to surprising amount of backlash from some corners of the fandom. Thanks to the advantage of streaming platforms over network television, the series is also updating the largely episodic structure of the earlier installments to a more serial and coherent storytelling that allows for longer narrative arcs as well as a focus on in-depth character development.

Set 10 years before The Original Series, Discovery is notably darker than any of the previous iterations of the franchise. Depicting the Federation at war with the Klingon Empire, the first season raises questions about identity and othering, war and trauma, and the conflict between idealism and pragmatism. It explores how Starfleet, an organization ostensibly dedicated to exploration and diplomacy, deals with the ethical questions surrounding war, and the lengths people are willing to go to win. These questions are deepened and complicated by the fact that the series, unlike any of the previous entries in the Star Trek canon, focuses not exclusively on the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery and the United Federation of planets, but also presents the events from the point of view of the Klingon Empire. A foray into the Mirror Universe dominated by the fascist Terran Empire throws Starfleet’s ideals and the characters’ struggles to live up to them into even sharper relief.

In addition to the questions raised by the narrative, Discovery has continued the franchise’s commitment to representing diversity on screen. Featuring a woman of color in the lead role, a racially and ethnically diverse main and supporting cast, and introducing the franchise’s first gay couple (played by out gay actors), the show is even more inclusive than any of the previous Star Trek series. Discovery thus has once more proven Star Trek’s continued cultural relevance and has, after only one season, already warranted an in-depth academic study that engages with the series from the perspectives of a variety of academic disciplines, such as cultural studies, gender and queer theory, political science, philosophy, and more.

We thus invite contributions to an edited collection to be published with a notable international publishing house or University Press.

We already have contributions on:
• Military Femininities (Admiral Cornwell, Captain/Emperor Georgiou, Michael Burnham, L’Rell, Silvia Tilly/Captain Killy)
• Gabriel Lorca, Ash Tyler and the Question of Masculinity
• “‘Lorca, I’m Gonna Miss Killing You:’” Possible Worlds and Counterfactuals in Star Trek: Discovery
• Fan Reception and Discussions of Political and Social Values in Discovery
• Cultural Relevance/Zeitgeist of TOS and Discovery in comparison

List of other possible topics can include, but are not limited to:
• Questions of racial diversity in casting and narrative
• Representation of femininities and masculinities
• LGBTQ representation on and off screen
• Depictions of war and trauma (portrayal of PTSD, torture, rape)
• Fandom (Fanart, fanfiction, conventions, cosplaying, etc.)
• The role of social media and resulting changes to fandom/fan engagement
• Discovery’s relationship to the Star Trek canon and expanded universe (TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT; Star Trek novels)
• Serial storytelling and world building
• The portrayal of non-human/alien races, particularly the Klingon Empire and the Kelpien Saru
• The role of Science Fiction in the current political moment
• Discovery’s vision(s) of the future
• Depiction of scientific exploration (in general, and its conflict with the war effort in particular)
• Questions of moral philosophy and ethics

The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2018. Please include an abstract (300 words) on the topic you would like to write on, plus a short bio-blurb, and send it as a pdf to Mareike Spychala, M.A. ( and Dr. des. Sabrina Mittermeier (

We will inform all participants by May 15, and full papers (6500-8000 words in length) will have to be submitted by October 31, 2018.

ICFA 39 “Frankenstein Bicentennial”

200 Years of the Fantastic: Celebrating Frankenstein and Mary Shelley

The Thirty-Ninth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts

March 14-18, 2018

Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside, Orlando, Florida, USA

Guests of Honor: John Kessel and Nike Sulway

Guest Scholar: Fred Botting

Dear ICFA attendees,

The Thirty-Ninth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts is coming up fast. Here are some final reminders.


On-site registration is $165 for nonstudents, $110 for students.

Attendees are now on their own for finding hotel rooms, as the conference hotel is sold out and the overflow hotel’s rate has expired.


View ICFA’s Accessibility Policy:

Please note that the hotel’s airport shuttle is not handicapped accessible.

Highly collectible swag (T-shirts and totes) featuring this year’s artwork will be available for purchase at the Registration desk. Meal tickets will be available for purchase until sold out ($48 for the luncheons and $65 for the banquet). In addition, outstanding membership and registration fees must be paid before you can get your packet. The Reg desk accepts cash, checks, and credit cards (but cannot take AmEx on site).

This year’s hashtag is #ICFA39.


Your stylish IAFA badge holder. (If you don’t yet have one, they are available for purchase on site for $5.) Pro tip: put it in your luggage and leave it there at all times.
Your computer dongle if you are using AV.

It’s not too late! The Registration and AV areas are still welcoming volunteer help; sign up here:

IAFA Bucks at a rate of $10 an hour will be provided. These may be used for swag and meal tickets at this year’s convention, or they may be held and put toward next year’s registration. IAFA Bucks may not be used for this year’s registration, and they may not be used in the Book Room, which is financially independent.

If you have any questions or need any help with membership renewal or registration, please email me. I arrive on Monday, March 12, and am always available to answer questions or troubleshoot. We look forward to seeing you on March 14!

Karen Hellekson

IAFA Membership Registrar

iafareg AT

Conference: 15th September 2018 at Birkbeck School of Arts

Deadline for Abstracts: 1st May 2018

Many SF critics have understood science fiction to be specifically guided by a rational empiricist epistemology, and have thus disregarded the important presence of magical, religious, spiritual and metaphysical phenomena in science fiction. Deploying the broad catch-all of ‘metaphysics’, this conference will explore SF’s lost history of engagement with the mythical and mystical. Central areas of focus will include an assessment of what role (if any) metaphysical phenomena have played in science fiction, and to what degree SF can be distanced from the spiritual, supernatural and numinous concerns of other literatures of the fantastic. Assessing SF’s complex relationship with the metaphysical opens into many other productive areas of inquiry as well: How can science fictional texts help us understand broader cultural processes of knowledge formation and paradigm shift? To what degree does SF act as a protected space for ideas that have been proposed within empiricist frameworks, but disproved and/or rejected by established scientific networks? In what way have references to religious cultures and institutions been used to reinforce or undermine normative gender roles in SF texts? How do treatments of metaphysical phenomena in Western SF differ from those which originate in other areas of the globe? How important are the symbols, tropes and imagery of an array of global religious traditions to the quality of enchantment that is as vital to SF as any other fantastic genre?

Other possible areas of research/interpretation include:

Philosophical explorations of metaphysics in SF

Intersections, tensions and harmonies between SF and mythical, magical or mystical traditions

The science fictional sublime (e.g. cosmic or divine horror, weird ontologies, Big Dumb Objects)

SF and the supernatural

Intersections between theoretical science and metaphysics in speculative fiction

The use of metaphysical phenomena to challenge or uphold dominant secularist or materialist discourses in SF
SF and ‘pseudoscience’

SF adaptations of images, concepts and practices from religious movements large (e.g. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc.) and small (e.g. Raëlism, Discordianism, etc.)

Religious texts that reflect a science fictional narrative mode (e.g. in Theosophy and Scientology)

New Religious Movements founded on science fiction texts (e.g. Jedism from Star Wars; The Church of All Worlds from Stranger in a Strange Land)

SF as a forum for the exploration of religious experience

Technological simulation/production of alternative realities in SF (e.g. VR/AR, cybergods, hallucinogenic visions)

The liminal possibilities of the mind in science fiction—telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinetics, etc. Conversely, investigations of the Cartesian divide

Cognitive narratology

The boundaries of genre—metaphysical phenomena and definitional processes in science fiction scholarship
Metaphysical phenomena and the production of utopian/dystopian modes in SF

The conference will feature keynote addresses by Roger Luckhurst (Birkbeck) and Helen de Cruz (Oxford Brookes), as well as a roundtable with authors Justina Robson, Jeff Noon and Fiona Moore (Royal Holloway), moderated by Jim Clarke (Coventry)

Conference organizers: Rhodri Davies (PhD, Birkbeck), Aren Roukema (PhD, Birkbeck), Francis Gene-Rowe (PhD, Royal Holloway)

Submit abstracts of up to 300 words for 20 minute papers by 1 May 2018 to Two- to three-speaker panel proposals are also welcome. Please include a brief bio (c. 50 words). If accepted, abstracts and bios will be published in conference materials. Applicants will receive a response by 1 June.

Please click here for more information.

Future Histories of the Middle East and South Asia (edited volume)
Abstracts of up to 500 words are invited by June 15th, 2018 to

Contributions are invited for an edited anthology titled Future Histories of the Middle East and South Asia. The anthology will be open to articles dealing with future histories and science fiction across time periods written in any of the languages of the Middle East (including North Africa and Turkey) and South Asia (including Indian English). Addressing science fiction as a mode rather than genre, we bracket the question of how the line separating fictional from putatively non-fictional genres is articulated across cultures and languages and leave the door open for contextually sensitive studies of speculative uses of technological and scientific references within a wide range of fields, from novels and plays to jurisprudence and engineering. The anthology thus intends to fill the critical gap that exists with respect to future histories in the Middle East and South Asia while at the same time uncovering engagements with science-fictional modes of discourse that might otherwise be overlooked. It will be published with a leading academic press and will be targeted at an academic audience. Articles should range from 5000-7000 words including endnotes and bibliography and should be written in English. Discussions should have a strong theoretical underpinning or provide new insights on historical contextualization.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

· Historical studies of future histories in the Middle East and South Asia regions, including science fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction

· Thematic studies of race, gender, colonialism, politics, ecology, and class issues in future-oriented speculative literature

· Future histories and science fiction adaptations in other media, including film, television, and the visual arts

· Political anxieties and aspirations as reflected in future histories

· Reworking of regional histories in future histories and speculative literature

· The entanglement with religion and mythopoetic thought from the region in future histories

· Inter- and intra-regional differences and similarities between different genre traditions

· Histories of societies, clubs and associations devoted to the discussion and/or fandom of science fiction, technological speculation and similar modalities

· Methodological considerations with respect to genre classifications and alternative genre aesthetics

· Reception studies of future histories

Abstracts of up to 500 words are invited by June 15th, 2018 to :

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

Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by 15th July. The deadline for completed articles is 10th January 2019.

Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Teresa Pepe, Joakim Parslow
(Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo)