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Monthly Archives: November 2019

The IAFA is searching for an Associate Conference Director to assist the Conference Director in liaising with the hotel, and in the myriad other tasks involved in running a conference. The person must be local to the Orlando area.

We are asking your help in distributing the position ad to individuals who may be qualified and interested, and anywhere at your university or workplace you think such a person might see it. Inquiries should be directed to

See position advertisement below and attached for details.

Thank you very much for your assistance in this effort to keep the ICFA the unique event that it is.

Academic trade association that meets every year in Orlando, Florida in March is seeking to hire a part-time worker with conference planning experience to assist with conference management. The conference currently meets at the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside; there are approximately 500 attendees and 100 sessions, as well as large food functions. There are no exhibits.

The ideal candidate will have experience in all areas of conference management, including registration. The position will require about 100 hours of work from January through the conference in March as well as attendance at a board meeting during the first weekend in June, with the ability to be on site Tuesday through Saturday of the conference to assist with on-site oversight. Note: in 2020, these dates are March 17-21.

Duties BEFORE conference include liaising with hotel: for program (for example, reviewing program against hotel contract to ensure we are using the rooms for which we are contracted), for guest rooms (keeping track of our room usage and dealing with overflow hotel as needed), for meals (for example, processing special food requests and making sure the Marriott is prepared for special needs). Duties ON SITE include room checks (making sure rooms are ready for functions assigned morning, afternoon, and evening), overseeing coffee breaks (to decide when/if to order more), liaising with and helping with registration, liaising with A/V, general assistance at food functions (for example, making sure special meals get where they’re going) and general hotel troubleshooting. Compensation $2500-$5000, depending on experience and starting date.

Application should include a cover letter, a one-page statement of previous event planning experience , and a letter of reference from someone familiar with the candidate’s work in these capacities to

Craft Critique Culture Conference 2020: Justice Framed

Call for Papers

The University of Iowa English Department invites proposals for its 2020 Annual Conference, Craft Critique Culture, to be held on the campus of The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.

Event date: Friday, April 17 – Saturday, April 18, 2020

Abstract deadline: Friday, January 24th, 2020

Categories: interdisciplinary, humanities, arts, literature, language, politics, law, social justice, criminal justice, race, gender, LGBTQ+

CRAFT CRITIQUE CULTURE is an interdisciplinary conference focusing on the intersections of critical and creative approaches to writing both within and beyond the academy. This year’s conference will interrogate frames of justice, criminality, and deviancy.

Jacques Derrida states that justice “is that which must not wait.” At the same time, he acknowledges the paradox that justice has yet to arrive: “justice remains, is yet, to come, venir.” In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” King describes the “myth of time” that society propagates to maintain social, class, and racial hierarchies. The government, media, and public caution marginalized peoples to “be patient” and “wait”—they say that justice will come in time. Through this spiritual bypassing, society can falsely, but effectively, accuse those fighting for justice as “agitators” and “incendiaries.” The fight for justice thus becomes framed as criminal and deviant behavior. MLK resists this framing in his letter when he urges us to see that “‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.’” This tension between justice yet to come and justice that cannot be delayed demonstrates the complicated, variant, and urgent purviews of justice.

CCC 2020 seeks submissions that explore the broad concepts of “justice,” “criminality,” or “deviancy.” Whether it is the media and government’s targeting of civil rights activists in the 1960s, the policing of black, indigenous, poor, and migrant folks, or in the criminalization of LGTBTQ+ identities, “deviance” is punished by society. Thus, “justice framed” can mean anything from social justice activism to the ways in which “justice” is used to advance oppression. While the theme asks that we think about the many ways that justice is “framed” (e.g. how it is formulated, how it is repudiated, and how it is abstracted), it also asks that we radically and consciously reimagine what justice could be. For if we take seriously Angela Davis’s assertion that “justice is indivisible,” then we must also consider her declaration: “You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.”

Possible areas of focus might include but are not limited to the following:

Who do current “justice” systems protect, and who do they target / harm?
Transformative, restorative, and other forms of justice in comparison to punitive justice systems
What should be the responsibilities, duties, and actions of those who witness injustice? What does an “ethical / moral witness” to injustice look like?
The role of storytelling, art, and humanities in transforming our ideas of justice and criminality
Who does society define as criminals or deviants? How do we redefine “criminality” or “deviancy?”
The relationship between criminality/deviancy and reaching justice
Religious, spiritual, or faith-based notions of justice
Economic and environmental applications of injustice under capitalism / crimes against land and justice for land
Social justice activism and pedagogy
Prison abolition, decriminalization, police reform, and racial justice
Queer, reproductive, and gendered justice
In what ways have crimes against land and people been normalized and capitalized, and how do they intersect?
The distinctions between justice and law
How technology and surveillance systems are used for or against “justice”
Borders (geographical, conceptual, ideological, literary, political, and bodily) and the criminalization of people and movements
National/transnational deviancy, crime, justice and injustice: cultural, linguistic, historical, commercial, ideological

We invite proposal submissions for the following categories:

Panel Presentations
Roundtable sessions

Please submit 300-word abstracts along with your name, department, email, and university affiliation (if any) to by Friday, January 24, 2020.

For more information, you can visit our website at:

Twitter: @craft_crit_cult


The IAFA is cosponsoring a conference in 2021 with the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic. We have a one-question survey to assess interest in a conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in late June 2021. If you have already completed the survey, please do not fill it out again. However, if you have not had a chance to do so, please check the email account associated with your membership and use the link to complete the survey.



Children’s Literature and Climate Change

Special Issue of The Lion and the Unicorn

Guest Editors: Marek Oziewicz, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Lara Saguisag, College of Staten Island-City University of New York

We seek essays on how children’s literature empowers young people to productively engage with the challenges of climate change. After decades of climate change denial and toothless mainstream response, young people are angry. In response to climate change illiteracy and the impotence and negligence of adult-led institutions, teenage activists such as Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and Greta Thunberg are calling for radical and immediate action. How does children’s literature and media stoke this transformative anger and inspire young people to address the climate crisis and fight for their fundamental rights to life, health, and sustenance? How can educators and scholars of children’s literature support this fight? What new concepts, approaches, and narratives are needed to accelerate the sociopolitical revolution that will dismantle the status quo, or what Amitav Ghosh calls “the Great Derangement”? In this issue, we intend to bring together innovative research on children’s literature that attends to multiple facets of climate change and advances a conversation about the planetary future we can and want to create.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

• The role of children’s literature on climate change in raising young people’s awareness about their responsibility to the biosphere;

• Depictions of climate change across various genres and forms, including picturebooks, chapter books, comics, short stories, and novels;

• Films, apps, music, and games that engage with climate change and seek to mobilize youth action;

• Constructions of childhood in climate change narratives and discourses;

• Climate change and youth participation in community protests, political campaigns, nonviolent civil disobedience, ecotage (ecosabotage), and ecorism (ecoterrorism);

• Climate change narratives about and by Indigenous youth and youth of color, who are often at the forefront of climate justice initiatives and whose communities are disproportionately threatened by climate change;

• Children’s and YA books that link responsibility to climate change with, in the words of Kim Q. Hall, “commitments to futures that are queer, crip, and feminist”;

• Depictions of environmental racism and classism as facets of climate change;

• Climate change and human migrations, including stories about climate refugees; • Comparative studies of children’s and YA literature on climate change published in the global north and the global south;

• Visions of climate futures, including discourses of hope or despair;

• Reimagining and restructuring institutions of children’s literature that depend on, profit from, and support polluting, extractive industries;

• Intersections of critical discourse on climate change and children’s literature scholarship, including new taxonomies and emerging genres apposite to the challenges of conceptualizing climate change, from environmental literature and cli-fi to eco-fiction and beyond;

• Reevaluations of existing literary traditions through new theoretical concepts or approaches such as energy humanities, environmental humanities, indigenous futurisms, the Anthropocene, ecocritical posthumanism, and other lenses.

Essays should be sent to guest editors Marek Oziewicz and Lara Saguisag at by July 15, 2020. Submissions should be in the range of 4000 to 8000 words (although we will also consider shorter, forum-length essays). Accepted articles will appear in The Lion and the Unicorn, vol. 45, no. 2 (2021).

We invite manuscript submissions about the speculative fiction archive for a special issue of JFA, anticipated in Fall 2020. You may have seen our previous call for papers for the ICFA panel that will take place on this same subject.

Special Issue of Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts: Expanding the Archive

In 2019, the fanfiction site Archive of Our Own (AO3) won a Hugo award. This repository of nearly 5 million original works, representing over 30 thousand fandoms, stands out in the world of Science Fiction and Fantasy awards not only because of the sheer number of authors it represents, but also because it is the first Hugo win for unpublished fanfiction and many of the authors are young women. This victory draws attention to what is “archived” and, by extension, what is valued. AO3’s Hugo win is not the year’s only example of the expanding canon of Speculative Fiction. The documentary film Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, produced by Tananarive Due, directed by Xavier Burgin, and based on Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman’s book Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present (2011), begins with the assertion that “black history is black horror” and tracks how the genre can engage with questions of race and power. Similarly, Dr. Ebony Thomas’s The Dark Fantastic considers Black female characters in recent fantasy books and film, and explores how these characters mirror racist violence in the real world. Each of these examples makes a case for expanding the idea of the canon (and what we value enough to archive) to include different types of characters and voices.

In terms of physical archives, a recent open letter on the Reading While White blog called out the lack of context and white-washing of the University of Minnesota’s Children’s Literature Research Collection’s exhibit and corresponding book The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter, demonstrating that even professional archives are not neutral—especially once their materials are extracted and exhibited for public consumption. In the wake of this controversy, curators of archives, whether in libraries, classrooms, or their own scholarly work, must address how curated materials and their surrounding context represent choices that speak to the curator’s values and priorities.

While projects such as the Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction discuss the methods and content of speculative fiction archival research, in this special issue we are interested in the metacognitive work of questioning the archive. Kenneth Kidd’s 2011 article “The Child, the Scholar, and the Children’s Literature Archive” did some of this work in the context of children’s literature, considering the perceived childishness of collecting children’s books and how materials gain different cultural capital when archived and studied. Kidd writes, “By preserving children’s materials, and conferring upon them special (primarily historical but also affective) value, the archive asserts the research value of children’s literature within the broader culture of academic and university research” (9). A very similar thing could be said of science fiction and fantasy archives, where the mere act of archiving claims value for the genre and its objects, but also makes claims about the genre and its cultural capital.

When archives hold the power to exclude and include, to value and affirm both people and genre, then how do we as scholars decide what belongs and how do we think through the consequences of those choices for ourselves, our students, and our field? We encourage submissions that answer these questions and otherwise critically examine the archive, broadly defined.

Submissions may consider but are not limited to the following topics in relation to archives:

The worth/value estimation of collecting
Teaching courses in the archives
Archival pedagogy- constructing the archives for our courses/ asking students to construct their own archives
Controversies and canon
Digital collections
Internet as archive
Fan spaces
Race and representation
Award winners as archive

Please submit all inquiries and essays of 5,000-9,000 words (20-30 pages) to Emily Midkiff ( or Sara Austin ( by Feb 1, 2020. Since the refereeing process is anonymous, the author’s name should not appear anywhere on the text file itself, including the notes. An abstract of 100-150 words should be included with each submission. Please ensure that all citations and the Works Cited entries are in current MLA style. For complete guidelines, please refer to the JFA Style Sheet for Articles (

ICFA 41 “Climate Change and Anthropocene” will be held March 1821, 2020, at the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside, Orlando, Florida. Guest scholar is Stacy Alaimo (UT-Arlington), and guest author is Jeff VanderMeer. Thank you to the 33 people who have already signed up to attend!

The call for papers closed on October 31, 2019. To register for the conference, go here:

For those who submitted papers or panels, the date that the division heads deliver their panels to the first vice president for inclusion in the 2020 program is around November 15–ish.

IAFA is cosponsoring a conference in 2021 with the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic. We have a one-question survey to assess interest in a conference in Glasgow in late June 2021. Please check the email account associated with your membership for the link.

The Visual and Performing Arts and Audiences (VPAA) division head has resigned. Second vice president David Higgins (a former division head) is fulfilling this role until a new division head can be appointed. The due date for those who wish to apply for this position is November 30, 2019. Info here:

Interested in governance? Minutes of Board meetings are available in the members-only section of our website:

Want to review IAFA’s conduct policy? It’s here:

More information forthcoming! I hope to see you in March 2020.

Karen Hellekson, IAFA Registrar (iafareg [at]