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Monthly Archives: February 2020

ICFA 41 “Climate Change and the Anthropocene”

When: March 18–21, 2020

Where: Marriott Orlando Airport Hotel, Orlando, Florida, USA

Guest Scholar: Stacy Alaimo, University of Oregon

Guest Author: Jeff VanderMeer


Price list:

Gateway for membership and registration:

Prices go up: We are in late registration. Registration blackout
begins on February 22, 2020; on and after this day, the online system
will be closed so the conference committee can commit to the hotel for
space and meal requirements. We will open again for on-site
registration on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.


The (draft) program is now online! It’s linked at IAFA’s home page
( We anticipate more changes as
people cancel and as we attempt to limit two-person panels.

Presenters, did your plans change? If you had a paper accepted but you
know you cannot attend, please let me know at once so we can remove
you from the program. I’ll update all the relevant people.

Sched: We’ll be using the Sched app in 2020. More info forthcoming
closer to the conference. Full-size souvenir program booklets
featuring fabulous retro artwork will be available


If you have decided that you wish to prepurchase merch or attend a
particular meal that you haven’t signed up for, please email me. I can
adjust your invoice to add these extras.

Please also check your travel plans against the meals. If you discover
that your travel plans mean that must miss a meal that you are signed
up for, please email me at once. This is particularly the case for the
Friday guest scholar luncheon, which is included with your

Important: Please help the conference by staying when you can at the
conference hotel. The conference receives important perks and
concessions that rely on attendees’ staying in the conference hotel.
Please note that the room rate at the conference hotel is the same
regardless of the number of people who share it.

Info for conference hotel (Saturday and Sunday nights available only;
all else is SOLD OUT):

Info for overflow conference hotel (Sheraton Suites Orlando Airport, a
short walk from the Marriott). Please check the email account associated with your membership for a direct link.

Hotel questions: Contact Jeri Zulli (jerzulli AT, conference
director. Anyone canceling or needing a room should reach out at once.


IAFA welcomes new associate conference director Kristin Gutierrez
Please make her welcome when you see her in March!


The volunteer form is now live (
Volunteering is available for registration and AV. I will need people
on Tuesday to help me prep packets and badges, so if your schedule
permits, do please come early and help out.

We pay 10 IAFA Bucks per hour spent volunteering. These may be used
for merch and meal tickets (at the preconference rate) 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. Volunteering is a great way for new attendees and grad
students to make connections!


The student caucus offers a mentoring program for those who are new to
IAFA. They match up students with a long-standing member of IAFA, who
will orient them and introduce them to people at the conference. We
need more mentors! The full mentor call was in the last email sent


Conference hashtag: #ICFA41
IAFA Listserv:
IAFA on Facebook:
IAFA on Twitter:
Student Caucus (SCIAFA) on Facebook:


The move to calendar-year membership continues to be rocky. I must
check membership for everyone in the program by hand. I freely admit I
may have made errors! If in doubt, please contact me so I can correct
your membership term. Another round of “please sign up for
registration and/or membership” emails will go out shortly. Remember,
you must be a member of IAFA to present.

If you have any questions or need any help with membership renewal or
registration, please let me know. I’m here to help.

I hope to see you in March!

Karen Hellekson

IAFA Membership Registrar

iafareg AT

Dear IAFA Members,

The resignation of our long-time Conference Director Donald Morse has meant that our Interim CD Jeri Zulli, who had previously assisted Donald, has been doing the work of two people, for which we are all deeply grateful.

However, this situation was unsustainable. The IAFA needed someone with conference planning experience who lives close to the conference venue and who could be present physically when needed to act as our liaison. For those unaware, the Associate’s duties include reviewing the program against hotel contract to ensure we are using the rooms for which we are contracted, keeping track of our room usage and dealing with overflow hotel as needed, processing special food requests and making sure the Marriott is prepared for special needs, making sure rooms are ready for functions assigned morning, afternoon, and evening; overseeing coffee breaks to decide when/if to order more, liasing with registration, liasing with A/V, general assistance at food functions and general hotel troubleshooting.

It is my great pleasure to announce that we have hired an Associate to the Conference Director, Kristin Gutierrez. She is an independent meeting and event planner with over 20 years’ experience creating and managing trade association, education and medical meetings of all sizes. She has been a Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) since 1997. She also lives very close to the hotel, and is an extremely friendly and enthusiastic person. She will begin work immediately, and you will all be seeing her in person at the conference. When you do, please welcome her aboard!

Theory Roundtable*, Georges Bataille’s
“Theoretical Introduction” to La part maudite
/ The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy

The IAFA International Fantastic Division is sponsoring a theory roundtable at ICFA #41 on the “Theoretical Introduction” to French philosopher Georges Bataille’s La part maudite / The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy (1967, English trans. 1988), a political-economic book that presents a speculative theory of energy. Sean Singh Matharoo of UC Riverside will serve as facilitator; he plans for the session to proceed as follows:

First, following a short introduction during which Sean will position Bataille in the distinct histories of philosophy and literary studies, he will point out some key passages and terminology—including Bataille’s concepts of waste, “base materialism,” sacrifice, and generosity—which attendees will unpack together.

Second, attendees will explore, and together discuss answers to, these questions:

• To what extent does Bataille’s political economy allow us to confront the unsettling reality that anthropogenic climate change is a universal problem that disproportionately impacts the nonhuman—the opposite of Anthropos, the white European rational human Man?
• Does Bataille’s political economy gift us any tools with which we might transgress the capitalist economy of use and exchange that exploits nonhumans for energy?
• And, finally: How might we return to the study of the fantastic in the arts after reading Bataille in the contexts of anthropogenic climate change and the Anthropocenic energy crisis?

All ICFA #41 registrants are welcome, regardless of theoretical background. Though this article is available without cost online, those who want access to a publisher-approved version for the duration of the conference can visit the secure site [IF Division presenters and chairs of IF sessions for ICFA #41, as well as anyone who has presented in IF sessions for the past few ICFAs, are receiving the password to this URL over email, with apologies for cross-posting.]

To get that password (if you are not a current or recent-past IF Division presenter) or ask any other questions about this Roundtable or reading, contact: Sean Singh Matharoo (

*As of the 1/25/20 ICFA #41 program draft, this Roundtable is scheduled for session #84 on Fri. 3/20/20, from 8:30-10:00 am, in Vista D (downstairs). However, this date, time, & place might change, so check the latest program draft closer to the conference start time.

Mythmoot VII: Defying and Defining the Darkness

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
— attributed to Anne Frank

When: June 25–28, 2020
Where: The National Conference Center
Leesburg, VA

What is Mythmoot VII?

Mythmoot VII, with the theme of “Defying and Defining Darkness,” combines an academic conference, creative writing meet-up, and fan convention for a unique experience. Here at Mythmoot, we have room for serious scholarship in fields such as science fiction, high fantasy, horror, gothic, mythology, children’s literature, folklore.. .the list goes on. We also appreciate less academic, but no less enthusiastic, pursuits of all the above—such as demonstrations of how to knit the best fake candle ever, presentations theorizing the exact recipe for Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, or papers dissecting the cultural background of Baron Harkonnen!

Call for Proposals:

Where there is light there is darkness—the two play off of each other. This concept appears throughout literature all over the world in yin and yang, good and evil, two sides of the same coin, and even in the literal sun rising and setting. How does one define the darkness? Can darkness only be defied once it is known? Should darkness even be defined or defied? We want to hear how you believe defining and defying the darkness interacts with the stories you love and how you would approach the topic.

We are accepting proposals for Papers, Panels, Workshops, and Creative Presentations about defying or defining the darkness (or tangential topics) in the following areas of study:
● Imaginative Literature (ex: Harry Potter, Dune, The Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Dresden Files, etc.)
● Tolkien and Inklings Studies
● Classic Literature from ancient times to the present
● Philology

If you are unsure whether your topic fits, send your proposal or a description of your idea to the listed submissions email, and we will let you know.

Individual presentations, whether creative or critical, will have 30 minutes—20 minutes for presentation and 10 for Q&A. (N.B. The “creative” category is not limited to original works but could include presenting or performing art, music, drama, or dance. If you have any questions about what you can present, please contact the submissions email.)

Panels must contain at least 3 papers and/or presenters and will be allocated 90 minutes total for presentations and Q&A.

Workshops must identify their own length (either 30 min, 60 min, or 90 min) and include justification for the requested time. Workshops may be run individually, but it is recommended that a workshop have at least two leaders. (Workshop examples: the knitting of Smaug hats, an interactive discussion on dragon species, etc.)

Papers will be presented in 90-minute sessions of 1 – 3 presenters. Each presenter will have 30 minutes (20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for questions) to present their paper.

Proposal Submittal:

Your submission to must contain the following in the email: the type of submission, a title, a 300-word abstract or description, the name(s) of the presenter(s), and a two-sentence biography for each presenter. Title your email “Mythmoot VII Proposal”. All submissions must be received by 11:59 pm EST on March 13th, 2020.

No presentations will be given in absentia, and your submission to Mythmoot VII is considered an agreement to attend and present should your proposal be accepted. Each room will have a projector for presenter use.