Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: September 2020

Final Call for Submissions: 2021 Jamie Bishop Memorial Award

The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts announces its 15th annual Jamie Bishop Memorial Award for a critical essay on the fantastic originally written in a language other than English.

The IAFA defines the fantastic to include science fiction, folklore, and related genres in literature, drama, film, art and graphic design, and related disciplines. For more information regarding the Bishop Award and a list of past winners, see .

Submission criteria:

· Essays should be of high scholarly quality, as if for publication in an academic journal.

· We consider essays from 3,000–10,000 words in length (or English equivalent), including notes and bibliography.

· Essays may be unpublished scholarship submitted by the author, or already published work nominated either by the author or another scholar (in which case the author’s permission should be obtained before submission).

· Essays must have been written and (when applicable) published in the original language within the last three years prior to submission.

· An ABSTRACT in English and an English translation of the essay’s TITLE must accompany all submissions. The submitted essay DOES NOT have to be translated into English.

· Only one essay per designated author(s) may be submitted each year.

· Submissions must be made electronically in .pdf or Microsoft Word format (.doc, .docx), to the email address noted below.

Deadline for receipt of submissions: October 15, 2020. Essays may be submitted prior to the deadline.

The winner of this year’s Bishop Award will be announced at the 42nd International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, March 17–20, 2021.

Prize: $250 US and one year’s free membership in the IAFA. Winning essays may be posted on the IAFA website in the original language and/or considered for publication in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts ( should they be translated into English.

Please direct all inquiries and submissions to:

Terry Harpold

IAFA 2021 Statement

Dear IAFA Members,

The Board has been monitoring the ongoing situation with the pandemic closely and has met twice this summer to consider options for the 2021 conference. The future prospects remain unclear, but based on information about our membership, likely timelines for widespread vaccination, ongoing border closures, and our financial options, the Board took the decision at its meeting on September 19, 2020 to move the 2021 Conference to an online format.

More information will follow soon about methods of participation, timelines for events and other considerations regarding membership and registration fees. We are also adjusting the timeframe for the event to maximize chances for participation across time zones, but we will convene during the originally scheduled conference “long” weekend, March 18-21, 2021. We are currently working to sort out these details and will prioritize releasing information about options for participation and presentation, as they most urgently need to be worked out so that the conference application cycle can begin. Please be assured that we continue to work on the rest of the picture and will release additional information as we make further decisions.

We are aware that this news is very disappointing—to us as well! Nonetheless, we believe it a priority to protect the health of our members and guests over other considerations. We also feel that we needed to make this decision early enough to give us time to mount a great online event. Rest assured that we are aware that social interactions are a hugely important part of our conference culture, and we are working on ways to allow maximum interaction and also to recreate a version of some of our most important social gatherings.

Right now, the important information is that we will have a conference and will soon open the submission portal. Do not, however, book hotels or flights since we will not be gathering in person in 2021. Thank you for your patience as we continue to refine our plans and release further information to you as more decisions are taken. We ask that you do not send in questions for further information at this time as we are still in the process of evaluating our options and making decisions. We will update you as quickly as possible as further plans solidify.

We are all committed to ensuring the ongoing quality of ICFA and the future of our organization. While it might not be the same as typical, we will have a 2021 gathering and look forward to seeing you in virtual spaces.

Dale Knickerbocker, IAFA President

Climate Change as Reflected in Science Fiction, Film and World Literature

deadline for submissions:
September 30, 2020

full name / name of organization:
Northeast Modern Language Association

contact email:

Climate change is an important issue that has become a frequent topic in twentieth as well as twenty-first century literature and film. From science fiction of the past to the present-day speculative fiction, this roundtable presents an opportunity to provide and study examples both past and present regarding climate change issues in literature and film. Dystopias written by international writers reflect the world-wide concern regarding climate change. For example, novelists such as British-born Maggie Gee’s The Flood or French-born Pierre Boulle’s La Planète des singes[The Planet of the Apes] speculate on the possibility of climate changes causing devastating destruction. What do other writers, sci-fi, and fiction/fantasy predict for the future of our climate and environmental sustainability? How do doomsday writers compare to actual science writers in the present day? In the shadow of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, how do climate issues relate to the environmental and economic health of the world? Many other issues related directly and peripherally to environmental sustainability could be included in the discussion during this roundtable session.

Submit proposals to:

In the shadow of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, how do climate issues relate to the environmental and economic health of the world? Many other issues related directly and peripherally to environmental sustainability could be included in the discussion during this roundtable session.

Please keep in mind that in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Director and the NeMLA Board are considering options for remote online sessions and/or hybrid sessions [possibly both in the Marriott and through some form of remote online participation].

Professor Annette M. Magid, Ph.D.

State University of New York: Erie Community College

Buffalo, NY


Call for Proposals: NeMLA 2021 Creative Session

“Speculative Figures and Speculative Futures: Our Uncanny Postapocalypse”

Mary Shelley, in her classic piece of speculative fiction and of speculative visual culture, Frankenstein (1818), sparked life into a body that started an unending conversation around being alive and our own identities as living. And in the intersecting centuries from Shelley to today, Freud has established the uncanny, Kristeva has ignited notions of abjection and of horror, and a plethora of creative agents (writers, artists, musicians, etc.) have continued to stoke these flames. Visual artist David Altmejd, for example, explores themes of science fiction and gothic romanticism to create postapocalyptic visions in his work that embraces decay in balance with regeneration to specifically “provoke that shiver of the uncanny.”[1] And in a research-creation project that she calls “scholarly vidding,” Alexis Lothian merges “[v]idding and multimodal writing [as] a space to explore scholarly ideas in diverse registers” as she positions in her work “utopia as a vision of perfection that is also an end, and dystopia as a negative imaginary that participates in the creation of worlds.”[2] This Creative Session, carrying forth Shelley’s torch, seeks creative contributions of all kinds that participate in and continue to spark, stoke, and ignite these conversations with speculative figures, speculative futures, and uncanny—and even otherworldly—postapocalyptic creativity.

We are specifically interested in artworks and creative contributions that are assessments of posthuman bodies and that embody abject and uncanny ideology through their written, oral, aural, and/or visual aesthetic. Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, sound and video work, digital animation, photography, performance, sculpture, and any and all hybrids in-between. In addition to being a creative showcase, this session also seeks to push the boundaries not only of Cultural Studies, Media Studies, and Interdisciplinary Humanities but of traditional conference panels, too, to include innovative uses of technology and of participation in its dissemination and conversation.

[1] “David Altmejd,” White Cube, accessed March 31, 2020,

[2] Lothian, Alexis. 2018. Old Futures: Speculative Fiction and Queer Possibility. New York: New York University Press. 251; 248; 25.

Abstracts/Proposals (300 words max.) are due online by September 30th, 2020.

Please submit abstracts/proposals online at

For inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact either Tommy Mayberry ( or Tommy Bourque (


NeMLA has secured a digital event platform for their 52nd Annual Convention in March 2021 – and this means that prospective presenters will be able to participate virtually! (Not only does this mean the conference should be more physically accessible, but it also means it should be financially more accessible and give creative artists and scholars formal exhibition opportunities that might otherwise be difficult to come by due to institutional closures, physical distancing, and other health and safety protocols that make gallery exhibitions and public opening receptions and live performances near-impossible this year.) If you or anyone you know – including grad students! – are interested, we hope you will put forward an abstract.

The submission deadline for abstract is September 30th, but given both the now-digital nature of the entire convention and the creative showcase angle to our session, the most important thing for prospective presenters on our panel will be to submit an abstract to ensure we get to read about their proposed work. Other details can and will be ironed out later with us throughout the Fall, so abstracts don’t need to be “perfect” right now – we’re all in this wonky situation together!

Thank you so much, and looking forward to reading about your work!

The Tommies