International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts

CFP: Transmediality and interactivity in the fantastic, monographic issue coordinated for Brumal by Miguel Carrera Garrido (CIESE-Comillas, University of Cantabria)

By In CFP On February 12, 2020

Transmediality and interactivity in the fantastic, monographic issue coordinated for Brumal by Miguel Carrera Garrido (CIESE-Comillas, University of Cantabria)

Deadline: June 15, 2020

One of the characteristics that define fictional production in the 21st century is its ten-dency to distribute itself among numerous media of expression: television, cinema, lit-erature, comic-books, theater, video games, role-playing games, etc. Far from leading to dispersion or to the proliferation of watertight compartments, such inclination – also present in other communicative practices – has led to the convergence of all these areas. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult, even inappropriate, to limit the focus of attention to a single medium and ignore the rest: stories expand to two, three or more of these environments, aspiring to preserve the unity of sense in heterogeneity. Thus, to get to a thorough and complete understanding of the message, the recipient – and, there-fore, the critic – has to consider different creative domains and apply several reading codes. This agent is simultaneously endowed, in contemporary creation, with a much more active and decisive role than he/she used to possess. Expected to interact with fictional products, as a member of a participatory and empowered culture, his/her inter-vention – often essential – oscillates between the interpellation and analysis from vari-ous discussion forums – especially the Internet and social networks – and direct partici-pation in the imaginary universes, either expanding them in media different from than the one where they originated, or immersing themselves effectively in those worlds and influencing – either as an avatar, or playing a character – the course of the action.

These two complementary trends point to the terms on which the proposed monograph is based: transmedia(lity) and interactivity. Its goal: to trace the importance of these realities in the fantastic genre or mode, both in theoretical formulations and practical realizations.
Widely addressed in akin modalities such as science fiction or medieval fantasy (think, for example, of successful franchises, and recurring objects of analysis, such as Star Wars, A Song of Ice and Fire or Lord of the Rings, which transcended their original medium long ago, and where the interference of fans has become the norm), the concept of transmedial, or transmedia, has not had, to date, much repercussion in studies on the fantastic, at least as Brumal conceives it (that is, as the irruption of the impossible into a world in appearance similar to ours, in tune with Caillois’s and Roas’s theories). As for interactivity, it also has not received the due attention yet, despite the interest raised in recent years by expressions rarely considered artistic in the past, like video games, haunted attractions, fan fiction, “choose your own adventure” novels, etc. That is why it is urgent to undertake a project like the current one, in which we analyze, among other things, how speeches and stories have migrated from one medium to another – if that was not designed like that from the beginning –, to what extent inter-dependence be-tween the different media has been promoted, and how, in this process, the community of readers, spectators, players or, in general, fans has played an increasingly active and crucial role. It is at this junction, or convergence, between the transmedia(l) and the interactive towards which we want the participants of the issue to look.

Some of the proposed thematic axes, with which we want to cover both extremes, are:

• Originally, or strategic, transmedia(l) narratives of the fantastic.
• Expanded universes of the fantastic (or tactical transmedia).
• Appropriation, reworking and expansion of figures, motives and other references of the fantastic at the hands of fans.
• Theoretical relations between the concepts of transmedia(lity), intermedia(lity) and multimedia(lity) in the fantastic.
• Reflections on the concept of authorship in the fantastic transmedia(lity).
• New interactive modes of the fantastic (video games, haunted attractions, role-playing games, escape rooms, etc.) and their relationship with other media.
• Interactions, in social networks and in other forums, between fictional productions and fans of the fantastic.

For more information on submissions, format, length and so on, please visit the journal’s webpage or contact the coordinator on