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HBO’s recent series Lovecraft Country takes up the monsters of H. P. Lovecraft’s universe, but flips the script to make the heroes an African-American cast battling various demons in the Jim Crow era. Arguably, the show aimed at a re-appropriation or détournement of the pulp legend’s troubling racism, but critics seem divided on the show’s success. In Dr. Kinitra Brooks’s writings on the series for The Root, she situated it as “a part of the contemporary arts movement that media professor John Jennings coined as ‘Racecraftian,’ inspired by Karen and Barbara Fields in their 2014 book, Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life.” Therein, racecraft is defined as a practice: racism produces the illusion of race, and Jennings adopted the term (thinking specifically of its homology with Lovecraft’s name) to signify horror narratives that engage with critical race studies for the purpose of dismantling constructions of race. As an adaptation of Lovecraft’s universe, the HBO series would seem to be speaking back to the pulp legend.

Studies in the Fantastic, a journal founded by Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi, seeks submissions for a special issue on any aspect of the show, but we are especially interested in essays that delve into this debate, the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Lovecraft Country, and the Racecraftian turn. Acknowledging that the series is new and that many conferences this year are cancelled due to the pandemic, we are accepting shorter essays (3500-6000 words) driven by scene analyses for this collection that seeks to gather together scholars’ “First Thoughts on Lovecraft Country.” Submissions for this special issue should be received by June 1, 2021. Send to the editor at

Studies in the Fantastic is a journal publishing refereed essays, informed by scholarly criticism and theory on both fantastic texts and their social function. Although grounded in literary studies, we are especially interested in articles examining genres and media that have been underrepresented in humanistic scholarship. Subjects may include, but are not limited to, weird fiction, science/speculative fiction, fantasy, videogames, science writing, futurism, and technocracy. Electronic access to Studies in the Fantastic is available via Project Muse.
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Studies in the Fantastic requests submissions for our biannually published peer-reviewed academic journal. As always, essays examining the fantastic from a variety of scholarly perspectives are welcome. Submission guidelines can be found on our website: