The Division Heads

International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts

Organization and refereeing of academic paper sessions at ICFA is under the direction of Division Heads, also appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Board.

Children’s & Young Adult Literature & Art (CYA)

The Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Art division accepts critical scholarship papers that focus on childhood, child characters, and literature aimed at younger readers. This includes picture books as well as middle-grade and young adult novels, short stories, and graphic novels that involve fairy tales, folklore, fantasy, horror, paranormal romance, science fiction, and any other aspect of the fantastic.


Rodney Fierce
Sonoma Academy, Santa Rosa, California, USA

Rodney FierceRodney Marcel Fierce is a doctoral student in English at The University of Southern Mississippi, where his research interests include issues related to feminism and class in Victorian Children’s Literature and popular culture, graphic novels, fantasy, and children’s theater.A graduate of Princeton University with a degree in English and of Simmons College with a Master’s Degree in Children’s Literature, his work has been presented at WonderCon, The Pop Culture Association, and the Children’s Literature Association Conference. His work has appeared in Of Bread Blood and the Hunger Games and the upcoming publication Movies in the Age of Obama.


Fairy Tales and Folk Narratives (FTFN)

The Fairy Tales and Folk Narratives division welcomes critical scholarship on all aspects of folk narrative and culture in all media. This includes but is not limited to oral and literary fairy tales, folk tales, wonder tales, legend, and myth, as well as adaptations and interconnections of oral and literary tales with other media.


Christy Williams
Hawai‘i Pacific University, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Christy Williams is assistant professor of English at Hawai‘i Pacific University where she teaches courses in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature, fantasy, fairy tales, and video games. Her research focuses on contemporary fairy tales and retellings in literature, film, and television with an emphasis on gender and narrative. Her recent work examines the metafictional use of fairy tales in texts ranging from Once Upon a Time to Kelly Link’s fiction. She co-edited Beyond Adaptation: Essays on Radical Transformations of Original Works and is co-review editor for Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies.


Fantasy Literature (FL)

The Fantasy Literature division welcomes papers on all aspects of fantasy literature (broadly defined to mean anything from genre fantasy to magic realism) including, but not restricted to, criticism on works by fantasy authors writing in English, interdisciplinary approaches to the genre, and scholarship on fantasy theory.


Daniel Creed
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA

Daniel Creed is a Ph.D. candidate in the Comparative Studies program at Florida Atlantic University. His current research focuses on the driving force behind fantasy literature and the use of the fantastic as a counter-narrative in post-colonial literature. He previously earned an M.A. in Science Fiction and Fantasy literature, where his thesis defined Charles Finney’s The Circus of Dr. Lao as an epistemological fantasy. His most recent publications examine George MacDonald’s fantasies and Robert Browning’s “Mesmerism,” and he is an editor for the Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction.

Film and Television (FTV)

The Fantastic in Film & Television division welcomes proposals for paper presentations that deal with the fantastic broadly construed in cinema and television.


Current: Kyle Bishop
Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah, USA

Dr. Bishop received a PhD in American literature and film from the University of Arizona in 2009. He has since returned to Cedar City to become a third-generation assistant professor at Southern Utah University, where he currently teaches courses in American literature and culture, film studies, fantasy literature, and English composition. Dr. Bishop has presented and published a variety of critical essays and articles on popular culture and cinematic adaptation, including such topics as Metropolis, Night of the Living Dead, Fight Club, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawn of the Dead, Frankenstein, The Birds, Zombieland, and The Walking Dead. His first book, American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture, is now available from McFarland and Co., Publishers.


Shadow: Valérie Savard
University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada

Valérie Savard is a PhD candidate in English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. She has been attending the ICFA since 2013 and has presented on topics ranging from 1970s German sf through to fembots in contemporary American music videos, film, and television. She is currently in the process of completing her dissertation, “Transforming the Labouring Posthuman: From Machine-man to Virtual Human in Twentieth Century Science Fiction.” With a Masters in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory, her other research interests include popular culture and (perhaps unsurprisingly) cultural studies. She currently teaches first-year undergraduates in the area of critical analysis and does so by pedagogically combining gothic fiction, dystopian fiction, and apocalyptic visual medias of varying kinds.


Horror Literature (HL)

The Horror Literature division focuses not only on Horror as both literary genre and mode, but also on closely related modes including the Gothic, Grotesque, and Weird. Papers may explore any aspect of literary horror (including but not limited to body horror, psychological horror, philosophical horror, or folk horror) including the evolution, cultural significance, and theory of horror. Papers exploring related topics, such as the role of the supernatural, the sublime, or affects including horror, terror, dread or anxiety, as well as interconnections between horror literature and other media, including film and comics, are also welcome.


Sean Moreland
University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

Sean Moreland’s essays, primarily focused on Gothic and horror fiction in its literary, cinematic, and sequential art guises, have appeared in numerous journals and essay collections. He co-edited the essay collections Fear and Learning: Essays on the Pedagogy of Horror (McFarland, 2013) and Monstrous Children and Childish Monsters: Essays on Cinema’s Holy Terrors (McFarland, 2015) and is currently editing the collections The Lovecraftian Poe: Essays on Influence, Reception, Interpretation and Transformation (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), and The Call of Cosmic Panic: New Essays on Supernatural Horror (under review by Palgrave-Macmillan). He created the weird fiction-focused websitePostscripts to Darkness ( and his short fiction and award-winning poetry has most recently appeared in Lackington’s, Black Treacle, Acidic Fiction and Dissections.


International Fantastic (IF)

The International Fantastic division invites papers on all aspects of the international fantastic in all media. In this context “international” means either non-anglophone or originating in a culture considered/considering itself as foreign within the anglophone world; this may include minority literatures within an anglophone country. Comparative projects also welcome.


Amy J. Ransom
Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, USA


Amy J. Ransom is professor of French at Central Michigan University. She has published widely on Québec’s science fiction, fantastic, and horror literatures including a book, Science Fiction from Québec: A Postcolonial Study (2009); her recent book Hockey PQ: Canada’s Game in Quebec’s Popular Culture (2014) includes a chapter on hockey and sf, as well. She is currently working on Franco-Belgian sf pioneer, J. H. Rosny aîné, and is completing a book on Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend and its film adaptations scheduled for 2017 publication. She is also foreign language book review editor for the JFA and coordinator of the Jamie Bishop Memorial Award.



Science Fiction Literature (SF)

The Science Fiction Literature Division accepts proposals for papers on topics related to science fiction novels, short stories, and poems, and on critical theory related to the SF genre. This division’s emphasis is textual; papers considering science fiction in film, television, or comics should apply to the Film & Media or the Visual & Performing Arts divisions instead.


Pawel Frelik
Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland

Paweł Frelik is Associate Professor in the Department of American Literature and Culture and Director of the Video Game Research Center at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (Lublin, Poland). His research interests include science fiction, video games, fantastic visualities, digital media, and transmedia storytelling. He has published widely in these fields, serves on the advisory boards of Science Fiction Studies, Extrapolation, and Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, and is the co-editor of the New Dimensions in Science Fiction book series at the University of Wales Press.


Visual and Performing Arts and Audiences (VPAA)

The Visual & Performing Arts and Audiences (VPAA) Division accepts papers on visual arts such as comic books, paintings, architecture, sculpture, photographs and illustrations; the performing arts, including music, dance and theater; games, including fanfic, fan artwork and cosplay; transformative texts, both fan and professional, including mashups and viral marketing; and audience/reception studies concerning audiences for any medium or genre of the fantastic.


Tom Reiss
Munich, Germany

Tom Reiss received his doctorate from Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich in 2015 and has since published his dissertation on the semiotics of the Fantastic, particularly in the works of Franz Kafka and Murakami Haruki, as a monograph. He is currently busying himself as a freelance writer, editor and translator, working – among others – for the Bavarian Refugee Council’s quarterly, “Hinterland”, as well as “Media Observations”, a Munich-based online journal for Culture and Media studies.

His research and publications focus mainly on Critical Theory, Culture and Media Studies (particularly Video Game Studies), European Romanticist and Decadence Literature, Global Postmodernism, Semiotics, Psychosemiology and  – forsooth! – the Fantastic in all its beautiful shapes and forms


Shadow Division Heads assume full responsibilities at the conclusion of their shadow conference.