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. You can find the Executive Board here and other IAFA Officials here. To view a list of the perks these positions receive, click here.
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.
The University of Tampa, Tampa, Florida, USA
Amanda Firestone, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Communication at The University of Tampa. There she teaches classes focused on media studies and digital identity. She is the co-editor of Harry Potter and Convergence Culture: Essays on Fandom and the Expanding Potterverse and The Last Midnight: Essays on Apocalyptic Narratives in Millennial Media. Amanda enjoys knitting, sewing, baking, and drinking margaritas. All in preparation for The End of Times.
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.
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.
Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA
Daniel Creed is an Instructor of Writing and Rhetoric in the English department at Florida International University. He recently completed his Ph.D. in Comparative Studies with a dissertation entitled “In Better Worlds than These: Memory and Diegesis in Fantasy Literature.” He has interests in Fantasy Literature and film that ranges from the Victorian Era to the present, and has recent publications on George MacDonald, Robert Browning, Robert Heinlein, and John W. Campbell (among others). His current research focuses on Charles Finney, Steven Erikson, and the role of memory in reader response to Fantasy Literature.
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.
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.
Gothic and Horror Literature (GaH)
The Gothic and Horror Literature division focuses not only on Gothic and Horror as often-overlapping literary modes, but also on closely related modes including the Grotesque and the 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, monstrosity, or affects including horror, terror, dread or anxiety, as well as interconnections between horror literature and other media, including film, comics and games, are also welcome.
Peru State College, Peru, Nebraska, USA
Jude Wright is an Assistant Professor of English at Peru State College in Peru, Nebraska, where he teaches courses on writing, British literature, Science Fiction, and comic books. His research focuses on the relationship between realism and the fantastic in nineteenth-century British literature, the Gothic, and adaptation theory. He has recently published on Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, adaptations of Frankenstein, J. Sheridan LeFanu, and Walter Pater. His current project is a long-form extension of his work on Frankenstein adaptations, parts of which he has presented at ICFA.
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.
University of Hawai`i, Hawaii, USA
Alternative and ethnic media scholar Ida Yoshinaga earned her Ph.D. in the Department of English at the University of Hawai`i-Mānoa. A former East-West Center Fellow and Crown Prince (Emperor) Akihito scholar, she graduated from the Stanford Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, training as a sociologist and creative writer in Asian-Pacific cultural studies before turning to television and transmedia studies for her doctoral research. Recipient of the R.D. Mullen Ph.D. Research Fellowship from Science Fiction Studies journal and the Walter James Miller Memorial Award for Student Scholarship in the International Fantastic, she specializes in cultural screenwriting, the teleplay form, and critical approaches to the industrial production of fantastic-genre narratives within global transmedia. She has published work in Marvels & Tales; The Routledge Companion to Fairy-Tale Cultures & Media; and Postmodern Reinterpretations of Fairy Tales: How Applying New Methods Generates New Meanings.
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.
University of Warsaw, Poland
Paweł Frelik is Associate Professor in the American Studies Center, University of Warsaw (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 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.