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Category Archives: CFP

On the Shoulders of Giants
TitanCon 2020
Belfast, Ireland
August 28-30, 2020
Call for Papers

In the spirit of deepening and broadening its roots, Titancon 2020 is adding a formal academic track to its programming. The convention began as a collaboration between the Brotherhood Without Banners, who wanted to put on a fan convention for Game of Thrones, the Belfast SF/F society The Other Ones, who wanted to put on an SF/F convention, and Arkham Gaming Centre, who wanted to put on a gaming convention. In keeping with that spirit, our theme “On the Shoulders of Giants” hopes to encourage that spirit of collaboration.

We particularly encourage papers that focus on the work of our three guests of honor: Jeanette Ng, Jodi Taylor, and Robert J Sawyer. Papers may more generally consider women’s voices and themes of diversity in SF/F. The intersections of SF/F literature and other media, such as television, film, or graphic novels are other areas that might be explored, particularly in light of Robert J Sawyer and George RR Martin. Papers on Game of Thrones could focus on the show, the novels, the intersection of the two, fan reaction, or the importance of the show to Northern Ireland itself. We also welcome papers that focus on SF/F television and film generally. Fan studies and Game studies might consider particularly Irish or SF/F themes. Finally, we would also invite papers that focus particularly on Irish SF/F and Irish or SF/F graphic novels.

Proposals of 250 to 300 words and a brief 50 word biography of the author should be sent to or by February 15, 2020. Acceptances will be sent by March 15, 2020. Any queries can be sent to the above emails.

Call for Papers: Special Issue of the Journal of Fandom Studies on Archives and Special Collections

Abstract submissions are invited for a special issue of the Journal of Fandom Studies. This issue will focus on archives and special collections relevant to scholars of fan studies. Topics addressed might include profiles of institutional collections with primers for use, research, archiving and curatorial practices performed by fans, and archival and archontic theory.

Other possible topics include:

· Historical perspectives on collecting fan material in libraries and archives

· Race, gender, and queerness in fan collections and in library subject indexing

· Logistical and ethical issues of access to fan materials

· Current research and collecting gaps in the documentary record

Contributors may also submit short profiles (500 words) of relevant institutional collections with curatorial contact information as part of a special Research Guide section of this issue.

All articles submitted should be original work and must not be under consideration by other publications.

Please send abstracts of 250 words (including a title and keywords) with biographical statements of 100 words to Cait Coker ( and Jeremy Brett ( by February 28, 2020. If accepted, contributions should be no longer than 9000 words, including notes and references, with completed drafts expected in October 2020.

Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations

Beyond the Anglocentric Fantastic

28th-29th May 2020

In “Surviving Fantasy Through Post-Colonialism”, Deepa Dharmadhikari writes that she grew up “speaking Marathi with my family, and Hindi with schoolmates and neighbours, but the only children’s books I read were in English. Less than a handful were written by Indian authors about Indian characters. . . . I grew up with half a tongue.” Her essay invites us to question our own habits: What language do we use when we read, watch, write, or think about Fantasy and the fantastic? What cultural traditions tend to be represented in the “Fantasy canon”? What ethnic and racial groups dominate Fantasy texts, in terms of characters and writers alike? What power dynamics shape the production, distribution, and reception of Fantasy texts? Many of the texts that have been used to define Fantasy are written in English and either set in or inspired by white-dominated spaces in the United States and the United Kingdom, from The Lord of the Rings to the works of George MacDonald, William Morris, L. Frank Baum, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and J. K. Rowling. Fantasy scholarship has reinforced this tendency, dominated as it is by discussion of English-language texts.

This limited perception of Fantasy is reflective of two key concepts for this year’s symposium: Anglonormativity and Anglocentrism. Anglonormativity refers to the hegemony of the English language, which pressurizes creatives and scholars into using English and writing about English-language texts, and treats scholars and writers in other languages as niche and hence marginalised. Anglocentrism, in turn, refers to the practise of viewing the world through the lens of an English or Anglo-American perspective and with an implied belief, either consciously or unconsciously, in the preeminence of English or Anglo-American culture.

Anglonormativity and Anglocentrism can lead to either ignoring or appropriating the lengthy and rich traditions of Fantasy and the fantastic written in other languages and cultures, many of which predate the Anglophone tradition. Those non-Anglophone traditions have resulted in unique genres separate from Anglocentric Fantasy, others in subgenres like Afrofuturism, and still others in culturally-specific incarnations of Fantasy. Recent years have seen an increase in the publication and profile of works of Fantasy and the fantastic translated from a variety of languages (Chinese, Russian, Greek and Malay, to name but a few) as well as the output of English-speaking authors of colour such as Nalo Hopkinson and Kai Ashante Wilson, who bring their own backgrounds and language into their work. Within Anglophone countries, there has been a slowly growing tendency to centre the perspective of racially, culturally, and ethnically marginalised groups whose perspectives have historically been underrepresented in white Anglocentric fantasy. Indigenous authors are also starting to make their presence known in the fantastic, using the genre to examine the contested space of colonised land, and imagine escape from or alternatives to a history and present of oppression and erasure. Tolkien’s white British English may still be treated as the default for Fantasy, but as Dharmadhikari argues, “Dragons are not universal, and fantasies are not homogenous.”

GIFCon 2020 is a two-day symposium that seeks to examine and honour the heterogeneity of Fantasy and the fantastic beyond Anglonormativity and Anglocentrism. We welcome proposals for papers relating to this theme from researchers and practitioners working in the field of Fantasy and the fantastic across all media, whether within the academy or beyond it. We are particularly interested in submissions from postgraduate and early career researchers. We will also offer creative workshops for those interested in exploring the creative process.

We ask for 300-word abstracts for 20-minute papers, as well as creative presentations that go beyond the traditional academic paper. Regrettably, despite our desire to centre the non-Anglophonic, we are only able to accept papers presented in English.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

Non-Anglocentric histories and traditions of Fantasy and the fantastic in all forms of media
The postcolonial fantastic, by authors such as Helen Oyeyemi, Salman Rushdie, N. K. Jemisin, Nalo Hopkinson, and Zen Cho
The use of real non-Anglophone languages in Fantasy
Translation studies and the fantastic
Accounts of non-Anglophone scholarship on Fantasy and the fantastic
Influence of Anglocentrism and Anglonormativity on the non-Anglocentric and non-Anglonormative
The non-Anglocentric European fantastic, e.g. Slavic, Nordic, Mediterranean, Gaelic
The (mis)use, exoticism, and appropriation of non-Anglocentric cultural traditions and fantasy lineages into the Fantasy ‘canon’
Indigeneity and indigenous self-determination in Indigenous forms of Fantasy
Deconstruction, decolonisation, and counterappropriation as topics within and movements surrounding Fantasy texts
Postcolonial reception of Anglocentric texts, e.g. the success of Harry Potter in India
Implications of “writing back” to Anglophone genres
Diasporic Fantasy and the fantastic
Relationship between Fantasy and non-Anglocentric genres and forms, e.g. magical realism, masala films, Africanjujuism, shenmo xiaoshuo, fantastique, kaiju, etc.
Fantasy and the fantastic in a non-Anglocentric medium, e.g. Bollywood fantasies, manga, anime, jrpgs, Karagöz shadow plays
Fan efforts to create space for non-Anglocentric experiences in Anglocentric texts
Marginalised traditions within Anglocentric fantasy, i.e. works of the fantastic about and by immigrant communities, religious minorities, and racial and ethnic minorities
Relationship between non-Anglocentric Fantasy and the regional cultural industries that produce them
The presence or lack thereof of non-Anglocentric Fantasy in Anglocentric spaces
Relationship between Fantasy and religious or spiritual beliefs in non-Anglocentric cultures

Please submit a 300-word abstract and a 100-word bionote to by 12th January 2020 at midnight UTC. For further submission details, visit

Craft Critique Culture Conference 2020: Justice Framed

Call for Papers

The University of Iowa English Department invites proposals for its 2020 Annual Conference, Craft Critique Culture, to be held on the campus of The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.

Event date: Friday, April 17 – Saturday, April 18, 2020

Abstract deadline: Friday, January 24th, 2020

Categories: interdisciplinary, humanities, arts, literature, language, politics, law, social justice, criminal justice, race, gender, LGBTQ+

CRAFT CRITIQUE CULTURE is an interdisciplinary conference focusing on the intersections of critical and creative approaches to writing both within and beyond the academy. This year’s conference will interrogate frames of justice, criminality, and deviancy.

Jacques Derrida states that justice “is that which must not wait.” At the same time, he acknowledges the paradox that justice has yet to arrive: “justice remains, is yet, to come, venir.” In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” King describes the “myth of time” that society propagates to maintain social, class, and racial hierarchies. The government, media, and public caution marginalized peoples to “be patient” and “wait”—they say that justice will come in time. Through this spiritual bypassing, society can falsely, but effectively, accuse those fighting for justice as “agitators” and “incendiaries.” The fight for justice thus becomes framed as criminal and deviant behavior. MLK resists this framing in his letter when he urges us to see that “‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.’” This tension between justice yet to come and justice that cannot be delayed demonstrates the complicated, variant, and urgent purviews of justice.

CCC 2020 seeks submissions that explore the broad concepts of “justice,” “criminality,” or “deviancy.” Whether it is the media and government’s targeting of civil rights activists in the 1960s, the policing of black, indigenous, poor, and migrant folks, or in the criminalization of LGTBTQ+ identities, “deviance” is punished by society. Thus, “justice framed” can mean anything from social justice activism to the ways in which “justice” is used to advance oppression. While the theme asks that we think about the many ways that justice is “framed” (e.g. how it is formulated, how it is repudiated, and how it is abstracted), it also asks that we radically and consciously reimagine what justice could be. For if we take seriously Angela Davis’s assertion that “justice is indivisible,” then we must also consider her declaration: “You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.”

Possible areas of focus might include but are not limited to the following:

Who do current “justice” systems protect, and who do they target / harm?
Transformative, restorative, and other forms of justice in comparison to punitive justice systems
What should be the responsibilities, duties, and actions of those who witness injustice? What does an “ethical / moral witness” to injustice look like?
The role of storytelling, art, and humanities in transforming our ideas of justice and criminality
Who does society define as criminals or deviants? How do we redefine “criminality” or “deviancy?”
The relationship between criminality/deviancy and reaching justice
Religious, spiritual, or faith-based notions of justice
Economic and environmental applications of injustice under capitalism / crimes against land and justice for land
Social justice activism and pedagogy
Prison abolition, decriminalization, police reform, and racial justice
Queer, reproductive, and gendered justice
In what ways have crimes against land and people been normalized and capitalized, and how do they intersect?
The distinctions between justice and law
How technology and surveillance systems are used for or against “justice”
Borders (geographical, conceptual, ideological, literary, political, and bodily) and the criminalization of people and movements
National/transnational deviancy, crime, justice and injustice: cultural, linguistic, historical, commercial, ideological

We invite proposal submissions for the following categories:

Panel Presentations
Roundtable sessions

Please submit 300-word abstracts along with your name, department, email, and university affiliation (if any) to by Friday, January 24, 2020.

For more information, you can visit our website at:

Twitter: @craft_crit_cult



Children’s Literature and Climate Change

Special Issue of The Lion and the Unicorn

Guest Editors: Marek Oziewicz, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Lara Saguisag, College of Staten Island-City University of New York

We seek essays on how children’s literature empowers young people to productively engage with the challenges of climate change. After decades of climate change denial and toothless mainstream response, young people are angry. In response to climate change illiteracy and the impotence and negligence of adult-led institutions, teenage activists such as Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and Greta Thunberg are calling for radical and immediate action. How does children’s literature and media stoke this transformative anger and inspire young people to address the climate crisis and fight for their fundamental rights to life, health, and sustenance? How can educators and scholars of children’s literature support this fight? What new concepts, approaches, and narratives are needed to accelerate the sociopolitical revolution that will dismantle the status quo, or what Amitav Ghosh calls “the Great Derangement”? In this issue, we intend to bring together innovative research on children’s literature that attends to multiple facets of climate change and advances a conversation about the planetary future we can and want to create.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

• The role of children’s literature on climate change in raising young people’s awareness about their responsibility to the biosphere;

• Depictions of climate change across various genres and forms, including picturebooks, chapter books, comics, short stories, and novels;

• Films, apps, music, and games that engage with climate change and seek to mobilize youth action;

• Constructions of childhood in climate change narratives and discourses;

• Climate change and youth participation in community protests, political campaigns, nonviolent civil disobedience, ecotage (ecosabotage), and ecorism (ecoterrorism);

• Climate change narratives about and by Indigenous youth and youth of color, who are often at the forefront of climate justice initiatives and whose communities are disproportionately threatened by climate change;

• Children’s and YA books that link responsibility to climate change with, in the words of Kim Q. Hall, “commitments to futures that are queer, crip, and feminist”;

• Depictions of environmental racism and classism as facets of climate change;

• Climate change and human migrations, including stories about climate refugees; • Comparative studies of children’s and YA literature on climate change published in the global north and the global south;

• Visions of climate futures, including discourses of hope or despair;

• Reimagining and restructuring institutions of children’s literature that depend on, profit from, and support polluting, extractive industries;

• Intersections of critical discourse on climate change and children’s literature scholarship, including new taxonomies and emerging genres apposite to the challenges of conceptualizing climate change, from environmental literature and cli-fi to eco-fiction and beyond;

• Reevaluations of existing literary traditions through new theoretical concepts or approaches such as energy humanities, environmental humanities, indigenous futurisms, the Anthropocene, ecocritical posthumanism, and other lenses.

Essays should be sent to guest editors Marek Oziewicz and Lara Saguisag at by July 15, 2020. Submissions should be in the range of 4000 to 8000 words (although we will also consider shorter, forum-length essays). Accepted articles will appear in The Lion and the Unicorn, vol. 45, no. 2 (2021).

We invite manuscript submissions about the speculative fiction archive for a special issue of JFA, anticipated in Fall 2020. You may have seen our previous call for papers for the ICFA panel that will take place on this same subject.

Special Issue of Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts: Expanding the Archive

In 2019, the fanfiction site Archive of Our Own (AO3) won a Hugo award. This repository of nearly 5 million original works, representing over 30 thousand fandoms, stands out in the world of Science Fiction and Fantasy awards not only because of the sheer number of authors it represents, but also because it is the first Hugo win for unpublished fanfiction and many of the authors are young women. This victory draws attention to what is “archived” and, by extension, what is valued. AO3’s Hugo win is not the year’s only example of the expanding canon of Speculative Fiction. The documentary film Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, produced by Tananarive Due, directed by Xavier Burgin, and based on Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman’s book Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present (2011), begins with the assertion that “black history is black horror” and tracks how the genre can engage with questions of race and power. Similarly, Dr. Ebony Thomas’s The Dark Fantastic considers Black female characters in recent fantasy books and film, and explores how these characters mirror racist violence in the real world. Each of these examples makes a case for expanding the idea of the canon (and what we value enough to archive) to include different types of characters and voices.

In terms of physical archives, a recent open letter on the Reading While White blog called out the lack of context and white-washing of the University of Minnesota’s Children’s Literature Research Collection’s exhibit and corresponding book The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter, demonstrating that even professional archives are not neutral—especially once their materials are extracted and exhibited for public consumption. In the wake of this controversy, curators of archives, whether in libraries, classrooms, or their own scholarly work, must address how curated materials and their surrounding context represent choices that speak to the curator’s values and priorities.

While projects such as the Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction discuss the methods and content of speculative fiction archival research, in this special issue we are interested in the metacognitive work of questioning the archive. Kenneth Kidd’s 2011 article “The Child, the Scholar, and the Children’s Literature Archive” did some of this work in the context of children’s literature, considering the perceived childishness of collecting children’s books and how materials gain different cultural capital when archived and studied. Kidd writes, “By preserving children’s materials, and conferring upon them special (primarily historical but also affective) value, the archive asserts the research value of children’s literature within the broader culture of academic and university research” (9). A very similar thing could be said of science fiction and fantasy archives, where the mere act of archiving claims value for the genre and its objects, but also makes claims about the genre and its cultural capital.

When archives hold the power to exclude and include, to value and affirm both people and genre, then how do we as scholars decide what belongs and how do we think through the consequences of those choices for ourselves, our students, and our field? We encourage submissions that answer these questions and otherwise critically examine the archive, broadly defined.

Submissions may consider but are not limited to the following topics in relation to archives:

The worth/value estimation of collecting
Teaching courses in the archives
Archival pedagogy- constructing the archives for our courses/ asking students to construct their own archives
Controversies and canon
Digital collections
Internet as archive
Fan spaces
Race and representation
Award winners as archive

Please submit all inquiries and essays of 5,000-9,000 words (20-30 pages) to Emily Midkiff ( or Sara Austin ( by Feb 1, 2020. Since the refereeing process is anonymous, the author’s name should not appear anywhere on the text file itself, including the notes. An abstract of 100-150 words should be included with each submission. Please ensure that all citations and the Works Cited entries are in current MLA style. For complete guidelines, please refer to the JFA Style Sheet for Articles (

Call for Papers

International Conference for Early Career Researchers
held by the DFG-funded Research Training Group “European Dream Cultures”

from the 10th to the 12th of February 2020 at Saarland University

Dreaming with all Senses.
Sensory Perception in Aesthetic Dream Representations

In her memoirs (1903), deaf-blind author Helen Keller writes: “In my dreams I have sensations, odours, tastes, and ideas which I do not remember to have had in reality.” In fact, dreams cannot be reduced to their visual and verbal dimension but include other forms of perception and experience: Neuroscientific research shows that dreaming involves all our senses (Bulkeley 2009, Schredl 2008). Above all efforts in psychoanalysis, hermeneutics or the natural sciences to ascribe functions and meanings to dreams, they are an elementary body experience: From the weightlessness of flying to the experience of paralysing stillness, from erotic excitement to physical impulses of anger or fear – dreaming takes place on the dimension of bodily and sensory perception.

Sensory perception itself opens up a vast field of possibilities for the arts. From the allegorical representation of the five senses in Flemish painting in the seventeenth century to the clarinet concerto D’om le vrai sens (2011) by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, from the late medieval tapestries La Dame à la licorne (sixteenth century) to Jeremy Podeswa’s episodic film The Five Senses (CAN 1999) or David Mackenzie’s science fiction drama film Perfect Sense (UK/DK/SE/IE 2011), the five sensory organs themselves often become the subject of aesthetic representation. Furthermore, synesthetic experiences – from Richard Wagner’s idea of Gesamtkunstwerk to Wassily Kandinsky or installation art – have become a way for the arts to transcend their sensory and medial limitations. Finally, it seems fitting to point to the thesis of philosopher Otto Friedrich Bollnow, stating that the sensory organs only become “real human senses” through art, which affirms the pedagogical and political function of the interdependency between aesthetic artefacts and sensory perception (Bollnow 1988: 31).

Even though dreams and aesthetics are both rooted in bodily experience and sensory perception, there has been little research on this topic. Some disciplines, such as phenomenologically oriented film studies (Barker 2009, Casetti 2008) or interdisciplinary approaches like the so-called somaesthetics (Shusterman 2005, 2012) have recently tried to analyse the interrelation of aesthetic artefacts and their bodily dimension. The DFG-funded Research Training Group “European Dream-Cultures” (“Europäische Traumkulturen”, GRK 2021) has already held a conference on dreams as liminal experiences related to birth and death. It has also dedicated an anthology to their representations in literature, art, music and film (Bertola/Solte-Gresser 2019). The questions raised here will be considered at the planned conference by extending the thematic scope to sensory perception in dreams but at the same time by focussing on the specific characteristics of the aesthetic representation of such experiences. We welcome contributions analysing the presence, modes of representation and functions of dreams in art. According to the concept of the “European Dream Cultures” (Oster/Reinstädler 2017), the conference will pursue its subject across different cultures, eras, media and disciplines.

Examples for possible contributions include:

Individual and/or collective sensory perceptions in aesthetic dream representations, relating to war, trauma, violence, colonial or postcolonial oppression, liberation.

Use of dreamlike logic as a way of depicting sensory experiences that cannot be narrated conventionally or communicated in a logical/discursive manner.

Design of innovative aesthetic forms or the challenging of traditional norms of representation and/or genres by means of a ‘different’ logic that focusses on the sensory perception in dreams.

Synesthetic dream experiences and their representations in art.

Sensory experiences of alterity in dreams (Doppelgänger, shifting into another person or transformation into animals and/or objects) and their aesthetic depiction.

Aesthetic representations of dreams involving liminal experiences or transgressions related to the body or the senses, such as self-distance, changes of location, outer and inner spaces of the body, experiences of unusual or impossible body movements.

Similarities and differences between the aesthetic representation of dreams during sleep and other dreamlike phenomena such as hallucination, ecstasy, visions, prophecies, traumatic flashbacks.

Smelling, feeling, touching, tasting, seeing or hearing objects in their materiality and their aesthetic representation in/as dreams.

Aesthetic representations of sensations in dreams, such as fear, joy, sensuality, uncanniness, or of the experience of time, space, sound and colour across different media.

Following the concept of the Research Training Group “European Dream-Cultures” (, this call is addressed to early career researchers (doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers) from the disciplines of art, theatre, film, media, music and literary studies, as well as history, philosophy and other related studies.

Please submit your proposal as a Word file to by the 3rd of November 2019. Please describe your project – in English, German or French – in an abstract not exceeding 3,000 characters and include a short CV.

The languages spoken at the conference will be German, English and French. Following the conference, we plan to include selected contributions in a volume of the series Traum – Wissen – Erzählen, published by Fink (Paderborn).

Selected Bibliography
Barker, J. M. (2009). The Tactile Eye: Touch and the Cinematic Experience. Berkeley.
Bertola, M. / Solte-Gresser, C. (2019). An den Rändern des Lebens. Träume vom Sterben und Geborenwerden in den Künsten. Paderborn.
Bollnow, O. F. (1988). Zwischen Philosophie und Pädagogik. Aachen.
Bulkeley, K. (2009). Seeking patterns in dream content: A systematic approach toward searches. Consciousness and Cognition, 18, 905-916.
Casetti, F. (2008). Eye of the Century. Film, Experience, Modernity. New York.
Oster, P. / Reinstädler, J. (2017). Traumwelten. Interferenzen zwischen Text, Bild, Musik, Film und Wissenschaft. Paderborn.
Schredl, M. (2008). Traum. München.
Shusterman, R. (2005). Leibliche Erfahrung in Kunst und Lebensstil. Berlin.
Shusterman, R. (2012). Körper-Bewusstsein. Für eine Philosophie der Somaästhetik. Hamburg.

Imagining Alternatives – Speculative Fiction and the Political

11th Annual Conference of the Gesellschaft fuer Fantastikforschung (GFF) in cooperation with the German Popular Culture Studies Association (GPCA)

September 10-12, 2020, University of Augsburg, Germany

Author Ian McEwan’s recent claims that Science Fiction is not political enough are not only elitist, but also could not be farther from the truth. After all, any Speculative Fiction, no matter if it is Science Fiction, Fantasy, the Gothic, Horror, or any other variation of the fantastic, has always been political in that they make it possible for us to imagine alternatives to the lives we live – whether it is the warnings of dystopian works such as George Orwell’s 1984 or more recently, Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and its adaptation into a TV series that have resonated at times of #metoo and Trump. Alternate histories such as Man in the High Castle continue to keep audiences similarly engaged, while Harry Potter’s allegory on fascism has served as inspiration for political protest against right-wing voices, particularly for the millennial generation that has grown up with it. Star Trek’s humanist utopia is still going strong after 50 years, and its most recent installment, Star Trek: Discovery may in many ways be its most political yet – particularly given the controversies its spiked for its strive for diversity, bringing to the forefront larger issues surrounding certain sections of SF fans that want to claim the genre(s) as mere escapism without political ideology.

SF has also been used for political (Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged) or religious (scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s works or Tim La Haye’s Left Behind series) propaganda, further showing the cultural capital of speculative fiction. Jurassic Park has warned us of the ills of consumerism driving science, Tolkien’s works are not just ecocritical but also anti-fascist, and Doctor Who’s titular character continues to not only fight the Daleks, a thinly-veiled Nazi allegory, but has also recently visited Rosa Parks. Additionally, the recent surge in Climate Fiction, a genre originally advanced by hard SF writers, has built up optimism about the ability of popular culture to not only portray but also ignite eco-political engagement.

This conference thus calls for papers on all forms and genres of speculative fiction and their engagement with the political, be it novels, film, television series, or immersive media such as games or theme parks.

There is generally an open track to submit papers on any SF-related topic, however, we specifically welcome discussions of such issues as:

political ideology in works of SF, incl. fan-produced content based on them
the relevance of works of SF for resistance movements
utopia, dystopia, and the continued project to imagine the future
depictions of minorities in SF and their political implications
general debates surrounding the politics of SF, transnational differences/similarities

Please send abstracts (in English or German) of 300 words plus bio blurbs of 150 words to by January 15, 2020.

The GFF will offer travel grants of 250 Euros each for two (graduate) students attending the conference. Please let us know if you want to be considered when applying.

A conference homepage with more information will follow over the coming months. The conference Twitter handle is @GFF_11th.

CFP for ICFA 2020: Trans Futurisms

In the first issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly, Susan Stryker and Paisley Currah write, “Transgender does not simply critique present configurations of power/knowledge; it is engaged with all manner of unexpected becomings, oriented toward a future that, by definition, we can anticipate only imperfectly and never fully grasp” (9). Trans is about the future – about transitions, becomings, evolution, and potentiality. Science fiction offers a privileged site for these trans futures – in fact, there is a long history of trans characters in SF, although that history is not yet centralized in SF studies. From Joanna Russ to Gerald Vizenor to Octavia Butler to N. K. Jemisin, trans people appear in SF as dystopian monsters, exercises in critical estrangement, casually-included minor characters, and very occasionally as the authors and protagonists of our own stories. Trans bodies themselves have historically been understood as science fictions: as artificial men and surgically-constructed women, unreal genders made up on Tumblr, or grotesque monsters who may not be men or women at all. Trans theorist Susan Stryker said it best in her 1994 essay, “My Words to Victor Frankenstein above the Village of Chamounix”: “I am a transsexual, and therefore I am a monster” (240).

This panel explores generative crossings between “trans” and “SF”: trans futures, trans speculative fictions, trans as science fiction, science fiction as trans. Potential areas of inquiry may include, but are not limited to:

• How has SF historically imagined and used trans characters?
• How can SF create more livable futures for trans life?
• What does it mean to write and read SF while trans women of color are being murdered at epidemic rates?
• How have Afrofuturist, latino futurist, indigenous futurist, and other artists of color imagined futures for trans people?
• How have trans writers, artists, and activists envisioned and built their own futures?
• What does it mean for one’s body to be read as science fictional – or to see your own body as speculative fiction?
• How does SF help extend conceptions of “trans” beyond the human?
• How do fan cultures create, rewrite, and extend trans futures?

I welcome creative contributions as well as academic presentations. Please contact Dagmar Van Engen at by October 20 with questions or proposals of <500w.

Please find pasted below the call for papers for the next issue of Dzieciństwo. Literatura i Kultura [Childhood: Literature and Culture], a biannual journal published at the University of Warsaw, Poland. The theme of the issue is Horror(s) of childhood and adolescence, and the deadline is January, 31, 2020.

The first issue of the journal is here:
All papers are peer-reviewed and, if accepted, published in open access without any article processing fees.

Call for papers 1/2020

To read more about the journal, including our submission procedure, please visit our platform: (to change the language to English, please click the ‘globe’ button of the page). You can also find us on Facebook:

Yours faithfully,

Maciej Skowera

Vice-director of the journal  Dzieciństwo. Literatura i Kultura [Childhood: Literature and Culture


Horror(s) of childhood and adolescence

On the one hand, within literary and film studies, the notion of horror is used as a genological category. On the other hand, as an aesthetic category, it is referred to various cultural texts: literary works, films, and TV series as well as theatrical performances and video games. Anita Has-Tokarz, in a monograph Horror w literaturze współczesnej i filmie [Horror in Contemporary Literature and Film] (2010), even considers it to denote “an effect [of dread] exerted on the recipient by a [cultural] text” (p. 51; our own translation). We would like to devote the third issue of “Dzieciństwo. Literatura i Kultura” to the relations of childhood and adolescence with horror – understood in all these ways – which are visible in three fields of consideration.

Firstly: the child in horror fiction. Culture, especially popular culture, eagerly casts children in the roles of disturbingly mysterious, mediumistic, frightening, demonic beings, or even torturers – but also in the roles of victims, specially protected individuals, objects of interest of variously presented evil, as well as heroes and heroines who are the only ones that can fight this evil. From the classic examples, it is enough to recall the teenage girl, Regan, from The Exorcist directed by William Friedkin, the young antichrist from The Omen franchise, and children’s characters from Stephen King’s prose – e.g. The Shining, Children of the Corn, Pet Semetary, or It – and from many famous screen adaptations of his works. Such figures – demonic children, but also children as saviours – have appeared in many popular films in recent years, such as John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place, Jennifer Kent’s Babadook, or Ari Aster’s Hereditary; in TV series, to mention the American Horror Story anthology by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, Stranger Things by the Duffer brothers, The Haunting of Hill House by Mike Flanagan (loosely based on the novel by Shirley Jackson); in video games, e.g. The Last of Us by the Mighty Dog studio and American McGee’s Alice series; and, finally, in literature, like Josh Malerman’s already filmed novel, Bird Box. It is also worth to mention the approaches other than the Anglo-Saxon ones: the dreadful child presented by the classics of Japanese horror cinema in which it is an embodiment of tragedy and mystery, and where childhood is stigmatised by unimaginable suffering from which the protagonists cannot free themselves (e.g. The Ring and Dark Water by Hideo Nakata, or Ju-On: The Grudge by Takashi Shimizu); Spanish, Portuguese, Mexican, and South American representations, connected to folklore, traditional beliefs, and fairy tales, such as Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth or J. A. Bayona’s The Orphanage; the cruel children from German and Austrian works, e.g. Goodnight Mommy by Veronica Franz and Severin Fiala. We would like to look at the ways in which children’s characters are used both in the classics of the genre and in the latest cultural production.

Secondly: children’s and young adult horror fiction. In the last dozen or so years, we have been experiencing a renaissance of horror literature for young people. The literary roots of such works date back to the tradition of the 19th century and, inter alia, to the so-called pedagogy of fear, while in the 20th century, classical examples are the works by John Bellairs, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Today, many authors display both the ludic and reflective dimensions of horror, such as Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), Ian Ogilvy, Chris Priestley, or Neil Gaiman and, in Poland, Marcin Szczygielski and Grzegorz Gortat. The issue of horror in cultural texts for children and young adults has become the subject of research of many scholars, both in Poland, especially Katarzyna Slany, and abroad, including Jessica R. McCort, Michael Howarth as well as Anna Jackson, Karen Coats and Roderick McGillis, Monica Flegel, Christopher Parkes, Chloé Germaine Buckley, K. Shryock Hood, Laura Hubner. To continue the considerations they have undertaken, we would like to invite authors to examine the strategies of creating horror fiction for young recipients – not only literary works, but also those from other media, such as films, TV series, video games, comic books.

Thirdly and lastly: childhood and adolescence as a horror. In this problem area, the concept of horror will be understood the most broadly. Such plots and motifs appear in works addressed both to adults (including biographical and autobiographical pieces) and children and young adults. The dominance of the Arcadian tone in cultural texts for young people is a thing of the past; for several decades, there has been a clear tendency to raise drastic subjects, tabooed before, such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, addictions, suicides, etc. 13 Reasons Why, a famous TV series created by Brian Yorkey (adapted from the novel by Jay Asher), Euphoria by Sam Levinson, Stephen Chbosky’s novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower and its screen adaptation directed by the writer, The Lovely Bones by Jodi Picoult and Peter Jackson’s film based on this work, Dom nie z tej ziemi [The House Out of This World] by Małgorzata Strękowska-Zaremba, The Book Everything by Guus Kuijer, or transgressive picturebooks (like those by Gro Dahle and Svein Nyhus) – are just a few of the many examples. Another issue is the horror of childhood and adolescence in dystopias and post-apocalyptic narratives, those for adult audiences (The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and a TV series inspired by this prose, The Road by Cormac McCarthy and a film based on it) and those for young adults (Suzanne Collins’s trilogy The Hunger Games, Veronica Roths’s Divergent series, and screen adaptations of these works, or Meto by Yves Grevet) and children (Woolvs in the Sitee by Margaret Wild and Anne Spudvilas). Social problems with a destructive impact on childhood and adolescence, reflected or extrapolated in many cultural texts, are therefore another issue we encourage potential authors to explore.

We invite you to consider various aspects of the relations of childhood and adolescence with horror in diverse cultural texts for different audiences. We are interested in cross-sectional articles and case studies about works created in the 19th, 20th, and 21st century. The three problem areas we identified – the child in horror fiction, horror for children and young adults, and childhood and adolescence as a horror – do not cover such a complex issue fully; therefore, the editorial team is open to other proposals, going beyond the proposed topics.

We also invite you to send texts unconnected with the issue’s subject matter to our Varia and Reviews sections.

Article submission deadline: 31.01.2020