CfP: Special Issue: Children and Popular Culture

CFP: Children and Popular Culture
by Patrick Cox, H-NET VP and Editor
CFP: Global Studies of Childhood

Special Issue: Children and Popular Culture

Guest Editor: Patrick Cox, Rutgers University

Childhood and youth are always contested notions, but perhaps nowhere more than in popular culture. Popular culture offers representations of children and youth as, among other things, wise, dangerous, evil, innocent, sexual, doomed, and in various states of “in progress.” Popular culture is also the broad site of much child agency, where children and youth produce texts from novels to YouTube channels to websites, blogs, and zines, frequently outstripping their adult contemporaries in technological savvy and communicative capability. Popular culture for children is by turns condescending to the youngest audience, crass, pedantic, and appropriated by adults for their own pleasure. Elements of popular culture are designed to educate and socialize children; others are manipulated by children as political activism. These turns call into question and trouble conceptions not only of “the child” but of “popular culture” itself and propose a compelling nexus of questions befitting both Childhood Studies and Popular Culture Studies.

In this special issue, authors are invited to consider intersections of popular culture by, for, and about childhood, both broadly construed. We will explore both the impacts of popular culture on youth and childhood and the very real impacts of children and youth on popular culture. All disciplinary approaches are welcome, including but not limited to textual and visual analysis, ethnographic work, studies of children’s popular material culture, historical readings, comparative analysis of texts, and consumer and communication studies.

Additionally, contemplations of the interstices between Childhood Studies and Popular Culture Studies as academic endeavors are encouraged. The two fields have been in limited conversation with one another, perhaps separated by epistemological and methodological concerns, yet the available data seems like a rich vein for insight. While both fields are multi-disciplinary and continuously evolving, Childhood Studies maintains very clear traces of its roots in social sciences, while Popular Culture Studies is still found more often housed in the Humanities. The two fields each have at their center subjects that have at times made it difficult for them to be taken seriously as sites of academic inquiry. With different questions at their core, how can the two fields interact? Put another way, how do we study this multitude of texts?

Topics for this special issue might include:

Popular culture and education, whether intentional or inadvertent;
Children’s popular culture as grown-up nostalgia;
Youth vs. adult perspectives on popular culture;
Children and youth as producers of popular culture;
New media as empowering or oppressive;
Capabilities for communication and interconnectivity;
Adult consumption of children’s popular culture;
Children’s consumption of decades-old popular culture;
Definitions of youth in popular culture;
Nostalgia through revivals and reboots;
Social media;
Diminishing space between children’s and adult popular culture.

The guest editor welcomes submissions of articles via the journal submission system on its SAGE Publishing site. See “Submission Guidelines” here:

Deadline for submissions: December 1, 2017.

Please send any queries to guest editor Patrick Cox at

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CfP: Economics and SF

Economics and SF

deadline for submissions:
March 31, 2018

full name / name of organization:

contact email:

How does SF represent and reflect on economic life?

How do finance, value, exchange, production, and the everyday economic reality of people’s lives appear in SF? How might SF contribute to the ongoing evolution of economics? And what might creators of science fiction, as custodians of radical visions of social organisation, learn from economics at this critical moment?

Vector is pleased to invite proposals for short articles (2,000-4,000 words) exploring science fiction in relation to any and all themes related to economics, as well as economic history, economic sociology, economic anthropology, economic humanities, finance, political economy, IPE, and other adjacent disciplines and fields.

Please submit abstracts of 200-400 words to by 31 March 2018.

We particularly welcome proposals to explore women’s writing and/or writing by BAME authors. As well as articles, we would also be interested in hearing ideas for unusual and/or innovative forms of contribution, and other informal thoughts and queries.

Here are just a few texts which may be worthy of consideration:

Margaret Atwood, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth
Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower
Cory Doctorow, Walkaway
Ursula K Le Guin, The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia
Karen Lord, Galaxy Game
Kim Stanley Robinson, Mars Trilogy
Lionel Shriver, The Mandibles
Charles Stross, Neptune’s Brood
Starhawk, The Fifth Sacred Thing
Nalo Hopkinson, ‘Money Tree’
Tim Maughan, ‘Zero Hours’
Michael Swanwick. ‘From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled…’
Frederik Pohl, ‘The Midas Plague’
Jo Walton, ‘The Panda Coin’
Although issue’s focus will mainly be science fiction, we are also open to other genre works, e.g. Max Gladstone’s Craft series, Anne McCaffrey’s Pern, Sherwood Smith’s King’s Shield, Terry Pratchett’s Making Money, Karina Sumner-Smith’s Towers trilogy, and themes such as magic and economics, economies of honour in epic fantasy, etc.

Is mainstream economics in crisis? The discipline is interrogating its own foundations with increasing ferocity. Pressure is growing, from inside economics, and especially from without, to diversify methods and perspectives — and perhaps even to think thoughts that economics has traditionally deemed unthinkable. In this connection, we would also love to see proposals from contributors from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds — including, of course, economists — as well as interdisciplinary collaborative work.

Vector is the critical journal of the BSFA. It is edited by Polina Levontin and Jo Lindsay Walton. Please direct submissions to, and queries to

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CfP: Special Issue on Afrofuturism

The Journal of Science Fiction is accepting submissions for a special issue on Afrofuturism to be published on January 31, 2018.

The Museum of Science Fiction’s annual convention, Escape Velocity, will be hosting literary programming on the subject at this year’s event (September 1-September 3, 2017), and due to the popularity of the topic and the research interests of the JOSF team, we have decided to compile a special issue aggregating essays on science and speculative fiction literature, film, comics, and popular culture which address the experience of blackness. We seek academic articles of 5,000 to 8,000 words, short reflection pieces of 500 to 1,000 words, and book reviews of 500-750 words.

We welcome submissions focusing on any and all aspects of Afrofuturist culture. We hope to include African, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean authors, texts, and perspectives. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

The nomenclature of Afrofuturism: the modern relevance of the term, its origins, and its history
The critical study of race theory, gender, and/or sexuality in Afro-diaspora texts
Authors (including but not limited to the following):
Steven Barnes
Octavia Butler
Maryse Condé
Samuel L. Delaney
Tananarive Due
Jewelle Gomez
Nalo Hopkinson
NK Jemisin
Nnedi Okorafor
Ben Okri
Ishmael Reed
Charles R. Saunders
Colson Whitehead
Ytasha L. Womack
Films, such as Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther, Coney’s Space Is the Place, Nance’s An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Bodomo’s Afronauts, or Sayle’s Brother from Another Planet (to name only a few of the many possibilities)
Queer futurities
Neo-Slave Narratives
Book Reviews
Special consideration will be given to essays addressing literature, theory, and contemporary texts and trends. The deadline for submissions is October 9, 2017.

Please submit completed essays through the MOSF Journal of Science Fiction website, To submit your work, click “About” > “Submissions: Online Submissions”, create an account, and follow the submission prompts.

**We will also consider the submission of proposals (250-500 words), but preference will be given to drafts and completed pieces.**

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CfP: Monsters and Monstrosity, A Special Issue of The Popular Culture Studies Journal

Call for Papers: Monsters and Monstrosity A Special Issue of The Popular Culture Studies Journal

Thanks to Norma Jones for supporting special issue. Please consider submitting and share widely.

Call for Papers: Monsters and Monstrosity
A Special Issue of The Popular Culture Studies Journal
Guest Editor: Bernadette Marie Calafell, University of Denver

Scholars, such as W. Scott Poole and Kendall Phillips, have argued that monsters, particularly those in horror, reflect or correspond to the cultural anxieties of a society. These cultural anxieties are often connected to struggles for power around race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability. Thus, historical context and power are central to studies of monstrosity. Given that we are immersed in what may be considered a horror renaissance, both in film and television, increasing violence against people of color in the U.S., and dangerous and toxic performances of white femininity and masculinity, this is a ripe moment to explore the relationship between monstrosity and popular culture, both literally and figuratively. Thus, this special issues solicits manuscripts that take interdisciplinary approaches to explore the theoretical and methodological possibilities of monstrosity. What can employing monstrosity as a theoretical framework or analytical tool contribute to the study of popular culture? Key questions driving this special issue include: What can monstrosity teach us about Otherness? How can it be used resistively? Conversely, how can monstrosity be used as a tool of oppression? In what ways we can be unpack figures, such as Donald Trump, through the lens of monstrosity? What constitutes monstrosity? How might we understand history differently through the construct of monstrosity? What are the necessary future directions for the study of monstrosity and popular culture? Critical rhetorical, critical qualitative (including critical auto-methodologies), and performative approaches to monstrosity are welcomed.

Potential areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

Twin Peaks and monstrosity
Monstrosity and comics
David Lynch’s uses of monstrosity
NBC’s Hannibal
Adult Swim
Monstrous remakes
History and monstrosity
Afrofuturism and monstrosity
Monstrosity and agency
Monstrous bodies
Monstrous consumption
Monstrosity and adolescence
Monstrosity, menstruation, or menopause
Fatness and monstrosity
Excess and monstrosity
Chicanxfuturism and monstrosity
Celebrity culture and monstrosity
Performance and monstrosity
Wrestling and monstrosity
Intersectional approaches to monstrosity
Feminist possibilities of monstrosity
American Horror Story
Queerness and monstrosity
Monstrosity and sports
Disability and monstrosity
Class and monstrosity
Game of Thrones
Monstrous politicians and politics
The 2016 U.S. Presidential election
Autobiography and monstrosity
Monstrous methodologies
Hybridity and monstrosity
White femininity and monstrosity
Monstrosity and military culture
Monstrosity and toxic masculinities
Monstrosity and white masculinity
Monstrosity and religion
Monstrosity and temporality
Chicana feminism and monstrosity
Monstrosity and Orientalism

Questions can be directed to Bernadette Calafell at Please electronically send submissions (three documents, MS WORD, MLA) to Bernadette Calafell via email at by December 1, 2017.

1) Title Page: A single title page must accompany the email, containing complete contact information (address, phone number, e-mail address).
2) Manuscript: On the first page of the manuscript, only include the article’s title, being sure not to include the author’s name. The journal employs a “blind review” process, meaning that a copy of the article will be sent to reviewers without revealing the author’s name. Please include the works cited with your manuscript.
3) Short Bio: On a separate document, please also include a short (100 words) bio. We will include this upon acceptance and publication.

Essays should range between 15-25 pages of double-spaced text in 12 pt. Times New Roman font, including all images, endnotes, and Works Cited pages. Please note that the 15-page minimum should be 15 pages of written article material. Less than 15 pages of written material will be rejected and the author asked to develop the article further. Essays should also be written in clear US English in the active voice and third person, in a style accessible to the broadest possible audience. Authors should be sensitive to the social implications of language and choose wording free of discriminatory overtones.

For documentation, The Popular Culture Studies Journal follows the Modern Language Association style, as articulated by Joseph Gibaldi and Walter S. Achtert in the paperback MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (New York: MLA), and in The MLA Style Manual (New York: MLA). The most current editions of both guides will be the requested editions for use. This style calls for a Works Cited list, with parenthetical author/page references in the text. This approach reduces the number of notes, which provide further references or explanation.

For punctuation, capitalization, hyphenation, and other matters of style, follow the MLA Handbook and the MLA Style Manual, supplemented as necessary by The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). The most current edition of the guide will be the requested edition for use.

It is essential for authors to check, correct, and bring manuscripts up to date before final submission. Authors should verify facts, names of people, places, and dates, and double-check all direct quotations and entries in the Works Cited list. Manuscripts not in MLA style will be returned without review.

We are happy to receive digital artwork. Please save line artwork (vector graphics) as Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) and bitmap files (halftones or photographic images) as Tagged Image Format (TIFF), with a resolution of at least 300 dpi at final size. Do not send native file formats. Please contact the editor for discussion of including artwork.

Upon acceptance of a manuscript, authors are required to sign a form transferring the copyright from the author to the publisher. A copy will be sent to authors at the time of acceptance.

Before final submission, the author will be responsible for obtaining letters of permission for illustrations and for quotations that go beyond “fair use,” as defined by current copyright law.

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CfP: Territory, Issue VII – Alternate Earths

Territory, Issue VII – Alternate Earths

Maps of the earth might be the most ubiquitous and recognizable type of map, but they also might be the most misleading and the most contested. There is the technical matter of projecting the planet, a three-dimensional object, onto the representational space of a two-dimensional plane, but at a more foundational level, we wonder: what is Earth?

Even the simplest answers aren’t so simple. The earth is round, but has been argued—often elaborately and compellingly—to be flat, hollow, expanding, eternal, illusory, embedded in platonic solids, resting on the back of a turtle that’s resting on the back of a larger turtle, and so on. The earth has seven continents and five oceans, but these are constantly shifting. The earth’s seven continents were once one, but this too is an argument, a narrative constructed from fossil records and glacial deposits. Many argue the earth is headed for destruction while others deny this claim. Many argue the earth is 4.5 billion years while others, less than 10,000.

Earth as planet, resource, globe, home, miracle, stage, habitat, mother, matter, worry, birthplace, and resting place. The earth is the ground beneath our feet, but it is anything but sure. There is always the possibility of an alternate earth, one that inverts, flattens, or otherwise undoes this sense of groundedness and centrality. The question is not whether alternate earths exist, but which you choose to inhabit.

Here are a few we find especially intriguing: Agartha & the hollow earth, Another Earth (2011), Antiterra, Atlantis, Aztlán, alternate histories, bhavacakra, The Books of Genesis & Revelations, brane cosmology, cli-fi, Cosmographia, creation myths, deep time, disaster films, The Drowned World, East of West, ecopoetics, ecumenopoles, eras & epochs, eschatons, the expanding earth, fictional universes, the flat earth & its societies, flood myths, geocentrism, The Global Village, heat death, heliocentrism, Hyperborea, hyperobjects, landfill, the last glacial maximum, Lemuria, ley lines, mappa mundi, Mother Earth / Gaia, Mu, the multiverse, Panthalassa, parallel universes, Pax Germanica, post-apocalyptic fiction, Saṃsāra, sea-level rise, The Southern Reach Trilogy, spirit worlds, supercontinents, T-O maps, terraforming, tidal islands, Waterworld (1995), the world tree, Yggdrasil, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union.

Issue VII will be published February 2018. To learn how to contribute, read our submissions guidelines.

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ICFA’s Permanent Special Guest: Brian Aldiss by Gary K. Wolfe

Brian W. Aldiss, O.B.E., ICFA 7, photo by Robert A. Collins

Brian Aldiss’s 1995 essay collection The Detached Retina carries a dedication to “my esteemed friends of the IAFA team,” and he goes on to name more than a dozen individuals, many of whom are still ICFA regulars or past officers. He often described ICFA as his American home, and he became the conference’s “permanent special guest” after being invited by conference founder Robert Collins to his first ICFA in 1982.  A distinguished literary essayist and historian (The Trillion Year Spree: The True History of Science Fiction), as well as one of England’s great novelists and short story writers, he received the Association’s first Distinguished Scholarship Award in 1986, and in 1999–on the conference’s 20th anniversary–was finally invited as Guest of Honor. On August 19, Aldiss died at his home in Oxford, shortly after celebrating his 92nd birthday.

Brian was clearly proud of his involvement with ICFA, and his 1993 novel Remembrance Day begins with an academic conference in Fort Lauderdale that looks suspiciously familiar to anyone who attended the conference during the Fort Lauderdale years (there are even a couple of thinly-disguised sketches of IAFA folks).  With his characteristically ironic sense of humor, he called his fictional academic organization “The American Stochastic Sociology Association”. He also took understandable pride in his ability to secure some of ICFA’s most distinguished guests.  As he wrote in his 1998 autobiography The Twinkling of an Eye, “I have been able to invite several Guests of Honour over the years–Roger Corman for one, who came with his wife and was a winning presence.  The modest Robert Holdstock also shone.  Tom Shippey, long overdue, made a triumphal appearance in 1996. But perhaps the greatest success was Doris Lessing.  Her sharp good humour pleased everyone.”  There can be little doubt that Brian’s enthusiastic support helped cement the international reputation of the conference, helping it immeasurably to live up to its name.  The very first issue of The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts included an essay by Brian, who wanted to help the journal gain attention upon its launch.

Robert A. Collins, Judith Collins, Brian W. Aldiss, O.B.E., ICFA 17, photo by David G. Hartwell

But for those who attended the conference during the Aldiss years, his unflagging energy and good humor, thoughtful and provocative participation in the academic sessions and panels, frequently hilarious readings, and original plays sometimes almost seem to overshadow his literary eminence, and the many ways in which he connected the conference to the grand traditions of fantasy and science fiction.  As a young bookstore clerk in Oxford, he became friends with C.S. Lewis, who loaned a copy of Aldiss’s early novel Hothouse to his friend J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote Aldiss a generous letter praising the work. He later became literary editor of the Oxford Mail, and eventually counted among his friends major literary figures from Kingsley Amis to Doris Lessing. He received an Order of the British Empire, a Grandmaster Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America, an honorary doctorate from Liverpool University, Hugo, Nebula, and BSFA Awards, and a special World Fantasy Award. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and an early inductee into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in Seattle. His novels include not only science fiction classics like Greybeard, Hothouse, Non-Stop, and the epic Helliconia trilogy, but also more experimental works such as Report on Probability A and Barefoot in the Head and non-fantastic literary novels such as his “Squire Quartet”– Life in the West, Forgotten Life, Remembrance Day, Somewhere East of Life.

He had two major engagements with Hollywood.  In 1990, the famously low-budget director Roger Corman chose an adaptation of Frankenstein Unbound for his first directorial effort after nearly twenty years (Brian showed some rather hilarious rushes from the unfinished film before the special effects had been added, with the costumed actors walking through an ordinary parking lot ). In 1982, Brian signed a contract with Stanley Kubrick–who had contacted him a few years earlier after reading Billion Year Spree, the first edition of Brian’s history of science fiction–and this led to a long and sometimes contentious series of discussions about adapting his story “Super Toys Last All Summer Long” into a film. Although Kubrick never completed the film before he died, the project was later revived by Steven Spielberg as A.I., though Brian was no longer involved.

Brian W. Aldiss, O.B.E. and Sharon Baker, ICFA 3, photo by Robert A. Collins

It was easy to forget all this in light of Brian’s irrepressible antics at ICFA–dancing on the banquet tables with a young French scholar, being wheeled into a reading wearing a toga, at one point finding a thoroughly illegal way to obtain one last bottle of wine long after the bar had closed, and providing an apparently endless supply of anecdotes and memories of his experiences in Oxford, in the “Forgotten Army” during the campaign in Burma (now Myanmar) during World War II, and in science fiction; one of his funniest stories involved an unlikely and out-of-control gathering of science fiction writers in Rio in the late 1960s. There were times when Brian seemed nearly out of control as well.   Surely one of the funniest performances at IAFA was his reading of a story called “Better Morphosis,” about a cockroach who wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into Franz Kafka; Brian even recruited a chorus of IAFA scholars to perform sound effects for the tale. But he was not always quite so frivolous. Some of his short plays, often performed only at ICFA, were serious business, such as his tribute to Philip K. Dick called, as I recall, “Kindred Blood in Kensington Gore”, as were most of his readings and contributions to panel discussions. One of the most enlightening debates I had ever heard about the Hiroshima bomb was between Brian–who was convinced he might have been part of the invasion of the Japanese mainland had the war continued–and the scholar H. Bruce Franklin, who had written a book arguing that the bomb partly represented America’s infatuation with superweapons.

Certainly, the many writers and scholars who first met Brian at ICFA understood his stature as a major figure in literature; many of us had been reading him since childhood. When Jane Yolen was guest of honor in 1990, Bill Senior and I had the chance to introduce her to Brian in the elevator at the Hilton; they shook hands, Brian got off at his floor, and Jane looked at us and said “I’m never washing this hand again.”  That was not uncharacteristic of responses toward Brian; writers in the science fiction and fantasy fields knew they were meeting a legend, even if not all the younger attendees had grown up reading his fiction as we had. It only took a night or two of drinks by the pool to convince us that this legend was also a boon companion, a terrific raconteur, and a loyal friend not only to ICFA itself, but to many of us who got to know him there.

Brian W. Aldiss, O.B.E. and Carol McMullen Pettit, ICFA 21, photo by Robert A. Collins

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CfP: “200 Years of the Fantastic: Celebrating Frankenstein and Mary Shelley,” ICFA 39, March 14-18, 2018

Please join us for ICFA 39, March 14-18, 2018, when our theme will be “200 Years of the Fantastic: Celebrating Frankenstein and Mary Shelley.”

We welcome papers on the work of: Guest of Honor John Kessel (Nebula, Locus and Tiptree Award winner), Guest of Honor Nike Sulway (Tiptree and Queensland award winner; nominee for Aurealis and Crawford awards), and Guest Scholar Fred Botting (Professor, Kingston University London; author of Making Monstrous: “Frankenstein”, Criticism, Theory; Gothic; and Limits of Horror).

Mary Shelley and her Creature have had a pervasive influence on the fantastic. Brian Aldiss famously proclaimed Frankenstein as the first science fiction novel, fusing the investigation of science with the Gothic mode. Its myriad adaptation on stage, in film and beyond have continually reinvented Shelley’s tale for contemporary audiences, from James Whale’s iconic 1931 film through Showtime’s Penny Dreadful (2014-16). Frankenstein exists in many avatars and many languages. Its central invention of the scientifically created being has become a staple of the fantastic imaginary from Asimov’s robots through Ava in Ex Machina (Alex Garland 2014) or Samantha in Her (Spike Jonze 2013). Shelley Jackson’s early hypertext Patchwork Girl (1995) and Danny Boyle’s innovatively staged version of Nick Dear’s play both shows us how Frankenstein continues to push us toward innovations in form, while the novel’s interest in themes of scientific responsibility, social isolation, and gender inequality remain sharply relevant. We invite papers that explore the many legacies of Frankenstein on fantastic genres, characters, images and modes, especially those that explore the ongoing importance of women’s contributions to them, beginning with Mary Shelley. We also welcome proposals for individual papers, academic sessions, creative presentations, and panels on any aspect of the fantastic in any media.

The deadline for proposals is October 31, 2017. We encourage work from institutionally affiliated scholars, independent scholars, international scholars who work in languages other than English, graduate students, and artists.

To submit a proposal, go to

To contact the Division Heads for help with submissions, go to

To download a copy of the CfP, please click here.

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Brian Aldiss

We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of our Special Guest Emeritus, Brian Aldiss. Brian was a longtime friend of the IAFA and a giant in the field. He authored over 80 books, edited 40 anthologies, and was the winner of numerous awards, including the Hugo and Nebula Awards, the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the IAFA Distinguished Scholarship Award. Please join us in offering our condolences to his family.

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CfP: Gothic Animals: Uncanny Otherness and the Animal With-Out (edited collection)

Gothic Animals: Uncanny Otherness and the Animal With-Out (edited collection)

deadline for submissions:
November 1, 2017

full name / name of organization:
Ruth Heholt and Melissa Edmundson

contact email:

Gothic Animals: Uncanny Otherness and the Animal With-Out

‘The boundary between the animal and the human has long been unstable, especially since the Victorian period. Where the boundary is drawn between human and animal is itself an expression of political power and dominance, and the ‘animal’ can at once express the deepest fears and greatest aspirations of a society’ (Victorian Animal Dreams, 4).

‘The animal, like the ghost or good or evil spirit with which it is often associated, has been a manifestation of the uncanny’ (Timothy Clark, 185).

In the mid nineteenth-century Charles Darwin published his theories of evolution. And as Deborah Denenholz Morse and Martin A. Danahay suggest, ‘The effect of Darwin’s ideas was both to make the human more animal and the animal more human, destabilizing boundaries in both directions’ (Victorian Animal Dreams, 2). Nineteenth-century fiction quickly picked up on the idea of the ‘animal within’ with texts like R.L. Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and H. G. Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau. In these novels the fear explored was of an unruly, defiant, degenerate and entirely amoral animality lying (mostly) dormant within all of us. This was our animal-other associated with the id: passions, appetites and capable of a complete disregard for all taboos and any restraint. As Cyndy Hendershot states, this ‘animal within’ ‘threatened to usurp masculine rationality and return man to a state of irrational chaos’ (The Animal Within, 97). This however, relates the animal to the human in a very specific, anthropocentric way. Non-humans and humans have other sorts of encounters too, and even before Darwin humans have often had an uneasy relationship with animals. Rats, horses, dogs, cats, birds and other beasts have, as Donna Haraway puts it a way of ‘looking back’ at us (When Species Meet,19).

Animals of all sorts have an entirely different and separate life to humans and in fiction this often morphs into Gothic horror. In these cases it is not about the ‘animal within’ but rather the animal ‘with-out’; Other and entirely incomprehensible. These non-human, uncanny creatures know things we do not, and they see us in a way it is impossible for us to see ourselves. We have other sorts of encounters with animals too: we eat animals, imbibing their being in a largely non-ritualistic, but possibly still magical way; and on occasion, animals eat us. From plague-carrying rats, to ‘filthy’ fleas, black dogs and killer bunnies, animals of all sorts invade our imaginations, live with us (invited or not) in our homes, and insinuate themselves into our lives. The mere presence of a cat can make a home uncanny. An encounter with a dog on a deserted road at night can disconcert. The sight of a rat creeping down an alley carries all sorts of connotations as does a cluster of fat, black flies at the window of a deserted house. To date though, there is little written about animals and the Gothic, although they pervade our fictions, imaginations and sometimes our nightmares.

This collection is intended to look at all sorts of animals in relation to the Gothic: beasts, birds, sea-creatures, insects and domestic animals. We are not looking for transformative animals – no werewolves this time – rather we want essays on fictions about actual animals that explore their relation to the Gothic; their importance and prominence within the Gothic. We invite abstracts for essays that cover all animal/bird/insect/fish life forms, from all periods (from the early Modern to the present), and within different types of media – novels, poetry, short stories, films and games.

Topics may include (but are not bound by):

Rats (plague and death)
Dogs (black and otherwise)
Killer bunnies
Uncanny cats
Alien sea creatures
Cows (perhaps with long teeth)
Killer frogs
Beetles, flies, ants, spiders
Snakes and toads
Animals as marginalised and oppressed
Animals in peril
Animal and human intimacies and the breaking of taboos
Exotic animals/animals in colonial regions (Africa, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, India)
Demonic animals
Dangerous animals (rabid dogs, venomous snakes, wolves)
Invasive animals
Animals and disease
Domestic animals
Uncanny animals
Animals connected to supernatural beings (Satanic goats, vampire bats)
Witchcraft and familiar spirits/animal guides
Rural versus urban animals
Sixth sense and psychic energy

Please send 500 word abstracts and a short bio note by 1 November 2017 to: Dr Ruth Heholt ( and Dr Melissa Edmundson (

The collection is intended for the Palgrave MacMillan ‘Studies in Animals and Literature’ series. Completed essays must be submitted by 1 July 2018.

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CfP: ExRe(y) 2018. Exhaustion and Regeneration in Post-Millennial North-American Literature and Visual Culture

The Department of American Literature and Culture at Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin, in cooperation with the Video Game Research Center, is organizing the second of the biannual ExRe(y) conferences. The two-day international conference titled “ExRe(y) 2018. Exhaustion and Regeneration in Post-Millennial North-American Literature and Visual Culture” will take place in Lublin, Poland, on 10-11 May, 2018.

To view the full CfP, please click exreycfp 2018.

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