CfP: CLOSURE: The Kiel University e-Journal for Comics Studies #5 (November 2018)

CLOSURE: The Kiel University e-Journal for Comics Studies #5 (November 2018)
Open Section

In the fall of 2018, CLOSURE will once again offer a forum for all facets of comics studies. From literary, cultural, media, social and image research to the sciences and beyond: the fifth edition of CLOSURE continues our ongoing search for the best and most innovative articles and reviews representing the state of the art in comics research. We welcome detailed close readings as much as comics theory and pioneering approaches to the medium —our open section comprises a diverse range of interdisciplinary studies of all things ›comic‹.

Thematic Section: »Failure« The focus of the thematic section in CLOSURE # 5 is »failure«.

How do comics approach the habit of the ›best-laid plans of mice and men‹ to go askew? Whether things fall apart on the personal or the collective level: mishaps and deficits appear as an ineradicable shadow of perfectionism. Failure is a dogged reminder of the limits of growth, the flaws in a design — and the lopsided image in the nine panel grid.
For CLOSURE #5, we seek contributions that trace the ways in which comics address failing fortunes, regrettable calamities, and abject frustrations. The social and political dimension of failure can be addressed as much as formal and narrative failures. Whether Charlie Brown misses the football yet again, Maggie Chascarillo in Love and Rockets faces all-too realistic adversity or Admian Tomine traces the disappointments of his solitary figures — is there a form of failure specific to comics?

Possible topics for the thematic section include, but are not limited to:
• Failure as a narrative strategy
o Loss, victory, and perspective
o Fear of failure: the narration of emotion and empathy
o Thwarted evil plans: failure, (re-)narration, and seriality
o After failure: catharsis, apocalypse, and learning from mistakes
• Characterization and Representation
o The art of failure: hero’s journeys, myths, progress (and regression)
o Heroes and antiheroes, losers and outsiders
o Self-reference: interrogating the failures of comics in comics o Failing at conformity: queerness, heteronormativity, and the interrogation of failure
• Formal failure
o Comics, art, fragmentation
o Aesthetics and non-narrative
o The failure of form: thwarted closure, collapsing panels, text and image at odds
o Changing taste, shifting canon: ‘bad’ comics and their critics
• Intermedial failure o Publishing booms and busts: target audiences, ill-timed ventures, dead-ends
o Failed careers: exploitation, discrimination and the production of comics
o Failure as a matter of principle: DIY, Comix, Underground, Zines o A failing medium? Markets, value, cultural capital

Please send your abstract for the open section or the thematic section (~ 3000 chars.) as well as a short bio-bibliographical blurb to closure@comicforschung.uni-kiel.de until December 1st, 2017.

The contributions (35.000-50.000 chars) are expected until March 30th, 2018.
For more information about the e-journal CLOSURE and our previous issues, please visit www.closure.uni-kiel.de

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CfP: Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction

Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction

The Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction is a peer-reviewed, open-access, online journal hosted by the University of California at Riverside, affiliated with the UCR Library’s Eaton Collection of Science Fiction & Fantasy. Graduate student editors run the Eaton Journal, with scholarly review provided by an interdisciplinary executive board made up of SF scholars, research librarians, and archivists.

The Eaton Journal creates a space for science fiction scholars to share their findings and their experiences within the several archives dedicated to science fiction found throughout the world. The Eaton Journal is also the only journal dedicated to providing a place for archival librarians to discuss the challenges of managing significant science fiction collections and to share their best practices for facilitating as well as conducting archival research in SF.

The Eaton Journal seeks articles that fall under one of three categories:

Scholarly Articles with a significant research component: These articles are not simply notes and speculations regarding materials in an archive but rather use archival materials to build critical arguments that go beyond the textual and theoretical claims of conventional literary research. While these articles must still be textually and theoretically sound, we provide a venue for research that makes archival evidence its primary focus.

Methods and Transformations Articles: This is a space for articles that seek to expand the bounds of the SF archive, exploring new mediums, materials, or discourses as sites for speculative fiction scholarship. These articles generally seek to retheorize, redefine, and/or reframe the SF archive. Such articles may look to understudied archives (music, fan work, internet sites, etc.), and underserved communities within science fiction (drawing on gender, race, and sexuality studies), or may focus on SF performances, practices, and participatory events that challenge traditional archival methods.

Articles spotlighting neglected authors, emerging archives, and other research opportunities: The third type of article featured in the journal is that which identifies newly discovered or undeveloped archival resources, or points to authors whose archival traces offer particularly rich opportunities for scholarship. Spotlights can include, but are not limited to, interviews, editorials, transcripts of roundtable discussions and multimedia and creative works.

For Submission Information and Formatting Guidelines, visit our website at http://eatonjournal.ucr.edu/guidelines.html

Articles submitted for publication in the Eaton Journal should be sent to the editors at: eatonjournal@gmail.com.

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CfP: Star Trek: Voyager

deadline for submissions:
October 28, 2017

full name / name of organization:
Robert Lively/ Truckee Meadows Community College

contact email:
rlively@tmcc.edu

In 1995, Star Trek: Voyager launched in a way very different from its predecessor series. Voyager took place thousands of light years from the Federation, and it contained a multi-ethnic crew with a female captain. Voyager, in a sense, encapsulated the American zeitgeist of the 1990s when major demographic changes were transforming the population of America, and the post-Cold War era left us wondering what strategic alliances would mean moving forward. The series challenged the nature of the American mindset at the time.

This edited collection attempts to ask the questions, what can we learn from Voyager looking back on the series, and in what ways does Voyager show us a path forward as the world is still changing demographically and politically? It is in this spirit that we invite proposals of 250-300 words dealing with literary, political, historical, and/or other critical interpretations of the series or characters.

McFarland Publishers has expressed strong interest in the collection.

Abstracts (300 words max) are due for submission on 28 Oct. 2017. Please send your abstracts, together with a short bio (100 words max), to the editor of the collection, Robert L. Lively/ rlively@tmcc.edu. Authors whose abstracts are accepted for inclusion will be notified by 30 Nov. 2017. Full chapters of 6,000-7,000 words in MLA format will be due on 1 May 2018.

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CfP: Techniques of the Fantastic, Ninth annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung

Techniques of the Fantastic
Ninth annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung
September 6th – 8th, 2018 at the University of Freiburg/Fribourg (Switzerland)

The techniques of the fantastic are primarily ssociated to futuristic stories and science fiction, in which mankind designs its world under utopic or dystopic conditions. The technologically explainable Wonderful generally seems to be defined as related to fantastic narration, like Tzvetan Todorov’s definition of the “merveilleux instrumental” suggests. Fantastic techniques, however, are also relevant in High and Urban Fantasy, in fantastic related genres such as horror and in Gothic fiction, and even in fairy tales and adventure novels. In many fantastic contexts, different techniques can be observed: to differentiate the fantastic from magic, as alternative forms of motivations of the Wonderful (cf. Uwe Durst), on the narrative scale as literary and aesthetic procedures, for example by using the technique of the unreliable narrator and other stylistic or (meta-)fictional strategies (cf. for example Denis Mellier; Christine Brooke-Rose), as a production-aesthetic aspect for the creation of fantastic worlds (special effects), as an integral component of fantastic narrative worlds, for example in the form of strangely soulful machines of the romantic period, or as ghostly gadgets and plot device of science fiction.

(1) First, technology can be examined as a motif and object of fantastic artefacts and/or narrative worlds. Originating from romantic topoi such as machines, mesmerism, ghostlike projections or scientifically occult motifs of Gothic literature (Frankenstein), technology has proven to be a means of surpassing the humanly possible. Furthermore, connections can be established to the technologies of inhabitants of fantastic narrative worlds such as the technophile dwarf peoples of the Tolkien-derived High Fantasy, but also those present in computer games), and to genres which are fully dominated by a certain type of technology (cyberpunk). The often-dialectic relation between technology and magic can serve as an input to reflection (for example in Auguste de Villiers-de l’Isle d’Adam’s L’Ève future or in Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s The Coming Race). The reference of magic technology to High Fantasy becomes apparent in the industrial destruction of nature by the magician Saruman in Lord of the Rings, but also in the techniques of switching between worlds (for example the “Hogwarts-Express”). This aspect is especially valid in what concerns science fiction, where techniques range from “warp drive” to thinking robots (for example in the works of Isaac Asimov and Stanisław Lem) up to the neuronal total simulation (cf. The Matrix). These techniques can be found in para-historical narrations (which are especially marked by technology, e.g., in the counterfactual narrative worlds of Christian Kracht’s Ich werde hier sein im Sonnenschein und im Schatten).

(2) Another main point would be the cultural and techno-historical relation between certain real historical developments and their fictional adaptation and/or anticipation. This interplay between real and fictional inventions plays an important historico-cultural role since the end of the 19th century (cf. the history of moving images or the discourse on trans- and posthumanism).

(3) Third, another main point of this year’s conference is the literary “technique” as an aesthetic procedure of fantastic artefacts. It deals with the means of representation and narration, such as unreliable or multi-perspectivist narration, narrative short-cuts such as metalepsis, epistolary novels or stories in fantastic narrations, the relation between the immersive realism of representation and fantastic worlds, and more recently, with the appearance of the postmodern-ironic “meta-fantastic”, as it can be found in Julio Cortazar or Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon and Ulrike Draesner.

(4) Furthermore, these topics refer to the used medial or artistic techniques of production. Audio-visual production techniques of the creation of the fantastic are worth taking a closer look at, especially concerning their historic and systematic perspectives. Media-comparative approaches (on special effects, CGI or augmented reality) would be particularly welcomed at this point.

(5) Finally, cultural techniques should be analysed in their receptive handling with the fantastic. This includes cultural processing techniques and ways of dealing, in confrontation with fantastic artefacts. This not only refers to known strategies such as the allegorising reading of the fantastic, but also to trans-fictional extensions of fantastic worlds, fan culture (Cosplay), the rabbit holes of the Alternate Reality Games-cultures, to name only a few examples.

The site of the conference, the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), is located at the language border between the French and the German speaking part of Switzerland. The conference is organized by the local German Studies Department in collaboration with the institute of general and comparative literature, and is especially dedicated to the comparative exchange. Therefore, this year’s abstracts and contributions will gladly be accepted in German, English and French.

Possible topics
• Technology as a motif and object of fantastic artefacts
• Technology as a literary/aesthetic procedure of the fantastic, particularly when taking narrative techniques into account
• Representation techniques of fantastic structures (individual reviews or theoretical considerations): Horror and Gothic, utopias and dystopias, science fiction, fantasy, Magic Realism, speculative fiction, (literary) fairy tales, fables, myths, etc.
• Medial production techniques used for the creation of the fantastic
• Media-comparative and techno-historical examinations about the interplay between Fiction and Faction
• Cultural techniques of the (interaction with the) fantastic, such as fan culture (cosplay) or other approaches to the techniques of fantastic structures (making-ofs, exhibitions, interviews, etc.)
• Media-specific or intermedial/transmedial techniques for the creation of fantastic worlds in films, TV, literature, computer games, etc.

As usually at conferences of the Association for the Research on the Fantastic (GFF), there will be an open track for all lectures which are not directly related to the topic of the conference. Hence, we are open to further proposals.

The GFF offers two scholarships of 250 euros each to students for them to cover their travel expenses to the conference. Should you be interested in this offer, please let us know when handing in your abstract.

The deadline for abstracts and short biographies is February 28th, 2018. Please send them to gff2018@unifr.ch

Conference board
Dr. Sonja Klimek, Dr. Tobias Lambrecht, Prof. Dr. Sabine Haupt, Prof. Dr. Ralph Müller, Prof. Dr. Michel Viegnes

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Kit Reed by Gary K. Wolfe

Kit Reed 
by Gary K. Wolfe

Kit Reed, ICFA 37, 2016, photo courtesy of Bill Clemente

When Kit Reed first attended ICFA in 2009, together with her husband Joe, not everyone immediately knew who she was. David Hartwell, himself a legendary editor of science fiction and fantasy who served on IAFA’s board, quickly started pointing her out to fellow board members and other attendees. “Do you know who that is?” he asked one. “That’s the legendary Kit Reed.”

David, who tragically died last year, knew virtually everyone in the field, and wasn’t easily impressed. He was not in the habit of calling anyone “legendary.” So we paid attention to this most senior of senior editors, and over the next few years Kit and Joe became not only fixtures at the conference, but dear and close friends to many of us. One of the ways of measuring the respect authors commanded, at ICFA and elsewhere, was to attend their readings. In Kit’s case, a good portion of the audience always consisted of fellow writers, clearly anxious to see what a master was up to. How did she earn such respect and affection?

For one thing, her career was simply astonishing in its consistency and longevity. One way of putting that career in context is this: when Kit published her first story in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1958, David Hartwell was not yet seventeen years old. Many of the other writers who came to view her as a mentor had not been born yet. She sold stories to some of the groundbreaking editors in the field, including Michael Moorcock, Damon Knight, Avram Davidson, and Anthony Boucher, and sold other stories to publications as diverse as The Yale Review and the Village Voice. Her first science fiction novel, Armed Camps, appeared in 1969 and was among the field’s earliest critical responses to the Vietnam War. But by then she had already published three thrillers, including her first, Mother Isn’t Dead, She’s Only Sleeping. Already she had established a pattern of never quite being pigeonholed in one genre or another; in later years, she’d describe herself as “trans-genred.” As if to demonstrate, her next-to-last published novel, Where? was a classic science fiction mystery of an entire community whose residents mysteriously disappear one day, while her last, Mormama, was a Southern gothic thriller with clear supernatural elements. Her final story collection, The Story Until Now, appeared in 2013 from Wesleyan University Press and is as good a point of entry into the breadth and variety of her work as you could ask for.

Kit and Joe Reed, ICFA 32, 2011, photo courtesy of Andy Duncan

It’s no accident that Wesleyan should have published the collection, because both Kit and Joe were fixtures there long before ICFA. Their students went on not only to become not only successful writers, but to develop some of the most iconic works of recent popular culture, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Game of Thrones to A Series of Unfortunate Events. In 2009, those former students pitched in to pay for a labyrinth in their honor on the Wesleyan Campus. Joe himself, now retired, was a distinguished scholar of American literature and film, as well as a talented painter (one of his paintings is the dust jacket for The Story Until Now).

Nearly everyone who encountered Kit at ICFA–out by the pool bar, in luncheons or banquets, at her reading and panels–came away with stories to tell, often about her toughness, her acerbic and uncensored wit, her no-nonsense encouragement for other writers to “get back to work” or “deal with it” (which seemed, more often than not, to be exactly what they needed to hear at that point). Some of those memories and photos have been shared on Facebook by fellow writers and ICFA attendees.

Peter Straub, Kit Reed, Gary K. Wolfe, ICFA 36, 2015, photo courtesy of David G. Hartwell

I was honored to be asked to write the introduction for The Story Until Now, and in preparing it I came across an earlier essay of Kit’s, which seemed particularly appropriate regarding her approach to both literature and life. Here’s the last paragraph of that introduction, with that quotation:

Reed may take us into the minds of some decidedly unpleasant or demented characters, she may show us wars, catastrophes, dysfunctional families, werewolves, monsters, feral children, plagues, dystopias, cannibals, zombies, and weird small towns, but always with the cool yet sympathetic intelligence of an observer both outraged and wryly amused by the labyrinths we make for ourselves. Her fiction may, collectively, seem rather dark, but it may also be that by showing us the ways into these labyrinths, she’s giving us hints of the ways out as well. Reed has called this attitude “protective pessimism,” and it’s as good a phrase as any for describing the characteristic tone of her best fiction. “Dealing in worst-case scenarios doesn’t depress me,” wrote Reed in the introduction to her earlier story collection Dogs of Truth. “It makes me hopeful and resilient. Expect the worst and you’re always prepared. You scoped the exits when you came in, just in case something comes up. Something comes up and you know the quickest way out. Given a chronic imagination of disaster, I always have a Plan B.”

“This is the way lives—and stories—get built.”

Gay Haldeman, Dale Hanes, Kit Reed, Peter Straub, Joe Haldeman, and Gary K. Wolfe, ICFA 37, 2016, photo courtesy of David G. Hartwell

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Senior Professor in Digital Media: Black Media, Georgia Tech

Senior Professor in Digital Media: Black Media

The School of Literature, Media and Communication (LMC) at Georgia Tech invites applications for a tenure-track faculty member at the rank of associate or full professor. LMC is seeking a scholar practitioner of digital media working in the area of Black media. In the era of #BlackLivesMatter, there is increasing recognition of the importance of social media and other digitally-mediated spaces to understand black experience and broader questions of race in culture and society. Potential areas of interest include but are not limited to critical race studies, interaction design, information design, game design, game studies, educational computing, computational journalism, civic media, digital equity, digital humanities, design studies, media studies, critical data studies, algorithm studies, broadening participation in computing, and culturally responsive computing. The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. or other terminal degree and an established research trajectory that fits well with the mission of the school.

LMC is an excellent site for agenda-setting Black media scholarship and design because of its mission of humanistic inquiry in a technological world, its already established community partnerships, and its location at a public technological university in Atlanta, which is an important center for African American culture and for media and technology. The School supports multiple undergraduate and graduate degrees, and the successful candidate would be expected to contribute to our undergraduate programs in literature, media, and communication and computational media (joint with computer science), as well as our masters and Ph.D. Programs in digital media. For additional information on the School, consult our web site at www.lmc.gatech.edu.

As a school, we believe diversity is foundational to creating the most intellectually vibrant and successful academic communities; therefore, we are committed to building and sustaining a socially just, equitable, and inclusive academic unit. The Georgia Institute of Technology is an equal opportunity employer whose academic core mission is based on the principles of inclusion, equity, diversity, and justice.

Candidates should email a CV and letter of interest emailed as one single PDF to hiring@mail.gatech.edu. Review of applications will begin on December 1, 2017.

https://www.lmc.gatech.edu/hiring-black-media

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Tenure-Track Assistant/Associate Professor: Digital Media (Games), Georgia Institute of Technology

Tenure-Track Assistant/Associate Professor: Digital Media (Games)

The School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) at the Georgia Institute of Technology seeks applicants to fill a tenure-track position at the rank of assistant or associate professor in the area of games, effective August 2018.

Qualifications: Ph.D. or terminal degree in an appropriate discipline. We are seeking a practitioner/theorist in game design and games studies with a commitment to teaching and program building at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The successful candidate will be expected to supervise the games thread (concentration) in our B.S. degree in Computational Media (joint with Computer Science), to contribute to the other undergraduate and graduate degrees in LMC, and to provide leadership and supervision for a Games Lab facility. The successful candidate should bring a strong vision for the making and critiquing of games within a humanities-based program. We would particularly welcome applications from candidates whose research explores the roles that games can play in education and/or social justice.

The School of Literature, Media, and Communication is a multi-disciplinary unit. It offers B.S. degrees in Literature, Media, and Communication and in Computational Media, M.S. degrees in Digital Media and Human Computer Interaction, and a Ph.D. in Digital Media. The School includes the Institute’s Communication Center and the Writing and Communication Program that encompasses the Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and provides discipline-specific courses for campus-wide audiences. For more information, please visit our website at www.lmc.gatech.edu.

As a school, we believe diversity is foundational to creating the most intellectually vibrant and successful academic communities; therefore, we are committed to building and sustaining a socially just, equitable, and inclusive academic unit. The Georgia Institute of Technology is an equal opportunity employer whose academic core mission is based on the principles of inclusion, equity, diversity, and justice.

Applicants should send a cover letter surveying the applicant’s expertise for the position, a curriculum vitae, and a list of three potential references emailed as one single PDF to hiring@mail.gatech.edu. Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2017, and will continue until the position is filled.

https://www.lmc.gatech.edu/hiring-dm-games 

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CfP: High Fantasy, Political Dreams, and the Mainstream: Reflections on Game of Thrones

CFP for CRAS, High Fantasy, Political Dreams, and the Mainstream: Reflections on Game of Thrones.

deadline for submissions:
December 15, 2017

full name / name of organization:
Canadian Review of American Studies

contact email:
jonathan.chau@carleton.ca

The Canadian Review of American Studies (University of Toronto Press) is seeking papers for a special issue on the Game of Thrones fantasy series.

With nearly 11 million viewers and a staggering one billion illegal downloads of the most recent season, HBO’s television adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series has entered the pantheon of cultural phenomena. Yet, the success of GoT belies the fact that its generic underpinnings have historically been considered a niche category of fiction, one that seldom dominates mainstream discourses. The popularity of GoT may thus suggest a cultural shift, particularly in the realm of prestige television, away from realist fiction, such as The Wire, Oz, and The Sopranos, and a turn towards explicit escapism. But what does GoT offer an escape from? What does GoT posit as an alternative? Or does GoT function as allegory, establishing a lens through which to re-contextualize the milieu in which its audience watches, discusses, organizes viewing parties for, and is otherwise consumed by the series?

With a focus on GoT, this special issue of Canadian Review of American Studies invites a reconsideration of the role of fantasy in the contemporary American moment.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

The politics of dreams and fantasy
The relationship between history, memory, and fantasy
Gendered violence and power (im)balances in fantasy
The role of the non-human in imagined pasts
Racial dynamics and representation
Spectacle and political intrigue
Affect and the ethics of representation

Please send inquiries for this special issue to the editors, Jonathan Chau and Chris Vanderwees.

Final papers due by December 15, 2017.

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CfP: Planetary Cultural and Literary Studies: New Epistemologies and Relational Futures in the Age of the Anthropocene

Planetary Cultural and Literary Studies: New Epistemologies and Relational Futures in the Age of the Anthropocene

deadline for submissions:
October 15, 2017

full name / name of organization:
Research Center for Planetary Literary and Cultural Studies, Université de Montréal

contact email:
heike.harting@umontreal.ca

**Le français suivra**

Co-chairs: Simon Harel, Heike Härting, and Imen Boughattas (Université de Montréal)

(An Interdisciplinary and Multilingual Conference on Planetary Literatures and Culture—March 22-23, 2018, Université de Montréal)

Planetary Cultural and Literary Studies has been an emerging field of research in the humanities over the past few years. Although closely related to the environmental and digital humanities and to global indigenous research agendas, the rise of planetary studies is also a response to the various ideological predicaments of cosmopolitan cultural studies, globalization and postcolonial studies. This conference seeks to disentangle these predicaments and to help articulate a number of approaches towards an institutional and communal practice of Planetary Cultural and Literary Studies. To this end, the conference explores new ways of thinking the planet, planetary life, space and time, human and non-human relations in the era of the Anthropocene.

The Anthropocene designates a fracture in planetary history. It is the first time in the planet’s history that humans are responsible for having changed its geological and ecological constitution. As a concept and geological era, the Anthropocene provides a direct link between human culture and behavior and the possible demise or survival of the planet. While this uncertainty of our planetary future has prompted a rise of scientific debates and conferences across the natural, social and hard sciences, the humanities have yet to engage in a sustained critical and interdisciplinary inquiry into the cultural and human consequences of the Anthropocene. If the Anthropocene requires us to rethink our inherited notions of time, it also invites us to rethink the tropes and narratives through which we understand and share the planet. As such theorists as Christian Moraru, Pheng Cheah, and Masao Miyoshi have suggested, the notion of the planet conceptually designates a relational world-system, a non-anthropocentric and open structure characterized by multiplicity, complexity, multifariousness, and constant metamorphosis. Thus, the planet emerges as an ethico-political and narrative project characterized by multiple indigenous and cultural adjacencies. It engages in discursive and aesthetic strategies of re-worlding space, language, and subjectivities. What this conference seeks to explore, therefore, are the ways in which literatures and art from various cultural contexts contribute to the making of multiple, relational, resisting and/or competing planetary futures and imaginaries.

Questions to be discussed include:

How do we imagine the ways in which cultural and social relationships that map the planet in myriad and often unequal ways are responding to and are changing at the dawn of this new planetary era? Do we find ourselves at the crossroads of the global and the planetary, the human and nature, or are we immersed in irreversible crises? How do we imagine planetary communities of the human and the nonhuman? How do we imagine the planet from the “brink” (Matthew Omelsky), through an apocalyptic abyss? How do we imagine new non-anthropocentric possibilities and futures? How does planetary time differ from global time and space? How do we imagine collectively shared, more justly distributed and inhabited planetary space? What constitutes a planetary consciousness? Who creates it how and to what end? How does a “postmodern planetary consciousness” (Paul Gilroy) differ from a postcolonial planetary consciousness? What does it mean to see and articulate the planet, as Spivak argues, as a figure of “alterity”? How do contemporary and period-based literary and cultural texts/ images configure planetary time, connectivity, crisis and reconstitution? What is the place of planetary cultural and literary studies in academic and public communities and institutions?

Keywords and topics to be addressed:

– Planetary futures and geological time in culture and literature (e.g., “postcrisis” narratives/fictions [Omelsky])

– “Archeologies of” Planetary “Futures” and “other Science Fictions” (Fredric Jameson)

– Literary, social and cultural imaginings and re-imagings of the Anthropocene (as theme, genre, and aesthetics)

– planetary modernities and/or beyond planetary post-modernism

– the “planetary geographical imagination” and “trans-local relationalities” (Tariq Jazeel)

– “geo-piety” (Gilroy) and “feeling planetary”/ the making of a planetary consciousness

– Afroplanitarity/ African Science Fiction

– “Species thinking” (Dipesh Chakrabarty) and interspecieism/ the human and the nonhuman/bioart

– Intersections of planetary and post-race epistemologies

– Cyborgs, bioconnectivity, and other genders in a planetary world

– The relevance or obsoleteness of area studies in relation to the rise of planetary studies

– Planetary urbanisms and digital commons

– Critical social and cultural relationality and translocal resistance movements

– Planetary philosophies and cultural practices from and through the brink (emphasizing indigenous and non-Western philosophies of the planet, universality, and relationality)

– Imagining social relationships through outer space exploration

Submission Guidelines:

Please submit abstracts of up to 300 words for 20-minute-long papers that address any of the issues or questions listed above. Abstract and papers may respectively be written and given in English or French. We also invite proposals for collaborative panels that take an innovative approach to the received conference format, individual performances, films, videos, short plays, or/and poster presentations. For collaborative panels we ask that a designated chair of the panel submit an abstract/rational for the panel as a whole and attach the abstracts of the individual panelists.

We will also organize a plenary session for current graduate work on the given topics and invite doctoral nearing the completion of their research project to submit an abstract of their work.

Deadline for all submissions: October 15, 2017

Submission address: imen.boughatas@umontreal.ca; heike.harting@umontreal.ca

Please submit your abstract via email and as a Word document attachment. Please do not include your name and institutional address on the abstract and use “PlanetaryFutures.2018-Abstract” as the subject heading.

Notification of acceptance: by October 31, 2017

*****

Appel à contributions

Études culturelles et littéraires planétaires: Nouvelles épistémologies et avenirs relationnels à l’ère de l’anthropocène

(Un colloque interdisciplinaire et multilingue sur les études littéraires et culturelles planétaires–– Les 22-23 mars 2018, Université de Montréal)

Coprésidents: Simon Harel, Heike Härting, and Imen Boughattas (Université de Montréal)

Les études culturelles et littéraires sur la planétarité constituent un domaine de recherche émergent dans les humanités au cours des dernières années. Bien qu’étroitement liée aux humanités environnementales et numériques et aux programmes de recherche autochtones mondiaux, l’émergence des études sur la planétarité est aussi une réponse aux différents problèmes idéologiques liés aux études culturelles sur le cosmopolitisme, à la mondialisation, et aux études postcoloniales. Ce colloque vise à éclaircir ces problèmes et à envisager un nombre d’approches vers une pratique institutionnelle et communale des études culturelles et littéraires planétaires. À cette fin, le colloque examine de nouvelles façons de penser la planète, la vie planétaire, l’espace et le temps, et les relations humaines et non-humaines à l’ère de l’anthropocène.

L’anthropocène désigne une fracture dans l’histoire planétaire. C’est la première fois dans l’histoire de la planète que les êtres humains sont responsables d’avoir changé sa constitution géologique et écologique. En tant que concept et ère géologique, l’anthropocène fournit un lien direct entre la culture et le comportement humain et la disparition possible ou la survie de la planète. Bien que cette incertitude de notre futur planétaire ait donné lieu à de nombreux débats et conférences scientifiques dans les sciences naturelles, sociales et exactes, les sciences humaines doivent encore se livrer à une enquête critique et interdisciplinaire soutenue sur les conséquences culturelles et humaines de l’anthropocène. Si l’anthropocène exige que nous repensions notre représentation du temps, il nous invite également à repenser les tropes et les récits à travers lesquels nous envisageons et partageons la planète. Comme le suggèrent des théoriciens tels que Christian Moraru, Pheng Cheah et Masao Miyoshi, la notion de « planète » désigne, sur le plan conceptuel, un système-monde relationnel, une structure non anthropocentrique et ouverte qui se caractérise par la multiplicité, la complexité, la pluralité et la métamorphose constante. Ainsi, la planète émerge-t-elle comme un projet éthico-politique et narratif caractérisé par de multiples contiguïtés autochtones et culturelles. La « planète » fait place à des stratégies discursives et esthétiques destinées à remondialiser (re-worlding) l’espace, le langage et les subjectivités. Cette conférence vise à explorer le rôle de l’art et des littératures de divers contextes culturels dans la conception d’avenirs et imaginaires planétaires multiples, relationnels, résistants, et/ou concurrents.

Les questions qui seront abordées incluent:

Comment peut-on imaginer les manières avec lesquelles les relations culturelles et sociales qui tracent la planète de façons multiples et souvent inégales sont en train de changer à l’aube de cette nouvelle ère planétaire? Est-ce que nous nous retrouvons à la croisée du global et du planétaire, de l’humain et de la nature, ou sommes-nous immergés dans des crises irréversibles ? Comment peut-on imaginer les communautés planétaires humaines et non humaines? Comment peut-on imaginer la planète en nous situant au « bord » (Matthew Omelsky) d’un abîme apocalyptique? Comment peut-on imaginer de nouvelles possibilités et des avenirs non anthropocentriques? Comment la temporalité planétaire diffère-t-elle de la temporalité et de l’espace de la mondialisation ? Comment peut-on imaginer un espace planétaire collectivement partagé et équitablement réparti? Qu’est-ce qui constitue une conscience planétaire? Qui crée cette conscience ? Comment la créer et à quelle fin ? Comment une « conscience planétaire postmoderne » (Paul Gilroy) diffère-t-elle d’une conscience planétaire postcoloniale? Qu’est-ce que cela signifie d’envisager la planète en tant que figure de «l’altérité,» comme l’affirme Spivak ? Comment les textes littéraires et culturels contemporains configurent-ils le temps, la connectivité, la crise et la reconstitution planétaires? Quelle est la place des études culturelles et littéraires planétaires dans les communautés et institutions académiques et publiques?

Mots clés et axes de réflexion:

Le futur planétaire et le temps géologique dans la culture et la littérature (par exemple, les récits de l’après-crise (postcrisis) [Omelsky])
« Archéologies du futur » planétaire et « de la science-fiction » (Fredric Jameson)
Les représentations et imaginations littéraires, sociales, et culturelles de l’anthropocène (en tant que thème, genre, et esthétique).
Les modernités planétaires et/ou au-delà du post-modernisme planétaire.
« L’imagination géographique planétaire » et les « relationalités translocales » (trans-local relationalities) (Tariq Jazeel).
La « géopiété » (Paul Gilroy) et le fait de « se sentir planétaire » (“feeling planetary”) / la création d’une conscience planétaire.
L’afro-planétarité et la science-fiction de l’Afrique.
“Species thinking” (Dipesh Chakrabarty) et “interspecieism” / l’humain et le non-humain / le bio-art
Les intersections entre les épistémologies planétaires et la théorie « post-race ».
Les cyborgs, la bio-connectivité, et autres genres dans un contexte planétaire.
La pertinence ou l’obsolescence des études régionales (area studies) par rapport à la montée des études planétaires.
Urbanismes planétaires et agoras numériques.
Relationalité sociale et culturelle critique et mouvements de résistance translocaux.
Philosophies et pratiques culturelles planétaires (mettant l’accent sur les philosophies autochtones et non occidentales de la planète, de l’universalité, et de la relationalité)
La représentation des relations sociales à travers l’exploration de l’espace.
Modalités de soumission:

Veuillez soumettre des propositions de communications d’environ 300 mots en français ou en anglais. Nous vous invitons également à soumettre des propositions de panels collaboratifs avec des approches novatrices (performances individuelles, films, vidéos, pièces de théâtre, présentations d’affiches, etc.). Pour les panels collaboratifs, nous demandons qu’un président désigné du panel soumette un résumé du panel dans son ensemble en y joignant les propositions des autres panélistes.

Nous organiserons aussi une séance plénière pour les travaux de recherche en cours qui portent sur l’une des thématiques mentionnées ci-dessus, et invitons les doctorants en voie de terminer leurs thèses à soumettre un résumé de leurs travaux.

Date limite pour toutes les soumissions: Le 15 octobre 2017

Veuillez envoyer votre proposition par voie électronique sous forme d’un document Word aux adresses suivantes : imen.boughatas@umontreal.ca; heike.harting@umontreal.ca

Votre nom et votre adresse institutionnelle ne doivent pas apparaître dans le document. Veuillez inscrire « FutursPlanétaires.2018-Proposition » dans la ligne Objet.

Décision du comité: Le 31 octobre 2017

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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: https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/journal/global-studies-childhood#description.

Deadline for submissions: December 1, 2017.

Please send any queries to guest editor Patrick Cox at patrick.cox@rutgers.edu

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