Monday, September 26, 2011

BBC America This Saturday

Coming this Saturday (1 October). BBC America premieres the season finale of Doctor Who and the series opener of Bedlam. Trailers follow.

New TV: Terra Nova

FOX premieres new series Terra Nova tonight, in which future humans retreat to the prehistoric past when conditions on present-day Earth become to dangerous. There is an interview with executive producers Brannon Braga and Rene Echevarria at the Geek Chic Daily website, and the series opener is reviewed in today's Los Angeles Times.

The following is the initial trailer for the series:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Iron Giant Returns

Knopf Books for Young Readers has recently released a new US edition of Ted Hughes's The Iron Man (1968) under its more familiar title, The Iron Giant, with illustrations by British artist Laura Carlin. The art is somewhat strange making this an atypical children's book, but the story, which inspired a 1999 animated feature film, is sure to captive readers young and old, who may be drawn further in through the inventiveness of Carlin's designs. Previews of the art can be found at Walker Books, publishers of the British version.

Making Avatar

Publisher Abrams Books has recently released Jody Duncan and Lisa Fitzpatrick's The Making of Avatar (2010). With nearly 300 pages, the book is a detailed--often too detailed, at times--look at the technological innovations behind the feature film. I don't believe it will appeal to casual fans of the film, and die-hard fans might be more interested in the world-building (serviced in part by Fitzpatrick's The Art of Avatar:James Cameron’s Epic Adventure [also from Abrams Books, 2009]) than the technology that was involved in its creation.

Advance Call for Papers NEPCA 2012



2012 Conference of The Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association (NEPCA)

St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York

Fall 2012 (Exact Dates TBA)

Proposals by 1 June 2012

Proposals are invited from scholars of all levels for papers to be presented in the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend Area. Presentations will be limited to 15-20 minutes in length (depending on final panel size) and may address any aspect of the intermedia genres of science fiction, fantasy, and/or legends as represented in popular culture produced in any country, any time period, and for any audience. Please see our website ( for further details and ideas.

If you are interested in proposing a paper or panel of papers, please send a proposal of approximately 300 to 500 words and a one to two page CV to both the Program Chair AND to the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend Area Chair at the following addresses (please note "SF/Fantasy/Legend Proposal" in your subject line):

Tim Madigan

Program Chair

Michael A. Torregrossa

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Legend Area Chair

The Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association (NEPCA) is a regional affiliate of the American Culture Association and the Popular Culture Association. NEPCA is an association of scholars in New England and New York, organized in 1974 at the University of Rhode Island. We reorganized and incorporated in Boston in 1992. The purpose of this professional association is to encourage and assist research, publication, and teaching on popular culture and culture studies topics by scholars in the northeast region of the United States. By bringing together scholars from various disciplines, both academic and non-academic people, we foster interdisciplinary research and learning. We publish a newsletter twice per year and we hold an annual conference at which we present both the Peter C. Rollins Book Award and an annual prize.

Membership in NEPCA is required for participation. Annual dues are currently $30 for full-time faculty and $15 to all other individuals. Further details are available at

NEPCA 2011 Sessions

The program for the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association is now avaliable online. The conference will be held at Western Connecitcut State University in Danbury, Connecticut, from 11-12 November 2011.

Details on our sessions are as follows:

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend I: Science Fiction (Session I, Friday, 4-5:30 PM, Warner 320)

Presider: Michael A. Torregrossa, The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

Paper 1: “Surviving The Night of the Comet: Zombies, Space, and the 2012 Hysteria”

Kristine Larsen, Physics and Earth Sciences Department, Central Connecticut State University

Paper 2: “Abandonment and Salvation in Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book”

Marlene San Miguel Groner, Farmingdale State College/SUNY

Paper 3: “Ain’t I a Xenomorph?: Representations of Post-Feminist Identity in the Alien Films”

Randy Laist, Goodwin College

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend II: Legends Old and New (Session II, Saturday, 8:30-10 AM, Warner 320)

Presider: Brian Clements, Western Connecticut State University

Paper 1: “The Werewolf: Out of Bounds”

Barry Hall, University of Nizwa

Paper 2: “Robin Hood in Ballad and Film”

Kerry R. Kaleba, George Mason University

Paper 3: “What Do Vampires Have to Do with the Holy Grail?: The Transformation of the Grail Legend in Undead Arthuriana”

Michael A. Torregrossa, The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

Paper 4: “Vampires in Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire novels and the Twilight Saga”

Andrea Siegel, Graduate Center/CUNY

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend III: Fantasy (Session III, Saturday, 10:30 AM – 12 PM, White 023)
Presider: Faye Ringel, United States Coast Guard Academy, retired

Paper 1: “ ‘Epic’ in Epic-Fantasy Literature”

Robert Luce, Independent Scholar

Paper 2: “Who Is Afraid Of Merlin? The Darkening of Merlin in Modern Arthurian Fiction”

Anne Berthelot, University of Connecticut

Paper 3: “ ‘Close This Book Right Now’: The Writer-Character in Children’s Fantasy”

Amie A. Doughty, SUNY Oneonta

Paper 4: “Fandom 2.0: Fantasy, Social Media, and Fan Creativity”

James Kennedy, Columbia College