Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jonathan Hardy RIP

Meant to post this earlier. Actor Jonathan Hardy, the voice of Rygel on Farscape, passed away last month. Details at The Examiner ( and a tribute at the Jim Henson Company channel on YouTube (

Jerry Nelson RIP

Puppeteer Jerry Nelson passed away earlier this week. The Jim Henson Company offers a selection of hos work on their YouTube page at

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Horror/Humor Collection CFP

CFP: Horror/Humor (collection)
Call for Papers Date: 2012-09-15
Date Submitted: 2012-07-18
Announcement ID: 195868

Please submit to both people. Thank you.

CFP: “Horror (as/is) Humor, Humor (as/is) Horror: sLaughter in Popular Cinema” (collection)

In his review of Tavernier’s Coup de torchon, David Kehr wrote in When Movies Mattered: Reviews from a Transformative Decade, Death, violence, and moral corruption aren't just slapstick props … but agonizingly real presences, and their comedy isn't a release from horror, but a confrontation with it.… [H]umor and horror exist side by side, they play on the very thin line that separates a laugh from a scream, touching the hysteria common to both.… The best black humor makes us feel the horror. (186)

Scholarly collections in Humor and Horror Studies have largely conceived of them as separate genres and fields. Yet popular culture has increasingly seen a rise in the emotional and visceral confluence of humor and horror—from black comedies, dark fantasy and a renewed interest in fairy tale adaptations, to fresh literary works, graphic novels, and politics and satire.

Scholarly essays are sought for a potential collection on the nexus of humor and horror—sLaughter—in popular culture texts with a primary focus on film. Topics may include, but are clearly not limited to: Genre (e.g., parody, science / speculative fiction, thriller, dark fantasy, cyberpunk / splatterpunk, “classical” comedy / drama, post-humanism, terror/ism, apocalyptica and TEOTWAWKI); Creator / Auteur (e.g., Joss Whedon, Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, Mary Harron, Matt Groening, Seth McFarlane, the Soska sisters, the Coen brothers, Bret Easton Ellis, Charles Bukowski, Amy Lynn Best, David Cronenberg, Tim Burton, John Carpenter); or Theory / Theorist (e.g., structuralism, grotesquerie / freakery, transgressionism, attraction=repulsion, bodily mutilation / ablation, postmodernism, biomechanics / cyborg interfaces).

We are NOT interested in Abbot and Costello, “camp,” or anything else offering the audience a chance to be “psychologically distanced” from mortal terror—beyond the fact that they are viewing images on a screen. Though we are interested in zombies, lycanthropy, vampirism, and that lot, we envision a much broader and more scholarly collection than the fanzone tends to produce—much scarier than Twilight, etc.—that addresses the intersection of humor/horror. We want you to make us FEEL it, and tell us why it’s important.

By 15 September 2012, please submit a 250 word abstract and one-page CV to both Johnson Cheu ( and John A Dowell (

Johnson Cheu, John Dowell
Michigan State University

Dead Inside (Zombie Collection) CFP Update

UPDATE. CFP The Walking Dead, Essay Collection.
Call for Papers Date: 2012-08-13 (in 6 days)
Date Submitted: 2012-07-17
Announcement ID: 195841

UPDATE for The Walking Dead, Essay Collection: I will also be accepting PROPOSALS for articles for this essay collection by the August 13, 2012 deadline (although ideally the essays should be underway)

Dead Inside: The Walking Dead and the Problem of Meaning in the New Millennium

In the early twenty-first century, zombies are everywhere—in film (Land of the Dead, 28 Days Later, Dead Snow, Rammbock, The Horde), fiction (Stephen King’s Cell, Colson Whitehead’s Zone One, Max Brooks’ World War Z, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Handling the Undead), social movements (zombie walks and the Zombie Research Society ), classrooms (Zombie Studies) and even politics (Daniel Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies). Undoubtedly one of the most sustained and complex representations of the modern zombie, though, is AMC’s television series, The Walking Dead, based on Robert Kirkman’s series of comics.

I am seeking essays for a scholarly collection that will explore the complexities of The Walking Dead in relation to the multiple forms of zombie revival, and that will address the ways in which the zombie articulates the crucial theoretical and political debates of the new century.

I am particularly interested in essays about how zombies, and narratives about zombies, engage problems of meaning. In the first episode of season one of The Walking Dead, after protagonist Rick Grimes wakes up in a hospital to a post-apocalyptic world, he encounters a door on which the words “Do Not Open. Dead Inside” are painted. Zombies claw at the opening. The moment encapsulates how zombies often function to signal loss or lack—of self, of consciousness, of history, of political efficacy, of meaning itself. How does the series, in its many contexts—literary, cinematic, historical, political—address compelling contemporary problems of meaning, of how we find and attribute significance in our lives. Essays should, then, take up The Walking Dead as a crystallization of one of the many contemporary problems of meaning. Some generative questions/contexts include:

--Why have zombies seen such a resurgence in the twenty-first century, after their apparent demise in the 1990s? How does The Walking Dead represent an evolution in the history of zombie fiction and film?

--How do zombies feature in imaginings of the end of the world? How do post-apocalyptic narratives with zombies (The Walking Dead, World War Z, Romero’s Dead cycle) differ from those without (The Road, Survivors, Jericho)?

--How do fictional, cinematic, and televisual zombies illuminate philosophical debates over the conceivability of the zombie and what the possible existence (or lack thereof) of zombies says about human consciousness and identity?

--How do zombie narratives encode politics and offer forms of social critique (notably of global capitalism), as well as embodying forms of utopian political thinking?

--How do zombies serve as figures of contagion—as a virus that infects both the body and the mind (memes, flash mobs, etc.)? What meanings inhere in zombies’ contagiousness?

--How do zombies engage with recent theorists of the posthuman?

Please send your essay of no more than 30 pages to Dawn Keetley, Associate Professor of English, at Lehigh University, 35 Sayre Drive, Bethlehem PA 18015. Email: The deadline is Monday August 13, 2012. All disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives are welcome. I will be happy to address any questions via email at any time. I am in communication with McFarland (which has been publishing the best books on zombies) about a contract for the collection.

Dawn Keetley
Department of English
Lehigh University
Drown Hall
Bethlehem PA 18015
(610) 758-5926

Tim Burton CFP

CFP: Tim Burton: Works, Characters, Themes
Call for Papers Date: 2012-10-01
Date Submitted: 2012-07-18
Announcement ID: 195867

CFP: Tim Burton: Works, Characters, Themes (collection) Mark Salisburry writes of Tim Burton:

“Burton’s characters are often outsiders, misunderstood and misperceived, misfits encumbered by some degree of duality, operating on the fringes of their own particular society, tolerated, but pretty much left to their own devices.” (Burton on Burton, xviii-xix)

Burton’s films have explored this theme of outsiders and many others over a wide array of genres.

Scholarly essays are sought for a potential collection on the work and artistry of Tim Burton. All films and theoretical approaches welcome.

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

• Outsiders, Misfits, and conformity/nonconformity
• Cyborgs, “Grotesquire/Freakery” and other bodily non-conformities
• Heroes/Villains
• Early work (Disney, “Frankenweenie,” Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure)
• Burton as Auteur
• Johnny Depp, and “Celebrity/Star” theory
• Adaptations (Dark Shadows, Sleepy Hollow, Alice, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Planet of the Apes, James and the Giant Peach, Sweeney Todd, etc.)
• Ed Wood
• Sci-fi (e.g. Mars Attacks)
• Batman, Batman Returns!
• Burton and fairy tales; Burton as fairy tale
• Burton and “Beauty” (films, bodies, and otherwise)
• Death, Ghosts, Haunting
• Humor, Horror, Satire, Allegory
• Family, Fathers, etc. (Big Fish, etc.)
• Mixed-genre (comedy-horror, Beettlejuice, or musical-comedy-horror, Sweeney Todd, etc.)
• Suburbia/”The City”
• Love, attraction, rejection, sexuality
• TV work: (Alfred Hitchcock Presents: “The Jar,” ; Cartoon-TV’s “Family Dog”)

Please note: A potential publisher has expressed possible interest; work on this project may be relatively swift.

By 1 October, 2012, please submit a 250 word abstract and one-page CV to Johnson Cheu (

Johnson Cheu
Michigan State University

Doctor Who Fan Phenomena CFP

CFP: Doctor Who Fan Phenomena
Call for Papers Date: 2012-08-15 (in 8 days)
Date Submitted: 2012-05-21
Announcement ID: 194671

CFP: Doctor Who: Fan Phenomena (Intellect)

Now accepting abstracts for consideration for the new Doctor Who (Fan Phenomena) title from Intellect Press. This will be part of the second series of Fan Phenomena books, which aim to explore and decode the fascination we have with what constitutes an iconic or cultish phenomenon and how a particular person, TV show or film character/film infiltrates their way into the public consciousness.

The Doctor Who (Fan Phenomena) title will look at particular examples of Doctor Who fan culture and approach the subject in an accessible manner aimed at both fans and those interested in the cultural and social aspects of Doctor Who and fan culture. The editor is particularly interested in exploring the changing characteristics of Doctor Who fandom, from scholars and fans alike, over the fifty-year history of the programme.

As such, we invite papers that address the nature of fandom, the unique attributes of Doctor Who fandom specifically, or the relationship between Doctor Who as a multi-generational text and its fans. Other topics could include (but are not limited to):

• Fandom of specific Doctors
• Changing norms of fandom
• How one knows he/she is a fan
• Aca-Fandom
• The influence of other factors on Doctor Who fandom
• Fandom of Doctor Who ancillary products, like the Big Finish audio or Virgin book titles
• Specific fan practices (vidding, fanfic, cosplay, et al.)
• Multi-generational fandom
• Doctor Who conventions
• Gender/Sexuality in Doctor Who fandom
• New Who vs. Classic Who fandom
• Fandom of Doctor Who DVD
• Fan collecting
• Learning through Doctor Who

This book is aimed at both fans and those interested in the cultural and social aspects of Doctor Who. The book is intended to be entertaining, informative, and generally jargon-free (or at least jargon-lite).

Abstracts should be 300 words long. Please also send a CV or resume with your abstract. Abstracts due 15 Aug 2012. Final chapters of 3000-3500 words will be due 01 Nov 2012. The final book will include ten chapters. Please direct all questions and submissions to Paul Booth,

Paul Booth

Catching Up August 7th

I'm very much behind on things but will be posting a quick set of CFPs today for those of interest. In other news, the program for NEPCA 2012 is now online at Registration information can be found at the bottom of the webpage.