Friday, August 23, 2013

MAPACA 2013 Conference

The Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association has just posted the schedule for its upcoming conference in Atlantic City this November. The program can be accessed at, and, for those interested in attending, registration information can be found at

Extrapolation Summer 2013 Issue

The latest number of Extrapolation is now available. Contents as follows. Articles can be accessed online from the publisher at

Extrapolation 54.2 (Summer 2013)

Jules Verne's Dream Machines: Technology and Transcendence
DOI 10.3828/extr.2013.8
Author Arthur B. Evans

A Triumvirate of Fantastic Poets: Ambrose Bierce, George Sterling, and Clark Ashton Smith
DOI 10.3828/extr.2013.9
Author S. T. Joshi

The Rise and Fall of Wilbur Mercer
 DOI 10.3828/extr.2013.10
Author Richard Viskovic

The Foundations of E. R. Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros
DOI 10.3828/extr.2013.11
Author Joseph Young

Reviews of Books
DOI 10.3828/extr.2013.12

NEPCA 2013 First Session List

Here are the advance details of our 2013 session in Colchester, Vermont. Hope to see you there.

Northeast Popular Culture Association
36th Annual Conference
St. Michael's College, Colchester, Vermont
October 25-26, 2012

Saturday, 26 October
Panel Twenty-Five. Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend: Science Fiction Character and Narrative 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Chair: Michael Torregrossa (Independent Scholar)

Paper 1: Michael Torregrossa, “Echoes of Frankenstein in the Comics”

Paper 2:  Kristine Larsen (Central Connecticut State University), “Mutant, Monster, Freak”: Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher Series and the Ethics of Genetic Engineering 

Paper 3: Kerry Shea (Saint Michael’s College), “When Species Speak: Interspecies Communication in Sheri Tepper’s The Companions

Paper 4: Lance Eaton (North Shore Community College), “Hydeuous Evolution: Exploring How the Dwarfish Hyde Became the Monstrous Hulk in the Classroom”

NEPCA Sessions 2012 Update

I just realized that I never updated our session list from last fall. We had two very intimate (and enlightening) sessions. Paper proposals and additional material are available (as noted) on St. John Fisher College's digital archive at

Northeast Popular Culture Association
35th Annual Conference
St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York
October 26-27, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
11. Science Fiction, Fantasy and Legend I: Visions of the Future (Kearney 317)

Chair: Michael Torregrossa (Independent Scholar)

Paper 1: Cory Matieyshen (National University): “Bert the Turtle Won't Save You: American Science Fiction Prose and Criticism of Nuclear Civil Defense During the 1950s” (proposal and paper)

Cory Matieyshen is a Master of Arts in History student at National University in La Jolla, California. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Papers by Derek Newman-Stille, Özüm Ünal, and Shannon Tarango have been withdrawn. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
17. Science Fiction, Fantasy and Legend II: Old Legends, New Stories (Kearney 317)

Chair: Michael Torregrossa (Independent Scholar)

Paper 1: Mary Bridgeman (Trinity College Dublin): “Complex subjects in Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and True Blood” (proposal and PowerPoint)

Mary Bridgeman is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies and the School of English in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. She is in her third year of research, which is funded by The Irish Research Council. Her dissertation “Loving the Dark: Gendered Subjectivity in Three Popular 21st Century American Vampire Romance Narratives” focuses on negotiations of womanhood in Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and True Blood. As last year’s winner of the William E. Brigman award at the national meeting of The Popular Culture and American Culture Associations, Mary will have an article entitled “Forged in Love and Death: Problematic Subjects in The Vampire Diaries” published in The Journal of Popular Culture in February 2013.

Paper 2: Laura Wiebe (McMaster University): “Witches, Elves, and Bioengineers: Magic and Science in Kim Harrison’s The Hollows” (proposal)

Laura Wiebe is a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, where she will be teaching a course on Science Fiction in the Winter 2013 term. She also teaches in McMaster’s Women’s Studies program and at Brock University in the Department of English Language and Literature and the Department of Communications, Popular Culture and Film. Laura’s doctoral research focuses on science and technology studies, theories of gender and of genre, critical posthumanism, and popular culture, particularly contemporary speculative fiction. Her academic work also includes the study of metal music and culture.

Paper 3: Kathleen Mulligan (Providence College): “Robin Hood: from ‘History’ to Folklore and Back Again” (proposal)

Kathleen Mulligan has a B.A. in history from Providence College in Rhode Island, where she is currently continuing her studies in their Master’s program for Medieval and Modern European History. After obtaining her Master’s degree she hopes to continue on in a doctoral program to study British history.

Paper 4: Michael Torregrossa (Independent Scholar): “Once and Future Kings Revisited: The Theme of Arthur Redivivus in Recent Comics” [note revised title] (proposal)

Michael A. Torregrossa is a graduate of the Medieval Studies program at the University of Connecticut (Storrs). His research interests include adaptation, Arthuriana, comics and comic art, medievalism, vampires, and wizards. Michael is currently Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend Area Chair for the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association. He is also founder of The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain, founder of The Institute for the Advancement of Scholarship on the Magic-Wielding Figures of Visual Electronic Multimedia, and co-founder, with Carl James Grindley, of The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages; he also serves as editor for these organizations’ various blogs. Michael has presented his research at regional, national, and international conferences and has been published in Adapting the Arthurian Legends for Children: Essays on Arthurian Juvenilia, Arthuriana, The Arthuriana / Camelot Project Bibliographies, Cinema Arthuriana: Twenty Essays, Film & History, The 1999 Film & History CD-ROM Annual, The Medieval Hero on Screen: Representations from Beowulf to Buffy, and the three most recent supplements to The Arthurian Encyclopedia.

CFP Foundation on Gaming and SF (4/15/14)

The following was recently posted on IAFA-L.

CFP: Foundation, special issue on Science Fiction and Videogames

For over half a century—from the spaceship duels of Spacewar! and the attacking waves of the Space Invaders, through to the explorations of the Metroid series and the complex environments of the Bioshock games—electronic gaming has made extensive use of science fictional themes and settings. Likewise, science fiction, in books like Ender’s Game, films like The Last Starfighter, and TV shows like Defiance, has often explored tropes of videogaming within its created worlds. Both regularly, even obsessively, address questions of identity, embodiment, and representation, as well as the constructions and constraints of culture; both are also constituted in the complex and often fraught relations between fan groups and society.

Foundation seeks papers for a special issue on science fiction and electronic gaming that will delineate and explore zones of concern shared by these two rapidly developing bodies of criticism and theory. What might their intersections reveal about the gaps, conflicts, and kinships of our present cultural moment? How does the history of science fiction criticism speak to game studies, and vice versa? How might the modes of play we develop in electronic realms translate to our methods of critical reading or viewing? What SF works, canonical or otherwise, might be read differently when seen as anticipating or responding to digital gaming?

All topics and methodologies are welcome, potentially including (but not limited to) genre theory, fandom, constructions and representations of cultural identities, physical and intellectual disability, platform studies and media archaeology, software and critical code studies, print culture, and readings of individual titles or series.

Send submissions of up to 8,000 words (including endnotes) by 15 April 2014 to, attaching the file as electronic text in either .rtf or .doc format. For questions about formatting, see the Foundation style guide at; direct all other inquiries to Andrew Ferguson at

Doctor Who Companions CFP

The following was posted on H-PCAACA recently. Unfortunately, the text is a bit corrupted. I will post a revised version when/if it becomes available.

*Call for Papers*

*Companions in Doctor Who: Roles, Characters and Themes*

On introducing the new companion Clara in March 2013, Steven Moffat,

*Doctor on the Doctor, her [sic] adventure that she [sic] goes on with the Doctor

Agree or disagree with this view, it is clear that the companion has become an integral part of the series *Doctor Who*. Rarely has the Doctor travelled without a companion since the show began in 1963.

as individuals and as a whole.

The editors welcome chapter proposals which deal with the companions as individuals, thematic groupings of companions by era/Doctor, gender and sexuality, feminism and its many permutations, or

With over forty characters travelling with the Doctor over the life of the series, there are many options available.

Proposals are due the 31 October 2013. The final article/chapter should be around 20-25 pages (Double spaced, Times New Roman 12)

Important dates:

Proposals due 31 October 2013; papers 30 September 2014; final edit 15 March 2015.

Editors: Dr Sherry Ginn & Dr Gillian Leitch

Please email your proposals to

Thank you.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Advance Notice for Mythcon 45

The Mythopoeic Society has released the following details regarding Mythcon 45 to be held next summer. Further details and updates as they become available can be found at the conference's home page:

Mythcon 45
Where Fantasy Fits
Wheaton College
Norton, MA
August 8-11, 2014

Guests of Honor

Richard C. West – Scholar Winner of the 1976 Mythopoeic Award for Inklings Studies for Tolkien Criticism.

to be announced – Author

Where Fantasy Fits:

Fantasy literature does not fit comfortably into any scheme. Both old and new, traditional and innovative, popular and elite, mainstream and esoteric, escapist and engaged, high-tech and anti-technology, fantasy defies definitions and transcends categories, dramatizing the incompleteness of our understanding of our own imaginations. At Mythcon 45 we will discuss the place of fantasy in our culture, our institutions, and our hearts.

McFarland Catalog Fall 2013

McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, has released its Fall 2013 catalog listing books due out this summer, fall, and winter. It can viewed online or downloaded via the following link: I will post details to relevant books as they become available.

CFP Science Fiction and the Novel (9/1/14)

A head's up from the MLA's Announcements of General Interest list:

Studies in the Novel seeks critical responses to the genres of science fiction for a special issue, Science Fictions, to be edited by Farah Mendlesohn. Essays would consider debates within SF’s various communities of genre and affiliation, as well as across these communities, with an emphasis on the SF novel and writings of any kind by noted SF novelists. The submission deadline is 1 September 2014; all questions and submissions should be directed to

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Primeval: New World TV Marathon

Syfy will air a marathon of its "new" series Primeval: New World this Saturday, 10 August. The series is actually a Canadian-made production based on the popular ITV series Primeval, which aired in the US on BBC America. The latest version lasted for 13 episodes before its cancellation (and subsequent airing on Syfy). The Region 1 DVD/Blu-ray release of the series occurs this fall; the series is already available through video on demand services.

Marathon Schedule:

10:00 AM Primeval: New World - The New World
11:00 AM Primeval: New World - Sisiutl
12:00 PM Primeval: New World  - Fear Of Flying
01:00 PM Primeval: New World  - Angry Birds
02:00 PM Primeval: New World  - Undone
03:00 PM Primeval: New World  - Clean Up On Aisle 3
04:00 PM Primeval: New World  - Babes In The Woods
05:00 PM Primeval: New World  - Truth
06:00 PM Primeval: New World  - Breakthrough
07:00 PM Primeval: New World  - The Great Escape
08:00 PM Primeval: New World  - The Inquisition
09:00 PM Primeval: New World  - The Sounds Of Thunder - Part 1
10:00 PM Primeval: New World  - The Sounds Of Thunder - Part 2

PCA/ACA 2014 Conference

Before I forget:

The national joint conference of the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association will be held next April in Chicago. Details and information on how to submit a proposal are now online at The list of subject areas (and area chair contact information) can be accessed at Proposals are due by 1 November 2013.

NEPCA 2013 Conference Update

A quick post for the day without any of yesterday's ranting.

Details for registration and travel/lodging for the 2013 meeting of the Northeast Popular/American Culture Association are now available on their blog at The program has not yet been uploaded to the site.

Michael Torregrossa
Blog Editor
Science Fiction, Fantasy and Legend Area Chair

New Doctor Who--Who Cares?

Apparently the BBC announced yesterday that actor Peter Capaldi will be taking over as the next Doctor Who. Details (and some comments by fans at Capaldi is 55 now, so this a big change from the younger Doctors we've had in recent years and (perhaps) suggests a change in the series's demographics (or the network's propagandist strategies).

However, as my post's title suggests, I'm not sure I really care about the Doctor anymore. Its been a good--sometimes great--run since 2005, but the departure of "the Ponds" (Amy Pond and Rory Williams) earlier in Season 7 seemed like a large slap in the face to fans (details at and and and (sorry) [there's lots more to view at]; more on Amy at and I haven't had the desire to watch further.

Michael Torregrossa
Blog Editor

Monday, August 5, 2013 Concerns

Not to turn the blog into a soapbox, but readers might be interested in the fact that (and all its global affiliates) have removed all customer-uploaded images from its network in favor (apparently) of those images supplied by sellers. Thus, many products now have inadequate information on the site; out of print books no longer have cover images, DVDs and Blu-rays no longer have information on extras, and older CDs no longer have track information. The problem is worse for electronics and their accessories, as many customers have remarked. Extended discussions of this issue can be found in two forums on under Customer Uploaded Images DISCONTINUED!?!?!?! and Customer images gone? .

If you're also concerned about this change, which does irrevocably alter how many of use Amazon, please complete the survey Feedback on Customer Uploaded Images and Videos at

Michael Torregrossa
Blog Editor

Science Fiction Studies for July 2013

The latest number of Science Fiction Studies is now available. It is a mixed bag of essays, as the following contents list details. Clicking the links below will take you to abstracts for the essays. :

Science Fiction Studies

#120 = Volume 40, Part 2 = July 2013

  • Neil Easterbrook. Cognitive Estrangement is Us: Youngquist’s Cyberfiction After the Future
  • John Huntington. Future Wars: Krome’s An Anthology of Science Fiction War Stories, 1914-1945 and Seed’s Future Wars  
  • Allen/Williams’s Afterimages of Slavery (Isiah Lavender III) 
  • Atwood’sIn Other Worlds (Csicsery-Ronay, Jr.) 
  • Bould’s Science Fiction (Steven Shaviro) 
  • Brooke’s Strange Divisions and Alien Territories (Jerome Winter) 
  • Dick’s The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (Umberto Rossi) 
  • Layton’s The Humanism of Dr. Who (Elizabeth Lundberg)
  • Lindow’s Le Guin and Moral Development (Stina Attebery) 
  • Miller/Van Riper’s 1950s “Rocketman” TV Series and Their Fans: Cadets, Rangers, and Junior Space Men (Lincoln Geraghty) 
  • Otto’s SF and Transformative Environmentalism (Gerry Canavan) 
  • Scheerbart’s Lesabéndio, trans. Svendsen. (William B. Fischer) 
  • Sellars/O’Hara’s Interviews with J.G. Ballard (Umberto Rossi)  
  • Another Look at Leinster’s “Four Little Ships” (Edward Wysocki)             
  • Response from the Author (Thomas Barrett)     
  • Corrections (Rob Latham and Sherryl Vint)         
  • Octavia E. Butler Celebration (Nalo Hopkinson)               
  • 2014 PKD Festival (Umberto Rossi)         
  • Stanley Kubrick Returns to LA (Pedro Groppo)
  • 2013-14 Mullen Fellows Announced (Rob Latham)         
  • 2013 New Genre Army Conference (Christos Callow Jr.)              
  • Women and Science Fiction (Joan Gordon)        
  • ICFA 2013 (Stina Attebery)         
  • Eaton/SFRA 2013             
  • Biohacking and Synthetic Biology (Karin Tybjerg and Louis Whiteley)   

Science Fiction Film & Television for 2013

I don't seem to have kept up to date on journals of late, but Science Fiction Film & Television has completed its run for 2013. The contents lists consists of a series of imbedded tables and will not easily reproduce on the blog. Volume 6, Number 1 of the journal is a special issue on The X-Files, and Volume 6, Number 2 appears to be an open-topic issue.Click the preceding links for more details.

Extrapolation Open Call

Not sure if I've posted this before-- 

Extrapolation has the following open call for papers on its publisher's website

Extrapolation was founded in 1959 by Thomas D. Clareson and was the first journal to publish academic work on science fiction and fantasy. It continues to be a leading, peer-reviewed, international journal in that specialized genre in the literature of popular culture.

It welcomes papers on all areas of speculative culture, including print, film, television, comic books and video games, and particularly encourages papers which consider popular texts within their larger cultural context.

The journal publishes a wide variety of critical approaches including but not limited to literary criticism, utopian studies, genre criticism, feminist theory, critical race studies, queer theory, and postcolonial theory. Extrapolation promotes innovative work which considers the place of speculative texts in contemporary culture. It is interested in promoting dialogue among scholars working within a number of traditions and in encouraging the serious study of popular culture.

We are particularly interested in the following areas of study: 
  • Racial constructions in speculative genres 
  • Children's and YA sf and fantasy 
  • Sexualities 
  • Fantastic motifs in mainstream texts 
  • Gender and speculative texts 
  • History of sf and fantasy 
  • New weird fiction 
  • Remakes, rewriting and retrofitting 
  • Pulp sf and fantasy 
  • The body in speculative texts 
  • Posthumanism 
  • Political sf and fantasy 
  • Non-Western speculative traditions 
  • Technoculture 

Please email submissions to Javier A. Martinez ( )

Essays should be approximately 4000-9000 words, written according to MLA standards and include a 100 word abstract. Neither embedded footnotes nor generated footnotes that some software systems make available should be used. Electronic submissions in MS Word are encouraged. The editors aim to respond to submissions within three months. Please do not send simultaneous submissions of articles to other publications.