Monday, December 29, 2014

CFP "It's Magic"—Volume 6 (2016) of Technoculture (5/1/15-4/30/16)

This sounds interesting:

Call for Proposals: "It's Magic"—Volume 6 (2016) of Technoculture, 1 May 2015 through 30 April 2016
full name / name of organization:
Technoculture: An Online Journal of Technology in Society
contact email:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

—Arthur C. Clarke.

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.

—Gregory Benford

Technoculture seeks critical and creative works that use new media and/or are on the subject of technology. Volume 6 (2016), "It's Magic!", focuses on the tropes that associate technology with magic and vice versa.

Topics could include depictions of technologies that treat a wide range of subjects related to the social sciences and humanities. These subjects might include:

  • Essays that address the two maxims found above (Clarke's Third Law and Benford's variant on it)
  • Wishful and magical thinking and technology
  • Energy use that seems or is unlimited (whether of humans or machinery)
  • Lack of agency for end users due to magical thinking about technology
  • Technological design and magic as its inspiration
  • Cultures that have used or now use technology as magic as a means of control of their populace
  • The idea of magical figures in games and other online environments
  • Games based on fantasy
  • The idea of the wizard in productivity software such as Microsoft Office and OpenOffice
  • Technocracy
  • Popular descriptions of technology that use magical language in literature and film
  • Whiz kids in young adult and adult literature
  • Misunderstandings of technology as magic
  • Other readings of technology as magic in a variety of cultural and historical periods

We are not interested in “how to” pedagogical papers that deal with the use of technology in the classroom.

We publish scholarly/critical papers in the latest MLA or APA citation style, but creative works are also of interest to us. We are not seeking text-based work. Instead, we wish to publish visual media, and especially media designed for display/dissemination on a computer monitor including still images, video or audio. Genres could include digital poems, sound pieces, video essays, short audio or video documentaries, interviews, documentation of installations, and so on.

Inquiries are welcome to:

inquiries at tcjournal dot org

Technoculture is published continuously; we will accept submissions for Volume 6 (2016) between 1 May 2015 and 30 April 2016. Accepted submissions in 2015 will not appear on Technoculture's site until early 2016, though authors should receive a final decision within two to three months after submission.

Authors of all materials are welcome to submit abstracts and inquiries for critical works, creative works and reviews.

By web submission at 12/28/2014 - 19:36

CFP Alice through the Ages: The 150th Anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1/31/15; UK 9/15-17/15)

Alice through the Ages: The 150th Anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Posted on December 21, 2014 by Public Information Officer
Alice through the Ages: The 150th Anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
15th-17th September 2015.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2015. Lewis Carroll famously opens his Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with his protagonist “burning with curiosity”, which leads Alice to follow the White Rabbit into an alternative reality. That same sense of curiosity has circulated about Wonderland since the book was first published. This conference aims to offer new understandings of the work by re-evaluating long held truisms, subjecting the text to new theoretical approaches and considering the history of adaptation and its uses in popular culture.

We invite innovative papers on Lewis Carroll from established scholars as well as new voices in the field, and those whose research focuses on cognate fields. We are especially interested in papers focused on the book’s initial production context, including Carroll’s biography and sources and influences; papers that interrogate and problematise some of the longstanding truisms associated with the text, such as its place at the start of the fantasy tradition for children and the relationship between author and illustrator; papers that examine how text and author have been read in terms of cultural studies, the history of science, the medical humanities, and the politics of literature; and papers considering adaptation and the powerful influence Wonderland has had on design and style.

Confirmed keynote speakers are Professor Dame Gillian Beer, Professor Jan Susina and Dr Kiera Vaclavik.

300 word proposals for 20-minute papers or 60-90 minute panel sessions should be submitted by 31st January 2015. We also invite poster presentations, exhibits, performances and any activities inspired by the Alice novels.

For more information, or to submit a proposal, please contact Professor Maria Nikolajeva or Dr Zoe Jaques,

CFP American Literature Association (varied) (Boston 5/21-24/15)


American Literature Association
26th Annual Conference
May 21-24, 2015
Boston, MA

 Henry Adams Society CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS 

CFP Alchemy in Harry Potter collection (3/1/15)

Alchemy in Harry Potter
Call for Papers Date: 2015-03-01
Date Submitted: 2014-12-16
Announcement ID: 218844

Call for papers for a multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary collection of essays on alchemy in the Harry Potter novels.

In a 1998 interview with The Herald, J.K. Rowling said, "I've never wanted to be a witch, but an alchemist, now that's a different matter. To invent this wizard world, I've learned a ridiculous amount about alchemy. . . . I [had] to know in detail what magic can and cannot do in order to set the parameters and establish the stories' internal logic."

We are seeking papers for a collection of new essays on alchemy, broadly conceived, in the Harry Potter series. We welcome essays on alchemy itself and the alchemical symbolism in the novels.

And we welcome essays on the other transformations the series suggests. For one example, Rowling challenges readers to rethink how we use words like power, so by the end of the series Voldemort's brute strength looks more like a weakness and Luna's encouragement, "we're still here, we're still fighting," sounds like strength. For another, there are gendered transformations and explorations of race and class and a reevaluation of what makes one "successful." Different models of education, too, seem relevant to the "literary alchemy" broad model.

We prefer a focus mainly on the novels themselves, but from there, an article could certainly look into the films and fan phenomena.

We will accept full papers or proposals, which should be in Times New Roman, 12 pt. type, double spaced. Full papers should be no more than 25 pages, including references. Any citation style is fine at this point, although accepted chapters will need to be converted to Chicago style. Please send proposals (or full papers) to by March 1, 2015. Full papers will be due by June 1, 2015.

We are in active conversation with Palgrave McMillan, which has expressed interest in the proposal and looks forward to sending it out for blind peer review. We plan to deliver the manuscript to Palgrave on July 15, 2015.

Dr. Anne Mamary (Philosophy & Religious Studies) & Dr. Christine D. Myers (History)
Monmouth College
700 E. Broadway
Monmouth, IL 61462


CFP MAPACA 2015 Initial Call (Philadelphia 11/5-7/15)

26th Annual Conference (
November 5-7, 2015
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown
The 26th annual conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA) returns to Philadelphia. Details to follow.

Call for papers:
Proposals are welcome on all aspects of popular and American culture for inclusion in the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Single papers, panels, roundtables, and alternative formats are welcome.

Proposals should take the form of 300-word abstracts, and may only be submitted to one appropriate area. Please, only submit one abstract per person, submit to one area, and be sure all presenters/authors are accounted for in abstract submission. Consult Area pages for area-specific themes, focuses, and instructions.
Submissions will be accepted beginning Spring 2015 To submit an abstract, create an account or log in to and visit the Submitting abstracts to the conference page for instructions.

For list of areas and area chair contact information, visit Subject Areas. Please contact Area Chairs for area-specific questions. General questions can be directed to the MAPACA Contact Page.

CFP SFRA 2015 Conference (3/1/15; Stony Brook, NY 6/25-27/15)

Not sure how I missed this one:

SFRA 2015
The SF We Don't (Usually) See: Suppressed Histories, Liminal Voices, Emerging Media

Date: June 25-27, 2015

Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY

Guests of Honor:
M. Asli Dukan (film)
Alexis Lothian (digital)
Vandana Singh (fiction + physics)

Like any genre, and despite its historically marginal positioning vis-à-vis other genres, Science Fiction has its own canon, a general agreement on what texts are worthy of scholarly attention. But what might be revealed if we critically question the canon and consider what elisions its formation entails? What kinds of racial, gendered, classed, and sexual hierarchies are reinforced through the selection of certain texts as exemplary of the genre? What alternative genealogies might become visible if we look underneath “mainstream” or canonical SF and seek out those liminal voices that have been denied access to privileged outlets?

Given the (slowly) increasing visibility of women, LGBTQIA individuals, and people of color within the world of SF in recent years, both as creators and textual representations, it seems like an opportune moment to ask what submerged or marginal histories of the genre might be (re)constructed as well as what voices remain silenced. What can these alternative genealogies and liminal voices offer for considerations of genre definition and exploration?

Not only does taking a critical perspective on the canon lead us to ask what voices have been silenced or repressed, it also asks us to consider why SF in some media (literature, film) have been privileged over others (television, web series, theater, etc.). The development of new media technologies has generated a wealth of SF production within these emerging media. New distribution models built around streaming media services and social media platforms have provided alternative venues for science fiction films, web series, and short stories. Online fandoms have also provided generative ecologies for amateur and fan fiction in a variety of formats. What insights might be gained from more sustained critical attention to science fiction in these emerging media? What do these technological developments portend for the future of the genre?

We invite paper and panel proposals on any of the three Guests of Honor. We also invite paper and panel proposals that focus on all forms of science fiction and that address (but are not limited to) the following areas:

- Feminist and queer SF
- SF and ability/disability
- Liminal or marginal voices in canonical SF texts
- Online SF fandoms and fan fiction
- SF and new media studies
- SF beyond the West
- SF web series
- SF and the digital humanities
- SF drama and on the stage
- SF poetry
- SF music (music as SF; music in SF; SF music)
- Science as fiction/fiction as science
- Online SF film distribution and streaming video services
- Alternative histories and definitions of the genre

The deadline for paper and panel submissions is midnight on March 1st, 2015. Please submit a 250-400-word abstract to Proposals for panels will also be considered; panel proposals should be submitted as one document. All presenters must be members of the SFRA.

Conference registration:
This link leads to the registration page, which is being handled by Stony Brook University. If you prefer to register and pay via mail, please contact me.

Hotel information and registration: coming August 2014
The conference hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn located on campus. It is a 2-minute stroll from the hotel to the conference proceedings. However, the number of rooms at the conference rate are LIMITED. Book early. The code for the conference rate is: "scifi."

We also have conference rooms at the nearby Holiday Inn Express. They have a shuttle that runs to and from campus:

Guests can call 631-471-8000 1-800-HOLIDAY or

Dormitory information and registration:
Finally, we will have dorm rooms on campus available at a lower rate. The rooms are located in the newest dorms on campus. They are a 5-10 minute walk from the proceedings.
Link to follow soon!!

Travel information and arrangements: coming August 2014

CFP The Toy as Hero Collection (4/1/15)

CFP: Toy Stories: The Toy as Hero
Call for Papers Date: 2015-04-01
Date Submitted: 2014-12-16
Announcement ID: 218838

Abstracts are being welcomed for a proposed collection examining the toy as hero.  Toys, a celebrated part of childhood and often key figures in children’s imaginative play, have a fantastic history of heroism in print and film.  Open to examinations of literature, comics, and film, the collection seeks to be a repository of original essays that analyze the roles toys play as protectors of the child(ren) they love, as heroes of their own stories, or as champions for the greater good.

Possible pieces for consideration:

  • Winnie-the-Pooh
  • The Stuff of Legend
  • The Velveteen Rabbit
  • The Nutcracker
  • Calvin and Hobbes
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
  • Toy Story
  • Toys in the Attic
  • The Indian in the Cupboard
  • Corduroy
  • The Steadfast Tin Soldier
  • Pinocchio
  • Midnight in the Dollhouse
  • Small Soldiers
  • The Mouse and His Child
  • Raggedy Ann and Andy
  • Labyrinth
  • Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave
  • Mennyms

Please send a short bio and abstracts of 300-500 words by April 1st. Abstracts on all topics that take an analytical or theoretical approach to the theme are welcome.

Tanya Jones is the co-editor for the collection "The Gothic Fairy Tale in Young Adult Literature: Essays on Stories from Grimm to Gaiman.”  She has published widely in the areas of Gothicism, pop culture, and literature.  A former English teacher and Department Chairperson, Tanya holds a M.Ed. and has presented her theoretical framework at various conferences and lectures.

Chris Stoneley is an independent scholar, poet, writer, and frequent public storyteller in the LA area.


Tanya Jones


CFP Updating

It has been a chaotic semester (again), and I am sorry for not staying on top of the calls for papers. I did come across some of interest recently and will post those today. The backlog will be posted as time permits.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christopher Nolan Is Wired

Filmmaker Christopher Nolan edits the December 2014 issue of Wired (out now). A trailer for the issue appears on YouTube at, but I was unable to embed the video here. The collaboration is in celebration of the release of Nolan's last film Interstellar. There are a number of pieces about space/time travel in general (including a very long piece on the making of The Right Stuff film from 1983), but the most interesting to me were the ones that offered insight into the filmmaking process through the words and experiences of Nolan and two of the co-creators--astrophysicist Kip Thorne and production designer Nathan Crowley--involved in bringing his film to life. As an added bonus, the issue also includes a comic book style story set within the world of the film.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Dracula Panel Details

The Area is running its first non-NEPCA-based session next weekend. Details below:

“Beyond the Pale: Alienation, Sites of Resistance, and Modern Ireland”: The 2014 Meeting of the New England Region of the American Conference for Irish Studies
Wheaton College (Norton, Massachusetts)
21-22 November 2014

FRIDAY, 21 NOVEMBER: SESSION II (4:30-5:15 PM): PANEL 3 (Meneely 201)
Bram Stoker’s Dracula: Contexts and Afterlives
Sponsored by The Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Legend Area of the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association (NEPCA)
Organizer/Presider: Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

1. “Using Dracula to Explore 19th-Century Reactions to Medical Theories from the Preceding Century”
Nicole Salomone, Independent Scholar

2. “My Revenge is Just Begun—The Evolution of Superstition and Science from Stoker’s Dracula to NBC’s Primetime Series Dracula
Marijana Stojkovic, East Tennessee State University

3. “Re-fashioning Dracula: Psychic Vampires in Postwar American Culture”
Kristin Bidoshi, Union College

4. “A Transylvanian Count in Camelot? Investigating the Draculas of the Modern Matter of Britain”
Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Further details about the conference and registration information can be found online at

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Area Sessions 2014 Final Update

Northeast Popular/America Culture Association
2014 Conference
Providence College, 24-25 October 2014

A final update on our sessions for this weekend's conference. The complete schedule (updated as of 12 October) can be accessed at A map of the campus is available at​. 

Friday, 24 October

SESSION II: Friday, October 24, 2:45–4:15 pm
CHAIR: Faye Ringel, United States Coast Guard Academy

1. “ ‘You’re a Trickster Singular, Rachel Morgan’: Collective and Individual Magic in Kim Harrison’s The Hollows Series”
Amie Doughty, SUNY – Oneonta

Amie Doughty is Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department at SUNY Oneonta and a three-time presenter in our area. Her primary area of research is children’s and young adult fantasy, and she is author of the books Folktales Retold: A Critical Overview of Stories Updated for Children (2006) and “Throw the book away”: Reading versus Experience in Children’s Fantasy (2013), both published by McFarland. Amie is also the Area Chair of the Children's Literature and Culture area of the Popular Culture Association.

2. “Just Desserts: NBC’s Hannibal and the Evolution of Cultural Morality”
Douglas Howard, Suffolk County Community College

Douglas L. Howard is Academic Chair of the English Department on the Ammerman Campus at Suffolk County Community College and a newcomer to our area. He has published and presented on literature, film, and television. He is also the editor of Dexter: Investigating Cutting Edge Television and the co-editor of The Essential Sopranos Reader. His paper today looks at another cult television program and is called “Just Desserts: NBC’s Hannibal and the Evolution of Cultural Morality”.

3. “ ‘Monstrosity Will Be Called For’: Holly Black and Melissa Marr’s Urban Gothic Fairy Tale”
Rhonda Nicol, Illinois State University

Rhonda Nicol also makes her first appearance in our area this year. She is an instructional assistant professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at Illinois State University. Her research focuses upon issues of gender, power, and identity in contemporary fantasy, and she has published essays on works such as Harry Potter, Twilight, Supernatural, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

4. “Horrific Science and the Great Unseen in the Fiction of Francis Stevens”
Sabrina Starnaman, University of Texas at Dallas

Sabrina Starnaman, another newcomer to our area, is a literary studies professor at The University of Texas at Dallas. Her work focuses on Progressive Era (1880-1930) texts that involve women, urbanism, and disability, and today’s paper arises from her interest in the history of science and women writers who are doing things they aren’t supposed to—like writing dark horror fantasy stories in 1919.

Saturday, 25 October

SESSION IV, Saturday, October 25, 9:00–10:30 am
CHAIR: Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University

1. “Dracula: Monster of Masculinity”
Michael Paul Pecora, Worcester State University

Michael Paul Pecora is a recent graduate of Worcester State University, receiving his master’s degree in 2014. He has worked as a teacher in the Worcester Public School system and will be pursuing his Ph.D. in English Literature beginning in 2015. His primary scholarly interests are Early Modern English Literature, as well as Contemporary Fantasy/Sci-fi, where he focuses his studies on gender, society, and masculinity. Aside from his work in the scholarly field, Michael is also a poet and writer of fiction, as well as a classical guitarist and music instructor.

2. “Nature Selects the Horla: Darwinian Influences on Guy de Maupassant’s Horror Tale”
Sharon Yang, Worcester State University

Sharon Yang is a longtime supporter of our area. She is a Full Professor in the English Department at Worcester State University and teaches courses in Renaissance literature, nineteenth-century British literature (including the Gothic), and Film and Literature.  Sharon has published and presented in these fields, including her book Goddesses, Mages, and Wise Women:  The Female Pastoral Guide in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century English Drama (2011) and her collection The X-Files and Literature: Unweaving the Story, Unraveling the Lie to Find the Truth (2007).  She is currently working on editing a collection of essays with Dr. Kathleen Healey called Gothic Landscapes:  Changing Eras, Changing Cultures, Changing Anxieties, which will include a more in-depth version of her paper today on “The Horla”.

3. “Like Lovecraft for the Little Ones: ParaNorman’s Gothic New England”
Faye Ringel, US Coast Guard Academy & Jenna Randall, Independent Scholar

Combing efforts, Faye Ringel, the founder of our area, and newcomer Jenna Randall offer insight into a recent film. Faye is Professor Emerita of Humanities, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and taught English there for over 25 years. She is the author of New England’s Gothic Literature: History and Folklore of the Supernatural and many articles in reference books and scholarly journals on this subject. Faye is especially knowledgeable about the works of Rhode Islander H. P. Lovecraft, and she has it on good authority that she is the reincarnation of his wife Sonia. (Don’t believe this? Ask Faye.) Her co-presenter, Jenna, gets paid to listen to audiobooks all day. When she’s not doing that, she’s chasing her 3 sons around. And when she’s not doing that, she’s conspiring with Faye to take over the world, one paper presentation at a time.

4. “Cyborgs in Western Science Fiction: Triumphs and Tribulations in Human-Machine Relations”
Petra Vannucci-Henkel, University of Denver

Petra Vannucci-Henkel has had to withdraw her paper. 

SESSION VI: Saturday, October 25, 1:30–3:00 pm
CHAIR: Michael Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

1. “Harvesting the Little Sisters: Sexualization and the Exploitation of Children in the BioShock Series”
Ashley Barry, Independent Scholar

Ashley Barry currently works at a publishing house in Boston and recently earned a Master’s degree in children’s literature at Simmons College. Having written a number of Facebook posts about complex narratives in video games, her favorite professor from her undergraduate institution reached out and encouraged her to present at the NEPCA conference.

2. “Scopophilia and Ocular Mutilation: Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Vision for Pretty Deadly
Katy Rex, Independent Scholar [ADDED]

Katy Rex is an independent scholar and writes comics analysis at End of the Universe Comics <>, Comics Bulletin <>, and Bloody Disgusting <>. She also runs a podcast at featuring academic and creator interviews focusing on the topics of both comics and music.

3. “Should Your Car Kill You?”
Don Vescio, Worcester State University

Don Vescio is a member of Worcester State University’s Department of English, where he teaches courses in critical theory and rhetoric. Prior to this, Don served, for ten years, as Worcester State’s Vice President of Information Technologies; he then became Vice President for the newly formed division of Enrollment Management. Don’s research interests include the connections between contemporary critical theory and data networks, information design, and predictive analytics in the humanities.

4. “The Cosmic Gaze: Polyocularity in H. P. Lovecraft-Related Visual Culture”
Nathaniel Wallace, Ohio University

Our final presenter this afternoon is Nathaniel Wallace, a PhD candidate at the Ohio University school of Interdisciplinary Arts, where his focus is on the visual arts and film. His academic credentials also include an AAS in interactive media from Columbus State, a BA in political science from the Ohio State University, and an MA in political science from Ohio University, where he concentrated on international relations. Nathaniel’s recent work centers on the writings of Rhode Island author H. P. Lovecraft and their afterlives, and he is currently finishing his dissertation, “H. P. Lovecraft’s Literary Supernatural Horror in Visual Culture,” and working on related creative projects, including a video game adaptation of Lovecraft’s unpublished novella “The Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath”.  Nathaniel’s presentation today is entitled “The Cosmic Gaze: Polyocularity in H.P. Lovecraft-Related Visual Culture”.

SESSION VII: Saturday, October 26, 3:15–4:45 pm
CHAIR: Sabrina Starnaman, University of Texas – Dallas

1. “Identifying Frankenstein’s Creature in Nature”
Janna Andrews, Arcadia University

Janna Andrews was originally born and raised in San Antonio, and she is currently a sophomore at Arcadia University, where she is pursuing a double major in creative writing and graphic design. Fascinated with the created world around us, she holds a passion for nature and expresses that love through words and images. An illustrator, writer, and coffee aficionado, she is working towards a career in book design and travel writing.

2. “ ‘I Miss Science Class’: Emasculating Scientists in The Walking Dead
Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University

Kristine Larsen, a six-year veteran of our area, is Professor of Astronomy at Central Connecticut State University, and her research focuses on the intersections between science and society, including science and popular culture. She is the author of Stephen Hawking: A Biography and Cosmology 101 and co-editor of The Mythological Dimensions of Doctor Who and The Mythological Dimensions of Neil Gaiman.

3. “Did Chris Carter Want to Kill His Franchise? A Feminist Reading of The X-Files: I Want to Believe
April Selley, Union College

April Selley, a Rhode Island native and previous presenter in our area, received her BA in English at Providence College and earned a PhD in English and American Literature from Brown University. She now teaches American Literature and the Writing of Fiction in the English Department at Union College in Schenectady, New York. She, also, has been a Fulbright Lecturer in Portugal and in Japan. Her published work encompasses scholarly articles on a variety of subjects, such as Poe, Dickinson, fellow Rhode Islander Lovecraft, Fitzgerald, and Star Trek, and an impressive literary output, which includes over forty poems and eight short stories, as well as creative nonfiction and flash fictions, both in print and online. April has also delivered many papers at regional, national and international Popular Culture Association Conferences, mostly on the subject of Star Trek, but, today, she turns her attention towards a different franchise and asks: “Did Chris Carter Want to Kill His Franchise? A Feminist Reading of The X-Files: I Want to Believe”.

4. “Echoes of Frankenstein in the Comics: Recasting the Story in Humor Comics”
Michael Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Michael Torregrossa is also Rhode Island born and bred and holds degrees in Medieval Studies from both Rhode Island College and University of Connecticut (Storrs). A scholar of both the medieval and the modern, he is the current Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Legend Area Chair, a position he has held since 2009. Michael’s present research focuses on monsters, and he will present a paper entitled “A Transylvanian Count in Camelot? Investigating the Draculas of the Modern Matter of Britain” next month at Wheaton College as part of the 2014 Meeting of the New England Region of the American Conference for Irish Studies.