Saturday, May 30, 2015

Final Call for Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Legend Area 2015 Sessions (6/15/15; New London, NH 10/30-31/15)

Updated 6/7/15 to correct email for Kraig Larkin:

Online at NEPCA Fantastic:

2015 Conference of The Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association (NEPCA)
Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire
Friday 30 October and Saturday 31 October 2015
Proposals by 15 June 2015

Formed in 2008, the Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Legend Area celebrates its eighth anniversary in 2015, and we seek proposals from scholars of all levels for papers that explore any aspect of the intermedia traditions of the fantastic (including, but not limited to, elements of science fiction, fantasy, fairy tale, gothic, horror, legends, and mythology) and how creative artists have altered our preconceptions of these subtraditions by producing innovative works in diverse countries and time periods and for audiences at all levels.

Special topics:

·         Given the proximity to Halloween, we are especially interested in proposals related to monsters and the monstrous.
Please see our website NEPCA Fantastic ( for further details and ideas. Presentations will be limited to 15-20 minutes in length (depending on final panel size).

If you are interested in proposing a paper, please complete the “2015 Registration Form” (including biographical sketch and paper abstract, each of 500 words) available at or send biography and abstract to both the Program Chair AND to the Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Legend Area Chair at the following addresses (please note “NEPCA Fantastic Proposal 2015” in your subject line):

Kraig Larkin
Program Chair

Michael A. Torregrossa
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Legend Area Chair

Please submit proposals for complete panels directly to the Program Chair and Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Legend Area Chair at the addresses above.

The Northeast Popular/American Culture Association (a.k.a. NEPCA) was founded in 1974 as a professional organization for scholars living in New England and New York. It is a community of scholars interested in advancing research and promoting interest in the disciplines of popular and/or American culture. NEPCA’s membership consists of university and college faculty members, emeriti faculty, secondary school teachers, museum specialists, graduate students, independent scholars, and interested members of the general public. NEPCA is an independently funded affiliate of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association. Membership is open to all interested parties, regardless of profession, rank, or residency. NEPCA holds an annual conference that invites scholars from around the globe to participate. In an effort to keep costs low, it meets on college campuses throughout the region.

Membership in NEPCA is required for participation and annual dues are included in conference registration fees. Further details are available at

CFP Cyberpunk in Visual/Virtual Media (8/1/15)

A head's up from the SFRA-List:

Crank up the Resolution: Cyberpunk in Visual/Virtual Media; 1-2 page abstracts due August 1, 2015
full name / name of organization:
Graham J. Murphy (Seneca College, Toronto, Canada) and Lars Schmeink (Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research, Hamburg, Germany)
contact email:;
Call for Contributions
Crank up the Resolution: Cyberpunk in Visual/Virtual Media

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”
William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)

Contributions are invited for a critical anthology focusing on cyberpunk beyond its literary dimension, its presentation in visual/virtual media, and its ongoing relevance in the 21st century.

Cyberpunk, that immensely popular form of 1980s science fiction (SF), was shaped by the innovative and highly stylized literary works of writers such as William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Pat Cadigan, Rudy Rucker, John Shirley, and Lewis Shiner, to name a few. Gibson’s debut novel Neuromancer is the ur-­‐text of cyberpunk, and as the opening line quoted above reveals, it is a genre that relied strongly on visual motifs for its brushed-­‐chrome literary splendor. The cyberpunk imaginary is richly saturated with computer-­‐generated worlds, video games, music videos, simulated stimuli, consensual hallucinations, and many other technologies that highlight the visual and/or the virtual. As a result, the importance of the visual/virtual component readily translated cyberpunk into contemporaneous film, television, and video games, such as Blade Runner (1982), Tron (1982), Videodrome (1983), Max Headroom (1985; 1987), Wasteland (1987), Akira (1988), and so forth.

It is in no small part due to this visual/virtual form that cyberpunk survived many pronouncements of its demise over the years and decades that followed its initial popularity. Cyberpunk has evolved beyond the original cadre of eighties-­‐era authors and undergone transformations in successive waves with increasingly varied thematic and political interests and goals; in other words, as Thomas Foster remarks in The Souls of Cyberfolk, cyberpunk “didn’t so much die as experience a sea change into a more generalized cultural formation.”

Visual and virtual embodiments of cyberpunk have continued to resonate well into the new millennium, in media as varied as film, television, video games, comic books/graphic novels, and art (photography, painting, design, fashion, etc.); yet, monographs and anthologies tend to focus overwhelmingly on literary cyberpunk with little attention paid to its visual/virtual offspring. Crank up the Resolution: Cyberpunk in Visual/Virtual Media seeks to redress this oversight by focusing on the ‘sea changes’ of cyberpunk in visual/virtual media, including (but not limited to) the following:

Cyberpunk in Film and Television
•Aeon Flux
•Almost Human
•Blade Runner
•Ghost in the Shell
•Johnny Mnemonic
•Lawnmower Man
•Sleep Dealer
•Strange Days
•The Matrix
•Total Recall

Cyberpunk in Video Games
•Beneath a Steel Sky
•Cyberpunk 2077
•Deus Ex
•Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
•Fear Effect
•Metal Gear Solid
•Watch Dogs

Cyberpunk in Comic Books/Graphic Novels
•The Resistance
•Hard Boiled
•Heavy Liquid
•Singularity 7
•Remember Me
•Shin Megami Tensei
•System Shock
•Channel Zero
•Hard Drive
•Doktor Sleepless
•The Surrogates

Cyberpunk in art/photography/design/fashion/advertisement
•The visual/virtual in Cyberpunk-­‐derived genres
•Theoretical approaches to visual/virtual cyberpunk
•Aesthetics of visual/virtual cyberpunk

Crank up the Resolution: Cyberpunk in Visual/Virtual Media seeks to highlight visual and virtual forms of cyberpunk with outstanding academic scholarship and new critical approaches in an anthology that can be readily accessible to academics, scholars, teachers, and students alike. 1-­‐2 page abstracts (Word or RTF) and brief biographies are invited by August 1st, 2015.

The projected timeline for the anthology is: Abstracts due by August 1st , 2015; participants notified by Sep 1st 2015; finished papers due Jan 1st , 2016; revisions in spring 2016; publication in fall 2016 (pending publisher timelines).

Submissions and queries can be sent to the editors Graham J. Murphy (Seneca College, Toronto, Canada) and Lars Schmeink (Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research, Hamburg, Germany) via email. Regular mail addresses will be provided upon request.

Graham J. Murphy:
Lars Schmeink:

By web submission at 05/06/2015 - 00:22

Saturday, May 16, 2015

SFRA 2015 Conference Details

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

June 25-27, 2015

Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY

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

Version 2.0 of the program can be found HERE:

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 April 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.

CFP Speculation and Fiction (Spec Issue of Sanglap) (4/30/15)

A final post for the day from H-Announce:


CFP: Speculation and Fiction (Vol II Issue I)
Publication Date: 2015-04-30
Date Submitted: 2015-03-16
Announcement ID: 221269
Call for Papers for Sanglap: Journal of Literary and Cultural Inquiry (Vol II Issue I)

Topic: Speculation and Fiction

The term speculation has, among others, two specific strands of meaning: thinking/narrating the realm of the possible and describing a form of economy that borders on the fluctuations in the material value of a marketable good. In both the strands, speculation is largely based on what constitutes the material. As Ursula K. Le Guin writes, Margaret Atwood’s fundamental resistance against terming her work ‘science fiction’ is the anticipated near-materialization of the nature of her imagined world: “In her recent, brilliant essay collection, Moving Targets, she (Atwood) says that everything that happens in her novels is possible and may even have already happened, so they can’t be science fiction, which is “fiction in which things happen that are not possible today” (Le Guin 2009).

Thinking the material then also calls for thinking the generic; if science fiction gathers meaning by a sense of the impossible, the materialization of many such incomprehensible things in today’s society has dismantled the values of generic difference. Speculative fiction then is marked by dissolute boundaries, overlapping territories, generic mutations. One can think of a number of genres routinely categorized these days under this broad term, like fantasy, supernatural fiction, teen fiction, horror and vampire fiction, science fiction, etc. In that sense, how does one approach the realm of the speculative, in thought as well as in fiction?

The other strand of meaning which is not entirely dissociated from the first advocates for a particular form of practising economy. Speculative finance, as Ritu Birla (2006) so efficiently shows, is linked with the rise and legitimation of gambling in colonial cities, the public enthusiasm for which could be historicised, following Ian Hacking’s brilliant study (1990), in the institutionalization of probability and chance in the Victorian navigational discourse. To put squarely then: speculation is an act of fiction where fiction is allotted the nature of something-not-being-there, and that speculation is linked with imperial strategies of governance. Is it why so many of the speculative novels involve the scientific-military-complex, the neo-regimes of imperialism, the ecological concerns, and the ethics of humanity – in short, the possibility of living? Could a study of speculative fiction then help us understand the complex interrelations in factors geographical, financial, and political in oil-rich areas? At the same time, could speculation always already entail the fiction of the fictive?

We would like to tap these potential gestures in this call for papers through topics that may not be limited to these:

Speculation and/as Thought
Speculative, Fantastic, Imaginary
Genres of Speculative Fiction
Speculation in Performance and Visual Art
Speculation and New Wave Cinema
Speculation and Political Economy
Chance, Probability, Logic, Speculation
Speculation, Hydrocarbon, Oil
Speculation and Ethics
Animal Studies and Speculation
Sciences of the Speculation
Speculation and Space/Topography

Prospective papers addressing the issue should be sent to by April 30, 2015. The decisions will be communicated to the authors by June 30, 2015. The papers should be between 4000 and 7000 words in length excluding notes and references, sent along with an abstract not exceeding 200 words and five or six keywords. For further information on style and guidelines, please log on to:

Sourit Bhattacharya
Doctoral Candidate
English and CLS
University of Warwick
26 Leamington Spa,
CV31 1BB, UK
Visit the website at

cfp The Fantastic: Positions from Another World (Panel at the SCLA) (4/15/15)

From H-Announce:


The Fantastic: Positions from Another World (Panel at the SCLA)
Location: Louisiana, United States
Conference Date: 2015-04-15
Date Submitted: 2015-03-01
Announcement ID: 220807
Panel for the Annual Meeting of the Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts.

Four Points by Sheraton

New Orleans, LA

October 15-17 2015

 The Fantastic: Positions from Another World

 “The fantastic is . . . a product of human imagination, perhaps even an excess of imagination. It arises when laws thought to be absolute are transcended, in the borderland between life and death, the animate and the inanimate, the self and the world . . . The fantastic is the unexpected occurrence, the startling novelty which goes contrary to all our expectations of what is possible. The ego multiplies and splits, time and space are distorted.”
― Franz Rottensteiner, The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History From Dracula To Tolkien

 Authors of the fantastic employ various strategies to create new worlds. Magic, ghosts, and the supernatural are only a few of the ways in which our world is transformed into something different, but not altogether alien. Whether it be a hidden world of monsters, a future world of robots and aliens, a past world of vampires, or a new world of dragons and elves, the fantastic allows authors to explore the positions created by the otherworldly. These positions have consequences for the subject’s relationship to the political, rhetorical, theoretical, ideological, sexual, psychological, cultural, and so on. This panel seeks submissions for papers that engage with all types of literature or multimedia whose authors or creators represent worlds outside, behind, or beside our own. Possible topics could include but are not limited to:

The supernatural

The magical


The gothic




Romantic literature

Medieval literature

Magical realism

Please send 300-500 words abstracts to by April 15th, 2015.

Casey C. Moore
University of South Carolina


CFP Studies in the Fantastic Journal Issue (8/1/15)

A final post from the UPenn CFP List:

Studies in the Fantastic
full name / name of organization:
University of Tampa Press
contact email:

The University of Tampa Press is pleased announce the relaunch of its journal Studies in the Fantastic. In the spirit of new beginnings, the journal invites submissions on the subject of reboots. Now a staple of the entertainment industry, reboots regularly appear on television, in movie theaters, on computer screens, and, of course, in comics. Although hardly unique to the fantastic—appropriation and retelling are historically common throughout the arts—many of the most visible recent examples of the reboot are in fantastic genres such as science fiction and superheroes. This issue of Studies in the Fantastic asks why these genres are so ripe for reboot. Approaches dealing with canon formation, intermedia adaptation, and cultural capital are encouraged. Submissions are due by August 1, 2015, with publication planned for the end of the year.

Please send submissions to

Studies in the Fantastic is an annual journal publishing refereed essays, informed by scholarly criticism and theory, on both fantastic texts and their social function. Although grounded in literary studies, we are especially interested in articles examining genres and media that have been underrepresented in humanistic scholarship. Subjects may include, but are not limited to weird fiction, science/speculative fiction, fantasy, video games, architecture, science writing, futurism, and technocracy.

Submitted articles should conform to the following guidelines:
1. 6,000-12,000 words
2. MLA style citations and bibliography
3. A separate title page with author information to facilitate peer review
4. 1” margins, 12 point serif font, page numbers

CFP Foundation Essay Prize 2016 (11/2/15)

From UPenn CFP List:

Foundation Essay Prize 2016
full name / name of organization:
Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction
contact email:
We are pleased to announce the return of our essay competition. The award is open to all post-graduate research students and to all early career researchers (up to five years after the completion of your PhD) who have yet to find a full-time or tenured position. The prize is guaranteed publication in the next summer issue of Foundation (August 2016).

To be considered for the competition, please submit a 6000 word article on any topic, period, theme, author, film or other media within the field of science fiction and its academic study. All submitted articles should comply with the guidelines to contributors as set out on the SF Foundation website. Only one article per contributor is allowed to be submitted.

The deadline for submission is 2nd November 2015. All competition entries, with a short (50 word) biography, should be sent to the regular email address: The entries will be judged by the editorial team and the winner will be announced in the spring 2016 issue of Foundation.

CFP In More's Footsteps: Utopia and Science Fiction (Spec Issue of Foundation) (12/4/15)

From the UPenn CFP List:

In More's Footsteps: Utopia and Science Fiction
full name / name of organization:
Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction
contact email:
Call for Papers
In More’s Footsteps: Utopia and Science Fiction
Foundation #124 (summer 2016)

Next year marks the 500th anniversary of Sir Thomas More’s seminal work, Utopia. Although the text has been of importance within Renaissance Studies and political philosophy, it has also occupied a special place within science fiction for helping to popularize the notion of ‘the Great Good Place’ to which society should strive to perfect. Whether directly or indirectly, More’s text has been of huge significance for the utopian strand that runs through much science fiction.

We invite contributors to submit 6000-word articles on any aspect of More’s text and its relationship to modern and contemporary science fiction. Topics might include (but are not limited to):

The political organisation of utopias
Utopia and language
Travel and exploration
Economics and social organisation
Utopia and religion
Utopia and sexuality
The private versus the public

All submissions should meet the guidelines to contributors as laid out on the SF Foundation website. The deadline for submissions is 4th December 2015 and should be sent (with a note on university affiliation if applicable) to the regular email address: We will confirm our choice of articles by March 2016.

CFP Terry Pratchett Collection (8/1/15)

More fromthe IAFA site:

CfP: Chapters on Terry Pratchett
Posted on May 5, 2015 by Public Information Officer

Terry Pratchett’s death earlier this year brought into sharp relief three things: The depth of his fans’ devotion, the high esteem in which he was held by fellow authors, and the lack of scholarly attention paid to his work so far. This academic oversight is not only surprising in the light of Pratchett’s success – with total sales of over 70 million and translations into 37 languages, he was one of Britain’s bestselling novelists – but, more importantly, due to the richness of his work. A truly postmodern author, Pratchett rejuvenated the fantasy genre with his highly distinctive and influential narrative style, technical and scientific wit, stylistic and narrative creativity, as well as social, political and philosophical commentary. The aim of this collection is to give a broad overview both of the multidimensionality of Pratchett’s work and of the insightful scholarship surrounding it and to provide a solid launching point for future engagement with his work.

From scholars working within or across the disciplines of literature, media theory, sociology and related fields, we invite proposals for chapters that address

Pratchett’s narrative style (e.g. parody, pastiche, intertextuality, irony, humour, genre subversion, dialogue, satire, imagery)
Content analysis (in terms of e.g. philosophy, technology, death, science, religion, social commentary, moralism, education, gender, race)
Biographical aspects of Pratchett’s life and work (e.g. his disability, social activism, reader‐ writer‐approach)
Mediality of Pratchett’s work (e.g. franchise, multimediality, use of social media)
Terry Pratchett fandom (e.g. gaming, conventions, internet affiliation and impact).
Interested authors should send a 300‐word abstract, 100‐word biography, and a sample of a previously published chapter or article to Marion Rana (marirana@uni‐ by August 1, 2015. Please feel free to contact Marion with any questions regarding this call.

CFP Conference on the Fantastic in a Transmedia Era: New Theories, Texts, Contexts (8/5/15; Denmark 11/24-25/15)

From the IAFA site:

CfP: The Fantastic in a Transmedia Era: New Theories, Texts, Contexts
Posted on May 7, 2015 by Public Information Officer
November Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25, 2015
Proposals due by 5 August 2015

International two-day conference at the University of Southern Denmark, SDU

The fantastic is today’s most popular and significant genre in entertainment media. Among its developments are George R.R. Martin’s fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire and its HBO adapted series Game of Thrones; the Hunger Games film series based on Suzanne Collins’ books; The Walking Dead in comics and television; the new Disney princesses in Brave and Frozen; the rebooted superheroes emerging in games, comics, and film series; religious-themed stories in blockbuster cinema; among games are LOL and WOW. The fantastic has reached new audiences and achieved mainstream status.

Fantastic genres include fantasy, science fiction, horror, and the fairy tale, and today’s transmedia storytelling generates new versions, hybrid forms, and new audience engagements. Multiple media platforms and participatory audiences call for new theorizations of the fantastic as it expands, transforms, and migrates across media, be they grand cinemas or intimate cell phones. This raises questions about medium specificity: what does the fantastic look and feel like in different media and how do stories – affectively and aesthetically – behave when changing form? What significant developments demand our attention, from mash-up narratives to TV genre hybrids? How do audiences engage with the fantastic across media? How does the increase of female authors and female characters influence the fantastic? And, finally, the relation between imagination and the fantastic calls for re-conceptualization: Is the fantastic conservative or subversive, or can its appeal be explained by other factors?

You can go to the conference site here and read more about keynotes and speakers:

For questions contact:

Catching Up

I've been remiss in my duties as blog editor these past few months and will try to make up for things as we move into the summer months. I have a number of calls to post today and a backlog to load as time permits.

Michael Torregrossa