Saturday, May 30, 2015

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

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