Monday, November 14, 2016

More on Planet of the Apes

Another fascinating new book on the franchise, covering all aspects of the series from 1968's Planet of the Apes to 2014's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes:

Planet of the Apes: The Evolution of the Legend
A celebration of all the classic and new movies, TV & merchandise

By Joe Fordham and Jeff Bond.
With a foreword by John Landis.
RRP $39.95.


Planet of the Apes: The Evolution of the Legend is the first exhaustive account of the groundbreaking series, featuring production art, costume designs, makeup tests, posters, and interviews with key crew members.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781783291984
Dimensions: 9 x 12’’
Hardback: 256pp
Publication date: October 14 2014
Illustration detail: Colour photos throughout

Friday, November 4, 2016

NEPCA Fantastic 2017

NEPCA meets next October on the campus of UMass Amherst from 27 to 28 October. A call for papers for our tenth-anniversary sessions will be posted soon.

As always, we are looking for papers that explore the fantastic in all its various forms as well as monster-specific papers in celebration of Halloween. The area also looks to commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of Mary Shelley's completion of Frankenstein with a set of panels devoted to the theme of "Friendly Frankensteins" exploring the reception of the Frankenstein story in youth culture.

Michael Torregrossa
Area Chair

Voltron on CD!

Released in 2012, World Event Productions and offer an exclusive CD featuring music from the classic animated series Voltron: Defender of the Universe. The CD (available as a traditional disc and for digital download from Amazon) is a fun way to revisit the series, but the pieces are a bit of mixed bag, and full album is probably best for completists. There are tracks that feature the opening and closing of the series, which might be expected, plus the narration for the combining of the lion-bots to form Voltron, but the producers also include more eclectic choices, such as the leads into and out of commercial breaks and a dance remix of the score.

The complete track listing follows:

  1. Voltron Opener (Narration)
  2. Descent
  3. Mystical
  4. Alien Landscape
  5. A Witch
  6. Gladiator Fight
  7. Arrival
  8. Sneaking
  9. Bad Guys
  10. Royal Subjects
  11. Dangerous
  12. Bumper #1
  13. Voltron Will Be Back...
  14. And Now Back to Voltron...
  15. Quick Harp
  16. Majestic
  17. Castle of Lions
  18. Sad Princess
  19. Our Prayers Answered (Dialogue)
  20. At the Lake
  21. Hunk and Pidge
  22. Rushing
  23. The Cave
  24. Bumper #2
  25. Sand People
  26. Captured
  27. A Spy
  28. Voltron Arrives
  29. We Are Friends
  30. Defeat
  31. Quick Harp #2
  32. It's Me
  33. King Alfor
  34. Tension
  35. Underground Base
  36. Montage
  37. Bumper #3
  38. Voltron Will Be Back (Instrumental)
  39. Ready to Form Voltron (Dialogue)
  40. Voltron Closer
  41. Original Opener
  42. Original Opener W/ Sing Out
  43. Original Closer
  44. Form Voltron Sound Fx
  45. Voltage Sfx
  46. Voltage Bump
  47. Voltron DJ MacMan Dance Remix
  48. All Music Compilation
  49. Music of Voltron Montage

Thursday, October 20, 2016

NEPCA Fantastic at NEPCA 2016 Conference


Panel 3 - Fantastic #1: Women and Fantastic Fiction
Presider: Kristine Larsen (Central Connecticut State University)

The Lavender Menace: The Horror of 1980s Lesbian Feminism in Tony Scott’s The Hunger
William A. Tringali (Independent Scholar)

Our first presenter is William A. Tringali. William is a recent graduate of Bridgewater State University, and he is currently working for a cultural/historical nonprofit in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Manic Pixie Green Girl: On the Problem of the Green-Skinned Space Babe
Elizabeth Nielsen (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Our second presenter is Elizabeth J Nielsen, who makes her second appearance in our area this afternoon. Elizabeth is a PhD student in Communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She received her MFA from New Mexico State University in 2010 and her BFA from the Ohio State University in 2005. Her research interests broadly focus on popular media, with a special focus on monsters and the monstrous, gender studies, and fan studies, as well as the frequent intersections between these areas. Elizabeth’s recent and upcoming publications include two book chapters, “Wearing the Woman in White: The Doomed Lives and Afterlives of Supernatural’s Women” in The Gothic Tradition in Supernatural: Essays on the Television Series and “A Bloody Big Ship: Queering James Bond and the Rise of 00Q” in Fan Phenomena: James Bond, and the article “Dear Researcher: Rethinking Engagement with Fan Authors” in the Journal of Fandom Studies vol. 4.3. Elizabeth is also co-editing a collection of essays on NBC’s Hannibal as well as guest editing an upcoming special edition of the Journal of Fandom Studies on virtual and physical fan spaces.Her most recent conference presentations have dealt with the figure of the Wendigo in popular culture as well as on the use of meta-text in the relationship between Holmes and Moriarty in BBC’s Sherlock.

Chinese Fantasy and Women: When Immortals Tell About Life
Jonathan Truffert (University of Geneva)

Our third presenter is Jonathan Truffert. Jonathan was born in France in 1985 and has spent most of his life in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. In 2013 he obtained a Master degree in Chinese Studies at the University of Geneva. Long stays in China, as well as language-related jobs during and after his studies (tour guide at the UN, translator, check-in agent, etc.), helped him maintain a very good level of the Chinese language, and in 2014 he accepted a position as a research assistant in a project on “Popular Literature in contemporary China”. Beside this main job, he works on his own translation projects, and occasionally does the extra at the opera, the perfect side job to pass from a sitting to a standing position.

The Treatment of Women Shown through Witches in Pop Culture
Hillary Di Menna (Independent Scholar)

Our final presenter is Hillary Di Menna. Hillary began her work as a journalist hoping to eliminate apathy within her communities. She has profiled those fighting for social justice and investigated shady practices in big business. Hillary tries to stay active within her community and is currently running the Feminist Internet Resource Exchange (FIRE). Hillary also acts as a guest speaker for Durham Rape Crisis Centre's training classes. In addition, she maintains her own blog, Misfit Matriarch, and is entering her final year of the Women and Gender Studies program at York University. Hillary writes regularly for This Magazine, most notably with her feminist blog Gender Block. Calling Toronto home, Hillary shares a cat-centric apartment with her eight-year-old-daughter and three black cats.

Panel 10 - Fantastic #2: Dangerous Fantasy
Presider: Amie Doughty (SUNY Oneonta)

Psychological Trauma in Curse of Strahd (2016)
Shelly Jones (SUNY Delhi)

Our first presenter is Shelly Jones. Shelly has a PhD in Comparative Literature from SUNY Binghamton. She studies ancient Greek tragedy and mythology and is an avid board gamer and D&D player. 

Nazi Zombies: B-Movies and a Metaphor for Horror
Mia Martini (University of Oklahoma)

Our next presenter is Mia Martini. Mia earned her doctorate at Purdue University and currently works as a lecturer in the First Year Writing Program at the University of Oklahoma. Her research interests include the American novel, narrative theory, trauma, and war narratives. 

Angels and Demons: Physiological and Psychological Vivisection in the World of SyFy’s Dominion (2014-15)
Kristine Larsen (Central Connecticut State University)

Our third presenter, Kristine Larsen is an eight veteran of our area. Kristine is Professor of Astronomy at CCSU where her teaching and scholarship focus on the intersections between science and society. 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 and has presented and published on depictions of science and scientists in such varied sources as the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, George R.R. Martin. J.K. Rowling, Phillip Pullman, Robert Heinlein, and Andrzej Sapkowski, and the tv series Lost, The Walking Dead, and Land of the Lost. She was the recipient of the 2014 Ralph Donald Award for Outstanding Conference Paper (Mid-Atlantic Popular Culture/American Culture Association)  for “Monsters Inside Me: Zombification as Parasitism.”

Knowledge, Form and Function: Checking Out the Posthuman Condition in Gene Wolfe’s A Borrowed Man (2015)
Nova M. Seals (Salve Regina University)

Our final presenter is Nova Seals. Nova is a Ph.D. student in Humanities at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. She is also the Director of the Library and Archives at St. George’s School, an independent preparatory school in Middletown, Rhode Island. Her academic and research interests are philosophy, technology and aesthetics. Nova is particularly interested in how groups use technology, especially social media, to transform knowledge.

Panel 16 - Fantastic #3: I Am the Master of My Fate (Right)? Searching for Morality and Reality in the Postmodern Age [organized by Kelly Kane]
Presider: Amie Doughty (SUNY Oneonta)

Coming of Age in the Age of Uncertainty: Moral Relativism in Animorphs
Catharine Kane (Independent Scholar)

Our first presenter is Catharine Kane. Catharine is presently an independent scholar. She recently graduated with a MA and MFA in Children's Literature from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. Her primary area of focus is middle grade fiction, especially fantasy/scifi series that deal with identity formation, trauma, and war narratives. When not filling out PhD applications, she can be found eating buffalo wings while cheering on the New York Giants.

White Rabbits, Blue Pills, and Vanilla Skies: In “Psy Fi,” the Final Frontier is the Human Mind
Kelly Kane (Iowa State University)

Our second presenter is Kelly Kane. Kelly is a social cognition graduate student researching the ways that readers' attitudes and beliefs respond to the process of becoming immersed in, or transported by, fictional narratives.  She has a B.A. in Creative Writing and Psychology from Ithaca College, and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Iowa State University.

I'm Not Calling You a Liar: Unreliable Narration and Complicated Canon in Dragon Age II
Charlotte Reber (Independent Scholar)

Our final presenter is Charlotte Reber. Charlotte is also an independent scholar. She recently graduated this past May from Simmons College's school of Library & Information Science. Her interests are in creative writing and children's literature.

Panel 23 - Fantastic #4: Frankenstein and the Fantastic I--Shelley’s Frankenstein
Presider:  Kathleen Healey (Worcester State University)

“And What Was I?” The Power of Aesthetic Perception in Shelley’s Frankenstein
Jobin Daniel Davis (University of Central Missouri) [WITHDRAWN]

There is No Monster: Monstrous Imitation in Frankenstein
Saraliza Anzaldua (Independent Scholar)

Our next presenter is Saraliza Anzaldua. A second-time presenter in our area, Saraliza studies teratology (the study of monsters and the monstrous) and recently graduated from National Taiwan University with an M.A. in English Literature. She has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Texas and studied Philosophy at Harvard University for a year as a visiting graduate student. At last year’s NEPCA conference, she presented a paper on contemporary monster erotica as a method of sexual displacement for readers uneasy fantasizing about men. This year, she contributes another teratological paper. This one argues that there is no monster in Frankenstein, and Shelley did not intend to write a novel about one. Instead, she offered a critique of her own monstrous society.

Social Revolution’s Terrible Price:  Mary Shelley’s Failed Pastoral World in Frankenstein
Sharon R Yang (Worcester State University)

Our final presenter is Sharon Yang. Sharon is a longtime supporter of our area and presents her second paper for us today. 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 has most recently edited a collection of essays with Dr. Kathleen Healey called Gothic Landscapes:  Changing Eras, Changing Cultures, Changing Anxieties due out next month.

Panel 28 - Fantastic #5: Frankenstein and the Fantastic II--Rebuilding Frankenstein
Presider: Jesse Weiner (Hamilton College)

Frankenstein and Epigenetics—The Future of Paradise
Gloria Monaghan (Wentworth Institute of Technology)

Our first presenter is Gloria Monaghan. Gloria is a Professor of Humanities at Wentworth Institute in Boston. Her research focuses on cyborgs, gender identity and masculinity, and she is working a book about the spectrum of masculinity. Gloria is also a creative writer.
Her first poetry chapbook, Flawed, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2012.  Her second book The Garden (Flutter Press, 2015) was recently published.  Her poetry has appeared in Slope, Spoonful, and Aries, Blue Max Review and 2River. Her fiction has appeared in Ezine and Tracks, and she is also working on a collection of short stories.

Franken-faeries, or the Conflation of Creator and Created in the October Daye and Merry Gentry Series
Amie A. Doughty (SUNY Oneonta)

Our second presenter today is Amie A. Doughty. A five-time presenter in our area, Amie is an Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department at SUNY Oneonta, where she teaches courses in linguistics, children’s literature, fantasy, science fiction, mythology, and folk literature. She is the area chair of the Children’s Literature and Culture area of Popular Culture Association and the 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).

Clockwork Resurrection:  Steampunk and Frankenstein in Mackenzi Lee’s This Monstrous Thing (2015)
Kathleen  Healey (Worcester State University)

Our final presenter is Kathleen Healey. Kathleen made her first appearance in our area last year, and we are glad to welcome her back this year. Kathleen is a Visiting Professor at Worcester State University.  She is co-editor with Sharon Healy-Yang of a book entitled Gothic Landscapes: Changing Eras, Changing Cultures, Changing Anxieties to be published by Palgrave in October 2016.  This edition includes an essay she has written entitled "Dark Shadows in the Promised Land: Landscapes of Terror and the Visual Arts in Charles Brockden Brown's Edgar Huntly."  Her teaching and research  interests include Gothic Literature, Science Fiction, American Literature, and Literature and the Environment.

Panel 35 - Fantastic #6: Frankenstein and the Fantastic III--Frankenstein on Screen
Presider: Martin F. Norden (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Hollywood Production Code
Joseph Sgammato (SUNY/Westchester Community College)

Our first presenter this afternoon is Joseph Sgammato. Joseph makes his second appearance in our area this year. He is a writer and teacher.  After earning an M.A. in English from Fordham University, he studied film at New York University and Columbia University, receiving an M.F.A. in Film Studies from the latter. He is also a Fellow of the CUNY Writers’ Institute in New York City. He has written about film, literature, art, and medicine. His work has appeared in Sight and Sound, The Wordsworth Circle, The College Language Association Journal, Patient Care, and other periodicals. He was a contributor to the essay collection The Book of Firsts published by Anchor Books in 2010 (new edition Spring 2016.)  He teaches in both the English Department and the Film Department at Westchester Community College, a division of the State University of New York, in Valhalla, New York. He lives in Norwalk, Connecticut.

From Frankenstein’s Monster to Ultron: Man’s Unbridled Ambition Gone Awry
Cheryl A. Hunter (University of Massachusetts Lowell)

Our next presenter is Cheryl A. Hunter. Like Joseph, Cheryl is now a two-timer presenter in our area, having also made her debut appearance last year. Cheryl attended the University of New Hampshire Manchester and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Humanities and a minor in English. She has extensive coursework in Philosophy, Literature, and Classics. She received her Master of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from the University of New Hampshire Durham with a concentration in Philosophy and Literature and has since completed 18 graduate hours beyond the Master’s degree since graduation. Cheryl’s Philosophy focus includes Greek and Roman Philosophies, Enlightenment, and Transcendental Philosophy; she was a National Endowment of the Humanities Fellow at a weeklong workshop on Henry David Thoreau in Concord, Massachusetts in 2010. Cheryl is also the author of Myths and Archetypes in The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, which was published in February 2011 by Lambert Academic Publishers. This book looks at the roles of Philosophy and Mythology in modern literature and what important lessons about the human condition are conveyed to the audience through the hero and journey archetypes used in The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Cheryl is currently an adjunct professor at UMASS Lowell and Southern NH University. She teaches in a variety of formats (including 100% online, hybrid, and traditional classroom) and a diverse group of courses (including English Composition,  Introduction to Philosophy, Humanities I – Ancient Culture to Renaissance, Humanities – Heroes, Humanities – Mediterranean Culture, Ethics, Critical Thinking, and Communications).

Frankenfilm: Bill Morrison’s Spark of Being (2010)
Jesse Weiner (Hamilton College)

Our final presenter today is Jesse Weiner. Jesse is Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. He publishes broadly in Greek and Latin literature and its reception in modernity, and his work has appeared in Classical Receptions Journal, International Journal of the Classical Tradition, Law, Culture and the Humanities, The Atlantic, and several other journals and edited volumes. Jesse’s work in classical reception studies has a particular emphasis on science fiction and fantasy. This work includes studies of Homer and Kurt Vonnegut, epic poetry and the aesthetics of high fantasy, and archaeology and the fantastic in Wilhem Jensen’s Gradiva: A Pompeiian Fantasy. Jesse is also developing a monograph on classical traditions in science fiction, centered on moral ambiguities created in the wake of speculative science. In Frankenstein studies, Jesse is the author of “Lucretius, Lucan, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” (in Rogers and Stevens, Classical Traditions in Science Fiction, OUP, 2015) and he is presently editing a volume of essays, entitled The Modern Prometheus; or, Frankenstein, which is dedicated entirely to Frankenstein and classical traditions. In April 2016, Jesse organized and hosted an international conference dedicated to Frankenstein and the classics, timed to celebrate the bicentennial of the “Year without a Summer” and the ghost story challenge among the British Romantics that precipitated Frankenstein’s conception. In public humanities, Jesse has worked as a National Program Scholar with Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives, an outreach program based in New York with NYU and the Aquila Theater. Jesse is the 2013 recipient of the Women’s Classical Caucus Prize for Best Paper (Post-Ph.D.) in Women’s or Gender Studies in Antiquity.

Panel 44 - Fantastic #7: More Monsters
Presider: Shelly Jones (SUNY Delhi)

The Folly of Faithlessness in Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)
Martin F. Norden (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Our first presenter today is Martin F. Norden. Returning to our area for a second time this year, Martin teaches film history and screenwriting as a Professor of Communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has published more than one hundred books, book chapters, journal articles, encyclopedia essays, and reviews, almost all of which have been about film. At last year’s NEPCA conference in New London, NH, he presented a paper on the classic 1930s horror film, Bride of Frankenstein.

Gender Monsters: Angels, Demons, and Fans in the CW’s Supernatural
Megan Genovese (University of Pennsylvania)

Our next presenter is Megan Genovese. Megan is a second-year PhD student at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated summa cum laude from Baylor University, where she was in the University Scholars interdisciplinary program and pursued concentrations in media and culture studies. Her research interests include superhero narratives and fan works.

Winchester Abbey: Poking Fun at the Gothic Tradition in the CW’s Supernatural
Nan King (Eastern Connecticut State University)

Our third presenter is Nan King. Nan is a part-time instructor in the Women’s & Gender Studies and English Departments at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic. She earned her BA in English with a minor in Women’s Studies from ECSU and her MA in English Literature with a focus on contemporary women writers from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her current research interests include contemporary perceptions of women and gender, fan studies, and gender in science fiction and fantasy. Nan’s article “Fan Appreciation No 4: CousinCecily and Winter, Bond Crossplayers” appears in the collection Fan Phenomena: James Bond. Her recent conference subjects have been gender in fandom, James Bond, and Sherlock Holmes.

Did the Aliens Do It? The Disappearance of Franklin Expedition and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Donald Vescio (Worcester State University)

Our last speaker for both this panel and the conference is Donald Vescio. With today’s talk, Don becomes a two-time presenter in the area. He is a faculty member of Worcester State University’s Department of English.  After serving ten years as Worcester State’s Chief Information Office/Vice President of Information Technologies and two years as Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing, Don now focuses his energies on teaching undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of disciplines.  His research interests are in critical theory, narratological analysis, and information design.  

Thank you again for your attendance at today’s session of the Fantastic (Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction) Area. Should you like to join us next year at UMass Amherst, contact the area chair, Michael Torregrossa, at

Friday, September 16, 2016

Imagining the Future - Panelist Needed

I am looking for a third (and possibly fourth) presenter to fill a slot on a panel devoted to the theme of "Imagining the Future" in fantastic (fantasy, horror, and science fiction) narratives for the meeting of the Northeast Popular Culture/America Culture Association this coming October. The session meets in the afternoon of Friday, October 21, at Keene State University in Keene, NH.

Please send abstract and bio to as soon as possible.

Michael Torregrossa
Area Chair, The Fantastic

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Finding Neverland

Based on the feature film, Finding Neverland ( tells the story of J. M. Barrie and his writing of the play Peter Pan. The thrust of the musical is about the power of the imagination. The songs are infectious and highly memorable (and there is even a King Arthur reference).

Friday, August 12, 2016

CFP Damsels in Redress: Women in Contemporary Fairy-Tale Reimaginings Conference (11/1/2016; Belfast 4/7-8/2017)

One more post for the night:

CfP: Damsels in Redress: Women in Contemporary Fairy-Tale Reimaginings, Queen’s University Belfast

Call for papers for a conference at Queen’s University Belfast:
Damsels in Redress: Women in Contemporary Fairy-Tale Reimaginings

Dates: Friday 7th April and Saturday 8th April 2017
Keynote Speakers: Professor Diane Purkiss (University of Oxford); Dr Amy Davis (University of Hull)

With the ever-growing profusion of fairy-tale reimaginings across literature, film, television, theatre, and other artistic forms, a continuing concern among critics today is the portrayal of women. How do these reimaginings represent women’s roles? To what extent do they redress portrayals that have been considered problematic from a feminist standpoint in traditional tales? To what extent do they perpetuate those portrayals? What constitutes a feminist reimagining? How have the fairy-tale heroine, the witch, the (step)mother, the (step)sister, and the fairy godmother evolved since the dawn of second-wave feminism?

This conference aims to foster interdisciplinary scholarship by bringing together a range of ideas about the representation of women in contemporary reimaginings of traditional fairy tales, such as those from the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. We welcome proposals that explore this representation from a variety of perspectives and fields of study, including but not limited to literature, film, television, theatre, gender, feminist, and queer studies. We also welcome creative exploration on the theme of the fairy tale and how this theme can be interpreted with regard to women.

Topics might include but are not limited to:

  • Feminist revision
  • Subversive female characters
  • The witch figure
  • Women in Disney adaptations
  • Physical depictions of women
  • Mother/daughter relationships
  • Sexuality and gender
  • LGBTQI relations
  • Marriage and Prince Charming
  • Voice and agency

Please submit a title and an abstract of no more than 250 words, and a bionote of up to 50 words, to by 1st November 2016.

The Facebook event can be found here:

CFP ICFA 2017 (proposals 10/31/2016)

Too bad not everyone's spring break is the week of the conference:

CfP: International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts 38, “Fantastic Epics”

CfP: International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts 38, “Fantastic Epics”

Please join us for ICFA 38, March 22-26, 2017, when our theme will be “Fantastic Epics.” We welcome papers on the work of: Guest of Honor Steven Erikson (World Fantasy and Locus Award nominee), Guest of Honor N.K. Jemisin (Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominee, Locus Award winner), and Guest Scholar Edward James (Pilgrim, Hugo, British Science Fiction Association, and Eaton Award winner). 

The hero(ine)’s tale is as old as storytelling itself. We trace our way from Gilgamesh to current practitioners of the art through routes that lead to – and beyond – other kingdoms, including those of Malazan and the cities of Gujaareh, Sky, and Shadow. Papers may tread the paths of Thomas the Unbeliever, Bren Cameron, Sundiata Keita, and Boudica, or follow a dark road through Gondor, Camelot, or any valley of shadow. We can find the Epic in the hall of Heorot and in the rooms of Schaherazade. Examinations of modern epics might include the American west, the Marvel Universe, or the world of Miyazaki. A journey, a quest, an awakening – all these and more are part of Fantastic Epics. 

We also welcome proposals for individual papers and for academic sessions and panels on any aspect of the fantastic in any media. 

The deadline for proposals is October 31, 2016. We encourage work from institutionally affiliated scholars, independent scholars, international scholars who work in languages other than English, and graduate students.

For more information on the IAFA and its conference, the ICFA, or to download a PDF version of this CfP, see To submit a proposal, go to

The submission portal opens on September 1st and closes on October 31st.
To contact the Division Heads for help with submissions, go to

CfP Fantastika Journal, First Special Edition Issue (9/15/2016)

CfP: Fantastika Journal, First Special Edition Issue


“Fantastika” – a term appropriated from a range of Slavonic languages by John Clute – embraces the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, but can also include alternative histories, gothic, steampunk, young adult dystopian fiction, or any other radically imaginative narrative space. The goal of Fantastika Journal is to bring together academics and researchers who share an interest in this diverse range of fields with the aim of opening up new dialogues, productive controversies and collaborations. We invite discussion of all mediums and disciplines which concern the Fantastika genres.

The first issue aims to explore and evaluate current research into Fantastika. As well as cataloguing and challenging established critical stances and recent developments, we are looking for approaches which embrace the self-reflexivity latent in the study of speculative and fantastical texts. It is our position that to ask questions about and within Fantastika studies is also to ask ‘what is Fantastika?’ – that to read or identify Fantastika as Fantastika is to probe and strengthen our own hermeneutics. 

Research topics and questions which relate to our theme include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Parameters: the relation between genres and fields. What constitutes genre, and what is its relation to Fantastika? How significant are ideas of genre to Fantastika?
  • Critical categories and taxonomies. What is the value of constructing new terminologies to encapsulate given affects, fields, intersections or modes? What is the relative worth of an umbrella term or category as opposed to a discrete one, and vice-versa?
  • Fantastika and history. What is the relationship between attempts at definition, hermeneutics or critical reading and the fluctuating field of history? How can historical contexts and studies constitute a lens through which new critical methods and perspectives become available?
  • Liminality and ‘ownership’. Why do distinct fields of study attempt to incorporate or ‘possess’ certain texts, authors and subgenres under their banners? What is the significance of fields of study which could be considered modes rather than genres? How does reading a text within or against a generic or modal definition change, enhance, or determine the reading? What is the relationship between the umbrella term and the specific texts that might be studied under it, especially when considering close textual analysis?
  • Developments and trajectories. What is (or could be) the meaning of Fantastika – both as a set of literatures and discourses and as a collective categorisation – in academia today? What are the most important trends and developments in the study of Fantastika and how do they relate to the shifting position of academia in the 21st century?

We invite articles of 5,000 – 7,000 length. Please submit articles in doc or docx format to by 15th September 2016 along with a 300 word abstract and short bionote in separate documents. Articles should be in accordance the MLA Style Manual. 

Submissions should be made under the subject line “First Special Edition.” Please note that all articles published with Fantastika Journal will undergo peer-review before publication.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Catching Up with B5

Babylon 5 was a popular television science fiction fiction series during the 1990s and seems all but forgotten today, but the staff at have been actively courting fans with a slew of series-related books and videos. The latest video is titled CNN Documents Babylon 5 (2016) and features interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from the CNN vaults. Full details on the product can be accessed at the website at

Disc one features interviews with cast members conducted at the starts of seasons one and two in winter 1993-94 and fall 1994. These are the most valuable features of the set with comments by Claudia Christian, Jerry Doyle, Michael O'Hare, and Bruce Boxleitner as they began their tenure on the station. These pieces are particular interesting for revealing what each actor saw as the appeal of the series while in production. A final interview is included from summer 1998 with guest star Shari Belafonte on her role in the telefilm Babylon 5: Thirdspace. All the interviews are supplemented by footnotes from staff.

Disc two offers a series of behind-the-scenes videos on the making of four episodes from the series. There is not much that held my interest here, though some fans might enjoy being on set and seeing how things worked. The pieces are from the episodes--"By Any Means Necessary," "Legacies," "A Distant Star," and the penultimate "Objects at Rest"--being shot on the same days the interviews from disc one were conducted. All four videos include optional audio commentary by staff.

Disc three is a limited issue and includes present-day commentary by Christian and Doyle as they watch their interviews from disc one and the videos from disc two. Overall, it is an interesting look back at the phenomenon that was Babylon 5.

Catching Up with RoboCop

The recent film RoboCop (2014) is a interesting reboot of the popular franchise and offers a more contemporary re-imagining of the hero's origins within contemporary debates of morality. The creators of RoboCop, the chief executive and employees of OmniCorp view the cybernetically-enhanced Alex Murphy as a pawn in their schemes to overturn legislation prohibiting the company's robot soldiers from being engaged in law enforcement and military situations in the United States and fail, repeatedly, to see the power of the man in the machine. Ultimately, it is the heart of RoboCop that prevails and brings about the demise of OmniCorp's plans.

Catching Up with The Martian

Catching up on some movie watching this week.

First up, The Martian:

The Martian is based on Andy Weir's 2011 novel set in the mid 2030s and recounting the struggles undergone by astronaut Mark Watney as he attempts to survive after having been left behind after an aborted attempt to explore Mars. The plot of the film is essentially the same as the novel; however, while the film does try to preserve some sense of his perspective, we do lose much of Watney's signature voice in the re-telling. The pacing of the first third of the film seems consistent with the novel, but the second third jumps ahead seven months and fails to depict the most heroic feats undertaken by Watney in his attempts to escape the Red Planet. The final section of the film serves as an epilogue illustrating the lives of Watney and his crew mates following his rescue. Despite these issues, the film succeeds in bringing the novel to life. We see and hear (rather than just imagine) events, and, through these visual and audio stimulation, come to a better appreciation of Watney's experience. In addition, through scenes on Earth, we get a greater sense of how hard NASA and the JPL are working to rescue their astronaut, and, perhaps more importantly, the images of how the common men and women across the globe are affected by Watney's trials forge a deeper connection between the film and its audience.

Monday, April 18, 2016

CFP MAPACA Conference 2016 (6/30/16; Atlantic City 11/3-5/16)

Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA) -- 27th Annual Conference – Atlantic City, NJ – Nov. 3-5, 2016

full name / name of organization:
Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA)
contact email:

Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA)
26th Annual Conference
November 3-5, 2016
Atlantic City, NJ – Tropicana Hotel

Call for papers:
Proposals are welcome on all aspects of popular and American culture for inclusion in the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association conference in Atlantic City, NJ. 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. The deadline for submission is Thursday, June 30, 2016.

For a list of areas and area chair contact information, visit General questions can be directed to mapaca at mapaca dot net.

MAPACA’s membership is comprised of college and university faculty, independent scholars and artists, and graduate and undergraduate students. MAPACA is an inclusive professional organization dedicated to the study of popular and American culture in all their multi-disciplinary manifestations. It is a regional division of the Popular Culture and American Culture Association, which, in the words of Popular Culture Association founder Ray Browne, is a “multi-disciplinary association interested in new approaches to the expressions, mass media and all other phenomena of everyday life.”

For more info, visit

Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA)
P.O. Box 25033
Philadelphia, PA 19147-0033

By web submission at 04/14/2016 - 15:46

CFP Making History: Biographical Imperatives in Constructing “Robin Hood” (2 sessions)

CFP: Making History: Biographical Imperatives in Constructing “Robin Hood”

full name / name of organization:
Lorraine K. Stock / International Association for Robin Hood Studies
contact email:

Lorraine K. Stock is soliciting abstracts for SEMA 2016 and Kalamazoo 2017. Please note the deadlines, as the SEMA one is soon. While the Kalamazoo deadline for abstracts is in September, Lorraine would appreciate abstracts sooner than later so that she can better plan for Kalamazoo 2017 as session proposals are due to the Congress in mid-June.

CFP: Making History: Biographical Imperatives in Constructing “Robin Hood”

SEMA 2016, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, October 6-8, 2016


51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 11-14, 2017

Robin Hood (hereafter RH), his outlaw comrades, and antagonists sprang ex nihilo from the greenwood and urban centers of Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire in such late medieval ballads as RH and the Monk, RH and the Potter, The Gest, and RH and Guy of Gisborne. Presuming audience familiarity with RH’s biography and the origins of his outlawry, these early texts narrated RH’s adventures in medias res, without supplying background about or the origins of the outlaw. Langland’s casual reference to the “Rimes of Robyn Hode” in Piers Plowman (1377) attests medieval familiarity with RH’s real or fictional identity. Already by the 15th century, Andrew of Wyntoun, Walter Bower, and John of Fordun chronicled (therefore historicized) RH’s exploits. 16th-century writers further summarized or augmented RH’s growing collective biography. Citing an “auncient pamphlet,” in 1569 Richard Grafton historicized his elevation of RH from yeomanry to an earldom. Anthony Munday’s 1598 plays, The Downfall … and the Death of Robert Earl of Huntington, extended the growing “biography” of RH: situating him in Richard I’s Plantagenet court; endorsing his earldom; and affiancing him to noble Matilda Fitzwater/Maid Marian, absent in the medieval ballads. The creation of anonymous 17th and 18th-century broadside ballads and chapbooks supplied backstory for the outlaw’s “history.” Bishop Percy combined ballads from Samuel Pepys’ 1723 collection with the Percy Folio’s texts (including RH ballads) in his 1765 oft-reissued Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. Capping this biographical imperative, antiquarian Joseph Ritson published his 1795 (and oft-reissued) 2-volume Robin Hood: A Collection of All the Ancient Poems, Songs, and Ballads…To Which are Prefixed Historical Anecdotes of His Life. Ritson’s Preface, a 10-page “Life” of RH, is documented by 104 pp. of “Notes and Illustrations” supporting his construction of RH’s personal history. Subsequent iterations of RH’s biography adopted and adapted Ritson’s paradigm.

Rather than solicit documentation attesting the historical existence of an actual outlaw who was (or supplied the model for) the figure now recognized as “RH,” this session about biography/historiography and RH invites 15-20 minute papers investigating various manifestations of this enduring imperative to adapt, augment, or change the “history” or constructed “biography” of RH in any media including (but not limited to): medieval and post-medieval literary texts and chronicles; modern historiography (Rodney Hilton, Maurice Keen, etc.); post-medieval poetry, plays, fiction; opera; films; television; print and film documentaries. Final paper length depends on the number of apt abstracts.

For those interested in submitting an abstract for the 55th Annual Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA) Conference, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, October 6-8, 2016, send 1-page abstracts before May 16 to Lorraine K. Stock, University of Houston:

For those interested in submitting an abstract for the 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 11-14, 2017, send 1-page abstracts before September 10 to Lorraine K. Stock, University of Houston:

By web submission at 04/14/2016 - 15:12

CFP Frankenstein and the Fantastic (Themed Session) (6/15/16; NEPCA Keene, NH 10/21-22/16)


Visit us at NEPCA Fantastic:

2016 Conference of The Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association (NEPCA)
Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire
21 and 22 October 2016
Proposals by 15 June 2016

Michael A. Torregrossa
Fantastic (Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction) Area Chair

Formed in 2008, the Fantastic (Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction) Area celebrates its ninth anniversary in 2016, and, this year, we hope to commemorate the 200th-anniversary of the composition of Frankenstein by seeking proposals from scholars of all levels for papers that explore any aspect of Mary Shelley’s novel and its relationship to texts of the ongoing Frankenstein tradition. We are especially interested in papers that explore underrepresented works and media.

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).

Potential presenters should be aware that studies of Frankenstein in popular culture do not exist in a vacuum, and, in pitching their ideas, will be expected to be familiar with previous discussions of the Frankenstein tradition, including Donald F. Glut’s The Frankenstein Catalog (McFarland, 1984) and The Frankenstein Archive (McFarland, 2002) and Susan Tyler Hitchcock’s Frankenstein: A Cultural History (Norton, 2007).

If you are interested in proposing a paper, please address inquiries and send your biography and paper abstract (each of 500 words) to the Fantastic (Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction) Area Chair at, noting “Frankenstein and the Fantastic Proposal 2016” in your subject line. Do also submit your information, under the “Fantastic (Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction) Area,” on NEPCA’s official Paper Proposal Form accessible from

Please submit inquiries and/or proposals for complete panels directly to the Fantastic (Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction) Area Chair at

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