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Call for Papers: the 33rd International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts

september 2, 2011

OK, summer is over, and it’s time to return to the mythotopes. For all you scholars of the fantastic, this is a conference you should not miss!

ICFA 2012: The Monstrous Fantastic

In his seminal article on Beowulf, J.R.R. Tolkien describes the three monsters of the poem as “essential, fundamentally allied to the underlying ideas of the poem.” The Fantastic has many similarly integral monsters and monstrosities. But what do these monsters mean? How does the monstrous signify? The Monstrous Fantastic will explore the many creative and cultural constructions of monstrosity in the arts from monsters of ancient times to monsters of the present and future.

This year’s conference will feature Guest of Honor China Miéville, author of many award-winning novels including the Bas-Lag trilogy and, most recently, Embassytown; Guest Author Kelly Link, whose short story collections include Pretty Monsters; and Guest Scholar Jeffrey J. Cohen, editor of Monster Theory and author of Hybridity, Identity and Monstrosity in Medieval Britain, among other works.

We welcome paper proposals on all aspects of the fantastic, and especially encourage papers on the work of our special guests and attending authors. Please see our website at www.iafa.org for information about how to proposal panel sessions or participate in creative programming at the conference.

Paper proposals must consist of a 300-word abstract accompanied by an appropriate bibliography to the appropriate Division Head below. The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2011. Participants will be notified by November 15, 2011 if they are accepted to the conference. Attendees may present only one paper at the conference and should not submit to multiple divisions. If you are uncertain to which Division you should submit your proposal, please contact Sherryl Vint (sherryl.vint@gmail.com).


Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Art (CYA): Alaine Martaus for papers on all aspects of the fantastic in literature aimed at younger readers, including picture books, middle-grade and young adult texts, and graphic novels.

Fantasy Literature (F): Stefan Ekman for papers on all aspects of fantasy literature (broadly defined to mean anything from genre fantasy to magic realism and folk tales).

Film and Television (FTV): Jeffrey Weinstock for papers on all aspects of the fantastic in cinema and television.

Horror Literature (H): Rhonda Brock-Servais for papers on any aspect of horror literature including the Gothic, physical horror, psychological horror, archetypes, and the supernatural.

International Fantastic (IF): Rachel Haywood Ferreira for papers on all aspects of the international fantastic in all media. In this context “international” means either non-anglophone or originating in a culture considered/considering itself as foreign within the anglophone world; this may include minority literatures within an anglophone country.

Participatory and Convergence Studies (PCS): Barb Lucas for papers on all aspects of fan culture, transformative works (both fan and professional), audience/reception studies, and convergence (multi-media, often interactive/participatory) “texts.”

Science Fiction Literature (SF): David M. Higgins for papers on topics related to science fiction novels, short stories, and poems, and on critical theory related to the SF genre.

Visual and Performing Arts (VPA): Stefan Hall for papers on visual media, both new and traditional, including video games, comic books drama, dance, music painting, photography, digital art.

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