Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Reading List: Magic in Medieval Manuscripts

Sophie Page’s Magic in Medieval Manuscripts is part of a series celebrating the art of illuminated manuscripts held by the British Library, and it offers an interesting look at magical belief and practices in the Middle Ages. The opening chapter focuses on magicians in medieval literature, but the remainder of the book is grounded in reality, exploring how real magicians were believed to employ their craft. 

Details from the publisher as follows:

Magic in Medieval Manuscripts

By Sophie Page
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2004
World Rights
65 Pages

ISBN 9780802037978
Published Sep 2004

Magic existed in diverse forms in the Middle Ages, from simple charms to complex and subversive demonic magic. Its negative characteristics were defined by theologians who sought to isolate undesirable rituals and beliefs, but there were also many who believed that the condemned texts and practices were valuable and compatible with orthodox piety.

Magic in Medieval Manuscripts explores the place of magic in the medieval world and the contradictory responses it evoked, through an exploration of images and texts in British Library manuscripts. These range from representations of the magician, wise-woman and witch, to charms against lightning, wax images for inciting love, and diagrams to find treasure. Most elaborate of all the magical practices are rituals for communicating with and commanding spirits. Whether expressions of piety, ambition, or daring, these rituals reveal a medieval fascination with the points of contact between this world and the celestial and infernal realms.

Sophie Page is a lecturer in the Department of History at University College London.

Friday, August 12, 2016

CFP Preternature (no deadline)

CfP: Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural

The journal “Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural” is currently seeking original submissions. Preternature is indexed by both JSTOR and Project MUSE.

Preternature provides an interdisciplinary, inclusive forum for the study of topics that stand in the liminal space between the known world and the inexplicable. The journal embraces a broad and dynamic definition of the preternatural that encompasses the weird and uncanny—magic, witchcraft, spiritualism, occultism, esotericism, demonology, monstrophy, and more, recognizing that the areas of magic, religion, and science are fluid and that their intersections should continue to be explored, contextualized, and challenged.

A rigorously peer-reviewed journal, Preternature welcomes submissions of original research in English from any academic discipline and theoretical approach relating to the role and significance of the preternatural. The journal publishes scholarly articles, notes, and reviews covering all time periods and cultures. Additionally, Preternature is pleased to consider original editions or translations of relevant texts from contemporary or ancient languages that have not yet appeared in scholarly edition or been made available in English.

Contributions should be roughly 8,000–12,000 words (with the possibility of longer submissions in exceptional cases), including all documentation and critical apparatus. If accepted for publication, manuscripts will be required to adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition (style 1, employing footnotes).

To submit a manuscript to the editorial office, please visit
and create an author profile. The online system will guide you through the steps to upload your article for submission to the editorial office.

Inquiries may be directed to the Editor, Debbie Felton, at:

CFP Conference on Mermaids, Maritime Folklore, and Modernity (3/31/17; Copenhagen 10/24-27/2017)

Sounds like a great idea for a conference:

CfP: Conference on Mermaids, Maritime Folklore, and Modernity

Conference on Mermaids, Maritime Folklore, and Modernity
24-27 October 2017, Copenhagen, Denmark

This interdisciplinary conference addresses the prominence of the mermaid and related creatures from folklore, myth, legend, and the imagination in 19th, 20th, and 21st-Century culture.

The past decades have seen an explosion of mermaid imagery in western and, increasingly, global popular culture. This is particularly evident in cinema, television, literature, and various web-based forms but is also widely diffused in music, design, performance, cosplay, and other activities. Simultaneously, mermen, selkies, sirens, and newer figures such as caecelia and merlions have been subject to representation and discussion in a range of contexts. From Hans Christian Andersen’s story ‘The Little Mermaid’ (Den lille Havfrue) to Jennifer Donnely’s WaterFire Saga, from Curtis Harrington’s Night Tide to Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid (美人鱼), from Edvard Eriksen’s iconic ‘The Little Mermaid’ statue to Banksy’s Dismaland distortion, from the mermaid show at Weeki Wachi Springs to the digital mermaids at Macau’s City of Dreams, mermaids have served as figures of romance, horror, comedy, mystery, lust, and adventure across countless media and cultural practices.

Cultural globalisation has furthermore drawn a wide range of non-western creatures and deities into the sphere of mermaid associations. Representations of aquatic spirits from around the world – Thailand’s Suvannamaccha, West Africa’s Mami Wata, Indonesia’s Nyai Loro Kidul, Russia’s rusalka, Brazil’s Iara, and many more – are increasingly influencing and being influenced by western mermaid culture. This is a continuation of a process that has occurred in the West itself, as figures from Mesopotamia and Classical antiquity influenced Medieval and Early Modern Western European perceptions and interpretations of real and imagined encounters with aquatic beings.

How to make a presentation.

Papers and panels are invited on all aspects of mermaids and related entities in 19th, 20th, and 21st-Century culture. Presentations will address such issues as:

  • Representations in popular culture
  • Representations in fine art contexts
  • Aficionado cultures and/or cosplay
  • Contemporary folk belief
  • Cultural Theory and interpretation
  • Sexualities and identification
  • Roles as objects of horror, comedy, sex, etc.
  • International comparisons
  • Official symbols and symbolism

The deadline for abstracts is 31 March 2017, but to ensure that you have the opportunity to take part in the conference and have the time to seek funding from your institution, we recommend that you submit your abstract early.

Artists working in various media are also invited to approach the organizers about presenting their work at the conference.

Keynote speaker.
The conference keynote speech will be given by Philip Hayward, whose new book Making a Splash! Mermaids (and Mermen) in 20th and 21st Century Audiovisual Media (JLP/University of Indiana Press) will be launched at the conference.

About the conference.
On 24-25 October, delegates will explore Copenhagen, visiting mermaid-related sites and engaging in the local culture. Besides seeing Edvard Eriksen’s 1913 statue of ‘The Little Mermaid’, which has become a national symbol of Denmark, the conference group will visit numerous other works of merfolk art and engage with Copenhagen’s vibrant culture. On the evening of 18 October, delegates will visit the enchanting Tivoli Gardens amusement park. Conference presentations will take place on 26-27 October at VerdensKulturCentret.

We will be putting together an edited book or journal special issue as a result of this conference. More information will be available in early summer 2017.

CfP Critical Essays on American Horror Story (expired)

Another expired post (sorry, though it wasn't live for long).

CfP: Critical Essays on American Horror Story

Critical Essays on American Horror Story

A call for proposed chapters for an edited book on American Horror Story ‘ (2011-) has been released. Taken from the original CFA, the details are as follows:

‘American Horror Story is an anthology horror series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. The series comprises five seasons—Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, and Hotel—each self-contained, featuring a different storyline, characters, setting, and time period. The series, which has garnered acclaim from critics and from its devoted audience, has been lauded for how it blends (and bends) elements of the horror genre with true events in American history, as well as for its exceptional recurring cast. AHS has also received praise—and some criticism—for how it tackles sensitive topics like sexuality and race. The series is campy, graphic, and excessive; it revels in being transgressive.

We invite proposals for scholarly essays on any topic pertaining to any season of the show (or a combination of seasons) for an edited collection that will interrogate the intricacies of this subversive series.

Topics for essays could include, but are not limited to:
  • representations of race, gender, and/or sexuality
  • depictions of monsters/monstrosity
  • the grotesque
  • the gothic/Southern Gothic
  • generic conventions of horror
  • intertextuality
  • connections between seasons
  • revision/reimagining of American history
  • AHS’s place in American pop culture
  • audience reception
  • environment
  • space/place
  • philosophy

Please send proposals of 250-500 words to Cameron Williams ( and Leverett Butts ( by June 30, 2016. Completed manuscript drafts should be 5000-8000 words and will be due in early 2017′.

CfP Growing Up with the Undead (expired)

Meant to post this earlier in the year:

CfP: Growing Up with the Undead: Vampires in the 20th- and 21st-Century Literature, Films and Television for Young Children

Call for Papers
May 31, 2016
Subject Fields:
Childhood and Education, Popular Culture Studies, Literature, Film and Film History, Cultural History / Studies
Since Bram Stoker’s seminal vampire novel, Dracula, published in 1897, the figure of the vampire has been a persistent presence in Western popular culture. Though largely the remit of adult audiences since the 1970s, the vampire has become increasingly present in narratives (books/films/television) for younger children. In fact, in the 21st century, one might even venture to say it is a staple of the genre. During this time the meaning of the vampire itself has drastically changed from a symbol of otherness and potential danger to one that accepts difference and offers agency to all young readers. This shift within young children’s narratives is largely a reflection of the changing positioning of the undead within adult and young adult narratives that have seen an increasing romanticization of the vampire, which constructs it as both inspirational and aspirational within, or indeed outside of, an increasingly consumerist and globalized world. This volume will examine the continuing presence of vampires within children’s literary and visual narratives in relation to contemporaneous representations in popular narratives and the social environment that creates them.

Abstracts/proposals are invited for chapters that look at narratives featuring vampire characters, as either main protagonist or incidental role, in books, film, television, comics, toys, games, etc. aimed at children of 12 years old or younger (not YA). Chapters can be either an overview of a particular medium or focus on a few titles that example certain themes or topics.

Possible subjects include but are not limited to:
  • Child vampires, male/female vampires, animal vampires, non-human vampires
  • Scary vampires, stranger danger, warnings against non-normative behaviour
  • Queer vampires, individual identity positions, role models
  • Historical precedents from folk/fairy tales or classic children’s literature
  • Franchises that cover many media that feature vampires, Monster High, Mona the Vampire, Disney (characters such as Maleficent/Ursula etc)
  • Vampires in games, Lego, activity books, pop-up books etc
  • Vampires in children’s advertising/products such as Count Chocula, Oreo adverts, Kinder adverts etc.
  • Children’s vampires in relation to their YA and adult contemporaries
  • Any of the above in relation to gender, sexualities, minorities, ethnicity, class etc.
  • Non-bloodsucking vampires: veggie vamps and those that drink washing liquid, or energy etc.
  • Vampires that are not vampires, i.e. Scooby Doo, Araminta Spook etc.

Abstract of no more than 350 words with “Growing up with the Vampire” in the subject line,  should arrive by 31st May, 2016.
Final manuscripts of 5,000-8,000 will be expected by 28th August, 2016, manuscripts to be formatted MLA-style with a separate works cited page section, for publication by Universitas Press in Montreal ( by the end of 2016/start 2017.
Abstracts and enquiries should be sent to Simon Bacon at:

CfP Studies in Horror and the Gothic: A Special Issue of Palgrave Communications (9/1/2016)

CfP: ‘Studies in Horror and the Gothic’: A Special Issue of Palgrave Communications

‘Studies in Horror and the Gothic’: A Special Issue of Palgrave Communications. Proposals/Sept 2016, Final Articles/Nov 2016

full name / name of organization:
Palgrave Communications
contact email:

Deadline for article proposals: September 1, 2016
Final deadline for full submissions: November 1, 2016

Palgrave Communications, an open access journal, is inviting submissions and article proposals for a special issue/thematic collection dedicated to ‘Studies in Horror and the Gothic’. The collection is Guest Edited by Dr John Edgar Browning (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA).

‘Studies in Horror and the Gothic’ is by necessity of its pervasive, aesthetic nature a broad and all-encapsulating thematic collection, one that will engage the study of horror and the Gothic through literature, film, television, new media, and electronic gaming. We are here interested in the dark, the forbidden, the secret. But fundamentally all our submissions should ask, and strive to address (or redress) on their own terms, what is “horror” and what is the “Gothic,” employing in the process individual or multiple methods of theoretical inquiry and myriad disciplinary or interdisciplinary approaches from across the humanities, social sciences, and beyond.

This thematic collection concerns itself with the business of exhuming, from the dark recesses of human experience, any number of cultural products from any historical moment or geography that might prove useful in uncovering some of horror’s and the Gothic’s more fascinating junctures and deeper meanings. Submissions should be scholarly but remain accessible to the advanced student or knowledgeable general reader interested in the subject.

Contributions on the following themes are especially encouraged:
  • Theories of horror and monstrosity
  • Horror, the Gothic, and pedagogy
  • National Gothic(s) and horrors;
  • Female Gothic/horror histories
  • Specialised themes in horror and the Gothic (law, sexuality, disability, etc)
  • Ethnographic approaches to horror and the Gothic
  • Horror by the decade
  • Lost Gothics
  • Post-millennial horrors and Gothic(s).

Collection Advisory Board: Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock (Central Michigan University, USA), Carol Margaret Davison (University of Windsor, Canada), Harry M. Benshoff (University of North Texas, USA), Dylan Trigg (University of Memphis, USA and University College Dublin, Ireland), Maisha L Wester (Indiana University, USA), and Jesse Stommel (University of Mary Washington, USA).
Authors who are interested in submitting a paper should, in the first instance, send a short abstract-length proposal to the Managing Editor ( outlining the scope of their paper and its novelty; any general enquiries can also be directed to this address.

For more information on the journal’s open access policy and any relevant fees (APCs) or waivers, please see the following:

CFP Special Issue on American Monsters (grad; 10/23/2016)

CfP: Graduate Journal aspeers, “American Monsters”

Graduate Journal aspeers Calls for Papers on “American Monsters”

October 23, 2016

Subject Fields:
American History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies, Literature, Graduate Studies

“The monster notoriously appears at times of crisis,” Jeffrey Jerome Cohen states in his Monster Theory. At first glance, Cohen’s assertion conveniently seems to fit the headlines by various venues–liberal and conservative–that all express a presumed crisis of the US Republican Party by referring to their 2016 presidential nominee as a “monster.” However, Cohen has a different kind of crisis, and different kinds of monsters, in mind, and a broader analytical trajectory to follow: For him, American culture as such can be read “from the monsters [it] engenders.”

Understood as a spectacular anomaly, a cultural shorthand that points at deeper turmoils, American culture has its fair share of monsters indeed. Whether we think of race, a social problem declared ‘dead’ by the post-race discourse, as a zombie roaming the land as deadly as ever, or whether we think of Barbara Creed’s seminal work on the perception and portrayal of femininity as ‘monstrous,’ categories of difference tend to express themselves with recourse to the figure of the monster and the logic of monstrosity. In fact, as Michael Rogin points out, monsters are “a continuing feature of American politics.” As such they are worthy of critical attention.

For its tenth issue, aspeers thus dedicates its topical section to “American Monsters” and invites European graduate students to critically and analytically explore American literature, (popular) culture, society, history, and politics through the monsters they beget. With a host of disciplines–ranging from economy and political science to history, media studies, literary and cultural studies, and beyond–engaging such monstrosity in various forms, we welcome papers from all the fields, methodologies, and approaches that comprise American studies as well as inter- and transdisciplinary submissions. Potential paper topics could cover (but are not limited to):

  • The literary figure of the fantastic monster, the zombie, the vampire, the alien, the cyborg, or the ghost, as tropes that do cultural work.
  • The forms of (racialized, gendered, etc.) othering involved in portraying social or cultural outsiders as monstrous.
  • Political rhetoric demonizing and dehumanizing the opponent.
  • The trope of the monster in various nonfictional discourses, such as law enforcement, medicine and psychology, and many others.
  • The pleasures and anxieties negotiated through representations of monsters, in genres such as horror, fantasy, science fiction, dystopia, (post)apocalypse, etc., and in media like novels, films, TV, graphic novels, or video games.

aspeers, the first and currently only graduate-level peer-reviewed journal of European American studies, encourages fellow MA students from all fields to reflect on the diverse meanings of monsters for American culture. Please note that the contributions we are looking for might address or go beyond the topical parameters outlined above. We welcome term papers, excerpts from theses, or papers specifically written for the tenth issue of aspeers by 23 October 2016. If you are seeking to publish work beyond this topic, please refer to our general Call for Papers. Please consult our submission guidelines and find some additional tips at

Contact Info:
aspeers: emerging voices in american studies

ISSN: 1865-8768
American Studies Leipzig
Beethovenstr. 15
04107 Leipzig, Germany

Contact Email:

CFP Essays on Canadian Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror (1/1/2017)

Wendigo, anyone?

CfP: Bridging the Solitudes: Essays on Canadian Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror

Call for Proposals
Bridging the Solitudes: Essays on Canadian Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
Ed. Amy J. Ransom (Central Michigan University)
Dominick Grace (Brescia University)

This call is to solicit chapter proposals for an edited volume of scholarly essays on Canadian science-fiction, fantasy, and horror. A book proposal, including accepted abstracts, will be submitted to the Palgrave/Macmillan series on Studies in Global Science Fiction (series editors Anindita Banerjee, Rachel Haywood Ferreira, and Mark Bould).

Submit chapter proposals by January 1, 2017

  • 500 Word abstract
  • Working bibliography
  • Brief author bio
  • e-mail to: AND

Completed chapters for accepted manuscripts due by September 1, 2017

Project description

Canadian science-fiction, fantasy, and horror literatures imagine the nation—indeed, the world–as other, different than it is in the here and now. One of the recurring dissatisfactions about Canada concerns two central metaphors that have been used to define the Canadian nation: the lack of communication between French- and English-Canadians as constructing The Two Solitudes described in Hugh MacLennan’s 1945 novel, and the problem of envisioning a multicultural Canada as a mosaic. The nation’s genre literatures in French and English have engaged with these issues from their very beginnings in the nineteenth-century through the present day. Indeed, when Judith Merril decided to edit a volume of Canadian speculative fiction (published in English but including French-Canadian writers), she founded the Tesseracts series of anthologies, whose title references not only the four-dimensional image of a cube, but which also includes the Greek tessera, an individual tile in a mosaic.

Since the publication of that foundational text, Canadian speculative fiction in both French and English has expanded exponentially. From its controversial relationship with the nation’s best-known author (in any genre), Margaret Atwood, to outspoken proponents like Robert J. Sawyer, to fierce defenders of the French presence in Canada like Élisabeth Vonarburg, to the rise of Québec’s equivalent of Stephen King, Patrick Senécal, in its maturity Canadian speculative fiction spans the entire gamut of genres and subgenres, literary styles, and so on. Although divisions certainly exist, writers and scholars of Canadian speculative fiction have frequently worked to bridge the two solitudes in their works and activities, publishing translations, attending each other’s cons, and so on. This task has become increasingly complex as the genre has also expanded its definitions and evolved to embrace more fully the national policy of multiculturalism and the global realities of cultural exchange. Thus, the success of writers like Nalo Hopkinson, Hiromi Goto, Larisa Lai, Stanley Péan, and others hailing from a wide array of cultural communities who practice forms of genre writing that may sometimes appear alien themselves to old guard readers have challenged and expanded the idea of the fantastic, making the term “speculative” fiction more appropriate than ever. Furthermore, a growing number of First Nations writers, filmmakers, graphic artists, and game designers like Eden Robinson, Tomson Highway, and Jeff Barnaby have put Indigenous Futurisms on the generic map.
The editors seek proposals for chapters on an array of topics linked to the production of sf, fantasy, and horror in an array of media by Canadian writers, filmmakers, and artists. Although essays must be in English, we are actively seeking contributions that address the work of French-language, First Nations, and diasporic writers. Ideally, chapters will somehow address the metaphor of the bridge, connecting with the utopian desire to reach out to the other or conversely, the dystopian burning of such bridges, understanding that Thomas More’s original utopia was “perfect” because isolated from corrupting influences, and, of course, in the end, was far from perfect. Chapters may address the work of a single author or engage a problem found in the work of several writers; single-text studies will need to be particularly rigorous or open out onto wider applications in order to be considered.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Themes related to the volume concept, such as:
  • Bridge as metaphor/motif in Can SF & F
  • Trans/Canada: the queering of Canadian SF
  • Border crossings, in texts/by authors (US-born writers who have become Canadian)
  • Regionalisms beyond Quebec/TROC divide

Significant authors, such as:

  • Margaret Atwood (proposals must address the volume’s aims directly)
  • Robert J. Sawyer
  • Robert Charles Wilson
  • Peter Watts
  • William Gibson (particularly the Bridge trilogy; proposals must address the “Canadian”)
  • Candas Jane Dorsey
  • Nalo Hopkinson
  • Eden Robinson
  • Élisabeth Vonarburg
  • Esther Rochon
  • Sylvie Bérard
  • Jean-Louis Trudel
  • Yves Meynard 
  • Joël Champetier
  • Patrick Senécal 
  • Éric Gauthier
  • Stanley Péan
Genres or theory specific to Canada, including:
  • Genre hybridity/ mash-up
  • What is Canadian speculative fiction?
  • Transmedia texts
  • Canadian comics and the fantastic

CFP Kaiju and Pop Culture Anthology (expired)

deadline for submissions:
July 1, 2016

full name / name of organization:
Camille D. G. Mustachio

contact email:

Kaiju is a familiar trope in film and television that places giant monsters in direct conflict with fellow monsters and/or everyday citizens. While a larger-than-life creature that attacks Tokyo is likely the most familiar form of kaiju, additional iterations include apes, dragons, dinosaurs, and even robots.  Kaiju as a genre has evolved along with cinema; technical developments no longer require men stomping around in rubber costumes as CGI enables bigger and more frightening monsters to haunt our screens. With a timeless kitsch quality, kaiju is solidly placed within our collective pop culture psyche. We seek to create an anthology of original essays that explores technical, thematic, mythological, cultural, and historical aspects of various kaiju. This volume is under contract with McFarland Press with a 2017 anticipated release date.
 Some potential topics may include:

  • individual monsters including but not limited to Godzilla, Mothra, and Daimajin
  • folklore
  • regional kaiju
  • parody
  • fandom
  • cosplay
  • merchandise
  • translation
  • adaptation from page to screen
  • American pop culture endurance
  • nostalgia
  • development of film, television, comics, and gaming
Send abstracts of 200 words to no later than Friday, July 1, 2016. Final articles of 5,000-6,000 words are to be MLA formatted (8th edition) with American English styles and spellings. Refrain from using images from Toho films.

CfP Nordic Perspectives on Monsters and the Monstrous (9/1/2016)


The Monster Network has a hand and a claw in this upcoming special issue of Women, Gender and Research that sets out to explore Nordic Monster Studies and the concept of the Nordic within international Monster Studies. The issue welcomes articles as well as artistic contributions.
Deadline for abstracts is 1st of September 2016.
Download PDF here.

Call for articles
Special issue of Women, Gender & Research:
Monstrous Encounters:
Nordic Perspectives on Monsters and the Monstrous

“Monsters do a great deal of cultural work, but they do not do it nicely. They not only challenge and question; they trouble, they worry, they haunt. They break and tear and rend cultures, all the while constructing them and propping them up. They swallow up our cultural more and expectations, and then, becoming what they eat, they reflect back to us our own faces …” (2013: 1). These are the first words of art historian Asa Mittman’s introduction to The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous. The introduction presents the field of ‘Monster Studies’, which has been developing across academic disciplines since the 1990s, illustrating the productive force of monsters and the monstrous as analytical tools, norm critical notions, and destructive/creative practices. Fittingly, then, not all monster studies come from Monster Studies, and monsters can be encountered in a wide variety of contexts and a multitude of topics.

With the special issue ‘Monstrous Encounters: Nordic Perspectives on Monsters and the Monstrous’, we wish to put a focus on and explore both research and artistic practices related to the subject of monsters and the monstrous within a Nordic context. This means that we welcome both monster studies work from within the Nordic countries, and work that explores the monstrous in a Nordic context. With the recent establishment of a Nordic based Monster Network and an increased attention to the critical and creative potential of monsters and the monstrous within academic and artistic settings (whether based in Nordic countries or related to Nordic issues), the time seems right to invite to a special issue that engages with this Nordic development.

At the same time, we also invite our contributors to question what ‘Nordic’ may mean. Indeed, this issue does not operate with a set understanding of ‘Nordic culture’, ‘Nordic identity’ or similar, but asks contributors to challenge and question, trouble and worry, break and tear at the imaginaries of such constructs. In other words, and regardless of the subject of your contribution, we invite you to do monstrous work that is not nice, but critical and challenging in its exploration of what kind of cultural work the figure of the monster can do. As such, we invite contributions that explore new ways of imagining the world and its inhabitants in a time where there seem to be a need for such reconfigurations. What does the monster reflect back to us in times like these, where borders are closing; xenophobia and racism abound in the wake of the so-called refugee crisis; capitalism stands practically unchallenged, even after the financial crisis; public sectors are experiencing severe cuts; climate change causes natural disasters; individuals and nation states worry about ageing populations, etc. Further still: Who are ‘we’ to begin with? And who, then, are ‘they’?

All monsters are boundary-pushing hybrids and ‘Monstrous Encounters: Nordic Perspectives on Monsters and the Monstrous’ is no exception. We therefore invite both non-traditional (such as essays and creative writing) and traditional scholarly work, as well as artistic contributions such as fiction, poetry and art.

Possible themes for contributions (these are only suggestions):
  • The monstrous and gender studies/feminist theory
  • Ethics of monsters
  • Queer monsters
  • Monstrous sexualities
  • The monstrous and postcolonial studies/critical race theory
  • Disability and the monster/monstrous
  • Ageing and the monstrous
  • The monster in art and popular culture
  • Monstrous technologies (digital technologies, biotechnology, etc.)
  • Medical monsters
  • Monstrous embodiment
  • Hauntology and spectrality
  • The monster and the environment/climate change/eco-theory
  • Animals and the monstrous
  • Posthumanist theory
  • Monsters of science fiction, horror, fantasy and speculative fiction
Editors of the special issue:
Morten Hillgaard Bülow, Ph.D, Co-ordination for Gender Research/Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Erika Johanna Kvistad, Ph.D, senior lecturer, University of Oslo, Norway.
Line Henriksen, Ph.D, founding member of the Monster Network.

Deadline for abstracts (max 200 words + 50 word bio): 1st of September 2016
Deadline for article/other contributions: 15th of March 2017

All contributions must be in English and should be submitted to: redsek [at] soc [dot] ku [dot] dk
Guidelines for submissions.

Conference Gothic Traditions and Departures (Mexico 7/18-21/2017)

Gothic Traditions and Departures

Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP), Cholula, Mexico

18 – 21 July 2017

Where does Gothic begin and where does it end? Can we recognise a Gothic tradition or has Gothic always stood at the margins of the critical tradition? Over the past decades, we have witnessed a rekindled awareness of the popularity of Gothic in literature, media, and culture. Gothic has also become widely acknowledged around the world, and there are currently many studies dedicated to understand what it means in other regions, traditions, and cultures. On the other hand, the critical tradition has condemned Gothic for its excessive, formulaic, and immature plots and motifs, thus leaving it at the margins of more well-regarded works. The reconsidered significance of Gothic today prompts to think of it as an established tradition, but does it still offer points of departure through what Fred Botting refers to as its ‘negative aesthetics’ (2014)? More importantly, as we look again at the popularity of Gothic to address and understand both global and regional supernatural narratives, events, and experiences, it is also relevant to inquire about the influence of local traditional folklore and legends in the development and current understanding of Gothic. At the same time, this provides us with an opportunity to consider the relevance and presence of Gothic in contemporary debates on literature, art, and popular culture.

We seek to explore how Gothic today may be considered a tradition or a departure from tradition, as well as how it has been inspired by local traditions, legends, or true stories. We seek to address how we look at past Gothic in comparison with contemporary Gothic, that is, where Gothic is now and what Gothic is for today. This exploration is not limited to the literary Gothic, but also seeks to keep on addressing Gothic manifestations across arts, media, and popular culture.

Thus, we seek to make the following inquiries: Do we understand Gothic as a tradition or as a departure from tradition? What is the relationship between Gothic, folklore, and traditional myths and legends? What is the current state of Gothic? What is happening with Gothic now? Why is Gothic still relevant today? How do we understand local and regional Gothic manifestations when we compare them with global Gothic? Is Goth culture a tradition too? Does Gothic in media, other arts, and popular culture depart from its literary tradition?

Topics could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Gothic origins
  • The Gothic as tradition
  • The Gothic as a departure from tradition
  • Gothic crossovers
  • Gothic departures and journeys
  • Gothic divergences
  • Gothic digressions and deviations
  • Gothic in popular culture
  • Gothic and folklore
  • Gothic and traditional legends
  • Gothic and urban legends
  • True histories of the Gothic
  • Goth culture and traditions
  • Goth culture as tradition
  • Global Gothic vs local Gothic
  • Gothic now vs Gothic then
  • Post-Millennial Gothic
  • 20th Century Gothic
  • Victorian Gothic
  • Romanticism and the Gothic
  • Pre-Gothic traditions
  • Gothic and the media (old and new)
  • Digital Gothic
  • Gothic and the arts
  • Performance Gothic
  • Gothic Studies: past, present, and future

We welcome abstract proposals of no more than 300 words, along with a 50 word bio-note, for 20 minute papers. Please include your contact e-mail and affiliation. Abstracts may be submitted to The submission deadline is December 16, 2016. We also welcome submissions for panels (consisting of three papers) that address specific topics.

Accepted proposals will be notified in early January 2017.

Update 8/12/2016

Wow! It has been a long time since I posted here.

I have been reading, watching, and thinking about monsters, but life intervenes from blogging.

Tonight I have a series of CFPs from the Fantastic in the Arts site ( It is a great resource and not as overwhelming as more general CFP sites. 

Michael A Torregrossa
Fantastic Area Chair

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

CFP Monsters of Film, Fiction, and Fable (4/30/2016)

One final call for the night:

Monsters of Film, Fiction, and Fable -- Edited Collection
full name / name of organization:
Lisa Wenger Bro / Middle Georgia State University
contact email:

Monsters of Film, Fiction, and Fable: The Cultural Links between the Human and Inhuman

This proposed collection will explore the cultural implications of and the societal fears and desires associated with the literal monsters of fiction, television, and movies. Long tied to ideas of the Other, the inhuman have represented societal fears for centuries. While this depiction of inhuman as Other still persists today, postmodern times also saw a radical shift in the portrayals and long-held associations. The postmodern monster is by no means soft and cuddly; nevertheless, its depiction has evolved. Veering from the traditional, “us vs. them” dynamic, many contemporary works illustrate what posthuman theorists refer to as the “them” in “us” correlation. These new monsters, often found in urban fantasy, eradicate the stark separation between human and inhuman as audiences search for the similarities between themselves and their much beloved monster characters. The shifted portrayal also means that these select, postmodern monsters no longer highlight cultural fears, but rather cultural hopes, dreams, desires, and even humanity’s own inhumanity. This does not mean that the pure monsters of horror are eradicated in contemporary renderings. Instead, they too have evolved over the course of the 20th and 21st century, highlighting everything from socioeconomic anxieties to issues related to humanity and human nature.

Given the many and varied implications of the inhuman in media and their long and diverse history, this volume will examine the cultural connotations of the monstrous, focusing specifically on the monsters of modernism and postmodernism.

In particular, we are looking to fill in certain gaps, and welcome articles related to the following monsters:

  • Ghosts
  • Leviathons/behemoths—anything from Mothra to Dragons
  • Science Fiction related monsters such as artificial intelligence and cyborgs

The proposal for this collection is in progress, and will be submitted once selections are made.

Please email the following to Lisa Wenger Bro ( by Thursday, April 30:

  • a 300-350 word abstract
  • a brief biography
  • the estimated length of the full article
  • the number of illustrations, if any, you will use (note, it will be up to individual authors to secure rights to images)

Full articles will be due by June 30. All accepted articles will be peer-reviewed.

By web submission at 03/31/2015 - 16:41

CFP Monsters and Monstrosity in 21st-Century Film and Television (5/1/2016)

Monsters and Monstrosity in 21st-Century Film and Television (1 May 2016)

full name / name of organization:
Cristina Artenie and Ashley Szanter
contact email:

Monsters and Monstrosity in 21st-Century Film and Television

Cristina Artenie (Universitas Press) and Ashley Szanter (Weber State University)

Starting from the premise that monsters/monstrosity allow for the (dis)placement of anxieties that contemporary social mores do not otherwise sanction in the public space, editors Artenie and Szanter seek original essays for an edited collection on manifestations of monsters and monstrosity in all facets of popular culture and entertainment with an emphasis on film and television. Within the last years, there has been an explosion of movies and television shows that incorporate monstrous characters such as the vampire, zombie, werewolf, revenant, witches, and ghosts. While monsters continue to remain strong in the human conscious, the recent proliferation of monstrous characters includes new and innovative interpretations that not only attract mainstream audiences but transform traditional folklore and mythologies. This collection aims to analyze the new forms taken by monsters in film and television for their cultural impact on modern entertainment and popular culture.

Chapters in the proposed collection can focus on one or more of the following categories:

  • Modern monsters in television and film, particularly new monster media like iZombie, The Originals, The Vampire Diaries, Penny Dreadful, NBC’s Dracula, Teen Wolf, The Walking Dead, Les Revenants, Sleepy Hollow, Doctor Who, Warm Bodies, The Wolfman (2010), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Krampus, Victor Frankenstein, and many others
  • Modern monster theory as an important element of pop cultural study and relevance in an era of growing monster imagery and narrative
  • Address canon or contemporary monster fictions through a particular scholarly lens
  • Address monster studies and intersectionality. Of particular interest to the editors are popular depictions of monstrosity and disability, non-binary gender and sexuality, feminism, and non-traditional/deconstructed families within a broad identity politics frame.
  • Discussions of fandom theory as it relates to monster films with worldwide success (i.e. The Twilight Saga).

Preference will be given to abstracts received before May 1, 2016 and should be no longer than 300 words. Please also include a brief biographical statement and a CV.

Final manuscripts (no longer than 15,000 words, including Works Cited) should be submitted in MLA style, by July 15, 2016.

Send inquires and abstracts to:

By web submission at 01/25/2016 - 03:26