CFPs: Popular genre fiction, historical fiction, Tolkien & YA fantasy, LGBTQIA+ Graphics

Some CFPs for conferences:

1. Concepts in Popular Genre Fiction, Deakin University (on line), 6-8 December 2021. Deadline: 31 August 2021

Popular genre fiction is an expansive field, covering a myriad of different kinds of texts and narratives. However, critical discussions of popular genre fiction often centre on value – is it good for us? is it bad for us? is it progressive? is it conservative?

By contrast, this virtual symposium, to be held 6-8 December through Deakin University as part of the Literature and its Readers research network, seeks to open up different sorts of questions, in order to consider other ways of examining, analysing, and utilising popular genre fiction. Specifically, we seek papers exploring concepts, ideas, and motifs, and the role that they play in popular genre/s.

2. Historical Fictions Research Network Conference 2022; Resource for London, Kings Cross, London and online; 19 and 20 February 2022. Deadline: 15 August 2021

Panel title: The Anachronistic Turn in Historical Fiction
The presence of anachronisms in historical fictions or on the screen have traditionally been seen as an embarrassing error; a sign that the author’s attention to detail had lapsed or that the requisite amount of research not conducted. At the same time, however, historical fiction, films and television rely on anachronism in order to make the past legible to contemporary audiences. We also consistently judge history anachronistically, assessing the past and prominent historical figures from our contemporary vantage-points. In recent years, however, deliberate anachronism has been embraced by both historical novelists and filmmakers. The use of contemporary music in period dramas, for instance, has become almost standard practice for contemporary historical television. The inclusion of deliberate anachronisms in historical fictions allows an explicit framing of the past in relationship to the present, and prompts a reconceptualization of the relationship of past to present. This panel will consider a range of anachronistic practices and contemplate how anachronism can shift our understanding of the form and function of historical fiction.

3. Tolkien and Fantasy sessions; ICMS, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo (on line); 9-14 May 2022. Deadline: 15 September 2021

We are seeking abstracts for two sessions on J.R.R. Tolkien and Young Adult Fantasy:
Tolkien and the Medieval Animal
We welcome proposals for this paper session on “Tolkien and the Medieval Animal.” Interdisciplinary topics are welcome, and scholars might engage with a number of diverse fields, such as anthropology, art history, biology, communication, geography, history, literary studies, philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc. Panelists may also employ various theoretical perspectives.

The Global Middle Ages in Young Adult Fantasy
Contemporary trends in Young Adult fantasy literature demonstrate a close relationship between young adult stories and a global medieval settings. Young Adult fantasies often use medieval settings to position arguments around identity, race, culture, class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, violence, environmentalism, technology, folklore, and magic. We want to open a conversation about the turn toward a Global Middle Ages in Young Adult fantasy and its opportunities and challenges for new voices, groups, cultures, and readers.

4. LGBTQIA+ Fantastika Graphics: A Digital Symposium, on line, 20 November 2021. Deadline: 15 January 2022

Following the 2020-pandemic hiatus, we are pleased to re-launch our annual conferences this year as a digital symposium. LGBTQIA+ Fantastika Graphics focuses on the graphic novel medium in its widest possible remit (comic books, manga, and other such productions). We are interested in works that contain representations of the LGBTQIA+ community, relationships, and full spectrum of identities.

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Young Adult Gothic Fiction, Vampire Dystopia

Another excellent edited collection which I am grateful to be included in is now out from University of Wales Press: Young Adult Gothic Fiction: Monstrous Selves/Monstrous Others, ed. by Michelle J. Smith and Kristine Moruzi (Cardiff; University of Wales Press, 2021). This looks an excellent collection–can’t wait for my contributor’s copy to read!

It’s received some very positive endorsements:

My chapter is ‘Genre mutation and the dialectic of YA Gothic dystopia in Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown‘. Here’s an abstract:

Genres mutate; perhaps because they exhaust their potential or because of dramatic social change. But, more so than in other eras, shifts in generic expectations for popular fiction seem to be motivated purely by market forces, reducing the autonomy and even the integrity of the author. Certain genres of Young Adult fiction have displayed this conspicuously in recent times—Gothic horror mutates into paranormal romance; after Twilight (2005), the genre slumped, to be replaced by the success of a certain style of dystopia with The Hunger Games (2008) and its imitators.

These YA dystopias have come under attack from some quarters; unlike classic, socially critical dystopias of the past, these are alleged to be works of agitprop for capitalist individualism. This is a rather crude reading of The Hunger Games itself, but this chapter is concerned with another generic transformation that has taken place in response to that work.

For the vampire romance has not been killed off; it has risen again in new clothing. YA novels such as Julie Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series and Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (2013) have emerged as a new subgenre where the dystopia encounters paranormal romance. Here, vampire romance meets the apocalyptic landscapes of dystopia, so a new genre is born. Black’s novel shows concerns with contemporary technology, particularly surveillance, and intensive commodification. There is a militaristic society and containment camps, and reality TV as means of diversion. The background of the post-9/11 ‘War on Terror’ colours the perception of the hitherto assimilated outsider of vampire romance and the paranoid militarism expresses that. Coldtown also has a strange glamour—the lure of a lawless alternative culture and haven for transgressive romance. The novel is more complex and subversive than simplistic readings of the new dystopias allow. This chapter reads Coldtown in the light of formal shifts within Gothic YA fiction.

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Matizes do gótico: Three centuries of Horace Walpole – Two kinds of Romance

I’m very honoured to have my chapter ‘“Two kinds of romance”: Generic hybridity and epistemological uncertainty in contemporary paranormal romance’ included in this beautiful new book from Brazil: Matizes do gótico: três séculos de Horace Walpole, ed. by Júlio França and Luciana Colucci (Rio de Janeiro: Dialogarts, 2020). You can download the book as a free PDF from here.

This edited collection celebrates 300 years of Horace Walpole, considered to be the founder of the Gothic novel. There is a commentary on the volume in Portuguese here. Google Translate (I apologise for my ignorance of the language) has:

The importance of the author and the work is not only seminal: the Gothic machinery present in Otranto’s narrative was reused and re-elaborated by other writers who, over the last centuries, adapted it to different historical and geographical contexts and gave rise to Gothic narratives responsible for keep the Walpolian heritage alive.

This dossier is the result of the fruitful discussions that took place at the II SEG, and which are materialized in this edition. The theoretical nuances and critical approaches gathered here contribute to the firm defense of a genre that, although it still encounters some resistance amidst “high” criticism, has established itself as a tradition responsible for expressing and representing evil and fear in form of fictional narratives.

My own chapter (which is in English) talks about the generic hybridity of contemporary Paranormal Romance and compares this to Walpole’s own declaration of his novel The Castle of Otranto (1764) as being comprised of ‘two kinds of romance’. I look closely at two YA novels in the genre: Alyxandra Harvey, My Love Lies Bleeding (2010) and Julie Kagawa, The Iron King (2011). I consider the interference of genres in these novels as exhibiting epistemological uncertainties that haunt late modernity.

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Fairy Resources: bibliographies and links to folklore, myth, and romance writing sources

We’ve set up a new page of Resources following the ‘Ill met by moonlight’ conference. It will be a useful page for material on the conference theme of Gothic fairies and will be continually updated. It holds a partial bibliography of our own research path; in addition, some delegates generously made bibliographies for the following papers available:

Dr Bryan Brown (University of Exeter), ‘Russian Gothic faeries as harbingers of twenty-first-century ecognosis’

Morgan Daimler (Independent Researcher), ‘Unseely to antihero: Dangerous fairies in folklore and fiction’

Catherine Greenwood (University of Sheffield), ‘The Ballad of Isabel Gunn as The Daemon Lover: The economic migrant and enchantment as a recruitment strategy’

Dr Michaela Hausmann (Leipzig University), ‘An arboreal femme fatale: George MacDonald’s Maid of the Alder-tree and her literary and folkloric roots’

We’ve also added new links to some brilliant resources covering some very diverse topics related to OGOM’s research into narratives of Gothic and fabulous fiction. These can be found in the right-hand sidebar on the Blog and main Resources pages under the heading ‘Related Links’ but are listed below to show what is now available:

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
A classic refernce for SF and related genres now on line

Folklore and Mythology – Electronic Texts
Rich collection of sources

Open Folklore
Lists open access folkore journals, books, and other useful material

mabinogion pathfinder
Many links to resources for the medieval Welsh collection of romances, The Mabinogion

African Religions
With the Yoruba Religion Reader and similar resources

Romance Scholarship DB
Very full bibliography of secondary reading on romantic fiction

Black Romance Timeline
History of Black authors of romantic fiction

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CFPS & Deadlines re: Opportunities in Gothic Scholarship

A kísértetek órája (The Ghost Hour), 1880

A quick reminder of some deadlines pending in the area of Gothic Studies below:

The Journal of Dracula Studies has extended its 2021 submission deadline to June 1st

There is a general CFP for Aeternum: The Journal of Contemporary Gothic Studies 8.2 (December 2021). Aeternum (ISSN2324-4895) is an open-access biannual on-line journal. It offers peer-reviewed academic articles. The purpose of the Journal is to provide an emphasis on contemporary Gothic scholarship, bringing together innovative perspectives from different areas of study

Finally, a reminder that there is a Call for Applications for BARS Gothic Women’ Events Fellow. The Fellow will be a postgraduate student or early career researcher working in Romantic studies, ideally with a focus on one or more Gothic women writers of that period. Deadline 21 May

Good luck all!!

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Rewards and Fairies

John Anster Fitzgerald, The Fairies’ Banquet (1859),

We had many marvellous entries for the flash fiction competition at the ‘Ill met by moonlight’ Gothic Fairies conference. It was very difficult to choose, but we settled on two joint winners: Michaela Hausmann and Sarah McPherson–congratulations! 

The winning entries and a PDF of all the brilliant entries can be found on our new ‘Rewards and Fairies’ web page.

We also have galleries of the Gothic Fairy Makeovers and photographs of attendees, magically substituted by their Fae changeling counterparts. Do have a browse–you’ll be enchanted!

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Online Launch of Twenty-First-Century Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion 26th May 6-7.30 pm GMT

Editors: Maisha Wester and Xavier Aldana Reyes

You are cordially invited to register attendance to the free paperback launch of the book Twenty-First Century Gothic and the associated digital event on the 26th of May (6-7.30 pm GMT):

Please see details of the book below including a chapter by OGOM Scholars Sam George and Kaja Franck on the ‘Contemporary Werewolf’. This book is used as a text book for the University of Hertfordshire module ‘Generation Dead: YA Fiction and the Gothic’, led by Sam.

We hope to see you there.


The first transnational and transmedia companion to the post-millennial Gothic. This book explores the post-millennial Gothic. It emphasises ‘new’ themes and emergent subgenres as well as revisions of the traditional Gothic, thus pressing readers to interrogate the multi-layered, multi-vocal conversations that occur within the Gothic in the new century. The areas of coverage engaged in this collection are parts of emerging interdisciplinary fields, and the book will thus be at the forefront of discussions about subgenres, such as Afro-futurism, Gothic comedy and Steampunk, as well as transnational and ethnic forms of the Gothic. It provides preeminent scholarship for those interested in discovering more about the development of the Gothic in recent years and its immediate relevance to our times. The 20 chapters provide the most detailed, demonstrate analytical exploration of this young field than ever before.

Part I Updating the Tradition

Chapter 1 Postcolonial Gothic

Sarah Ilott

Chapter 2 Queer Gothic

Andrew J. Owens

Chapter 3 Postfeminist Gothic

Gina Wisker

Chapter 4 Neoliberal Gothic

Linnie Blake

Chapter 5 Gothic Digital Technologies

Joseph Crawford

Part II Contemporary Monsters

Chapter 6 Contemporary Zombies

Xavier Aldana Reyes

Chapter 7 Contemporary Vampires

Sorcha Ní Fhlainn

Chapter 8 Contemporary Serial Killers

Bernice M. Murphy

Chapter 9 Contemporary Ghosts

Murray Leeder

Chapter 10 Contemporary Werewolves

Kaja Franck and Sam George

Part III Contemporary Subgenres

Chapter 11 The New Weird

Carl H. Sederholm

Chapter 12 Ecogothic

Sharae Deckard

Chapter 13 Gothic Comedy

Catherine Spooner

Chapter 14 Steampunk

Claire Nally

Chapter 15 Posthuman Gothic

Anya Heise-von der Lippe

Part IV Ethnogothic

Chapter 16 South African Gothic

Rebecca Duncan

Chapter 17 Asian Gothic

Katarzyna Ancuta

Chapter 18 Latin American Gothic

Enrique Ajuria Ibarra

Chapter 19 Aboriginal Gothic

Katrin Althans

Chapter 20 Black Diasporic Gothic

Maisha Wester

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CFPs: SF inequality, Twin Peaks, Georgette Heyer, Through the Looking-Glass, Oceans, The Exorcist, fairy tales, reviewers

Calls for papers for conferences and journals:

1. The Future of/as Inequality, Science Fiction Research Association (Virtual) Annual Conference 2021, 18-21 June 2021. Deadline: 1 May 2021.

The Science Fiction Research Association invites proposals for its 2021 annual conference, to be held virtually from June 18 until June 21, 2021 and sponsored by Seneca College, Toronto, Canada. Topics related to the conference theme include (but not limited to the following:

posthumanism(s) and the economies of/and poverty
(hyper) exploitation and posthuman labouring bodies
reinforcing/redefining social class
utopianism and post-capitalist societies
the Anthropocene; or, we’re not all in the same (sinking) ship, are we?
Indigenous survivance
speculative technologies of resistance

2. Beyond Life and Death: Twin Peaks at Thirty, online one-day symposium, 12 June 2021. Deadline: 3 May 2021

Twin Peaks is known for its mastery of the uncanny, its defiance of convention, and its idiosyncratic characters. Cherry pie and death often appear in the same mouthful, and this seamless blending of the ethereal and the everyday makes it rich for Gothic enquiry. With this in mind, we hope that ‘Beyond Life and Death: Twin Peaks at Thirty’ will reflect the horror, humour and hybridity that make the series so special.

We are seeking proposals for traditional conference papers but also for creative and creative critical work, including short film pieces, that engages with Lynch and Frost’s masterpiece.

3. ‘My Poor Devil’: Georgette Heyer’s The Black Moth at 100, one-day online conference, 20 November 2021. Deadline: 31 May 2021.

Known for her humour, complicated plots, delightful characters, attention to linguistic detail and historical research, there is much to both celebrate and explore in her work. Her legacy is not, of course, without its problems – the world she created has its limitations, its prejudices and its biases. This one-day online conference on 20th November 2021, will seek to explore Heyer’s work and her legacy with a spirit both of celebration and of critical enquiry.

4. Through the Looking-Glass Sesquicentenary Conference 2021, online conference, [no date]. Deadline: 15 June 2021.

In the context of Through the Looking-Glass, we invite presentations exploring the theme of mirrors, offering fresh approaches to any aspects of the work itself, addressing, in particular, the difference between Looking-Glass and Wonderland, or aspects of Lewis Carroll’s biography, his historical, literary, and epistemological environment, intertextualities with other authors, Carroll’s correspondents or wider circles, which promise to shed new light on his Looking-Glass world.

5. Call for articles: Oceans of Wonders / Océans merveilleux, Fantasy Art and Studies. Deadline: 25 June 2021.

For its 11th issue, Fantasy Art and Studies invites you to submit papers exploring the relationship between Fantasy and the ocean imaginary.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
the imaginary of the surface, between navigational narratives and island explorations,
the imaginations of the depths,
the sea and the ocean as motors of narrative structures,
the historical facts and legends surrounding the ocean and their re-actualisation in Fantasy,
the oceanic and maritime aesthetics in Fantasy, from places as well as characters.

6. CFP Special Edition of Revenant: The Exorcist: Studies on Possession, Influence, and Society. Deadline: 31 October 2021.

The Exorcist has much to offer as the foci for extensive and sustained research in the humanistic disciplines. This Special Edition of Revenant aims to start a new conversation on The Exorcist according to three dimensions: 1) to go back to the roots of the concept of possession, 2) to assess the cultural impact of the book and film, and 3) to present new scholarly developments about the book and film.

7. Call for Reviewers: Mapping the Impossible.

Mapping the Impossible is always looking for new reviewers to help review our papers. This can be brilliant experience for engaging with published academia and building your CV, and our reviewers take precedence when we recruit for our editorial board.

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Gothic Fairies conference a huge success!

Richard Dadd, Titania Sleeping

OGOM’s ‘Ill met by moonlight’: Gothic encounters with enchantment and the Faerie realm in literature and culture was a huge success, despite all the anxieties and problems with it being on line. It worked so well only because of the wonderful plenaries and contributors, all those who took part, and invaluable assistance from various people.

So I want to offer my thanks to people here. To Sam George, first and foremost, for the inspiration and research that birthed the conference. Daisy Butcher and Kaja Franck provided invaluable assistance, chairing, handling responses, and dealing with technical glitches. Then thanks to all the brilliant plenaries and those who presented such excellent papers. And everyone who took part made their own contributions, entering into a real dialogue and boosting the spirit of the conference.

My sister Caryl gave Sam and I generous hospitality, fabulous catering, and much patience. Special thanks to Matthew Frost and Bethan Hirst from Manchester University Press for their virtual booth. Thanks to Gray Associates of Sheffield for fabulous programme and poster design.

Recordings of the sessions will be available on line to attendees once we have edited the files. We will also be posting photos of people in their Fae garb, the results of the flash fiction competition, and images from your fairy makeovers. Highlights of the conference can be seen on Twitter with the hashtags #OGOMCon2021 and #GothicFairies, particularly with Kate Harvey’s (@harveygothick) virtuoso live tweeting (thanks, Kate!).

We’re aiming to publish at least one edited collection and a special journal issue, as with previous OGOM conferences. There was such a wealth of superb research that it will be hard to choose and thus we hope more publications will be added.

The conference was groundbreaking in its treatment of fairies as Gothic entities. Very much inspired by Prof. Dale Townshend’s recovery of the eighteenth-century sense of Gothic as enchantment, OGOM is opening up new directions in Gothic studies beyond the usual emphasis on horror and leading to the development of an ethical Gothic. We hope you will follow us and take part in future events.

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‘Ill met by moonlight’ Gothic Fairies programme

Preparations are going well for our fabulous conference, ‘Ill met by moonlight’: Gothic encounters with enchantment and the Faerie realm in literature and culture (online, 8-11 April 2021). Tickets are now sold out, alas (though there may be cancellations). You can browse the programme here–it’s a beautiful design!


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