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Posthuman Fantasies and Anxious Desires in Black Mirror

Deadline for submissions: March 1, 2020
Contact: Zahi Zalloua,

The Netflix series Black Mirror offers a critical dramatization of the phantasmatic promises of transhumanism. Set in the near future, Black Mirror not only paints a pessimistic vision of our neoliberal lives as cyborgs—biological subjects wired into a technology integral to the construction and projection of self—but also foregrounds the persistence and problem of desire, exceeding the interpretive paradigm of transhumanism along with its investment in the willful subject of humanism. New technologies do not deliver us from our weaknesses; they do not limit our vulnerabilities, but intensify them. Indeed, new technologies induce anxiety, unsettling the desiring habits of subjects. What Black Mirror arguably solicits is a posthumanism supplemented by a psychoanalytic framework—where desire is understood as a desire for the other/Other (for the personal human other and for the anonymous figure of authority), where the object (and subject) of desire is constitutively doubled. Read as an allegory for our posthuman condition, Black Mirror stages desiring cyborgs not as immunized subjectivities (the dream of transhumanism), nor as post-subjectivities (the dream of some posthumanisms) but as subjectivities whose ontological otherness—their inherent inhuman excess—is put on full display.

Black Mirror powerfully exposes what we might describe as the blind spots of transhumanism. This volume seeks to explore those blind spots and their implications for posthuman subjectivity. The editors invite proposals for a new edited collection of essays. We specifically look for essays that engage how fantasy helps situate the limitations of desire within the technological enhancements of Black Mirror’s terrain. Although psychoanalysis provides a particularly apt discourse for understanding Black Mirror and its implications, the goal of the collection is to offer an interdisciplinary dialogue that addresses the various posthumanist implications of Black Mirror. Media studies, cultural theory, psychoanalysis, philosophy, and literary theory—all these approaches serve both to enlighten and to complicate the dilemmas within, and the fantasies of, humanism and posthumanism and the instability of our evolving cyborg subjectivity.

Initially, the editors ask that potential contributors send a detailed abstract along with a full CV by March 1, 2020. For accepted proposals, completed essays (approximately 7000 words) will be due on August 1, 2020. Please email material to the editors, Dr. Zahi Zalloua,, and Dr. Jacob Blevins, Decisions on proposals will be made by March 15th.


Gothic Nature is seeking TV/ film reviews for its next issue. The show or film reviewed should have a clear thematic link to ecohorror/ecoGothic, and the reviews should aim to be about 1,000 words in length (Harvard style and British spelling and punctuation conventions appreciated). We prefer reviews that focus on recent films or TV (within the last couple years), but we can be flexible about this, especially if you want to concentrate on a longer thematic through-line. Send inquiries and submissions to Sara L. Crosby at For further information about the journal, please visit:

Deadline for submissions:  March 15, 2020

Genre/Nostalgia: A one day film and television studies symposium
University of Hertfordshire, June 30th 2020

Keynote speaker: Dr Kate Egan, Northumbria University: ‘Nostalgia for British Comedy’s Past: Monty Python, the 1960s and 1970s, and Fan Memories’

Film and TV genres and nostalgia have long been intertwined. Fundamentally, both are rooted in the practice of creatively recycling and adapting modes of the past; Steve Neale’s (1990) assertion that genres are processes of repetition and variation is also applicable to many films and programmes which reimagine historical events, past eras, earlier styles and classic works of literature. Period dramas regularly cite the codes and conventions of past genres as a means of triggering collective memories of an era, while for multiple other film and TV genres, the past is a key component: for instance, science fiction might depict the past as a function of time travel, while the Western is founded on its 19th century American frontier setting, and gothic horror is often associated with Victorian England or based on fin de siècle literature.

Relationships between genre and nostalgia are regularly explored in isolated studies, while broader publications and events often focus on one or the other. However, the focus is rarely on the relationship and interaction between them. This may in part be due to lingering doubts on the value of exploring it. When, in 1991, Fredric Jameson identified what he called ‘the nostalgia film’, he cited genre texts like the neo-noir Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974) as evidence of ‘the waning of our historicity’ (1991: 21). In their repetition of previously mediated images, it was, to a large extent, the genericity of films like these which so concerned Jameson and led him to judge them as lacking in historically critical depth. This perspective has to some extent persisted in studies of period and historical dramas, where engagements with the past in popular genres like horror, comedy and science fiction are considered less ‘serious’ or historically significant. Meanwhile, Jameson’s reading of postmodern nostalgia as inherently regressive, despite being subsequently questioned (see, for instance, Hutcheon 2000; Dika 2003), has encouraged some studies to look sceptically on the presence of nostalgia, reading it as a more or less straightforward indicator of longing for a simplified, comforting past rather than as a complex phenomenon.

Yet, links between genre and nostalgia have only deepened in the increasingly media-saturated 21st century. More genre films and programmes have opted for past settings, and more period dramas, in their style of historical adaptation, have rejected traditional notions of ‘authenticity’ in favour of self-reflexive genericity. As such, this one-day symposium, which we hope will lead to the development of an active research network, seeks to explore connections between film and television genres and nostalgia, memory and other manifestations of the past. The aim is to facilitate dialogue between these two rich and increasingly interconnected areas of study, and to connect scholars at all levels working in these areas.

Possible areas that may be explored include, but are not limited to:

  • Retro style in film and television genres such as comedy, horror, science fiction, the Western, noir, etc., and specific case studies of genre texts engaging with these styles
  • Reappropriations of past genre tropes in period dramas or other generic forms
  • Other forms of media, such as books, music videos and video games (e.g. L.A. Noire, 2011), which engage nostalgically with film and television genres
  • Foregrounding ignored or marginalised histories (e.g. via new representations of gender/race/class/sexuality) in period genres (e.g. literary adaptations, Westerns)
  • Revisiting genre texts on new platforms (e.g. streaming services), and the role of nostalgia in ways of watching (e.g. binge watching, or interactive texts like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, 2018)
  • Nostalgias for genre texts and the nostalgic practices of fans, audiences and/or fan-creators
  • Recycle, remake, reboot: nostalgia’s role in genre seriality and multiplicities
  • The role of nostalgia in the reappraisal, re-release and/or canonisation of genre texts
  • Key genre filmmakers, showrunners, or other creatives engaging with nostalgia (e.g. Greta Gerwig, Ryan Murphy)
  • Genre stardom and nostalgia
  • The role of nostalgia in genre development, stages, eras and/or cycles
  • Genre narratives about nostalgia or memory (e.g. Ready Player One, 2018; 13 Going on 30, 2004, Westworld, 2016-)
  • Nostalgia in hybrid genres (e.g. Ashes to Ashes, 2009-2010; Back to the Future, 1985; Ripper Street 2012-2016)
  • Rewriting or rethinking historical narratives via genre (e.g. Once Upon A Time…in Hollywood, 2019; Jojo Rabbit, 2019; Chernobyl, 2019)
  • The past in the introduction of new generic styles and forms (e.g. steampunk, neo-noir)
  • Retro period ambiguity (e.g. It Follows, 2014; The Guest, 2014; Sex Education, 2019-)

We invite abstracts of c.200-250 words, along with a short biography, to be sent by March 31st 2020 to the organisers: Dr Caitlin Shaw ( and Dr Laura Mee ( Acceptances will be advised as soon as possible in the same week. Costs are to be confirmed ASAP, but as we would like to connect researchers at all stages, we are aiming to keep registration fees nominal in order to avoid being prohibitive.

Of Haunted Houses and Dark Nights of the Soul: Edgar Allan Poe in American Film
Fifth International Edgar Allan Poe Conference
Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston
April 8-11, 2021

Deadline: June 1, 2020
Contact: Dr. Kareem Tayyar -

From the Universal-produced monster movies of the 1930s and 1940s—which included Bela Lugosi starring in 1935’s The Raven—to the eight-picture, Roger Corman-Vincent Price cycle of low-budget Poe adaptations in the 1960s, Poe’s work has, both directly and indirectly, continued to inspire some of the most thought-provoking and entertaining horror films of the 20th and 21st centuries. This panel seeks papers which deal with movies directly based on Poe’s original work and on those true to the spirit of Poe’s aesthetics, imagery, and artistic ideology.

Please send abstracts to Dr. Kareem Tayyar, Golden West College, at the following email:

Boris Karloff: The Many Faces of a Film Icon – A Critical Symposium
30th October 2020
Plymouth College of Art, UK

Boris Karloff was born William Henry Pratt in 1887, in the then-small village of Camberwell, Surrey (now part of South London). Most often remembered as the star of Frankenstein (dir. James Whale, 1931) and two of its sequels (Bride of Frankenstein in 1935 and Son of Frankenstein in 1939), Karloff’s career spanned more than half a century, from the silent era to New Hollywood where he worked with Peter Bogdanovich on the highly experimental film Targets (1968), in what proved to be one of his final feature performances. In addition to Whale and Bogdanovich, Karloff worked under a number of significant directors over the course of his career, including Mario Bava, Roger Corman, Michael Curtiz, John Ford, Howard Hawks, Michael Reeves, Douglas Sirk, Jacques Tourneur, and Robert Wise. For many, Karloff was and remains “one of the screen’s greatest madmen” (Darryl Jones, 2002). While Karloff’s star image is mostly intertwined with the horror genre, this dedicated symposium hopes to invite both new perspectives on some of the actor’s most iconic roles, as well as draw attention to the many other faces of Boris Karloff, both on- and off-screen. It is our aim to demonstrate that Karloff was more than the sum of his most famous parts; that the mercurial man who gave a “profoundly sympathetic performance” (Jones) as Frankenstein’s infamous monster was an actor with impressive range that is demonstrated by a rich and expansive filmography.

Boris Karloff: The Many Faces of a Film Icon will take place at Plymouth College of Art on 30 October 2020 where we hope to draw together a range of speakers and attendees all interested in various aspects of Karloff’s life and career.

In correspondence with this event, we will showcase archival materials hitherto unseen that relate to Karloff’s career. The event is being organised in collaboration with the Plymouth Arts Cinema who will be providing an evening programme which includes screenings of some of Karloff’s feature films. More information regarding the event, as well as the keynote speakers, will be announced in due course.
Boris Karloff: The Many Faces of a Film Icon has already attracted the attention of a publisher. Our hope is that this symposium will lead to a peer-reviewed publication, providing an opportunity for some of the speakers to expand their work into full chapters in an edited collection.
Topics for chapters may include, but are not limited to:

Any of Karloff’s feature films
Karloff and his collaborators (co-stars, directors, producers, etc.)
Karloff in Hollywood
Marketing Karloff
Karloff and film stardom, or uses of his star image
Karloff’s performances, including as a silent film star through to his late-career performances
Karloff and franchises
Karloff as a horror icon
Karloff as a transnational star
Karloff and masculinity
Karloff and race
Karloff and monstrosity
Archival work on Karloff
Writing on Karloff, including biographies
Your own suggested idea

Submission details

We would like to invite abstracts for 20 minute papers of approximately 250 words, accompanied by a short biographical statement. The deadline for proposals is Friday 29th May 2020 (with confirmation to follow in the weeks following that). Please address any inquiries to Dr Eddie Falvey at who will reply on behalf of the organising panel. Abstracts should be emailed to

Multiverse Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention

Event Date & Location: October 16-October 18, 2020, Westin Atlanta Perimeter North, 7 Concourse Parkway in Sandy Springs
Deadline for Submissions: June 30, 2020
Organization Website:
Contact Email: Rhonda Jackson Joseph,


Multiverse Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention was formed from our belief that great stories don’t only come from the books and comics we love to read. Each fan is their own universe as well, with their own unique story to tell. Added together, these infinite stories create the Multiverse of modern fandom.

This Multiverse also informs the creation of works of speculative fiction, a body of work encompassing every imaginable academic field. In this light, we seek to create a multidisciplinary academic program that will showcase the innumerable ways speculative fiction is inspired by various branches of academia. 


Multiverse Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention is seeking academic presentations of 15, 25, and 45 minutes in length for our 2020 convention. While we require presentations to reflect rigorous academic scholarship, we are not requesting conference paper readings. Presentations only, please.

We are seeking presentations that approach an academic topic in a way that non-academic audiences will find accessible and entertaining. Ideally, presentations will incorporate a core theme or topic of interest to speculative fiction fans.
Example topics may include, but are not limited to:

    • An interesting historical event that garners immense speculation. What really happened?
    • A comparison between modern governments and dystopian societies
    • The application of a sociological lens in examining a popular speculative fiction TV show or movie
    • From a scientific angle, could one of the monsters from horror tropes really exist?
    • How might the fantasy elements of speculative fiction lend themselves to child development in teaching various lessons?
    • A chemistry presentation that teaches children how to create spider webbing
    • A presentation on new, emerging technologies or scientific breakthroughs (e.g., artificial intelligence, biotech, space travel, etc.)

Presentations on specific authors, works of fiction, or genres within speculative fiction are also welcome. Of particular interest are presentations on the works of any of our Guests of Honor and/or focuses on voices within speculative fiction that are not typically amplified.
Please note: we would like to include at least one presentation per convention day that fits our theme and is targeted to a child/family audience, so please submit those presentation proposals, as well. Our definition of child/family targeted includes any images, videos, or handouts accompanying the presentation.
Please provide the following in your submission:

    • 300-500 word abstract
    • Preliminary bibliography
    • Length of presentation (15, 25, or 45-minute category)
    • 100-word professional biography (should reflect academic credentials)
    • Any required props or specialized A/V equipment
    • Do you have any special accommodations or additional requests we should be aware of? (any request for a video presentation should be indicated here, please)
    • What are your pronouns?

Email your submissions and/or questions to Rhonda Jackson Joseph at:

Accepted presenters will receive a complimentary convention membership for 2020 and may be invited to participate in other panels within the convention’s other programming tracks. If you would like to be considered for other programming at the convention, separately or in conjunction with your proposed academic presentation, please fill out our guest application here.

Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis up until July 31, 2020.

Academic and Non-Fiction Publishers / Headpress
« on: February 09, 2020, 12:44:52 AM »
Head Press

Headpress was founded in Manchester, England, in 1991, ostensibly to release a film by cult German director Jörg Buttgereit on VHS. With revenue from the sales of that film (Der Todesking, limited to 500 copies), the publication of a magazine soon followed. Headpress was a long-running journal on a variety of topics, which contitute, it might be said, the ebb and flow of the counterculture in the last decade of the twentieth century. Running concurrent to the magazine was the Headpress book publishing arm, which emerged in 1992 and continues to this day. Subject matter of Headpress books is wide-ranging and includes cult film, strange music, pulp literature, fanzines, conspiracy theories, sex and gender, occult and folklore, true crime, and pop culture in general. Headpress is run by David Kerekes, one of the three original founders.

Publisher's Website:
Submission information:

Per the website: Headpress isn’t publishing fiction, prose or poetry. If you have an idea for nonfiction or work that you think we may be interested in, please feel free to get in touch via the Contact Us button below, allowing four weeks for a reply (send a gentle reminder if you haven’t heard from us in that time). Please submit info and short text samples if you have them but no email attachments at this point.

Calls for Presentations / Politics and Horror - Deadline: 2020-02-28
« on: February 09, 2020, 12:31:43 AM »
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University of Stirling, 31 July – 1 August 2020
Keynote: Dr. Rebecca Duncan, Linnaeus University
Roundtable: TBA

Since the inception of Gothic Studies, scholars have noted the intersection between modes of horror storytelling and real-world political movements. Some, such as Johan Höglund, have argued that horror imagery has been used to reinforce existing hegemonic power structures. Others, such as Maisha Wester, have argued that the Gothic, while potentially a conservative discourse, is also able to offer commentary that can deconstruct and critique these same formations of power. In a related vein, the Warwick Research Collective has recently argued that the Gothic can be seen as a protocritical response to historical shifts in the capitalist mode of production. These debates regarding the effect and affect of horror upon political consciousness continue beyond literature and film studies circles to historical and contemporary conversations regarding political commentary, rhetoric, and policy the world over. Consider, for example, President Ronald Reagan’s ‘Evil Empire’ speech demonizing the then-Soviet Union, the emerging currency of the term “Brexit Gothic” to describe the contemporary British socio-political climate, or the rise of “Black Horror” to describe texts such as Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017)and their resonance with real-world experiences of ongoing discriminatory violence.

In order to explore the interdisciplinary overlaps and contradictions surrounding the topic of horror and politics, the University of Stirling will be hosting a two-day interdisciplinary conference with papers, guest speakers, short films, and poster presentations. The University of Stirling invites paper and panel proposals focused on the role of horror and fear tactics in political commentary, political policy, and in film, literature, video games, comics, web series, and other media that demonstrate a clear connection to political sensibilities using horror imagery or affect. This conference welcomes scholarship from all levels of study and academic standing, including undergraduate, postgraduate, early career research, creative and/or craft pieces, and independent scholars. Suggested topics include:

Fear tactics in policy creation
Horror in reporting and journalism
Horror imagery and protest movements
Rise of Neoliberalism
[New] Imperial Gothic
Gothic and Religion
LGBTQ+ Politics
Slavery and Colonialism
Gothic Responses to Climate Emergency
Political Genesis of Early British Gothic
“Black Horror”
Gothic/horror images of military conflict
Gothic and World-Literature
Horror language in critical discourse
“Brexit Gothic”
Horror and Propaganda
Horror and Gender Politics

Please send abstracts of 350 words maximum with accompanying 150 word maximum author bios to by Friday, 28 February 2020. Final papers should be no longer than 20 minutes. Applicants will be notified of their submission status within two weeks of the final application date. For more frequent updates, follow us on Twitter: @stirlinggoths. For FAQ, contact information, programme, and ticketing information, visit our website:

Special issue of the Journal of Fandom Studies on ‘Archives and Special Collections’

Abstract submissions are invited for a special issue of the Journal of Fandom Studies. This issue will focus on archives and special collections relevant to scholars of fan studies. Topics addressed might include profiles of institutional collections with primers for use, research, archiving and curatorial practices performed by fans, and archival and archontic theory.Other possible topics include:

• Historical perspectives on collecting fan material in libraries and archives
• Race, gender and queerness in fan collections and in library subject indexing
• Logistical and ethical issues of access to fan materials
• Current research and collecting gaps in the documentary record

Contributors may also submit short profiles (500 words) of relevant institutional collections with curatorial contact information as part of a special ‘Research Guide’ section of this issue. All articles submitted should be original work and must not be under consideration by other publications.

Please send abstracts of 250 words (including a title and keywords) with biographical statements of 100 words to Cait Coker ( and Jeremy Brett ( by 28 February 2020. If accepted, contributions should be no longer than 9000 words, including notes and references, with completed drafts expected in October 2020. All articles submitted should be original work and must not be under consideration by other publications.

Journal of Fandom Studies is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal, first published by Intellect in 2012. The multi-disciplinary nature of fan
studies makes the development of a community of scholars sometimes difficult to achieve. Journal of Fandom Studies seeks to offer scholars a
dedicated publication that promotes current scholarship in the fields of fan and audience studies across a variety of media. We focus on the critical
exploration, within a wide range of disciplines and fan cultures, of issues surrounding production and consumption of popular media (including film,
music, television, sports and gaming). Journal of Fandom Studies aims to address key issues, while also fostering new areas of enquiry that take us
beyond the bounds of current scholarship.


Potential topics include:
• ethics of fan studies
• historical perspectives on fan studies
• gender
• methodology
• consumer/producer interactions
• archival work (using collections such as the AMPAS collection of fan
letters, fanzine collections or online archives)
• competing histories of fan practices and fan studies
• analyses of specific fandoms (i.e. Buffy, Supernatural, Justin Bieber,
True Blood, etc.)
• fan studies theory/cultural studies theory

The editors welcome general papers (between 6000 and 9000 words), interviews and book reviews (between 800 and 1200 words) as well as suggestions for thematic issues. Journal contributors will receive a free PDF copy of their final work upon publication. Print copies of the journal may also be purchased by contributors at half price.

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CFP: Adolescent horror

Adolescent horror has long been a lucrative and popular segment of horror entertainment, spanning a wide range of subgenres and media. While teenaged and young adult horror fans consume and enjoy a wide range of horror texts, films such as Teen Wolf (1985), The Faculty (1998), Idle Hands (1999), Cherry Falls (2000), It Follows (2014), Unfriended (2014), Happy Death Day (2017) and many others target younger audiences through casting and thematic choices.

Our September 2020 issue will focus on adolescent horror; this includes horror films, television programs, novels, comics, and videogames featuring teen or young adult characters, or plots that tie into teen or young adult themes. We encourage pitches touching on campus slashers, millennial/digital horror, coming-of-age stories, teen monster tales, post-apocalypse narratives, and any other texts that explore the horrific or macabre from an adolescent perspective.

Desired topics include:

  • An overview of heroines of colour in teen horror cinema (in expanded listicle or essay form)
  • Social media and surveillance in millennial horror narratives
  • Teen Witch to Young Dracula: the rise of classic horror figures’ youthful counterparts
  • A critical look at the feminism (or not) of sorority-based horror films
  • Bullying and revenge narratives on-screen (potential films could inc. Carrie (1976) and Unfriended (2014))
  • Growing up post-apocalypse: exploring complicated adolescence (potential texts could inc. Zombieland 2 (2019) & The Walking Dead universe)
  • Adolescent sexuality, queerness, and transformation (potential films could inc. Ginger Snaps (2000) and Blue My Mind (2017))
  • The evolution of campus slasher films (potential films could inc. Black Christmas and its remakes)
  • Damning ‘The Man’: the critique of authority in teen horror
  • The ‘Gay Best Friend’: queer stereotypes in teen horror cinema (in expanded listicle or essay form)
  • Playable horror: the teen slasher tropes of Until Dawn (2015)

If you have an analysis, interview, or listicle you’d like to pitch, please reach us via the Contact Form (Contact form Link here: and provide a brief overview of your topic, an estimated word count, and a link to relevant writing samples. Pitches may be submitted until March 15th. The final draft deadline will be June 15th. (As always, we’d especially love to hear from writers who identify as female, queer, trans, and/or BIPOC.)


Call for Chapters: The Edinburgh Companion to Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities

Deadline: February 28, 2020

The Edinburgh Companion to Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities will be a key intervention, analysing and exploring the fruitful intersection between science fiction and the field of the medical humanities. The medical humanities are becoming an increasingly important area as their first wave is interrogated by a critical medical humanities approach (for example, in The Edinburgh Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities, 2016). This volume will be in conversation with that debate, and will explore the ways in which science fiction studies can contribute to such discussions. Science fiction challenges techno-optimism and offers a non-realist avenue for the expression of the illness experience. Science fiction also estranges its readers from their societies and the medical possibilities inherent in those societies, inviting consideration of how medicine may be complicit with, or opposed to, other structures of power. Meanwhile, the promised technoscientific improvement of medical technologies invites extrapolations that may be more influenced by a reified science-fictional imaginary than by a genuinely democratic shaping of future possibilities. By engaging these concerns, this volume offers a unique viewpoint on the power of the future to shape the present.


The collection is under contract with Edinburgh University Press. This is an outcome of the Wellcome Trust-funded Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities project at the University of Glasgow (2015-2017) and potential contributors may wish to consult the project’s blog ( and the special theme issue of BMJ Medical Humanities (42.4, 2016) produced by the project for some scholarly context.


Submissions are welcome addressing any of the chapter headings listed below. If you find the collection appealing but would like to address a subject not listed, feel free to contact the editors via the mailbox below for further discussion. We hope this collection will pay due consideration to World SF and represent the diversity of science-fictional futures and fandom, so would be particularly interested in ideas that engage with the Global South, Chinese SF, Afrofuturism, Africa, and the African diaspora, fan and convention culture.


Abstracts of 250 words should be emailed to with an accompanying CV by Friday 28 February. Complete drafts of 6000 word chapters will be due 30November 2020.

Late-Nineteenth Century
Graphic Novels
Life Extension
Film and Television
Science Fiction Horror
Medical Press and Advertising
Soviet Science Fiction
Indigenous Science Fiction
Global Health
History of Art
World SF

*Capitalism and the Gothic*

The newly established MLA (Modern Language Association) Gothic Studies forum is soliciting abstract proposals for paper sessions to be held at the 2021 Convention in Toronto, to be held from January 7th-10th.

What is the relationship between the Gothic as a genre and capitalism as an economic mode? 250-word abstracts by March 1st to
Deadline for submissions: Sunday, 1 March 2020

*Anthropocene Gothic*

The newly established MLA (Modern Language Association) Gothic Studies forum is soliciting abstract proposals for paper sessions to be held at the 2021 Convention in Toronto, to be held from January 7th-10th.

How and why is the gothic being used to narrate the anthropocene? How is the gothic transformed by this focus? Papers on literature, film, or other media. 250-word abstracts (March 1):

Deadline for submissions: Sunday, 1 March 2020

Mockbusters, Monsters, Mass Destruction, and Lots More Stuff!: Appreciations of The Asylum Oeuvre

If you are familiar with made for SyFy films featuring cgi monsters and bloodshed, or if you have mistakenly rented a film that you mistook for a current blockbuster, or if you are still digging through the five dollar bins at various department stores then you are probably familiar with films like Sharknado, Mercenaries, Sinister Squad, American Virgin, Sunday School Musical, and  Snakes on a Train, all courtesy of The Asylum. Functioning similarly to American International Pictures did in the 1950s, this film company produces the same sorts of fare, accompanied by similar exploitation impulses. The films no doubt have varying degrees of quality, but they are numerous, and have become a significant part of the cultural fabric.

I solicit proposals for essays to be included in a collection devoted to academic analysis of The Asylum’s cinematic output. There will be sections devoted to Sharknado and Z-Nation, but each will be limited to three or four essays. Other areas of interest include:

    • The Asylum movies as inspired by exploitation cinema
    • Z Nation as tv phenomena
    • Lensed readings (feminist, race, colonial, eco-critical, et al) readings of individual films
    • Generic placement or influences in specific films or bodies of films
    • The concept of mockbusters
    • The Asylum films as parody or satire of genres
    • Social media influences on The Asylum’s films
    • Close readings of individual films or episodes (especially comedies and family films)

The list represents a small set of possibilities, I will consider all submissions that propose scholarly projects with a focus on The Asylum. I especially welcome submissions from undergraduate and graduate students, independent scholars, retirees, and anyone with an ongoing interest in The Asylum and its films.

July 15: Submission deadline
September 15: Notifications of acceptance and submission of proposal

If the proposal is accepted I would then expect 6-9 months from the date of acceptance for submission of final papers.

Submit: A 250-300 word abstract and a brief cv or bio (not more than a page) to:

J. Rocky Colavito
Professor of English
Butler University
4600 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208

or email

(Don’t) Look Back: Our Nostalgia for Horror and Slasher Films

Editors: Karrȧ Shimabukuro and Wickham Clayton
Deadline: 2020-03-31

On first consideration it may not seem like “nostalgia” and horror and slasher films have any clear connections. Usually nostalgia is applied to events and experiences that have a pleasant connotation, even if these pleasant feelings are a result of a rose-tinted view of the past. While nostalgia can refer to personal feelings as well as larger communal or cultural memory and pleasure, there is also an implied action to it- that someone is seeking to reclaim, or revisit a specific time period or place for an explicit reason. Applying this understanding to remakes, revisions, reimaginings helps us understand what the purpose of these reworked creations are, the work they’re doing, and how they build on and expand on an already understood and accepted set of narratives, tropes, characters, and beliefs.

Since the national and global trauma of 9/11 we have seen dozens of remakes, reboots, revisions, and reimaginings of horror and slasher films from the 1970s and 80s. Each work seeks to capture some element of the original- the simple understanding of good and evil, the audience reaction to scares, an aesthetic homage, the commercial popularity. If we shift our perspective to view these films through the lens of nostalgia, we can see that many of these narratives are grounded in trauma, the performance of it, the aftermath, how people survive and later work through it. Whether it is a movie, mini-series, television show, or video game, these remakes can be organized according to several subtopics that perform different work within the media and reflect different fears, anxieties, and desires of a specific historical and cultural moment, although the argument could be made that some texts belong in a variety of categories, and there is noticeable overlap.

Movies such as Carrie (2013) , Prom Night (2008), The Fog (2005), Piranha (2010), and Piranha 3DD (2012), My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009), Friday the 13th (2009), Predators (2010), The Predator (2018), and Fright Night (2011) as well as the television show Ash vs. Evil Dead (2015-2018) all seek to recapture the pleasant memories either of the creator upon their first exposure, or the often initial teenage experience of the audience. It’s also worth noting remakes that seek to capture this feeling and audience reception but fail as is the case with Pet Semetary (2019) and Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017) or remakes of films that were considered cult classics, or lacked the recognition of many of these titles such as Sorority Row (2009). While many of these movies have trauma as their inciting incident, or backstory, films such as The Hills Have Eyes (2006), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Amityville Horror (2005), and The Thing (2011), explicitly deal with trauma in their narratives. A large number of remakes seek to correct or revise perceived errors, erasures, or missteps in the original source material. Certainly this is true in The Shining (1997 mini-series), The Stand (1994 and in production 2020), The Last House on the Left (2009), Straw Dogs (2011), Suspiria (2018), and Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). Some texts like The Haunting of Hill House (2018-present) begin as a revision but ultimately go deeper, seeking to uncover a narrative within the source material. With the explosion of streaming services, alternative storytelling, and multimedia narratives, we’re seeing more and more adaptations that use horror or slasher narratives as their foundation but create their own stories from them. Bates Motel (2013-2017), The Exorcist (2016-2018), Doctor Sleep (2019), Castle Rock (2018-present), The Conjuring (2013), and Hannibal (2013-2015) all fit this category.

This edited collection would seek contributions that view these and other texts through this lens of nostalgia, how these remakes, reboots, revisions, and reimagings are the vehicle for the anxieties and concerns of a particular moment, and what work they are doing. We’re particularly interested in contributions that analyze texts that interact with the source material in new and interesting ways, deconstruct tropes and styles innate to these genres, as well as the application of adaptation and fan studies to these works. The editors are accepting proposals for chapters focusing on nostalgia in horror after 9/11. Topics for contributions, focused through a lens of nostalgia, can address, but are not limited to:

Case studies that relate to nostalgia as:
 - Trauma
 - Revision/Rewriting
 - Recapturing past pleasure
 - Using past forms to fill new concerns

Theoretical approaches to understanding horror and trauma
Understanding socio-political and economic cultural contexts
Pleasures of horror nostalgia post- 9/11
Slashers, subtexts, and tonal intensification
Paranormal embodiments of contemporary fears

Proposals should be submitted by 31 March 2020 to Karrá Shimabukuro and Wickham Clayton First drafts due 31 December 2020. We welcome questions and expressions of interest at any stage.

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