Call for Papers: GIFCon 2022, Glasgow (Virtual)
The Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic is pleased to announce a call for papers for Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations (GIFCon) 2022 with the theme of ‘Fantasy Across Media’.
Much of fantasy studies has focused on the genre’s presence in literature, with histories and theoretical frameworks often either implicitly or explicitly centring the written word. In some cases, academic, critic, and fan responses to the genre outside of literature even go so far as to erase or question the possibility of the genre’s existence in other media, perhaps most famously embodied in J.R.R. Tolkien’s insistence in ‘On Fairy-stories’ that some media, such as drama, are fundamentally incompatible with fantasy. These types of responses fail to account for the medium-specific benefits and challenges that different media pose for depictions of the impossible, serving to establish hierarchies between media, exclude non-literary media from analyses of the genre, and potentially limit a full understanding of the genre’s history.
Fantasy and the fantastic have had long, rich histories outside of literature, playing a central role in the development of theatre, film, and comic books, and celebrating a more recent boom on the small screen. Furthermore, from the innumerable reimaginings of the Arthurian tradition, to The Wizard of Oz, to manga and anime, to contemporary multimedia franchises and cinematic universes, fantasy texts have been integral to the history of transmedia storytelling, allowing their rich storyworlds to expand across multiple media. By examining fantasy with a focus on media, we find a genre shaped in distinct ways by the many different media and creative industries that produce it, with specific creative processes and varying cultural media traditions opening onto distinct forms of fantasy that may not be properly accounted for in fantasy studies’ traditional focus on Anglophone literature.
GIFCon 2022 is a three-day virtual conference that seeks to examine the myriad narrative possibilities afforded by fantasy across media. We welcome proposals for papers relating to this theme from researchers and practitioners working in the field of fantasy and the fantastic across all media, whether within the academy or beyond it. We are particularly interested in submissions from postgraduate and early career researchers, and researchers whose work focuses on non-Anglocentric fantasy. We will also offer creative workshops for those interested in exploring how the creative processes of different media shape fantastic storytelling on a practical level.
We ask for 300-word abstracts for 20-minute papers. See our Suggested Topics list below for further inspiration.
Please submit a 300-word abstract and a 100-word bionote via this form by December 3rd 2021 at midnight GMT.
Call for Papers, Volume 1 (2022):
Are You “The One”? Destiny, Fate, Freedom and Personal Meaning in Fantasy Stories
Signs, callings, tests and prophecies give form and shape to innumerable fantasy stories; they almost define the genre, even when playing against expectations through the motif of the “unlikely heroes.” But is there some correlation of these motifs with our real life, or are we attracted to these stories because of something that we lack?
The first volume of the IJFP invites authors to explore, with the help of fantasy narratives, questions such as these:
- What are the points of contact and points of distinction between such notions as fate, destiny, predestination, calling, providence, being “the chosen one”? Are these notions contradictory with the idea of personal freedom and choice?
- Are there objective correlates to these notions in real life? If so, how can they be grounded in philosophical argument? If not, what does their presence in fantasy indicate about the human condition?
- From the opposite direction, how do these motifs shape our worldview? How does their presence distinctly mark the genre? Is this “meaning-shaping” a positive or negative influence for society as a whole?
- How does their interplay in specific narratives help deepen our understanding of freedom, determinism, personal choice and related notions?
The deadline for the first round of reviews is October 15, 2021. Please send queries, manuscripts and general questions to Matt Butcher, at firstname.lastname@example.org