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CFP: Fantasy at the Crossroads: Intersections, Identities, and Liminality (12/19/2016; 3/29-30/2017)

gifconFantasy at the Crossroads: Intersections, Identities, and Liminality
Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations
29-30 March 2017

Keynote Speakers: Julie Bertagna, in conversation with Dr Maureen Farrell; Professor Louise Welsh, giving a talk on her latest novel and the genre of speculative fantasy

What is Fantasy? This is a question that the University of Glasgow’s MLitt in Fantasy has explored throughout its first year. While this may seem an unanswerable question, for many of us, fantasy is where reality and the impossible meet. Fantasy inspires a sprawling collection of worlds that stem from a myriad of identities, experiences, and influences. From traditional epics to genre-melding, fantasy branches out into every style imaginable. Cross-sections of genre and identity create cracks in traditional forms, opening in-between spaces from which bloom new ideas and stories.

With a focus on intersections (academic and creative writing; film, art, and games) we aim for GIFCON’s inaugural event to be a crossroads at which these communities can meet and come into conversation.

Examples of intersections in fantasy can be found in:

  • Julie Bertagna’s Exodus trilogy, which explores environmentalism within the context of fantasy and science fiction.
  • Arianne “Tex” Thompson’s Children of the Drought series, which focuses on subversions of race and gender.
  • China Miéville’s The City and the City, which fuses the detective novel with the fantastic.
  • Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child, which uses fairy tale inspirations to create a magical realist setting and narrative.
  • Netflix’s Stranger Things, which melds horror with Dungeons and Dragons via a coming-of-age science fiction story.
  • The Elder Scrolls video game series, which intersects narrative, music, and visual arts.
  • Frank Beddor’s Looking Glass Wars series, which combines science fiction and fantasy to explore unique, genre-melded world-building.
  • The conference organisers ask for 300-word abstracts for 20 minute papers, presentations and/or creative/experimental projects. They welcome the submission of proposals for creative papers and performances. These may include, but are not limited to, short film screenings; photographic essays; computer game analyses; interactive talks and alternative presentation styles that encourage engagement. All media and forms are welcome.

    They are particularly interested in submissions from postgraduate and early career researchers, and will offer workshops in creative writing for those interested in exploring the creative process.

    Suggested topics include:

  • Intersections between cultures, genres, identities (gender, race, sexuality, sexual identity, neurodiversity, disability, faith and religion, and subversions of representation).
  • Liminal Spaces: the bringing together of ‘real’ and ‘fairy’ or ‘magical’ spaces, as in folklore, fairy tales, myths, magical realism, or ‘third’ spaces in urban fantastic; genre-melding, as in weird fiction or “postcolonial gothic”.
  • Transitions from one medium to another: adaptations of literature from and to graphic novels, film, TV, radio, etc.
  • Responses to disaster/looking to the future: dystopia and the choices/events that lead to that future situation; and how communities pick up after devastation.
  • Tensions between the individual’s and the community’s journey; the application of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth in contemporary fantastical works.
  • Reading and engaging in fantasy as a community activity, whether academic study, book groups, fandoms, collaborative storytelling via role-playing games, etc.
  • Crossovers and divides between fantasy, science fiction, and other speculative fiction.
  • Where fantasy meets pedagogy in young adult fiction.
  • Medieval, high or traditional fantasy in a technocratic age.
  • Fantastical elements in graphic novels and comic books.
  • Works that exist outside of typical genre or thematic boxes.
  • Please submit a 300-word abstract, along with a 100-word biography (both in DOC or RTF format) to submissions.gifconference@gmail.com by Monday 19th December 2016.

    Successful applicants will be informed by mid-January. For more information about the conference, please visit https://gifcon.org/home/.

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