CFP : "The Fantastic in a Transmedia Era : New Theories, Texts, Contexts"

Call for papers

The Fantastic in a Transmedia Era : New Theories, Texts, Contexts

November Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25, 2015
International two-day conference at the University of Southern Denmark, SDU

The fantastic is today’s most popular and significant genre in entertainment media. Among its developments are George R.R. Martin’s fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire and its HBO adapted series Game of Thrones ; the Hunger Games film series based on Suzanne Collins’ books ; The Walking Dead in comics and television ; the new Disney princesses in Brave and Frozen ; the rebooted superheroes emerging in games, comics, and film series ; religious-themed stories in blockbuster cinema ; among games are LOL and WOW. The fantastic has reached new audiences and achieved mainstream status.

Fantastic genres include fantasy, science fiction, horror, and the fairy tale, and today’s transmedia storytelling generates new versions, hybrid forms, and new audience engagements. Multiple media platforms and participatory audiences call for new theorizations of the fantastic as it expands, transforms, and migrates across media, be they grand cinemas or intimate cell phones. This raises questions about medium specificity : what does the fantastic look and feel like in different media and how do stories – affectively and aesthetically – behave when changing form ? What significant developments demand our attention, from mash-up narratives to TV genre hybrids ? How do audiences engage with the fantastic across media ? How does the increase of female authors and female characters influence the fantastic ? And, finally, the relation between imagination and the fantastic calls for re-conceptualization : Is the fantastic conservative or subversive, or can its appeal be explained by other factors ?

Individual paper proposals and panels are invited on topics including (but not limited to)

theorizing the fantastic
transmedia storytelling
questions of genre, genre hybrids, genre developments
new themes, characters, tropes
mash-up and other narrative developments
adaptation and medium specificity
audience engagements
digital aesthetics and the fantastic
fantastic emotions
fantastic women
ideology, philosophy, and religion

Deadline for proposals : August 5, 2015. Notice will be sent out September 1. If early decision is required, please contact conference organisers at

Individual paper proposals should be max. 300 words, have 2–5 references, and contain institutional affiliation and a 100 word bio. Preconstituted panel proposals are also welcome, they should be max. 300 words and have three or four presenters.