Science Fiction and Fantasy
Apocalypse, Dystopia, and Disaster in Culture
Shane Trayers, PhD, Middle Georgia State College – Macon Campus, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Apocalypse, Dystopia, and Disaster in Culture Area is calling for papers about anything apocalyptic, dystopian, or disaster-related. This can be in movies, television, literature, graphic novels, or any other cultural examples of disaster, dystopia, or the end of the world.
This year did not disappoint in these topics, including Good Omens, Stranger Things, The Handmaid’s Tale, Bird Box, I Think We’re Alone Now, Jurassic Park, Westworld, and many, many more. This area is interested in all types of theories, both real world and fictional.
Please note that this area is specifically for those papers related to the apocalypse, dystopia, and/or disaster. For example, there is now a separate Zombie Culture area at the conference, so if the proposal is about the “zombie apocalypse” it goes here, but if it is just about zombies, then it goes to that area. See the Zombie Culture CFP at http://southwestpca.org/conference/call-for-papers/
Ideas for topics on Apocalypse, Dystopia, and Disaster (Not a Comprehensive List):
Film and TV: Good Omens, The Society, The Rim of the World, Mortal Engines, Westworld, The Expanse, The Handmaid’s Tale, I Think We’re Alone Now, Ready Player One, Stranger Things, A Quiet Place, Bird Box, Salvation, Star Trek Discovery, Into the Badlands, OA, The Man in the High Castle, Resident Evil, Ghostbusters, Twelve Monkeys, The Scorch Trials, Jurassic World, Mad Max, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Killjoys, Dark Matter, Between, Edge of Tomorrow, The Giver, Godzilla, The 100, Divergent, Sharknado, This is the End, After Earth, Adventure Time, Falling Skies, The Walking Dead, Resident Evil, Terminator, 2012, The Core, Daybreakers, Zombieland, Night of the Comet, The War of the Worlds, Last Night, The Road, Dark Angel, Jericho, Children of Men, The Matrix, Crimson Tide, Invasion, V, Contagion, Dante’s Peak, The Island, The Day the Earth Stood Still and many more.
Literature: Life as We Knew It, When She Woke, Ready Player One, Find Me, The 5th Wave , Feed, Uglies, J,Station Eleven, Brave New World, The Bees, Rot and Ruin, Matched, Infinite Jest, Oryx and Crake, Breathe, World War Z, Pesthouse, The Road, Children of Men, Alas Babylon, The Stand and others.
Graphic Novels and video games: Y: The Last Man, Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil, The Walking Dead
Real examples: “Prepper” communities and publications, political rhetoric, natural disasters, Paris or Orlando shootings, or Atomic culture.
Apocalyptic rhetoric in politics and other areas
Or any other works/topics related to apocalypse, dystopia, or disaster!
Harry Potter Studies
Christopher Bell, PhD, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, email@example.com
SWPACA invites scholars to submit papers to the vibrant and diverse Harry Potter Studies area. The Harry Potter Studies area is an interdisciplinary/cross-disciplinary field that focuses on both the novel and filmic versions of J.K. Rowling’s work. Papers may address the work as a whole, specific characters, themes, relationships, social and/or cultural implications, individual texts within the series, etc.
Paper and/or panel proposals are welcomed. Any and all types of scholars, including independent scholars, graduate students, non-tenured, tenure-track, tenured and emeritus faculty are encouraged to submit. The Harry Potter Studies area aims to emphasize a diversity of scholarship opportunities and is open to innovation in approach to research about the Potterverse. Networking among Potter scholars with an eye toward post-conference collaboration and publication is a key goal of the Harry Potter Studies Area.
Papers from the Harry Potter Studies area presented at conferences since 2012 have been gathered into four (4) published, edited volumes released in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. We are an area committed to publication!
Science Fiction and Fantasy – General
Janet Brennan Croft, PhD, University of Northern Iowa, firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow the Science Fiction and Fantasy area on Facebook at www.facebook.com/swtxsff and on Twitter @swtxsffchairs
The Science Fiction and Fantasy (General) Area Chair invites paper or panel proposals on any aspect of science fiction in literature, film, or other media. Any and all topics will be considered. Past presentations have covered a variety of topics – including British SFF TV, fan studies, race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic class, pedagogy, adaptation, and a variety of texts. We are interested in thematically or textually linked panels of three or four papers as well as individual submissions. For 2021, we will be particularly interested in proposals about science fiction and fantasy that address pandemics, racial justice, or the intersection of these issues.
Please look through the list of other conference areas on the SWPACA website, since subjects such as apocalyptic studies, computer games, the works of Joss Whedon, and the television show Supernatural all have separate areas. You should direct your proposal accordingly.
Supernatural (TV series)
Erin Giannini, PhD, Independent Scholar, email@example.com
The Area Chair invites proposals related to the CW television series Supernatural.
Any and all topics will be considered, although we especially encourage proposals on:
- Narrative structure
- Genre conventions
- Fandom/Fan culture
- Representations of socioeconomic class, gender & sexuality, and race & ethnicity
- Representations of myth, religion, and (urban) legend
- Uses of violence
- Music in the show
- The series’ response to/engagement with metatextuality and/or fandom
- Examining the series legacy in its final season
Whedonverses: Creators & Texts
Erin Giannini, PhD, Independent Scholar, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Area Chair invites paper or panel proposals on any topic related to the works of Joss Whedon. Any and all topics will be considered. Insights into Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly are always welcome, but Whedon’s body of work continues to expand, and we encourage proposals on:
- Whedon’s work in the Marvel ‘verse, including Astonishing X-Men, The Avengers, and Avengers: Age of Ultron
- The Whedonverse comics, from Fray on
- Much Ado about Nothing
- The Cabin in the Woods
- The 20th anniversary of Angel‘s debut; the series’ legacy
Zombie and Pandemic Culture
Brandon Kempner, PhD, New Mexico Highlands University, email@example.com
The area chair for Zombie and Pandemic Culture seeks paper or panel proposals on any aspect of the zombie and/or pandemics in popular culture and history. The zombie has always been pop culture’s premier allegory for infection and disease. 2020’s unprecedented events have put an even greater spotlight on the zombie’s ability to help us understand and process fears and hopes related to pandemics and uncontrollable societal events. Beyond zombies, however, pandemics and popular culture’s treatment of them—both past and emerging—are more critical than ever for processing cultural anxieties.
This area is looking for papers that will analyze any way that popular culture has attempted to process disease, infection, pandemics, zombies, or any combination thereof. How do we view zombies differently in light of the past year’s events? Will zombies remain a core allegory for understanding disease? Does the current pandemic change the way we analyze classic zombie films, books, and televisions shows? How will new zombie texts—and other popular art forms—emerge to tackle coronavirus? The zombie has come to represent the chaotic world we live in, and as our world changes, so too will zombies.
Some topics to consider:
- New readings of older zombie texts in light of coronavirus.
- How popular culture is beginning to process the pandemic, whether in film, song, television, video games, etc.
- Specific zombie films: White Zombie, King of the Zombies, Dawn of the Dead, Tombs of the Blind Dead, Dead Alive, Evil Dead, World War Z, Train to Busan…
- Specific books/zombie literature: The Zombie Survival Guide, Zone One, The Girl with all the Gifts, the Newsflesh trilogy, The Reapers are the Angels, Cell…
- Zombie writers’ fiction and non-fiction: Stephen Graham Jones, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Kirkman, Steve Niles, Max Brooks, Matt Mogk, Jovanka Vuckovic, Stephen King…
- Zombie television: The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Z Nation, iZombie, The Santa Clarita Diet…
- Zombie video games: Resident Evil, Call of Duty: Zombies, The Last of Us, Day Z, Dead Rising…
- Zombie comics (any aspect: history, cultural impact, storytelling, Marvel zombies…)
- Teaching the zombie or pandemics
- The voodoo zombie and the historical roots of the zombie
- What does the rise in the zombie’s popularity tell us about society?
These are just a few of the topics that could be discussed.