Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Fantasy matters

On behalf of a recovering legal scholar I regard fondly as "my answer to [Thomas Hardy's] Sue Bridehead," I am pleased to announce this call for papers for the Fantasy Matters conference:

Fantasy Matters
Call for Papers
Fantasy Matters conference
November 16-18, 2007
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Submission Deadline: May 31, 2007

Fantasy literature is everywhere these days. Whether it’s Eragon at the box office or the latest Harry Potter at the bookstore, fantasy literature seems to have captured the public’s imagination and run away with it. In spite of, or perhaps because of this popularity, however, fantasy literature still isn’t taken as seriously as other, more “canonical” literature.

This conference takes the position that fantasy literature does matter, and plays an important role not only in popular culture, but also in the realm of literature itself. Neil Gaiman, author of the Sandman series of graphic novels, and Jack Zipes, noted scholar of fairy tales and folklore, will be the keynote speakers at the conference.

All papers related to fantasy literature are welcome, but participants are encouraged to consider the question of the importance of fantasy literature when forming their submissions. We also welcome authors to participate in this discussion, either by serving on panels or by sharing their own creative works.

Potential panel discussions include:
  • The relationship between fantasy literature and "canonical" literature
  • The role of fantasy literature in childhood
  • Narrative strategies in fantasy literature
  • Issues of race, gender, and sexuality in fantasy literature
  • The use of source material in fantasy literature
  • The relationship between fantasy literature and its adaptation(s) in film
Scholars of fantasy literature at any level (fan, undergraduate, graduate, or professional) are invited to submit abstract proposals of 250 words. Scholars should plan for a 15-minute presentation with 5 minutes for questions; they may also submit entire panels for consideration, planning for three 15-minute papers per panel.

Authors of fantasy literature who would like to present their work are encouraged to submit a 5-page sample of the piece they intend to read. Authors should plan for a 30-minute reading.

All submissions should be sent to

For further information, please visit or send questions to

Those submitting proposals will be notified of their status by July 31, 2007.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

though i would agree that fantasy should not be excluded from canonical literature i do think most of it pulp . this may be hard to see if all you read is fantasy but if you have a broader reading experience you will notice that most fantasy has cheap plot structure, clichematic characters and worlds and hilghy unimaginitive sentence structure and word use. it is also important to note that the literary community does not discriminates between different genres of novells, they talk about fictional, non fictional, prose epics, or poetry and don't mention wether it'mythological historical schi-fi or fantasy when evaluating the literary quality of the work. some fantasy has actually been accepted as literature. LOTR for example won some non sci-fi/fantasy related literary prizes, but most fantasy doesn't even come near the quality of LOTR in literary sence (no inovative use of language, no interesting underlying messages, no stylistic excentrisities, etc.) and thus aren't considered literature. even though i liked sci-fi/fantasy and still read some jack vance or larry niven occasionally i do see that they are rather crummy writers compared to most in more conventional definition of literature (and i'm not talking about dan brown, more like E.A. Poe or Jane Austin)

4/08/2008 6:20 PM  

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