07 March 2007

Fantasy Matters Conference, Minnesota, Nov 2007

With the wind chill hovering about zero in the mornings here, this is not the best time to get a New Englander excited about visiting Minnesota, even for a fantasy conference. Savannah, San Antonio, Honolulu--that would be a fantasy! But here’s the call for papers for the Fantasy Matters conference, scheduled for 16-18 November 2007 at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.

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.
The submission deadline is 31 May 2007. For further information, including the address for submissions and queries, visit the Fantasy Matters conference website.

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