Friday, February 12, 2016

CFP: The Romance of Science Fiction/Fantasy

CALL FOR PAPERS:  The Romance of Science Fiction / Fantasy
Deadline: September 30, 2016

Whether we consider romance novels incorporating elements of the fantastic, the future, or the alien, or works of Science Fiction/Fantasy exploring love, desire, and other aspects of romantic culture, the relationship between these genres has been enduring and productive. Following up on a series of joint panels at the 2016 national conference of the Popular Culture Association, the Journal of Popular Romance Studies calls for papers for a special issue on the intersections between romance and science fiction/fantasy in fiction (including fan fic), film, TV, and other media, now and in the past, from anywhere in the world.  This special issue will be guest edited by Gillian I. Leitch, PCA co-chair for SF/Fantasy, and Erin Young.

Contributions might consider questions like the following, either in terms of particular texts (novels, films, TV shows, etc.) or in terms of genre, audience, and media history:

·         How has the intersection of these two popular genres opened up new possibilities in conceptualizing gender, desire, sexuality, love, courtship, or relationship structure, not just recently, but since the earliest years of SF/Fantasy? 
·         How has their intersection allowed us to see existing concepts of gender, desire, sexuality, love, courtship, and relationship structure in fresh or critical ways? 
·         How have authors, filmmakers, producers, and fans played these genres against one another, for example by using romance to critique traditions in SF/F, or SF/F to critique the tropes of romance?  How has this counterpoint been explored by authors, filmmakers, producers, and fans of color, or by LBGTQIA creators and audiences?
·         How might reading classics of SF/F as romance change our perception of them: works like Dune and the Witch World novels, The Left Hand of Darkness, or even E.E. “Doc” Smith’s Lensman series, which are threaded on a tale of eugenic love? 
·         What happens to works of paranormal, futuristic, or time-travel romance when we read them through the lenses provided by SF/Fantasy Studies?
·         What happens when teaching works of SF/Fantasy and popular romance? How do these genres co-exist or compete in pedagogical experience or classroom practice?
·         How do works of SF/Fantasy and popular romance coexist and interact in library ecosystems? What issues arise in terms of collection development, readers advisory, or community engagement?

Papers of between 5,000 and 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography, should be sent to Erin Young ( To facilitate blind peer review, please remove your name and other identifying information from the manuscript.  Submissions should be Microsoft Word documents, with citations in MLA format.

The Journal of Popular Romance Studies is a double-blind peer reviewed interdisciplinary journal exploring popular romance fiction and the logics, institutions, and social practices of romantic love in global popular culture. JPRS is available without subscription at

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