Creepypastas and Born-Digital Horror (10/28/18; ICFA 3/13/19-3/17/19)

deadline for submissions: 
October 28, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts
contact email: 

The Internet has been a source of fascination for many horror and dark fantasy films, from Pulse to Unfriended, but recently films such as Slender Man, TV shows such as Channel Zero, and stories such as Neil Gaiman’s “Ghosts in the Machines” have begun featuring characters and stories that don’t just take inspiration from online spaces, but actually trace their origins there.

I’m seeking to pull together a paper session devoted to exploring this relatively new outlet at the 40th annual International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. All theoretical approaches welcome, as are papers on any medium, whether it be the original posts on the likes of or the nosleep subreddit, or electronic fictions, or YouTube videos, or just a downright inexplicable website—or any later creative works derived from those digital origins. Possible affects include but are not limited to the sublime, the grotesque, the eerie, the weird, the strange, the terrifying, the horrifying, the creepy, the spooky, the vaguely unsettling in a way you can’t pin down but you’re sure will be fine if you could just get it out of your head, and of course the altogether ooky.

The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, from March 13–17, 2019 at the Orlando Marriott Airport Hotel. The Guest of Honor is G. Willow Wilson, and the Guest Scholar is Mark Bould. For more information and updates about the conference, please visit

Proposals should include a 300-word abstract indicating the project's scholarly or theoretical context. Be sure to include current/working contact information. Presenters must be members of IAFA at the time of the conference. I’ll be requesting a projector with speakers, but let me know if you need anything further as I’ll need to request it in my panel submission.

Andrew Ferguson
University of Maryland
2119 Tawes Hall
College Park, MD 20742

The deadline for receipt of submissions is Sunday, October 28, 2018. However, proposals will be reviewed and accepted as they are received. Electronic submissions are preferred.

Please feel free to forward this call to other listservs, organizations, and individuals who might be interested.