CFP: [Graduate] As I Imagine: Fantasy, Identity, Politics

full name / name of organization: 
Cari Keebaugh
contact email: 
keebaugh@english.ufl.edu

“As I Imagine: Fantasy, Identity, Politics”
7th Annual English Graduate Organization Conference
University of Florida - October 18-19, 2007
Keynote Speakers: Dr. Beverly Lyon Clark and Dr. Carl Freedman

The Oxford English Dictionary uses the phrase "as I imagine" to help
readers understand the widely varying implications and uses of the term
"fantasy," a word which tends to elude easy definition. Fantasies are
psychological, political, public, private, genre, myth, and otherwise
enigmatic. Whether or not we always acknowledge them, they exist in every
art form and facet of life. In the course of this conference, we would like
to revisit and perhaps unsettle current discourses on the fantastic. What
are the roles of individuals, groups, nations, and artists in imagining and
articulating the fantastic?

The term "fantasy" encompasses psychological phenomena such as dreams,
escapism, and politics, such as examined in Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's
Labyrinth"; it describes genres of art, film, literature, and
video/computer games; it can refer to various human endeavors; it be used
to describe ancient myths or fairy tales. Psychologically, the term
"phantasy" has been used to describe repressed, imagined responses to
unfulfilled wishes. Politically, fantasy can even offer such benefits as
helping a nation deal with a national tragedy, such as Nancy Yi Fan's
Swordbird; a nation is, after all, is a type of fantasy in and of itself,
an "imagined community" as Benedict Anderson coined the term, of people all
living out their own fantasies. Conversely, fantasy can offer the
alternative: the literary or popular vision of national tragedy or dystopia
as seen in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale or George Orwell's 1984.
Whether fantasy -- broadly conceived -- is useful or delusional,
entertaining or escapist, subversive or didactic, "high" or "common,"
inclusive or exclusive of "sci-fi" or "gothic" texts/(sub)genres, this
conference seeks to explore the uses of fantasy/phantasy in today's society
in literature, film, video games, and other facets of pop culture.

Possible paper topics include (but are not limited to):
Fantasizing the Perfect World
Dystopia/Utopia
The fantastic in other (sub)genres
The history of fantasy/phantasies
Gothic, horror, and/or sci-fi texts
Bangsian/afterlife fantasy
Fantasy as a form of escape
Fantasy and anthropology

Fantasies of Race and Power
Colonialism in nationalistic fantasy
Playing "Cowboy and Indian" ([mis]appropriations of racial identity and
harmful racial fantasies)
Consumer fantasies, advertising
Fantasies within the Ivory Tower

The Fantasy of/for the Child
The child/young adult as an imagined construction
Appropriation of children's fantasy texts into mainstream or adult cultures
and sub-cultures
Disney's fantasies
Violence in fantasy for children

Nationalistic fantasies/Politics
Historical Fiction
"Imagined Communities"
9/11, Columbine, and/or Virginia Tech
Fantasies of violence

New Media
RPGs
Slash fiction and fandom
Manga and graphic novels' visual representations of fantasy/phantasy
Censored cartoons, "adult" cartoon series

Submissions: Abstracts should be emailed to keebaugh_at_english.ufl.edu by
September 1, 2007. Please email abstracts as Word (.doc) attachments.
Abstracts should not exceed 250 words.

Conference Website: http://www.nwe.ufl.edu/ego/conference07/index.html

Travel Information: The conference will be held in Emerson Alumni Hall on
the University of Florida campus in Gainesville. The nearest airports are
Gainesville Regional Airport, Jacksonville International Airport, and
Orlando International Airport, respectively. The official hotel of this
year’s EGO conference is the Paramount Hotel
(http://www.paramountplaza.com/ or 1-877-992-9229), but there are many
other hotels in the Gainesville area. Please email any of the EGO officers
if you have questions about the call for papers or travel inquires.

EGO Officers and Conference Coordinators:
Cari Keebaugh <keebaugh_at_english.ufl.edu>, Amy Amorelli <girasole_at_ufl.edu>,
Aaron Cerny <acerny_at_english.ufl.edu>, Emily McCann <esmccann_at_ufl.edu>, Clay
Arnold <garnold_at_english.ufl.edu>

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Received on Sat Aug 04 2007 - 08:50:24 EDT

cfp categories: 
graduate_conferences