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Southwest/Texas Popular Culture/American Culture Association Coference, Albuquerque, NM, Feb. 8 – 11, 2012
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Call for Proposals

The Evolving Hero: Representations of the Heroic in Pulp Fiction

Hyatt Regency Hotel &
Conference Center
Albuquerque, NM



Over time, representations of the heroic have evolved from the white hatted cowboy and the unflinchingly honest Superman to the modern, often amoral anti-hero. To this evolution the American dime novels and pulps contributed many memorable characters and heroic types. Conan of Cimmeria, Jiril of Jiory, The Shadow, Doc Savage, The Spider, Nick Carter, Zorro, Captain Future, The Domino Lady, and Buck Rogers all were influential pulp heroes. For this conference we are calling for papers that treat some aspect of heroes, villains, sidekicks, and significant others that emblazoned the pages of dime novels and pulp magazines. Proposals need not be limited to heroes themselves, but can treat any aspect of heroism, its influences from dime novels and mainstream literature, or its continuation in comics, genre novels, film, television, and online.

Suggested authors and topics:
• Magazines: Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Wonder Stories, Fight Stories, All-Story, Argosy, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Spicy Detective, Flying Aces, Black Mask, and Unknown, to name a few.
• Editors and Owners: Street and Smith (Argosy), Farnsworth Wright (Weird Tales), Hugo Gernsback (Amazing Stories), Mencken and Nathan (Black Mask), John Campbell (Astounding).
• Influential Writers: H.P. Lovecraft, A. E. Merritt, Robert E. Howard, C. L. Moore, Fritz Leiber, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Donald Wandrei, Clark Ashton Smith, and Henry Kuttner.
• Influences on Pulp Writers: Robert Bloch, H. Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jack London, and Edgar Rice Burroughs were all influences, along with literary and philosophical figures such as Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Friedrich Nietzsche, Edgar Allen Poe, and Herbert Spencer.
• Popular Heroes: Conan of Cimmeria; Doc Savage; Solomon Kane; Buck Rogers; Northwest Smith; Jiril of Jiory; Zorro; Kull of Atlantis; El Borak; The Shadow; The Spider; Bran Mak Morn; Nick Carter; The Avenger; and Captain Future, among others.
• Artists: Popular cover artists included Margaret Brundage (Weird Tales), Frank R. Paul (Amazing Stories), Virgil Finlay (Weird Tales), and Edd Cartier (The Shadow, Astounding)—depictions of heroes and villains.
• Periods: The dime novels; Argosy and the ancestral pulps; Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, and the heyday of the pulps—who are the heroes here?; the decline of the pulps in the 50s and 60s—where do the heroes go?; pulps in the age of the Internet: how does digitization affect heroic representation?
• Theme and Styles: Masculinity, femininity, and sex as related to the heroic in the pulps; the savage as hero, the woman as hero, the trickster as hero, etc..
• Reinvention of the Pulp Hero: Pulps in film, television, comics, graphic novels and other forms are especially encouraged. Possible topics could include film interpretations such as Conan the Barbarian, comic book incarnations of pulp magazines and series; "new weird" reinventions of the pulps such as the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The Watchmen; fan films; and newer productions, including the recently released Solomon Kane and Conan.
These are but suggestions for potential panels and presentations. Proposals on other topics are welcome.

Submitting proposals:
Proposals should be submitted directly to the SW/TX PCA/ACA database at the following web address: http://conference2012.swtxpca.org

Alternatively, you may submit your abstract to: j.everet@usciences.edu