full name / name of organization:
Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung
CALL FOR PAPERS
TRANSITIONS AND DISSOLVING BOUNDARIES IN THE FANTASTIC
Third Annual Conference of the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung (GFF)
at the University of Zurich from 13th to 16th September 2012
Transitions and the dissolving of boundaries are crucial to the fantastic in all media manifestations.
Fantastic texts include, among other things, crossings into other worlds, time travel, metamorphoses,
hybrid creatures as well as a variety of transitions and transgressions. Hybrid genres and genre
reconfigurations as well as various forms of intertextuality featured in fantastic literature(s) are based
on transitions between texts and the dissolving of boundaries between topics and motifs of diverse
origin. In this sense, the fantastic provides the potential to disintegrate the artificial line of distinction
between high and popular culture or between supposedly good and bad “taste”, which can arguably
be seen as a form of provocation. The fantastic raises a significant number of questions about cultural
and social developments and challenges existing boundaries. By creating hybrid zones of autonomy,
the fantastic provides alternatives to conventional understandings of, for example, world, knowledge
or identity. Fantastic elements serve to unveil social discourses and to articulate complex physical
and psychological processes as well as abstract figures of thoughts.
Transitions pervade the fantastic and manifest in numerous forms, such as in the shape of intermedia
adaptations (from texts to film, comics, games, radio plays, novels), transpositions into new
media (as, for instance, done in fan fiction or the case of multimedia franchises), as well as in various
forms of crossover as exemplified in the increasing trend of generation-spanning all-age literature.
With regard to transitions and the crossing of boundaries, the focus of this conference will lie on
objects, norms, knowledge, ascribed meanings and potential spectrums of interpretation associated
with the fantastic. The aim is to explore representations of worlds and subjects, reality and fiction, in
order to contribute to a further assessment of the cultural relevance of the fantastic – in its
contemporary, historical, social and medial dimensions.
We are open to scientific papers in German or English on the entire scope of the fantastic: analyses
of specific texts, on the interconnection of text, image and sound in various media or different media
formats, literary or visual genres, as well as theoretical contributions to the fantastic and its cultural
All interested in contributing to this conference are requested to send a proposal of maximum
350 words including a brief description of the project, contact data and relevant biographical
information to the organisational team by 7th January 2012, preferably via e-mail. We would
particularly welcome contributions relating to the overall theme of the conference. However, there will
also be an open track in which substantiated yet innovative papers on other topics regarding the
fantastic may be presented.
Prof. Dr. Ingrid Tomkowiak
Institut für Populäre Kulturen
8050 Zürich, Schweiz
Phone: +41 44 634 24 36