full name / name of organization:
Popular Culture/American Culture Association Conference, Boston, MA, Apr 11-14 2012
Call for Proposals
The Legacy of Pulp Fiction
Pulp Studies Area
Popular Culture/American Culture Association National Conference
April 11-14 2012
DEC. 22 FOR SUBMITTING TO DATABASE
JAN. 14 FOR SUBMISSION DIRECTLY TO AREA CHAIRS
Although often viewed as a site for literary works with little value and short shelf lives, pulp fiction continues to be instrumental in shaping the literary landscape of Anglophone cultures. In spite of its status among the literati as being of little worth, the pulps—particularly those of the early 20th century—have played an important role in shaping popular genres of modern fiction, including detective, adventure, spicy, romance, science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Further, these working-class fictions, with their focus on masculinity, femininity, action, sex, and adventure, gave voice to the hopes and fears of the common working man or woman in a way that was often ignored by so-called “literary” fiction. Pulp magazines have also often been the site for the introduction of new—and often controversial—cultural issues, such as space travel, alien abduction, drug addiction, homosexuality, sado-masochism, crime, and pornography. Though pulp magazines are largely thought of as artifacts of the past, they continue to influence television, movies, comics, cyberculture, genre fiction, and even literary fiction (gasp!) to this very day. Further, cyberpulps have begun to emerge on the Internet, and old pulps have found new audiences through e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle.
With this in mind, we are calling for papers and panels that discuss the pulps and their influence broadly. In addition to the pulps themselves, topics can include comics, films, cyberculture, and more that are built upon pulp themes. Suggested authors and topics:
• Magazines: Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Wonder Stories, Fight Stories, All-Story, Argosy, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Spicy Detective, Oriental Stories/Magic Carpet Magazine, Love Story, 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. Proposals about contemporary writers in the pulp tradition, such as Joe Lansdale and Michael Chabon are also encouraged. New Weird writers and others, such as China Mieville, whose work is influenced by the pulps, are also of interest.
• 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 Characters: Conan of Cimmeria; Doc Savage; Solomon Kane; Buck Rogers; Northwest Smith; The Domino Lady; 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. Also character types: the femme fatale, the he-man, the trickster, racism and villainy (such as Charles Middleton’s Ming the Merciless), and more.
• Artists: Popular cover artists including Margaret Brundage (Weird Tales), Frank R. Paul (Amazing Stories), Virgil Finlay (Weird Tales), and Edd Cartier (The Shadow, Astounding).
• Periods: The dime novels; Argosy and the ancestral pulps; Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, and the heyday of the pulps; the decline of the pulps in the 50s and 60s; pulps in the age of the Internet.
• 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.
• Film, Television and Graphic Arts: 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.
• Cyberculture: Cyberpulps such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies and pulp-influenced games such as the Age of Conan MMORPG or the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game.
These are but suggestions for potential panels and presentations. Proposals on other topics are welcome.
• When submitting your paper, abstract, proposal, or panel please include your name, affiliation, and email address. For those submitting a panel, include the name, affiliation, and email address for each participant and note who will be the principle contact and panel chair.
• Abstracts should be approximately 250 words in length.
• Indicate if presentation media is required. Projectors will be present in most locations, but presenters must supply their own computers.
• A preliminary version of the schedule will usually be posted on our website in January. Due to the number of panels and participants, we are unable to accommodate individual scheduling requests. We encourage participants to come for the entire conference. The final version of the schedule will be distributed in hard copy at the conference with addendums if needed. For privacy reasons we do not publish email addresses in the online version of the program.
• Only one paper is accepted from the same presenting author. All presenters, including invited panel speakers and session chairs, must register and pay the conference registration fee. If you need an early confirmation for visa or budgetary reasons, please indicate this in your submission.
How to Submit Proposals: Submit proposals by December 22 through the following website: http://ncp.pcaaca.org/
If you miss this deadline, submit abstracts directly to Area Chairs until Jan. 14:
University of the Sciences
West Chester University