The Maester's Chain: Essays on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire
"A master forges his chain with study, he told me. The different metals are each a different kind of learning, gold for the study of money and accounts, silver for healing, iron for warcraft. And he said there were other meanings as well."
George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire (1991-), has produced a constellation of intertext: fan fiction, merchandise, artwork, graphic novels, and an acclaimed HBO television program. Many would argue that the series diverges from traditional epic fantasy, in its preoccupation with the grim realities of a medieval world. Martin's ambiguous treatment of the supernatural, and his interest in the radical failure of chivalry, has made A Song of Ice and Fire unique among fantasy texts. The success of HBO's Game of Thrones has created new fan communities, possibly reinvigorating the genre as a subject of critical inquiry, although there are significant differences between the source-text and its recent adaptation. Game of Thrones has also received as much criticism as acclaim, largely due to its presentation of sexuality and violence.
We aim to collect a diversity of essays on the world of Westeros and its characters. Topics might include, but are not limited to:
Animals (dire wolves, shape-shifting, animal consciousness)
Chivalry, monarchy, and other power structures
Disability and/or monstrosity
Fan communities and texts
Food and cultures of consumption
History and national myth-making
Knowledge networks (maesters, ravens, print culture)
Languages (Old Valyrian, Dothraki, Braavosi, and others)
Literary antecedents (fantasy traditions, classical and medieval influences)
Magic and the supernatural
Race and ethnicity
Religions (monotheism, polytheism, other treatments of the sacred)
Sexualities (reproduction, queerness, eunuchism, prostitution, incest)
Songs and mummery
The submission deadline is December 15, 2012. Abstracts (500 – 1000 words, in .doc or .docx format) should be emailed to:
Completed chapters (20-25 pages, double-spaced) are due April 15, 2013.