Catwoman to Katniss: Villainesses and Heroines of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March 15-16, 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Mick Howard, Sarah Gray-Panesi, Shiloh Carroll / Middle Tennessee State University

Catwoman to Katniss is an interdisciplinary conference examining female images in electronic, graphic, and textual media within the science fiction and fantasy genres. Featured in this conference are keynote speakers C.S. Friedman and Dr. Rhonda Wilcox. Friedman is the bestselling science fiction and fantasy author of such works as In Conquest Born, and The Coldfire and Magister Trilogies as well as many other novels and short works. Dr. Wilcox is a professor of English at Gordon College, Founding Editor of Critical Studies in Television: Scholarly Studies in Small Screen Fiction, Editor of Studies in Popular Culture and Coeditor of Slayage: The Journal of the Whedon Studies Association.

While women have occupied many roles in science fiction and fantasy text and media, the last several years have produced a wealth of images of women as both heroine and villainess, offering a new and unique view of the female body and image. This conference seeks to interrogate these representations of the female form, and how they contrastingly strengthen or challenge prevailing ideas of gender, class, and power. We wish to examine the extent to which such female figures exercise agency, or whether they merely appear to, within their fantasy and science fiction milieu. This conference welcomes papers on all aspects of female representations of "good" and "evil" within an imaginative context, including but not limited to:

• Folktales
• Epic Fantasy
• Children's and young adult fiction
• Television and film
• Graphic novels / comics
• Traditional fiction and literature
• Video games
• Manga and Anime
• Robot, cyborg and psychically enhanced female figures
• Myth / Legend
• Classical female figures (goddesses, etc.) in twenty-first century narratives

Additionally, papers and presentations interrogating the below topics, artists and authors are strongly encouraged:

• Women in film and television: Sucker Punch, Marvel films, Game of Thrones, V, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Torchwood, Dr. Who, Battlestar Galactica etc. While Twilight and Harry Potter would certainly fall within the grasp of this conference, only original approaches to these topics will be considered.
• Heroines and Villainesses in graphic novels, comics and manga
• Treatment of women in epic fantasy by both male and female authors.
• Depictions of women by male authors: Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, Terry Goodkind, etc.
• Women in the works of Anne Rice, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey, Sherri Tepper, Octavia Butler, Ursula LeGuin, Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison and Mercedes Lackey
• We strongly encourage participants to propose panels and/or roundtables for discussions of any of the above, or other, topics.

Please send 300 – 500 word abstracts by November 1, 2011, to Conference Organization Committee, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of English,