Theorizing the Fantastic in Twentieth Century Art (Prospective Volume): AUG 1 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Alison Heney, ACLA Sem./Edited Volume
contact email: 

Theorizing the Fantastic in Twentieth Century Art
(Prospective Volume)

Editor: Dr. Alison Heney, SUNY Empire State College
Xipe Projects, Curator and Assistant Director

Deadline for Article Submission: August 1, 2012

As a result of our very successful 2012 ACLA panel this past March, essays are now being solicited for an edited volume on the topic of the Fantastic in Twentieth Century Art.
The volume is intended to be interdisciplinary and transnational in scope. Submissions of interest will not have been published elsewhere. Comparative studies are welcome.

In his short essay, "Aminadab or The Fantastic Considered as a Language," Sartre proposes that, "so long as it was thought possible to escape the conditions of human existence through asceticism, mysticism, metaphysical disciplines or the practice of poetry, fantasy was called upon to fulfill a very definite function."

However, as the post-war period sharpened the artist's sense of abandonment to the realm of the human, Fantasy, as Sartre explains, gave up "the exploration of transcendental reality" and resigned itself "to transcribing the human condition."

"We recognize the footprint on the shore as our own. There are no phantoms, no succubi, no weeping fountains. There are only men…the fantastic is only one of a hundred ways of mirroring his own image" – Sartre

In consideration of Sartre's proposal, this volume seeks papers that will explore the evolving function of fantastic forms in 20th century art and perhaps the ways in which the language of the fantastic is engaged with the modern artist's investigation of social and political concerns such as the rise of technology, the terror of war, the construction of memory, historical narrative, feminist politics and spiritual bankruptcy.

Topics to be addressed may include, but are not limited to:
Modern Fiction and the Grotesque
The Uncanny and Modernity
The role and/or function of Fairy Tales/Myth in the 20th Century
Fantastic narratives and Ethics
Cyberspace/The Cyborg
Women and Science Fiction
Magical Realism and/or Surrealism

Submission Instructions:
Please submit a brief bio and your essay as a Microsoft Word, RTF or PDF document and send it to with the subject line:
Fantastic – (Your Last Name, Your First Name)
Ex. Fantastic – Heney, Alison

We invite projects that discuss poetry, prose, cinema or any aspect of the visual arts.

Submissions should be 6000-9000 words and should follow the MLA Style Manual for internal citation and works cited. We reserve the right to reject full-text submissions that do not meet editorial standards.

Queries should be addressed to Alison Heney at