Literature of the Hidden and Fantastic: September 23-24 2016

deadline for submissions: 
September 1, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Honors International Studies Program at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith
contact email: 

"The Fantastic or Mythical is a Mode available at all ages for some readers; for others, at none. At all ages, if it is well used by the author and meets the right reader, it has the same power: to generalise while remaining concrete, to present in palpable form not concepts or even experiences but whole classes of experience, and to throw off irrelevances. But at its best it can do more; it can give us experiences we have never had and thus, instead of commenting on life, can add to it."
C. S. Lewis, "Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What's to Be Said" from the book On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature

It is a pleasure to invite you to join us in exploring Literature of the Hidden and Fantastic. The conference is organized by The Honors International Studies Program at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith and will take place on the UAFS campus in Fort Smith, Arkansas on September 23rd and 24th, 2016.

Confirmed Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Michael Ward, Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, author of Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis; co-editor of Heresies and How to Avoid Them and The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis

Saturday Luncheon Speaker:
Described by TIME as the “Dean of Harry Potter Scholars,” John Granger has been writing and speaking about the artistry and meaning of Joanne Rowling’s Hogwarts Adventures since 2002.


The theme of Literature of the Hidden and Fantastic will be an exploration of all aspects of fantasy, magic realism, fairy tales and folk tales, and in particular, their more arcane or enigmatic qualities and/or structures.

Topics of interest:
Potential speakers are free to explore any aspect of fantasy, including, but by no means limited to, criticism on works by fantasy authors, interdisciplinary approaches to the genre, and scholarship on fantasy theory. Critical, philosophical, historical, philological, theological, or pedagogical approaches are all welcome. Some authors to consider might include the following:

C.S. Lewis, Ursula Le Guin, Jasper Fforde, J. R. R. Tolkien, Diana Wynne Jones, Terry Pratchett, J. K. Rowling, Fred Chappell, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Neil Gaiman, Jorge Luis Borges, Isabel Allende, Toni Morrison, Paulo Coehlo, Mervyn Peake

We encourage work from institutionally affiliated scholars, independent scholars, and graduate students.

Guide for authors:
The deadline to submit abstracts is Friday, August 5th 2016.
Please send an abstract (max. 350 words) detailing your proposal for a 20 minute paper, and a brief biographical note, to the following address:
Important Dates:
Deadline for submission: Friday, August 5th 2016 Notification of acceptance: Presenters chosen will be contacted within two weeks of submission date. Deadline for final paper submission: Final papers must be submitted by September 1st, 2016.

Organizing committee:
Carly Darling: Conference Chair
Dr. Dennis J. Siler: Program Director


For any enquiries regarding the program, please contact:

For all general enquiries, please contact:

We look forward to seeing you at Literature of the Hidden and Fantastic.
Sincerely, Dr. Dennis J. Siler