“So What Happens Now?”: Ernest Cline’s Prose and Poetry

deadline for submissions: 
January 5, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Tom Ue / Dalhousie University
contact email: 

Calling all Gunters! The past few years have seen a growing number of scholarly interventions on Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One (2011), exploring topics that range from his portrayal of dys/utopias (see Nordstrom, Ue) to his use of Pac-Man as a metaphor (Ue and Munday), and from Cline’s treatment of masculinity (Condis) to his invocation of Arthurian romance (Aronstein and Thompson). In 2018, the novel was adapted into a critically and commercially successful hit, earning an Academy Award nomination. In celebration, and to canvass some of the new directions in scholarship, we invite contributions for proposed panels on Cline’s prose and poetry in the Annual Conference of the Popular Culture Association of Canada on 7-9 May 2020 at Concordia University. Papers may explore any aspect of Cline’s writing but they must speak to the conference’s focus: “Pop and Politics: State of the Field/State of the World.” Papers might address:


n  Nostalgia

n  Romance

n  Capitalism

n  Capitalism 2.0

n  Dys/utopia

n  Bildungsroman

n  Quest narratives

n  Political movements

n  Forms of resistance

n  Debt

n  Participatory culture

n  Collectors and collectibles

n  Gender

n  Gaming


Please submit your queries and abstract of up to 300 words and a brief biography of no more than 50 words to Dr Tom Ue at ue_tom@hotmail.com by 5 January. Notice will be given by 10 January and the panel will be submitted for consideration on 15 January in accordance to the CFP (see https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2019/11/07/popular-culture-association-of-canada-annual-conference). 


Tom Ue researches and teaches courses on nineteenth-century British literature, intellectual history, and cultural studies at Dalhousie University. He is the author of Gissing, Shakespeare, and the Life of Writing (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming) and George Gissing (Liverpool University Press, forthcoming), and the editor of George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming). Ue has held the prestigious Frederick Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship and he is an Honorary Research Associate at University College London.