Fantasy: Special issue of The Comparatist

deadline for submissions: 
April 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
The Comparatist
contact email: 

Call for Papers: Special Issue, The Comparatist
Topic: Fantasy
General Editor: Zahi Zalloua (Whitman College)

We welcome contributions that examine the notion of fantasy in comparative studies and literary theory. What is the nature of fantasy? Is it inherently escapist? Is it to be opposed to reality? Or does a psychoanalytic framework sufficiently reorient our understanding of fantasy? For Jacques Lacan, fantasy is more than a distortion of reality; it in fact supports reality: “Everything we are allowed to approach by way of reality remains rooted in fantasy,” writes Lacan. And, as Slavoj Žižek adds, fantasy’s role in the cultivation of desire is of paramount importance: “It is only through fantasy that the subject is constituted as desiring: through fantasy, we learn how to desire.” So how are we learning how to desire in the age of global capitalism? What and whose fantasies are taking a collective hold of, if not outrightly colonizing, our minds? And finally, what are the means of resistance? What is the role of literature and the Arts in the proliferation of (counter)fantasies? Topics of interest could include:

Lacan and the Traversing of Fantasy

Posthuman Fantasies


Fantastic Literature

Sci-Fi and Pop Culture

The Politics of Fantasy

Racist Fantasies

Neoliberal Desires

Queer fantasies/queering desires

Interested contributors should submit a 1-page abstract by April 1, 2020 to Deadline for completed articles will be December 1, 2020.