Journal for Fantasy Research Special Issue: Fantasy Across Media
Mapping the Impossible: Journal for Fantasy Research Special Issue
Much of fantasy studies has focused on the genre’s presence in literature, with histories and theoretical frameworks often either implicitly or explicitly centring the written word. In some cases, academic, critic, and fan responses to the genre outside of literature even go so far as to erase or question the possibility of the genre’s existence in other media, perhaps most famously embodied in J.R.R. Tolkien’s insistence in ‘On Fairy-stories' that some media, such as drama, are fundamentally incompatible with fantasy. These types of responses fail to account for the medium-specific benefits and challenges that different media pose for depictions of the impossible, serving to establish hierarchies between media, exclude non-literary media from analyses of the genre, and potentially limit a full understanding of the genre’s history.
Fantasy and the fantastic have had long, rich histories outside of literature, playing a central role in the development of theatre, film, and comic books, and celebrating a more recent boom on the small screen. Furthermore, from the innumerable reimaginings of the Arthurian tradition, to The Wizard of Oz, to manga and anime, to contemporary multimedia franchises and cinematic universes, fantasy texts have been integral to the history of transmedia storytelling, allowing their rich storyworlds to expand across multiple media. By examining fantasy with a focus on media, we find a genre shaped in distinct ways by the many different media and creative industries that produce it, with specific creative processes and varying cultural media traditions opening onto distinct forms of fantasy that may not be properly accounted for in fantasy studies’ traditional focus on Anglophone literature.
Mapping the Impossible exclusively accepts academic papers between 3000 and 5000 words in length, including references but excluding bibliographies. Along with your paper, we ask you to submit a 300-500 word long abstract, and a 100 word biography. Please attach these to an email as separate Word documents, each clearly labelled with your name. For instance: TerryPratchettSubmission.docx, TerryPratchettAbstract.docx, TerryPratchettBiography.docx
Please note that we ask for your paper to conform to the Mapping the Impossible Style Guide when you submit (https://fantasy-research.gla.ac.uk/index.php/style-guide/). Your paper should also be anonymised as far as possible when you submit it (except for the file name!), as per our double blind review policy.
When you’re ready to submit, send your email to email@example.com with the subject line “Submission – [your name][date of submission]” You will receive a confirmation email within seven days, to say that we have received your submission.
As this is a postgraduate journal, authors must be current students or within one year of graduation when they submit.
While we do not offer full payment for papers at Mapping the Impossible, we are pleased to be able to provide a small, token reward for each paper we publish. For more details, visit https://fantasy-research.gla.ac.uk/index.php/rewarding_research/
Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!