deadline for submissions: 
January 10, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Canadian Comparative Literature Association
contact email: 

Fantastical Constellations After Magical Realism research group (formerly known as Post-Magical Realist Worlds research group) of the Canadian Comparative Literature Association (CCLA) invites submissions to our session in the coming CCLA 2024 conference at the Canadian Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

In our call we would like to embrace the Congress’ theme Sustaining shared futures and CCLA conference’s focus Régénérer nos avenirs while sustaining gaps. Expanding upon our previous research into post-magical realist worlds (Mergler and Poray-Wybranowska) we want to explore the fantastic as a discursive constellation (Siskind) in the postcolonial, after or in contrast to magical realism as a storytelling and reading mode, genre, trope, an ontological or epistemological mode, and a globalized and transnational commodity in world literature and other media. The question of what has come after magical realism is crucial to our discussions and we want to venture beyond magical realism into decolonial and postcolonial understandings of the fantastical (and magical) in contrast to realist and scientist knowledge and cultural productions. This year we want to especially focus on questions and proposals that express how shared futures can become shared sustainable potentialities.

We are interested in discussions of all forms of representation in contemporary literature, cinema, media, and the arts, including popular culture.

Possible topics for exploration:

-       Indigenous/Aboriginal realisms (Ravenscroft; Maufort)

-       decolonial/anticolonial realisms (Ciccariello-Maher)

-       postcolonial realisms (Bjerk)

-       magic, fantasy, and ecocriticism

-       apocalyptic realism; utopian and dystopian storytelling after Anthropocene

-       animistic realisms (Garuba; Quayson); post-humanisms

-       post-Anthropocene

-       plant criticism and plant humanities (Karpouzou and Zampaki), vegetal turn (Hall)

-       science-fiction and futuristic visions of the global South

-       contemporary speculative fiction and science fiction in relation to magical realism

-       futurisms: Afrofuturism, Latino Futurism, Asian Futurism… reactions like Afropessmism

-       postcolonial counterrealisms

-       transnational counter-realist literature

-       magical realism and the fantastic: convergences / divergences and polysemy of the terms

-       magical realism in/as translation: meaning-making, knowledge construction, knowledge flows

-       local magic/ local knowledge

-       artistic and theoretical interventions that disrupt the cultural traditions of European realism underpinned by tropes of naturalism or scientism

-       magical realism and digital media (immersive virtual reality, metaverse, digital magical realist art …); techno-magic (e.g. technoshamanism, technopaganism); technotopias, digital utopias and dystopias

-       challenging magical realism’s flattening of other forms of marvellous literature (like the fantastic of the River Plate region, such as Borges and Cortázar)

-       magic and minoritization

-       the fantastic and minor literature, minor film, and minor art practice (Deleuze and Guattari)

-       magic and diaspora

-       magical realism and non-fiction (in a generic sense); magic and the public sphere, ‘magic’ in the news:  manipulation, persuasion; magical realism and politics, transregional / transnational activism

-       magic as aesthetics and as an aesthetic

-       magic and horror; the uncanny

-       magical realism and the esoteric, the spiritual, the religious

-       magical realism versus surrealism; magic and the absurd.


2024 CCLA conference will take place on June 13-16, 2024, at McGill University’s downtown campus in Montreal at the Congress. The deadline for submitting paper proposals is January 10, 2024. The official languages of the conference are English and French. There is a limited number of possible presentations in a hybrid (online) format.

Please submit 200-250 word abstracts for 15-20 minute presentations as MS Word attachments to the Program Chair, Dr. Jeanne Mathieu-Lessard ( (with an annotation “Fantastical Constellations After Magical Realism session”)
With inquiries please write to: dr. Jill Planche or dr. Sanjukta Banerjee or dr. Agata Mergler


Works cited:

Mergler, Agata and Justyna Poray-Wybranowska. "Post-Magical Realist Worlds: Introduction." Canadian Review of Comparative Literature / Revue Canadienne de Littérature Comparée, vol. 49 no. 1, 2022, p. 7-13. Project MUSE,

Siskind Mariano. The Genres of World literature. The Case of Magical Realism. The Routledge Companion to World Literature. 2012.