Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Call for Papers (Film & History)

Papers are needed regarding:
"Lust in Space: Love in Science Fiction Film and Television"
2010 Film & History Conference: Representations of Love in Film and Television
November 11-14, 2010
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
Final Deadline: September 15, 2010
AREA: Lust in Space: Love in Science Fiction Film and Television

"Science fiction typically relegates matters of the heart to perfunctory sub-plots.  As Dale Arden says in the 1980 remake of Flash Gordon: "Flash, I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!" Yet science fiction also places love, sex, and reproduction in provocative new contexts.  What are the stakes in a "mixed marriage" when the partnership crosses species, not just races or religions? How does love or family thrive in a utopian (or dystopian) future defined by sleek machines and hyper-efficiency? Does sentience in a computer or robot entail the capacity to love? How do cinematic stories of time travel challenge the ethics of cultural, sexual, or technological interference? Why are scientists, engineers and astronauts so often sexless in film, and what happens when they do fall in love (or in lust)? From the high seriousness of George Lucas' THX-1138 (in which love is the ultimate act of defiance in a totalitarian future) to the low comedy of Back to the Future (in which a teenaged time-traveler fends off the advances of his teenaged mother), this area will treat all cinematic and televisual forms such as adventure, drama, farce, social commentary, allegory, and more, as it explores the role of love inside the boundless space of science fiction.

Topics that would naturally fall within this area include:

  • Human-alien couples in series television (Babylon 5, the Star Trek universe)
  • Human-alien one-night stands (Star Trek, Starman, Barbarella, Species)
  • Loving robots (AI, the Terminator universe, Bicentennial Man, Wall-E)
  • Strange pregnancies (Humanoids from the Deep, Demon Seed, Village of the Damned, Junior)
  • Love and Time Travel (Back to the Future, Time after Time, Forever Young)
  • Dystopian Love (THX-1138, Gattaca, Children of Men, Zero Population Growth, Fortress)
  • Love in Space (Rocketship X-M, Saturn 3, Mission to Mars, Red Planet)
  • The Family of the Future (Meet the Robinsons, Lost in Space, Phil of the Future)
  • Love in the Laboratory (The Desk Set, Creator, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk)
  • Man-Made Women: (Metropolis, Bride of Frankenstein, Weird Science, SimOne)"
Please send your 200 word proposal by e-mail to the area chair:
A. Bowdoin Van Riper
Social and International Studies Department
Southern Polytechnic State University
1100 South Marietta Parkway
Marietta, GA 30060
Email: bvanriper@bellsouth.net (email submissions preferred)

Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal.  For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (www.uwosh.edu/filmandhistory).

Femspec 10.2., 2010, pp. 128-129

Monday, August 23, 2010

Call for Papers for "Doctor Who in Time and Space"

Dr. Gillian I. Leitch needs papers for an upcoming book titled Doctor Who in Time and Space.  As stated in the Femspec journal issue 10.2, "A scholarly treatment of the BBC series Doctor Who is currently under consideration for publication by McFarland Publishers.  This book, tentatively entitled Doctor Who in Time and Space, will be a collection of articles.  Its general objective is to fill the dearth of literature about this longest running science fiction television series by providing analysis of the content and phenomenon of Doctor Who, both the old series (1963-1989) and the new series (2003-present), as well as its associated cultural products, such as book tie-ins and audio plays. 

The book will be divided into four main themes:

1. History/Legacy
Article topics could include: history of the series on British television; broadcasting Who in the United States, Canada and Australia; Doctor Who movies; spin-offs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures; cancellation.

2. Characters/Characteristics
Article topics could include: enemies and foes (Daleks, Cybermen, the Master etc.); individual Doctors; Companions, race gender, identity, role; UNIT and representations of the military; the TARDIS; the Doctor's ethics.

3. Production
Article topics could include: the Producers (John Nathan Turner, Russell Davies); technology; production values; content; adapting the shows for the DVD market.

4. Fandom
Article topics could include: fan clubs; fan fiction; fan communities; conventions.

This list is meant merely as a guideline.  All relevant topics related to Doctor Who will be considered." 

Deadline for formal proposals is September 1, 2010.  Please email Gillian I. Leitch at gilliandoctor@gmail.com with your proposals and any questions you may have concerning the project.

~(Gillian I. Leitch, Ph.D.)

Femspec10.2., 2010, p. 127

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Our Current Issue

Issue 10.1 is nearly 150 pages chock-full of interesting things to read.  It includes poetry and a riveting article by Phebe Beiser, reviews of great books such as Mothers and Other Monsters, and Seers, Witches, and Psychics on Screen as well as other cool pieces by our intelligent contributors (such as Nava Semel, Meg Easling, Kyra Glass von der Osten, Phillipa Kafka, Derek R. Sweet, and Li Weinbaum, to name just a few). 

Here is an excerpt of Batya Weinbaum's editorial remarks of issue 10.1 (taken from ProQuest):

"In the seventies, I studied writing in NYC with Marguerite Young, the author of the picaresque, psychological novel of the road from which these quotes derive--a journey of the human spirit in which a grown woman looks for her lost nanny who had abandoned her as a child, depicting a search for a bizarre reality in a fascinating world intertwining illusion and nightmare that had been heralded by international underground readers as the Arabian Nights of American life.  

Li Weinbaum's review of Going Under keeps up our connection to the fantasy genre, and her review of The Gay Gene Discovery will keep our readers abreast of futuristic sf caricaturizing the Clinton family with Hillary as Lady President, Ellen "Generous" as psychiatric social worker, and where AIDS activist Linda Jones Feinberg depicts an analysis of a society threatened by a wave of abortion of gay fetuses." ~Batya Weinbaum.

This excerpt can also be found on the home page of the new Femspec site: http://www.femspec.org/new_site/01_home.html