Marjorie Liu is a former attorney and novelist, and is the New York Times bestselling author of the Monstress series, illustrated by Sana Takeda. She has also written for Marvel Comics, including Black Widow, X-23, and Astonishing X-Men. Marjorie teaches comic book writing at MIT, and divides her time between Boston, Massachusetts, and Tokyo, Japan.
Cáel M. Keegan is the Fulbright Canada Distinguished Research Chair of Arts and Social Sciences at Carleton University and Associate Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Grand Valley State University. He is author of Lana and Lilly Wachowski: Sensing Transgender (University of Illinois Press, 2018) and co-editor of Somatechnics 8.1 on trans cinematic bodies and the JCMS In Focus dossier, "Transing Cinema and Media Studies." His writing has also appeared in Genders, Queer Studies in Media and Popular Culture, Transgender Studies Quarterly, Mediekultur, The Journal of Homosexuality, The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Film Quarterly, and FLOW. Currently, he serves as Special Editor for Arts and Culture at Transgender Studies Quarterly.
Matthew Sangster is Senior Lecturer in Romantic Studies, Fantasy and Cultural History at the University of Glasgow. His first monograph, Living as an Author in the Romantic Period, was published in 2021, and he has three edited collections due out this year: Institutions of Literature, 1700-1900 and Remediating the 1820s (both co-edited with Jon Mee) and David Bowie and the Legacies of Romanticism. He is a founding member of Glasgow’s Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic, has served on the Executive of the British Association for Romantic Studies for over a decade, co-edits the open access journal Romanticism on the Net and is one of the founding editors of the new Bloomsbury Academic Perspectives on Fantasy series (with Brian Attebery and Dimitra Fimi). In the field of Fantasy, he has published essays on Mervyn Peake, China Miéville and the power of imaginary cities; he is currently writing an introductory book on Fantasy with a focus on alterity, iteration, traditions and communities. He developed and teaches the Fantasy Across Media course for Glasgow's Fantasy MLitt, and supervises a range of really exciting doctoral projects in the field. In 2011, he co-curated the British Library exhibition The Worlds of Mervyn Peake with Zoë Wilcox; he is currently working with the British Library on a further Fantasy project.
Call For Papers
The Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic is pleased to announce a call for papers for Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations (GIFCon) 2022 with the theme of 'Fantasy Across Media'.
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.
GIFCon 2022 is a three-day virtual conference that seeks to examine the myriad narrative possibilities afforded by fantasy across media. We welcome proposals for papers relating to this theme from researchers and practitioners working in the field of fantasy and the fantastic across all media, whether within the academy or beyond it. We are particularly interested in submissions from postgraduate and early career researchers, and researchers whose work focuses on non-Anglocentric fantasy. We will also offer creative workshops for those interested in exploring how the creative processes of different media shape fantastic storytelling on a practical level.
We ask for 300-word abstracts for 20-minute papers. See our Suggested Topics list below for further inspiration.
Please submit a 300-word abstract and a 100-word bionote via this form by December 3rd 2021 at midnight GMT.
Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Fantasy texts in film, theatre, television, oral traditions, comic books, games (both video and tabletop), new media, virtual reality, theme parks, podcasts, scripts, visual arts, etc.
- The relationship between genre and medium
- Histories of Fantasy media beyond literature
- The cross-media influence of Fantasy texts
- Medium-specificity or interrogations of medium-specificity in genre studies
- Adaptations of Fantasy texts
- Fantasy transmedia franchises
- Fanworks of Fantasy texts
- Fantasy and the fantastic in a non-Anglocentric medium, e.g. Bollywood fantasies, manga, anime, JRPGs, Karagöz shadow plays
- Relationship between Fantasy texts and the regional cultural industries that produce them
GIFCon Code of Conduct
GIFCon Code of Conduct
GIFCon aims to be an inclusive and diverse space for scholars, students, creatives, fans, and the general public.
In addition, please note the GIFCon Netiquette below:
- The GIFCon Netiquette complies with the guidelines set out by the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic’s Code of Conduct.
- GIFCon acknowledges concerns regarding the circulation of recorded talks or written papers online. Speakers and Attendees will be asked for their permission to be recorded during any of GIFCon's online activities or events prior to such recording taking place.
- Speakers may choose to upload their paper or presentation to the platform of their choice and provide a URL link to be made available to Attendees. Alternatively, they can provide the GIFCon Organisers with a version of the presentation in advance for accessibility purposes.
- We are aware that platforms such as Zoom are not available globally and we are working on different alternatives to accommodate Attendees to all our events and activities. If you have any concerns in this regard, please contact GIFCon
Policy for Participation in Online Sessions (Panels, Keynotes, and/or Workshops)
- The default setting for Attendees should be to have microphones muted. This is to avoid background noises that may disrupt the sessions.
- For conferences and panels, Speakers will unmute to engage in presentation and/or discussion.
- Workshop organisers will instruct Attendees regarding the specific dynamics of their events.
- When the event platform and settings allow, Attendees can choose whether they wish to engage or not with the video component of the event. Both video options (on or off) are valid.
- If the Attendees’ video and audio has been muted, they can communicate and pose their questions via the chat function or the Q&A section. Otherwise, questions for sessions, panels, keynotes, or workshops will begin only once the moderator and/or organizers invite questions. Do not interrupt either speakers or moderators to pose questions.
- Screen sharing will be enabled only for Committee Members, scheduled Speakers, and/or Moderators. Once Speakers have finished with the presentation, they should end the sharing of their screen.
- Attendees are welcome to post comments on the chat function of the platforms used by GIFCon during sessions, panels, keynotes, or workshops, as long as they abide by our COC.
- Q&A sessions and discussions must comply with our COC.
- During GIFCon, all backgrounds in Zoom, Discord, YouTube, and so on must adhere to our COC.
- Presenters will be able to request that Attendees refrain from live tweeting about their specific presentation for any reason. Attendees are expected to honour this request.
- Depending on the severity of the incident, violations to our Netiquette will be regarded as outlined by our Anti-Harassment and Anti-Bullying Policy. This can result in warning those concerned and asking them to modify their behaviour; restricting contact with Centre Members and Attendees, including banning those concerned from specific online sessions or the symposium altogether; and contacting University of Glasgow Authorities.
Equality, Diversity, and Accessibility Policy
Everybody can help
We believe everybody at GIFCon can contribute to making this event a safe and welcoming environment. Whether you are an Organiser, a Volunteer, Speaker, or an Attendee, please consider the following:
Conferences, Panels, and Workshops
If you are a Speaker at GIFCon, you will be given guidelines that include suggestions such as:
- If you are prerecording your presentation or would like your Chair to have a backup copy of your presentation materials, please send presentation materials to GIFCon@glasgow.ac.uk.
- If you are reading your presentation and are comfortable with showing your face during our online sessions, it is really helpful to keep your mouth visible when speaking for those who lip-read.
- Speakers also have the possibility of sharing their written paper with GIFCon attendees as a means to make their presentation more accessible for those with visual or hearing impairments. If this is something you would like to do, please contact our Committee.
For presentations with PowerPoint slides, please consider the following:
- If your slides include text, you can try to use it sparingly and in bold, large, and clear fonts in colours that have a high contrast with the background colour of your slides. Reading the text of your slides out loud during your presentation is helpful.
- Avoid red or green to either highlight or emphasise anything on your slides, as these colours can be difficult for those with visual impairments.
- The templates provided by PowerPoint, as they are pre-approved for screen readers and other accessibility devices.
- If your slides include images, please incorporate alt text (a brief one or two sentence description to accompany the image) or verbally describe the image during the presentation. This can be extremely helpful for Attendees with visual impairments and neurodiverse Attendees.
- If online events or activities take place on Zoom, the Deputy Chair will enable Zoom subtitles at the beginning of the event. You can personalize how subtitles appear on your screen by clicking the “Live Transcript” button on your Zoom menu.
- You can also help create subtitles in your PowerPoint slides to help people follow along. Instructions on how to do this can be found on the Microsoft Support website: Present with real-time, automatic captions or subtitles in PowerPoint.
- More information on how to create accessible PowerPoint slides can be found at the Microsoft Office Support website.
- If your presentation includes documents created with a Microsoft Office programme, we encourage you to use the Accessibility Checker.
- For more information, feel free to visit this site on dyslexia and this one on visual impairments.
- If your presentation, paper, or workshop covers sensitive materials or subjects, the GIFCon Committee asks that you give a trigger warning at the start of your talk.
- Please let the Committee know if you plan to use any flashing images or strobes so that Attendees can be advised in advance.
How to attend GIFCon 2022
GIFCon 2022 will take place online. Further details will be published soon.
To register for GIFCon 2022 and secure your free ticket, click here.
GIFCon 2022 Committee
Chair: Katarina O'Dette
Deputy Chair: Dr Taylor Driggers
Communications officer: Emma French
Social Media officer: Elena Pasquini
Administration officer: Grace Worm
Diversity and Accessibility officer: Mariana Rios Maldonado
Volunteers Coordinator officer: Halle Campise
Fantasy MLitt Liaison officer: Isabel Ferrari
GIFCon Committee Bios
Katarina O’Dette (she/her) is a Film and Television Studies PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham whose research centres on fantasy television, genre studies, and media industry studies. She received a BFA in screenwriting from the University of Southern California and an MLitt in Fantasy from the University of Glasgow. She serves as a general editor on Mapping the Impossible: Journal for Fantasy Research. Her research can be found in Fantastika Journal, Slayage, A Shadow Within: Evil in Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Extrapolation.
Dr Taylor Driggers (he/him) holds a PhD from the University of Glasgow and is a part-time tutor in English Literature at Glasgow, where he has taught courses on fantasy at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. His research explores the relationships between fantasy literature, queer desire and embodiment, and Christian theology, including works by Ursula K. Le Guin, Samuel R. Delany, Angela Carter, and Diane Duane, among others. He recently published his first monograph, Queering Faith in Fantasy Literature, the first book in Bloomsbury’s Perspectives on Fantasy series. Find out more at his website: https://taylor-driggers.com/
Dr Rob Maslen (he/him) is Senior Lecturer in English Literature and co-Director of the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow. He began his career as an early modernist, publishing two monographs on the early English novel and Shakespeare's comedies and editing Sir Philip Sidney's Apology for Poetry. In 2015 he founded the MLitt in Fantasy at Glasgow, since when he has written mostly on fantasy, including essays and talks on anime and Franco-Belgian comics. His editions of the poetry of Mervyn Peake are published by Carcanet, and he blogs at The City of Lost Books
Dr Dimitra Fimi (she/her) is Senior Lecturer in Fantasy and Children’s Literature and co-Director of the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow. She has published two award-winning monographs on J.R.R. Tolkien and on Celtic-inspired children’s fantasy, and she has co-edited original manuscripts by Tolkien on linguistic invention. She blogs at: http://dimitrafimi.com/
Emma French (she/her) is a 1st year SGSAH-funded PhD student at the University of Glasgow, researching how Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) consolidates our notions of fantasy, while enabling players to subvert established genre conventions. Her work addresses D&D’s treatment of race, gender, and sexual orientation; and looks at how players are using the game to address and repair the problematic legacies present within fantasy genre-culture. She graduated from Oriel College, University of Oxford, in 2015, and from the University of Glasgow with an MLitt in Fantasy in 2019. Her favourite fantasy authors include R.F Kuang, S.A. Chakraborty, and Silvia Moreno Garcia.
Elena Pasquini (They/Them) is an Italian scholar in Comparative Literature. They studied English and Japanese at the University of Florence. They moved to Scotland for 8 years studying at the University of Aberdeen where they expanded the passion of literature with philosophy and visual art and later obtained their Master at the University of Glasgow. The love for words and visual arts drove them to focus their studies in graphic novels, fumetti, manga (マンガ／漫画) and manhwa (만화). In particular in the use of monsters in various cultures, the act of eating and what it means to be human.
Grace Ann Thomas Worm (she/they) is a 3rd year PhD researcher on Female Fantasy in Tamora Pierce's fantasy world of Tortall at the University of Glasgow where she runs the Intersectional Fantastika reading group, is a Vice Editor for the student journal Mapping the Impossible, and a core member of the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic and moderator of its Discord server. Grace is an English Literature International Bachelorette accredited secondary teacher who has taught across the U.S. This is her second GIFCon. Her teaching experience and research interests and publications cover fantasy, gender, race, class, ecology, YA, comics, video games, worldbuilding, neo-medievalism, poetry, theatre, and speculative fiction.
Mariana Rios Maldonado (she/her) completed her undergraduate degree at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico and her masters at Berlin’s Freie Universität. Her research focuses on the influence of Germanic culture in contemporary literature, Germanophonic fantastic literature, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary production. Mariana is currently a PhD candidate in at the University of Glasgow researching ethics and Otherness in Tolkien’s Middle-earth Narratives, funded by Mexico’s National Council for Science and Technology and its National Foundation for Fine Arts and Literature. She is the Equality and Diversity Officer for the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic.
Halle Campise (she/her) graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature in 2016 and a Master of Science in Business in 2017. She recently completed an MLitt in Fantasy Literature from University of Glasgow and will graduate in 2022. Her research interests include transmedia narrative adaptations, ecocriticism, literary methods of secondary worldbuilding, and narrative craft. She is the Volunteer Coordinator for University of Glasgow's GIFCon Committee.
Isabel Ferrari (she/her) graduated in 2021 from the University of Glasgow with a Joint Honours Degree in English and Comparative Literature, and she is completing an MLitt in Fantasy Literature from the University of Glasgow. Her research interests include modern fantasy literature, transmedia fantasy, and mythology and folklore in fantasy. She is currently working on her Masters dissertation on representation in actual play RPG shows. She is the MLitt Liaison for the University of Glasgow’s GIFCon Committee.
A huge thank you to our amazing volunteers for GIFCon 2022. We literally could not run without volunteers who share our love and enthusiam for fantasy conversations. Thank you star volunteers! Listed in alphabetical order:
- Amy Richmond
- Anadhika Bhasin
- Ciara Higgins
- Hannah Barton
- Hannah Morley
- Isabelle Gebhart
- Liz Weis
- Maggie White
- Rachel Milne
- Robin Daly
- Rowan McCormick
- Samantha Godsick
- Shannon Carroll
- Suguru Ikeda