While fantasy fiction has become incredibly popular and prolific in these last few decades, the appeal of fantastical literature dates back to antiquity, as mythologies, legends, and encounters with the supernatural have formed a large part of narrative traditions in every culture and language. This companion seeks to update and address underexamined areas of fantasy fiction, with the chief aim to provide a global introduction to English-language and English-translation fantasy fiction. This collection will focus on the contemporary written word (narrative prose) produced in late 20th and early 21st century. However, given the range and scope of fantasy (poetry, paintings, sculptures, plays, ballets, operas, films, television shows, graphic novels, animation, video games, tabletop games, etc), the editor will consider proposals which incorporate other mediums as comparisons, adaptations, or lineages, so long as the focus on the written word is apparent.
The companion will be divided into 3 sections:
Historical Influences and Lineage, including (but not limited to) considerations of:
- Mythological or oral roots (evolution, transmission, and/or dissemination,)
- Legends and representations of heroic ideals
Challenges to orconsiderations of influential writers (edit: due to the high interest on this subject, I have taken the first steps to form a second companion centred on underexamined authors. Please see the CFP here)
Poetics and Aesthetics of Genre, including (but not limited to) considerations of:
- Discussions of significant tropes or common images (either across the fantasy genre, specific to a subgenre)
- Adaptations and movement between mediums
- Development of the genre/genre boundaries
Current Social Concerns, including (but not limited to):
- Challenges to or affirmations of gender binaries and heteronormative relationships
- Issues of decolonization, including unpacking the villain as Other or dissolving the binary of good and evil
- Global anxieties such as climate change or late-stage capitalism
The editor Dr. C. Palmer-Patel invites abstracts of 500 words with 100-word bionotes to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 October 2022 (extended deadline). Early expressions of interest encouraged. Abstracts will be considered with emphasis on the primary objective of the collection as a whole (as an updated first-stop introduction to fantasy criticism to be used by teachers, students, and scholars), alongside the fit of the proposed chapter for each section. Bionotes should include details of primary research interests along with recent and relevant contributions to the field.
The collection has been pitched to Peter Lang‘s Genre Fiction and Film Companions series. Final chapters will be 4000 words (including bibliography) and will be due 2024.