Archive for April, 2016

CFP: Academia and Humanities at Nine Worlds 2016

April 15, 2016

For the past three years, the Nine Worlds convention hosted an academic conference. We ran a combination of solely academic sessions, as well as placing academic speakers on panels and tracks in a more casual manner – details of last year’s sessions on the Academia and History tracks are still available on the Nine Worlds website. This year, we’re looking for content in a similar vein for the new Academia and Humanities content area, which has an even broader remit than previous years’ Academia track.

With that in mind, we’re inviting submissions for papers and suggested panels, as well as volunteers to talk on pre-organised panels. All areas of study surrounding ‘geek media’ are accepted – from video games to classic fantasy, and we welcome submissions from anyone who is a current student or has graduated with a degree in a field related to their topic. Talks will be ideally 20-30 minutes in length, and the standard panel time is 1 hour.

Nine Worlds will take place August 12th-14th 2016 at Novotel London West. Tickets are available for purchase, and they will grant you access to the whole convention – not just the academic content.

Suggested areas of submission include:

Video Games and their impact/role within wider culture
Board, Social and Role-playing Games
Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature
Diversity and representation in geek culture
‘Geek’ film and TV
Research as a fannish practice
History and its relation to geek media/culture
Science and its relation to geek media/culture
Religion and philosophy and their relation to geek media/culture
Please ensure your paper/panel is suited to non-academics. Ideally, you may assume the audience has full knowledge of primary sources, but little secondary, so please take this into consideration. We intend to each session be accessible and understandable to those outside of the usual academic groups. In addition, please take note of our anti-harassment policy.

Please send a title, a 300 word abstract, your name and affiliation (the university you are currently at or most recently graduated from) to
The deadline for submissions is April 30th, 2016. This deadline is for abstracts/submissions to be a panellist only.

Registration will be completed through the purchase of a ticket to the convention as a whole. Accommodation should be booked separately by individual participants. All profits from the conference/convention will go to charity. Please do email if you have questions or concerns about finance, as we do have a limited budget available to assist those otherwise unable to attend.
Nine Worlds deliberately tries to promote parity of race, sexual orientation, genders and creeds as a part of its programming remit. We aim to follow this in our selection of panellists, and would also be interested in including papers or panels that address these issues. However, we are aware that some people do not want to discuss these as direct topics, and wish to be sensitive to this, so you will only be asked to speak on topics that you offer to.

Thank you,
Claire Wilkinson & Tony Keen
Academia and Humanities Content Group Organizers


CFP: Audiences and Adaptation: Literature/Film Quarterly Special Issue (Abstract Deadline May 1, 2016)

April 11, 2016

In his essay “Adaptation and New Media,” Michael Ryan Moore reflects on the status of adaptation studies in the digital age, stating that with new media “adaptation becomes a strategy of participation. Rather than develop wholly new works, audiences take ownership over existing media, adapting the stories, shows, and films that they most identify with.” In this special issue of LFQ, we seek to explore the role of audiences in adaptation and the manner in which adaptation is a participatory process. How do audiences make meaning out of adapted properties? What is the role of memory or nostalgia in adaptation? How might transmedia storytelling ask audiences to interact with texts in new and exciting ways? How does fan culture complicate existing models of author/encoder and spectator/decoder?

Adaptation studies have long asked useful and engaging questions concerning the textual and authorial dimensions of adaptation processes, but has not as readily addressed the role of audiences in this equation. Nor has the field engaged fully with the rich and innovative work done in reception studies. For this issue of LFQ, we seek to put adaptation studies and reception studies in conversation.

We welcome work that explores the complex relationship between adaptation and audiences from a variety of disciplinary, critical, and historical perspectives. Possible areas of inquiry may include, but are not limited to:

•Amateur, unauthorized, “sweded,” or fan–produced adaptations
•Cosplay, role-playing, and –Con festivals
•Fan love and cinephilia for adapted properties
•Fan hatred or rejection of adapted properties
•Franchises, multi-platform, and transmedia storytelling
•Scholar-fandom and autoethnography
•Adaptation as a mode of reception/fandom
•Remaking, rebooting, and the “reclaimed” text
•Stardom and adaptation
•Adaptation to/from video games and other participatory formats
•Oppositional reading or queering adaptation
•Fan or slash fiction; exploration or extension of storyworlds
•Adaptation and affect, emotion, or sensation
•Adaptation and nostalgia/memory
•Paratexts and/as adaptations
•Merchandising and collecting
•Advertising and marketing of adaptations
•Censorship, rating systems, test audiences, and boycotts
•Kickstarter and crowd-sourced film adaptations
•Exhibition practices and distribution of adaptations

Please submit a 500-800 word abstract in MLA style to by May 1, 2016. Your abstract should outline your working thesis and briefly sketch the theoretical framework(s) within which your essay will be situated. If accepted, full articles of 5,000 to 6,500 words must be submitted by October 3, 2016. The Special Issue will run in October 2017 as part of LFQ’s new online open access format.

Please email LFQ Assistant Editor Andrew Scahill at with any questions.

CFP: Neo-peplum Films and Television 1990 to Present

April 9, 2016

Neo-peplum Films and Television 1990 to Present

After the success of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator in 2000, the sword-and-sandal genre of films was officially resurrected and has not seen such a prolific output since its heyday in Italy in the late 1950s and 1960s. This second wave of peplum films – or more specifically “neo-peplum” to reflect this distinctive contemporary cycle – has achieved unprecedented critical and commercial success, with big screen films such as 300 to ambitiously realized small screen fare such as Spartacus and Rome. Marginal, critically panned and box office bombs such as Gods of Egypt still make an impact, contributing to the canon of films. With an upcoming remake of Ben-Hur on the horizon, films set in ancient Greek and Roman times, based on their mythologies or featuring gladiatorial combat or large centurion armies, are certainly in demand to theater-goers and Netflix binge watchers.
With such films enjoying popularity, it invites an academic gaze to unearth their cinematic importance beyond simple movie watching consumption. These films and television shows are definitely important: are they a reflection of our times? With our high tech lives, what is the fascination with depictions of the ancient world? With body and gender dialogue more open, what does this say about films that have a strong emphasis on the herculean male or Amazonian female?
This anthology is looking for essays that aim to explore this neo-peplum cycle of films that shares commonality to the original Italian films and Hollywood historic epics. The original peplum cycle of films began with Hercules in 1958, so it is appropriate to say the neo-peplum cycle begins anew with the Hercules character in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys of the 1990s. This anthology seeks to solidify the neo-peplum genre as a distinct term and re-appropriate it to specifically refer to sword-and-sandal films and television shows made after 1990 and evaluate these entries in a variety of interdisciplinary lenses and frameworks.

Potential Essay Topics
A list of possible (but not comprehensive) topics and themes that contributors could submit on:
Anti-Peplum – exploring change in tone from adventure and action to more dramatic and gritty stories
Portrayal of women from vamps and damsels in the original peplum cycle to Xena-inspired characters in the present cycle (Xena, The Arena)
General Masculinity/Femininity portrayal
Compare/contrast original Italian cycle with present cycle
Compare/contrast original stories/characters with remakes (Hercules remakes, Clash of Titans remake)
Close reading at source material and how neo-peplum films interpret them
Neo-peplums as allegory for present day politics
Peplums for young adults (Gods of Egypt)
Neo-peplums combining with other genres – such as sci-fi (John Carter) or disaster film (Pompeii)
Ancient worlds portrayed in “hyper-realistic” fashion
Mono-myth and neo-peplum characters
Auteur theory and neo-peplum directors (Timur Bekmambetov and The Arena)
Pastiche, parody, subversion (Hail, Caesar!, Meet the Spartans)
Representations of race, white-washing
Fans, fandom and fan cultures of neo-peplum series (Hercules, Xena, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson)
Shakespeare, tragedy (Titus)

Authors are encouraged to submit more than one abstract. If you have multiple great ideas for potential essay chapters, feel free to submit each one. I will assemble the most cohesive arrangement of essays that will provide the most well-rounded discussion of neo-peplum films.

Films and Television Series
Below is a list of potential films and television series post 1990 that could potentially fit into the neo-peplum formula. This list is by no means complete, but it is presented to give examples of the types of films/TV shows that fit within this genre and to inspire creative ideas for the films to write about. Not all neo-peplum films deal directly with ancient Greece or Rome, as some of the aesthetics and styles are being used for Egyptian, Viking and barbarian themed films as well. This list is only a guide; other films and TV shows that are neo-peplum-like will certainly be entertained for this book.
300 (2007), 300: Rise of an Empire (2014), Agora (2009), Alexander (2004), The Arena (2001), Centurion (2010), Clash of the Titans (2010), The Eagle (2011), Gladiator (2000), Gods of Egypt (2016), Hail, Caesar! (2016), Hercules (1997), Hercules (2014), Immortals (2011), John Carter (2012), The Last Legion (2007), Meet the Spartans (2008), Pompeii (2014), Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010), The Scorpion King (2002) and its sequels, Titus (1999), Troy (2004), Wrath of the Titans (2012)
Television Series
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995-1999), Rome (2005-2007), Spartacus (2010–2013), Vikings (2013-present), Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001), Young Hercules (1998-1999)

Publication Timetable
Below follows a generous timetable at essay composition, editing and submitting:
June 30, 2016 – Deadline for abstract submissions
July 10, 2016 – Notification of acceptance, distribution of style guide
December 4, 2016 – Chapter drafts are due
April 29, 2017 – Chapter revisions due
May 31, 2017 – Submission of manuscript to the publisher
Drafts and revisions are strongly encouraged to be submitted before the deadlines. The essays will follow Chicago style citations. The style guide when disseminated will round out the essay specifications.

Abstract Submission Instructions
Please submit your abstract(s) of roughly 500 words along with your academic CV/resume and preliminary bibliography to the email address below before June 30th. Please use an appropriate subject line when submitting – have it contain the phrase “neo-peplum submission.” I will confirm each submission via email within 48 hours.
Essayists will receive a contributor’s copy of the book when it is published.

Nicholas Diak, editor

Nicholas Diak is an independent pop culture scholar residing in southern California. He has a strong interest in neofolk and post-industrial music, exploitation cinema, Italian genre films and H.P. Lovecraft. He has contributed to the book James Bond and Popular Culture: Essays on the Influence of the Fictional Superspy (McFarland, 2014) and has an essay appearing in an upcoming anthology on space-horror films. He is a frequent presenter at the Southwest Popular/American Culture Conference, a contributor to the website Heathen Harvest and a member of the H.P. Lovecast Podcast. He is also an academic member of the Horror Writers Association and National Coalition of Independent Scholars.

#peplum #neo-peplum #spartacus #rome #300 #gladiator