Monthly Archives: January 2015

Reminder: deadline soon!

This is just a gentle reminder that the deadline for submitting abstracts for our upcoming conference ‘Being Non/Human: Bodily Borders’ is Monday 2nd February 2015. Our conference focuses on the suspension between the non/human and the borderlands of non/humanity, examining how such borders are defined, transgressed or denied altogether. The conference will take place on Wednesday 17th June 2015 at Queen Mary, University of London. Please send abstracts (250 words) for twenty minute papers or panel proposals to: being.non.human AT

We look forward to reading your abstracts!


Possibly of interest: PhD Studentship and a CFP

Some of our members might be interested in the following:

PhD Studentship in Literature, Animal Studies and Sustainability:

Applications are invited from well-qualified candidates to study for a PhD in the School of English at the University of Sheffield, on the topic of ‘Meat Consumption and the Idea of Animals as Resources’.

This studentship will trace the historical emergence of our current ideas of animal resources by studying the interactions of humans and meat animals in literature from the nineteenth century to the present. The student will have the flexibility to collate a suitable corpus of texts and explore their own inquiry, guided by these research questions:

1. What mix of attitudes is involved in thinking of an animal as a resource?
2. How do such attitudes vary in different practices of food production?
3. What other roles can animals play in addition to their designation as resources?

It is envisaged that there will be three case studies, focusing on both production and consumption: small-scale farming; large-scale farming and trawler fishing.

The University of Sheffield is Sheffield is a leading centre for the study of the literary, cultural and political representation of animals. The successful applicant will join a vibrant community of scholars working in this area, including the co-supervisors Robert McKay and John Miller (English), and the supervisory team of Alasdair Cochrane (Politics) and Umberto Albarella (Zooarchaeology).

Funded by the interdisciplinary Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, this is a prestigious, four-year studentship fully funded at UK/EU or International rates. Support for travel and consumables (RTSG) will also be made available at standard rate of £2,563 per annum, with an additional one-off allowance of £1,000 for a computer in the first year. Students will receive an annual stipend of £16,913 in 2015/16, rising with inflation thereafter. Applications should be received and complete by 28th February 2015.

For more information and application details please follow this link:

Call for Papers (note: deadline soon!):
Tales Beyond Borders: A conference exploring the intercultural role of fairy tales, folk tales, and fantasy literature
23 – 25 April 2015

Tales Beyond Borders is a two-day international conference (24th-25th April) and a postgraduate/early career researcher workshop (23rd April), all of which is being organized by the ‘Reading the Fantastic’ Graduate Research Group at the University of Leeds. Through these events, we aim to bring together those working in various aspects of  fantasy studies (taking a wide interpretation for this category) in order to study and discuss this emerging field of research from a cross/multi – cultural and interdisciplinary perspective. Tales Beyond Borders offers a broad approach to the investigation of fantasy texts, reaching into spheres such as theatre, comics, film, art history, and the storytelling classroom (to name a few) in addition to literary texts. We hope to contribute to the field by gathering connections among multiple fantasy traditions, ranging from the complexities of classical mythology to long nineteenth-century fairy tale collections, the cognitive literary analysis of folk traditions to issues in translation of fantastic texts, and beyond. By doing so, we will explore the role of fairy tales, folk tales, and fantasy texts as spaces of multi-cultural invention and intervention.

Keynote speakers include the following:
  1. Dr Nicola Bown (Birkbeck University of London)
  2. Dr Alaric Hall (University of Leeds)
  3. Justina Robson, science fiction and fantasy writer
  4. Peter Stevenson, fairy tale illustrator and storyteller

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  •  Current theories in analyzing fairy tales, folk tales, and fantasy literature
  •  Complexities around representations and interpretations of the fantastic and the speculative both within and beyond historical contexts and period categorizations
  •  Problems in translating elements of the fantastic across cultures, disciplines, and geographic areas
  •  How the fantastic relates to constructions and representations of gender and ethnicity
  •  Perceptions of the fantastic within/across generational and inter-generational contexts (e.g. children’s literature, young adult fiction, etc.)
  • Exploring genre classifications and boundaries within the fantastic and the speculative (touching on the gothic, the uncanny, mythologies, romances, the monstrous and science fiction to name a few examples)
  • Recently discovered texts  (visual, vocal, written, and others), reimagined, and/or adapted texts
  •  Connections across mediums that deal with the fantastic – art, literature, film, music, drama, graphics
  • Using fairy tales, folk tales, and fantasy literature in classroom, community, and digital contexts

We welcome proposals from postgraduate students, established scholars, independent researchers, writers, and artists from any background. Papers can be on any subject or discipline in relation to fairy tales, folk tales, and fantasy literature but we encourage these topics to question or address ideas and crossings of boundaries between/within conceptions of the fantastic and the speculative. Proposal abstracts must be between 200-300 words; please send abstracts, along with a biography (100 words maximum) of the prospective speaker(s), to (using the term ‘ TBB conference abstract’ in the subject heading).

The deadline for the submission of abstracts and biographies is 31st January 2015.