Call for Papers: Concepts in Popular Genre Fiction

Call for Papers: Concepts in Popular Genre Fiction

Deakin University, 6-8 December 2021

Convenors: Dr Jodi McAlister and Dr Helen Young

Popular genre fiction is an expansive field, covering a myriad of different kinds of texts and narratives. However, critical discussions of popular genre fiction often centre on value – is it good for us? is it bad for us? is it progressive? is it conservative?

By contrast, this virtual symposium, to be held 6-8 December through Deakin University as part of the Literature and its Readers research network, seeks to open up different sorts of questions, in order to consider other ways of examining, analysing, and utilising popular genre fiction. Specifically, we seek papers exploring concepts, ideas, and motifs, and the role that they play in popular genre/s. Example topics might include:

  • Justice in crime fiction
  • Pets in romance fiction
  • Swords in fantasy fiction
  • Home in horror fiction
  • Death in science fiction

(This list is obviously non-exhaustive – the possibilities are endless!)

Papers for this symposium will take the form of ten minute podcast recordings. We will also consider longer discussions on a theme: for example, three scholars might propose a 25-30 minute audio discussion about monsters in paranormal romance fiction, or food in cosy crime fiction, or archery in young adult dystopian fiction, or [endless list of possibilities goes here].

These recordings are asynchronous, and will be released on the symposium dates. The symposium will also feature synchronous Zoom keynotes and panel discussions from some leading scholars in popular fiction studies. Keynotes and panels will be announced as information becomes available.

We encourage submissions from scholars located anywhere in the world. Submissions from graduate students and early career researchers are especially welcome.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 150 words to Jodi McAlister ([email protected])  by 31 August 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Jodi McAlister ([email protected]) or Helen Young ([email protected])



12 July 2021 – abstract submissions open

31 August 2021 – abstract submissions close

15 September 2021 – notices of acceptance sent

1 November 2021 – ten minute podcast recordings to be delivered

6 December 2021 – symposium goes live

Category list: Conferences

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