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The Conference Schedule:
The conference generally begins mid-day on Wednesday with a short opening ceremony followed by one slot of paper sessions. After this, there is time for dinner and then a welcome reception.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are filled with paper sessions, panels, author readings, and other events. There are usually 5 slots for programming each day and about 5 or 6 tracks of programming running during each time slot. There is also programming in the evenings on Thursday and Friday.

Friday is also the Guest Scholar luncheon. The price of this is included in your registration. In addition to this, there is the Guest of Honor luncheon (Thursday) and the awards banquet (Saturday evening). Tickets for either of these last two events can be purchased with your registration or at the registration desk at the conference. While you do not have to participate in the luncheon and banquet, the meals provide keynote speeches and a chance to mingle with other people who share your research interests. There is a farewell reception immediately following the banquet.

People start arriving at the conference as early as Monday and Tuesday, and there are a number of people who stay until the following Monday. If you want to participate in all the programming, you will want to make sure that you are arriving in Lauderdale not much later than noon on Wednesday, and that you are leaving sometime on Sunday.

This year the ICFA is offering a day trip to Universal Studios on Sunday, March 23. 2008. Seating is limited and details can be found at www.iafa.org in the registration form.

Since I have received a number of proposals from graduate students who are first-time ICFA presenters, I figured I needed to post about two programs especially for graduate students.

Graduate Student Mentoring Program:

If you are a graduate student who is new to the conference, we have a mentoring program where you are matched up with a long-time conference attendee (hopefully with similar research interests) who can answer questions you might have before the conference and while you are there. The program can be very helpful, and there is an opening-night reception for participants in the program just before the welcome reception. Please contact me if you want more information on the program. I have been a mentor for the last two years, and it was a lot of fun. I have posted more information about this program at the CC Livejournal here: You can also read more about it at the IAFA website (www.iafa.org).

Graduate Student Award:
Each year, the conference gives an award and cash prize to the best paper submitted by a graduate student, and I would encourage those of you eligible to apply. I have posted more information about this award and application process at the CC Livejournal here: You can also read more about it at the IAFA website (www.iafa.org).

Other Administrivia:
You do not need to submit a completed paper to me in advance of the conference, although you do need to be ready to present during your scheduled session. If you are a first-time presenter, people will often do trial readings for timing and presentation before their sessions, so you can likely find someone who will listen to a trial run.

Also, please prepare a brief bio that your session chair can use to introduce you at your paper session. You do not want to have to be frantically scribbling one out just before the session is set to begin.

If anyone has any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.
 
 
16 December 2007 @ 01:10 pm
For those of you new to ICFA, I have a list of some pointers about making travel plans collected over the last eight years of attending the conference. If you are planning on booking early, which I strongly recommend, here are some pointers.

Flying into and out of Orlando :
Orlando is a popular vacation destination. Because of that, getting flights at reasonable times and prices can be a challenge. Conference rates at the hotel extend several days before and after the conference, and you may be able to save significantly on airfare if you explore flight options on different days.

For example, while flying to the conference has never been problematic, getting out after the conference (on a weekend) can be more difficult. My first three or four years attending the conference I was able to get flights out of Fort Lauderdale (ICFA's old venue) on Sunday: Sunday at 7:15 AM. I don't know about the rest of you, but I am not a morning person. Getting up at 5:00 AM (probably earlier now because of post-911 security) does not appeal in the slightest. However, I kept booking the early flights because ones later in the afternoon tended to be hundreds of dollars more.

If you don't mind early flights and book early, you shouldn't have a problem. However, if you have the flexibility, you can book a flight out on Monday instead of Sunday. Fares can sometimes be more reasonable, and seats more plentiful. For me, flying on Monday works out to be about the same price as flying out Sunday afternoon (when I factor in the extra day at the hotel) plus it gives me a day to relax in lovely Florida before heading back to the miserable weather up north.

Whichever option you choose, book early.

The Orlando Airport Marriott:
When booking your room at the hotel, do ask for the conference rate (mention "IAF" or the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts), which should be $125 per night (plus tax). You can call the Marriott's main number at 800.380.6751 ext. 9290 or call the Orlando Airport Marriott directly at 407.851.9000. In the past, I have had an easier time making my reservations with the hotel itself rather than their national number. Book your room before February 13, 2008 to lock in the conference rate. The rate extends several days before and after the conference, March 16 - 24, 2008.

As those of you who were at the conference last year know, this is going to be our first year in Orlando. We are looking forward to a more modern hotel with more amenities. You can get a brief tour of the new hotel on the website at www.iafa.org.

If you are looking for a roommate to help share costs, the best way to do it is to sign up for the IAFA listserv. There are often calls for roommates posted there. Alternately, you can let me know, and I can put out a feeler to the list for you or perhaps be able to suggest someone else in presenting in the division (who may share your research interests) who is also looking for a roommate.

While temperatures outside the hotel tend to be in the 75-85 degree range (Fahrenheit), temperatures inside may be decidedly frostier. If you are bothered by a lot of air conditioning, bring a sweater or wrap of some kind because some of the rooms will be on the cool side. Others will not, so it's best to have something you can put on and take off as necessary.

There is a free airport shuttle for transportation to and from the airport. However, you are on your own as far as getting around the town if you want to sightsee. Some people will rent cars, and there is a possibility of carpooling with them from time to time. However, if you want to be sure you have the flexibility to get around without depending on others, there are plenty of taxis and rental car companies, if you want to visit some of the areas attractions.

There are two restaurants at the hotel, and many others are within walking distance of the hotel. Those of you who are returning to the conference should find this a welcome change from the old Fort Lauderdale venue.
 
 
16 December 2007 @ 01:07 pm
I've participated in the mentoring program run by the Student Caucus for the last several years, and it is a very worthwhile program that can make navigating the conference easier and more enjoyable. If you have attended ICFA before, consider signing up to be a mentor. If this is your first conference, think about being a mentee.

Here is some additional information about the program from the IAFA website (www.iafa.org).

Since 2001, the IAFA Student Caucus (SCIAFA) has sponsored a Mentoring Program aimed at helping student scholars to find their way around ICFA, discover the natural friendliness of the conference as quickly as possible, use ICFA as an entrance into existing scholarly communities concerned with the fantastic, and leave with both fond memories of the supporting organization and plans to return.

The success of this program depends upon its volunteer participants, and this is your chance to sign up as either a mentor or mentee. IAFA and SCIAFA will be co-sponsoring a designated space where mentors and mentees can meet at the opening Conference Reception on Wednesday evening, 19 March 2008. Attendance at this meeting is the primary task to be undertaken by both mentor and mentee. If you would like to take part in the program in either role but are unable to attend the opening reception, we encourage you to sign up anyway and arrange a more convenient meeting time with your partner. The mentor-mentee pairs will be matched up by the current SCIAFA representative. For this reason, if you interested in joining this new program, please answer the following questions and send them to the SCIAFA representative at the e-mail address given below. Please fill out this information in order to sign up for either position.

1. What is your name?
2. What is your e-mail address?
3. What is your institutional affiliation?
4. What would you consider to be your main interests in the field of the fantastic?
5. When will you be arriving at the conference?
6. When will you be departing from the conference?
7. Are you currently planning to attend the conference reception on Wednesday evening?
8. Which role are you signing up for, mentor or mentee?

A wide variety of IAFA's members have expressed their eagerness to take part in this program, and we're very excited to be able to offer it. Please take a moment now to decide whether you would like to be a part of this program and return your questionnaire as soon as possible to Brecken Hancock at brecken.hancock AT unb DOT ca
 
 
16 December 2007 @ 01:06 pm
Some of you have requested more information on the Graduate Student Award. The following is the text from the IAFA website (www.iafa.org) that explains the award and application process in more detail. I would encourage all graduate students to consider applying for the award.

IAFA GRADUATE STUDENT AWARD
The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts presents an annual award and stipend to the graduate student submitting the most outstanding paper at the Association's conference. The award, and a check for $250, will be presented to the winner at the Awards Banquet on Saturday evening. Students must submit their completed paper (3500 words, excluding bibliography) and verification of student status by February 1.

CRITERIA AND INSTRUCTIONS
The student will have had a paper accepted for presentation at the conference. The paper submitted for the competition should be essentially the same as that presented at the conference. The maximum length for entries is 3500 words (about 2 pages over the recommended reading length of 8-9 pages), excluding bibliography/works cited page. Students should be aware that funds are limited and that only one award will be given. The paper selected will be published in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, and therefore must not have been previously published or submitted for publication elsewhere. Please note that acceptance of a paper for the Conference does not guarantee an award.

It is the responsibility of the student to send a copy of the paper by 1 February 2008 to the IAFA Student-Support Committee's Chair, as well as a copy of the letter of acceptance and verification of student status. Submissions should be in MSWord or rich text format (rtf) files, sent as e-mail attachments to Robin Anne Reid, Student Support Committee Chair, at:

Robin_Reid AT tamu-commerce.edu
Rrede13 AT yahoo.com

Students may be in master's or doctoral programs, at any stage of their program (taking courses, taking exams, writing theses or dissertations), as long as they are currently enrolled. Verification of student status could be a letter of confirmation from a director or advisor, a copy of a student ID, etc.

Support documents may be sent as attached files to the same addresses or sent by mail to:

Robin Anne Reid
Department of Literature and Languages
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Commerce, TX 75429

The committee is looking for good writing: clear, coherent, and interesting. Essays should be solidly grounded in scholarly tradition, showing awareness of previous studies and of historical contexts. Essays may use any suitable method of analysis, including historical and sociological approaches as well as those which originate in literary theory. Judges tend to value the ability to examine materials from a theoretical perspective without simply plugging in a particular critical method. Essays should give a clear idea of the critical/theoretical framework within which the discussion will be situated, as well as identify primary and secondary texts for the discussion.

A copy of these criteria and an application form can be found at www,iafa.org in the Awards section of the website.
 
 
13 December 2007 @ 11:13 am
 Hi, I am doing a PhD on slash fanfic (because I write slash fanfic). There is no-one else at my Uni doing anything remotely along the same line as me, so I would like to get in contact with some fellow slash academics to chat, and hopefully to get information that I have trouble finding by myself, such as potential conferences etc. I already have a PhD in Molecular Biology (a glutton for punishment, I know, but it was about time I did something just because I was interested, not to get a career!), and teach part time. So ... this is just an initial Hi, here I am ... hope to hear from some of you soon (or see you, as we Aussies say).
 
 
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
 
 
 
Participants are being sought for paper sessions on Fan Art, Fiction, and Culture for the 29th Annual International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts.

The focus of ICFA 29 is on the sublime in the fantastic, and while papers relating to this theme are welcome, proposals on any topics related to this call will be considered. The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, from March 19 - 23, 2008 at the Marriott Orlando Marriott Hotel. For more information and updates about the conference, please visit www.iafa.org.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

Comparative studies of fan fiction writers and communities
Slash, het, or gen fiction
Interactions between writers and fandoms.
Fan fiction genres (e.g., hurt-comfort, BDSM, MPREG, incest, etc)
Relationships between writers and their controlling narratives
Real-person fictions (i.e., actor versus character fictions)
Tensions between fanon and canon
Selling fannish creations
Photo manipulation and "vidding"
The role of the Internet in building fan communities and shaping fannish interactions
Fan and media convention culture
Representations of self/identity in fandom
Fandom-specific language, how communication evolves for and out of the community
Filking
Costuming and cosplay
Fan art

Any fandoms based on fantasy or science fiction, or horror television, film, comics, gaming, anime, and manga are welcome.

If you are interesting in submitting a paper, proposals should include a 500-word abstract and appropriate bibliography indicating the project's scholarly or theoretical context. Be sure to include current/working contact information (snailmail AND email addresses). Also note whether your presentation would require audio-visual equipment.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Barbara Lucas, Division Head
Community and Culture in the Fantastic Division
DFS
31225 Bainbridge Road, Suite M
Solon, OH 44139
barbedwriting@yahoo.com

The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2007. However, proposals will be reviewed and accepted as they are received.

You can review all conference information at the IAFA website: www.iafa.org. Bookmark the site to keep checking back for updates. For information and updates specific to the Community and Culture Division, visit http://community.livejournal.com/ccfantastic/.

Please feel free to forward this call to other listservs and individuals who might be interested.
 
 
Participants are being sought for paper sessions on Video Game Theory and Culture for the 29th Annual International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts.

The focus of ICFA 29 is on the sublime in the fantastic, and while papers relating to this theme are welcome, proposals on any topics related to this call will be considered. The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, from March 19 - 23, 2008 at the Marriott Orlando Marriott Hotel. For more information and updates about the conference, please visit www.iafa.org.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following topics:

Virtual environments and bodies
Gaming communities
Avatars
Performance
Role-playing
Narrative structure and strategy
Online gaming
The economics of gaming
Game-specific language, how communication evolves for and out of the medium
Immersion
Gaming psychology
Differences in gamer engagement with game based on medium (e.g., table top, visual online, textual online, etc.)
Games and learning
Game genres and series
Representations of self/identity in online games, MUSHes, etc.
Gender and sexuality in games/gaming

Any games based on fantasy or science fiction, or horror premises, including media tie-ins, for any electronic platform as well as online games (even ones that are mostly text based, e.g., MUSHes, etc.).

If you are interesting in submitting a paper, proposals should include a 500-word abstract and appropriate bibliography indicating the project's scholarly or theoretical context. Be sure to include current/working contact information (snailmail AND email addresses). Also note whether your presentation would require audio-visual equipment.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Barbara Lucas, Division Head
Community and Culture in the Fantastic Division
DFS
31225 Bainbridge Road, Suite M
Solon, OH 44139
barbedwriting@yahoo.com

The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2007. However, proposals will be reviewed and accepted as they are received.

You can review all conference information at the IAFA website: www.iafa.org. Bookmark the site to keep checking back for updates. For information and updates specific to the Community and Culture Division, visit http://community.livejournal.com/ccfantastic/.

Please feel free to forward this call to other listservs and individuals who might be interested.
 
 
Participants are being sought for paper sessions on Buying and Selling Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror for the 29th Annual International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts.

The focus of ICFA 29 is on the sublime in the fantastic, and while papers relating to this theme are welcome, proposals on any topics related to this call will be considered. The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, from March 19 - 23, 2008 at the Marriott Orlando Marriott Hotel. For more information and updates about the conference, please visit www.iafa.org.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following topics:

Viral Marketing Campaigns
Alternate Reality Games (ARG's).
Specific marketing campaigns for movies, books, television series, video games
Interaction between corporate entities and communities of consumers
Barter/trading systems versus cash exchange economies
Collecting and memorabilia
Collectible card gaming

If you are interesting in submitting a paper, proposals should include a 500-word abstract and appropriate bibliography indicating the project's scholarly or theoretical context. Be sure to include current/working contact information (snailmail AND email addresses). Also note whether your presentation would require audio-visual equipment.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Barbara Lucas, Division Head
Community and Culture in the Fantastic Division
DFS
31225 Bainbridge Road, Suite M
Solon, OH 44139
barbedwriting@yahoo.com

The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2007. However, proposals will be reviewed and accepted as they are received.

You can review all conference information at the IAFA website: www.iafa.org. Bookmark the site to keep checking back for updates. For information and updates specific to the Community and Culture Division, visit http://community.livejournal.com/ccfantastic/.

Please feel free to forward this call to other listservs and individuals who might be interested.
 
 
Participants are being sought for paper sessions on Hypertexts, New Media, and Convergence in the Fantastic for the 29th Annual International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts.

The focus of ICFA 29 is on the sublime in the fantastic, and while papers relating to this theme are welcome, proposals on any topics related to this call will be considered. The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, from March 19 - 23, 2008 at the Marriott Orlando Marriott Hotel. For more information and updates about the conference, please visit www.iafa.org.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following topics:

The fantastic in blogs, LiveJournal, JournalFen, YouTube, PodCasting
Ebooks and magazines
Hypertexts
Cross-media storytelling (e.g., The Matrix films relying on video games and anime to add narrative layers/detail to the work as a whole)
Non-traditional means of publicity (e.g, Internet-only trailers, writers' blogs, etc.)
The role of "fictional" blogs and websites (corporate-run behind the scenes)

If you are interesting in submitting a paper, proposals should include a 500-word abstract and appropriate bibliography indicating the project's scholarly or theoretical context. Be sure to include current/working contact information (snailmail AND email addresses). Also note whether your presentation would require audio-visual equipment.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Barbara Lucas, Division Head
Community and Culture in the Fantastic Division
DFS
31225 Bainbridge Road, Suite M
Solon, OH 44139
barbedwriting@yahoo.com

The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2007. However, proposals will be reviewed and accepted as they are received.

You can review all conference information at the IAFA website: www.iafa.org. Bookmark the site to keep checking back for updates. For information and updates specific to the Community and Culture Division, visit http://community.livejournal.com/ccfantastic/.

Please feel free to forward this call to other listservs and individuals who might be interested.
 
 
Participants are being sought for paper sessions on Sociology and Folklore in the Fantastic for the 29th Annual International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts.

The focus of ICFA 29 is on the sublime in the fantastic, and while papers relating to this theme are welcome, proposals on any topics related to this call will be considered. The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, from March 19 - 23, 2008 at the Marriott Orlando Marriott Hotel. For more information and updates about the conference, please visit www.iafa.org.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following topics:

How audiences/communities construct their own folklore, legends, and urban legends
Archiving and transmission of community folklore and legend
How folklore, myth, and legend impact individual and group expressions of identity
Linguistic and philosophical elements of folklore, myth, and urban legend and how these impact audience interaction with the texts
How fantastical personae impact the expression and definition of personal identity
Media representations of fantastical communities

If you are interesting in submitting a paper, proposals should include a 500-word abstract and appropriate bibliography indicating the project's scholarly or theoretical context. Be sure to include current/working contact information (snailmail AND email addresses). Also note whether your presentation would require audio-visual equipment.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Barbara Lucas, Division Head
Community and Culture in the Fantastic Division
DFS
31225 Bainbridge Road, Suite M
Solon, OH 44139
barbedwriting@yahoo.com

The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2007. However, proposals will be reviewed and accepted as they are received.

You can review all conference information at the IAFA website: www.iafa.org. Bookmark the site to keep checking back for updates. For information and updates specific to the Community and Culture Division, visit http://community.livejournal.com/ccfantastic/.

Please feel free to forward this call to other listservs and individuals who might be interested.