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CFP: Reconfiguring Human and Non-Human: Texts, Images and Beyond

In recent years, scholars of different fields have turned their gaze to the complex relations between humans and non-humans. Theorists and thinkers of ecocriticism, animal ethics, queer studies, disability studies and numerous other disciplines have challenged the humanist notions that place (certain kinds of) human beings above all the “other” creatures, with whom we share our world. In the meantime, our material existence has been reconfigured by the human genome project, in-vitro meat, custom-made pharmacology, bioart and other scientific developments. Consequently, (re)definitions and (re)imaginations of humans and non-humans have gained new emphasis in cultural studies, as have the complex material-social entanglements of the production and reception of art and media. As our culture becomes saturated with technology and we begin to notice the consequences of human experiments and exploitation of nature, these questions of human‒non-human relations become more urgent by the day.

In the interdisciplinary seminar RECONFIGURING HUMAN AND NON-HUMAN: TEXTS, IMAGES AND BEYOND, we explore how humans and non-humans are represented, (re)imagined ‒ or, indeed, remade ‒ across arts and media. What political and ethical implications do cultural texts and images of human and non-human embodiments have? Can we really re-imagine non-humans beyond the humanist conceptions of human supremacy? How are art and media productions created in the complex material-social relations that encompass the spheres of both human and non-human? Can we step outside our limited perspectives by creating or engaging with human and non-human characters?

We invite papers on topics that include (but are not limited to):

- boundaries and relations between human and animal, organic and inorganic, animate and inanimate, living and non-living in art and media
- definitions and ontology of (fictional) characters; identification with or affective responses to human and non-human characters and figures
- (representations of) human and non-human embodiments in art and media; aliens, monsters, cyborgs and the “other others” of speculative fiction
- unnatural narratology; human and non-human narrators and narratees
- posthumanism and ecocriticism across art and media; reconfiguring the ethics of the non-human through texts, images and artistic practices
- human encounters with technology in or through art and media; intersections of art and science; bioart
- disabled and enhanced bodies in art and media; body modification and body as a medium

The seminar will take place at the University of Jyväskylä, Central Finland on 29‒30 of October. We are now looking for academics and artists of all levels and fields to present their papers and to participate in the international, interdisciplinary discussion the seminar aims to facilitate. The event is particularly suitable for researchers of art, culture, media and (post)humanist philosophy but abstracts from all academic and artistic fields are welcome.

Please send your abstract of 200‒300 words and information on your institutional affiliation to aino-kaisa.koistinen(a)jyu.fi by August 9, 2015. Panel proposals (200‒300 words, 3‒4 panelists) are also welcome. We will contact all respondents shortly after the deadline. Should you have any questions, you are welcome to contact the organizing committee at: aino-kaisa.koistinen(a)jyu.fi or essi.e.varis(a)jyu.fi.

We are proud to present the second issue of Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research in the year 2015! The issue can be read at http://journal.finfar.org.

Interesting texts and topics are abundant in the newest issue. The articles examine female protagonists in self-insertion fan fiction texts based on Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels and concentrate on the central role of water in the poetics of Rikki Ducornet’s novel The Fountains of Neptune.

We are also proud to present the first lectio praecursoria in the history of Fafnir, one investigating the so called human question in science fiction television. The issue also contains a report of the 36th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts and two literary reviews in two Nordic languages.

Please do remember that Fafnir welcomes submissions of research articles, short overviews, academic book reviews, essays, opinion pieces and the like. More detailed information on the journal and the upcoming issues is available at journal.finfar.org.

The next issue is scheduled for September 2015. In the meantime, Fafnir wishes our readers a warm and relaxing summer!

Remember to join Fafnir’s Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fafnirjournal.

Best regards,

Jyrki Korpua, Hanna-Riikka Roine & Päivi Väätänen
Editors-in-chief, Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research
e-mail: submissions@finfar.org
http://journal.finfar.org

We are proud to present the first issue of Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research in the year 2015!

This first issue of Fafnir’s second year is multilingual and focuses mainly on the works of science fiction. We are happy to publish our first peer reviewed article in Finnish, discussing The Quantum Thief, the debut novel by Finnish writer Hannu Rajaniemi. The other article included in this issue uses the tools of posthumanism and posthumanist studies to discuss the changes in the world influenced by technology.

These articles are fruits of the annual Finfar seminar, which was held in Jyväskylä, Finland, in July 2014. The issue also contains a report from the seminar, an overview of Fafnir’s first eventful year and a literary review of a recent collection discussing the classic fantasy theory of Tzvetan Todorov.

Please do remember that Fafnir welcomes submissions of research articles, short overviews, academic book reviews, essays, opinion pieces and the like. See more detailed information on our current call for papers. The issue 3/2015 will be the first Fafnir with a specific theme and it is going to focus on the history of science fiction and fantasy research in the Nordic countries.

The first year of Fafnir was a thrill – but there are still many articles and texts to be published. We hope that you are looking forward to this year as much as we do!

Remember to join Fafnir’s Facebook group!

BORDERS -- Call for Workshop Proposals

VIII Conference on Cultural Studies
December 3−4, 2015, University of Oulu, Finland

The 8th Conference on Cultural Studies in Finland will take place on December 3−4, 2015 at the University of Oulu. The theme of this year’s conference is Borders. The conference discusses and problematizes the meanings and manifestations of various kinds of borders, both concrete and more metaphorical or symbolic by nature. Borders can mark distinction and otherness, wherein exclusion is made on grounds of gender, ethnicity, class, culture, or language, for instance. On the other hand, borders can be crossed and blurred, as for example in multidisciplinary research of which Cultural Studies itself is a good example. Borders can also function as an inclusive construction, in which case their significance lies in their ability to connect. However, defining borders is often more or less an artificial act, as for example the discussion concerning imagined communities has demonstrated. Therefore borders can also be deconstructed and made open to negotiations.

We are now inviting workshop proposals on topics related to the theme of the conference. An abstract (max. 300 words) should be sent to rajat@oulu.fi no later than March 31, 2015. The workshop chairs will be notified of the approval by April 15, 2015. The workshops can be held in Finnish, Swedish, Sami or English. Upon submitting your proposal, please inform the committee which of the conference days (Thu, Fri, or both) is best suitable for your workshop.

The conference is organized by the Society for Cultural Studies in Finland and the University of Oulu.

Welcome to Oulu!

Organizing Committee of Borders − The 8th Conference on Cultural Studies in Finland
Society for Cultural Studies in Finland

For more information, visit http://kultut.fi