CFP: Fictional Maps

International Conference: Fictional Maps
21st -23rd January 2016

Mapping the imaginary has always been a challenge for world-building and storytelling alike. Map of the fictional world subverts the very essence of an actual cartography: it represents a territory that cannot be discovered or traversed in a non-fictional realm and yet it delivers much more than a usual map: a promise of the journey into unknown. An exquisitely quotable phrase coined by J. R. R. Tolkien, who claimed to “start writing with a map and [then] make the story fit” is only reprising what have always been evident to cartographers and creators of imaginary worlds: maps precede territories and are inevitably becoming the most essential part of modern and postmodern storyworlds. Ambrosius Holbein’s woodcut in the first edition of Thomas More’s Utopia, collectors editions map in video games, atlases of fictional universes, animated map routes in online reportages, or even interactive maps outlining the worlds of blockbuster TV shows—these are all indications of a significant shift in contemporary storytelling that looks for creating many and more access points to the fictional storyworld. Hence conference attendees will be asked to submit abstracts of presentations or posters’ descriptions revolving around:

– fictional topography and geopotics;
– map theory & theorists;
– the dichotomy of a map and a territory;
– ways of mapping the imaginary;
– fictional cartography (maps, atlases, mini-maps, plans, charts, etc.);
– maps of secondary, imaginary, fictional, possible or impossible worlds;
– relationship between world-building and map-making;
– function of maps: between navigating and augmenting the world;
– navigating the actual and the imaginary: Tim Ingold’s trail-following and wayfaring;
– case studies in literature;
– case studies in video games;
– case studies in movies and TV shows;
– case studies in comic books, graphic novels and other media;
– case studies in transmedia storytelling and transmedial franchises;
– case studies in fictional worlds;

Confirmed keynote speaker:
STEFAN EKMAN (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), author of the book Here Be Dragons. Exploring Fantasy Maps & Settings. (Wesleyan UP 2013).

The conference language shall be English. 600-words abstracts of presentations or posters featuring (1) the title of presentation or poster, (2) a concise bio-note, (3) current affiliation, and (4) all necessary contact information should be submitted until October 30th 2015 at Notifications on both accepted and rejected submissions shall be sent no sooner than in two weeks from the deadline. Poster presentations will be displayed during the poster session and accompanied by a general discussion with the presenters.

The conference fee will be 150€ (125€ for students) for the full coverage of English editions of printed conference materials and all other essentials. Polish attendees will be kindly asked to transfer the equivalent of the fee in local currency (600 PLN, 400 PLN for students).

Any further details regarding the venue, accommodation and transportation will be continuously updated at the website Organisers are also open to answering all questions and requests at
The conference will be followed by a peer-reviewed monograph, published by Facta Ficta Research Centre and licenced under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 as an ebook stored in a globally accessible repository (CeON Center for Open Science).

We look forward to seeing you in Katowice!

Krzysztof M. Maj
Ksenia Olkusz

On behalf of Organising Committee