Literary Fantasy and Its Discontents–cfp

Dear Colleagues,

The English department at Taipei Tech (National Taipei University of Technology) will be hosting the interdisciplinary conference, Literary Fantasy and its Discontents on November 23–24, 2018, with companion cultural events on November 22. (We can also organize a turkey dinner for Americans if there is interest.) As part of this conference, we plan to organize several panels that address how literary fantasies have been celebrated, used, criticized, or abused in Asia. We are also interested in explorations of the reception history of Western fantasies in the East and Eastern fantasies in the West. Keynote speakers are Marysa Demoor (Marketing the Author) and Ackbar Abbas (Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance).

We hope to have a broad cross-section of papers (in English) that consider fantasy in its many forms: both as a (frequently politicized) literary genre or mode and in the word fantasy’s broader meanings of delusion, unconscious wish, or falsehood. How do fantasies assist in the formation of national identities? How do they impact the narratives––be they harmful or beneficial––that nations and people groups tell themselves about their origins, their capabilities, and their future? How do reader responses to the fantastic in literature differ from responses to texts that are predominantly mimetic, and how do these differences condition reception history? How has the fantastic been used in reform movements and the rhetoric of reaction? What are the ethics of literary fantasies (or the fantastic mode), and how have they been applied?

Relevant Paper topics include:

  • National Epics
  • Classical Chinese Novels and Nationalism or Politics: Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Water Margin, Journey to the West, Dream of the Red Chamber
  • The politics of or within best-selling literary fantasies
  • Nineteenth-century Fairy Tale Collectors such as the Brothers Grimm, Andrew Lang, and the members of the Folk-Lore Society, and their collections
  • Racial Theories and Nationalism, Politics, or (fantastic) Literature
  • Fantasy and Orientalism
  • Fantasy and Taiwanese Identity
  • Fantasy and Chinese identity
  • Taiwanese or Chinese nationalisms
  • Colonial and Post-colonial nationalisms and literary fantasies
  • Political satires written in the fantastic genre
  • Utopias and/or Dystopias
  • Sexual Politics and Fantasy
  • Travelers’ Tales and Nationalism
  • Politics and nationalism in children’s literary fantasies
  • Fantasy and national or ethnic identities
  • Politicized fantasies
  • Politicized reception histories of fantasy
  • Mao Zedong’s theory of literature and art, later Communist theories of art
  • Marxism and fantasies
  • Oral Histories and/or Folktales and Cultural Identity
  • Fantasy and the Cultural Industry
  • The international diffusion and reception history of national fantasies across borders
  • Repressive governments and their national fantasies
  • Politics, Literature, and “Alternative Facts”
  • Escapism
  • Literary Fantasy and Radical Technologies

Our website and the full CFP are available at literaryfantasytaipei2018.wordpress.comPlease  submit a 250–300 word abstract and the requested presenter information in one Word or PDF file to the conference e-mail address,, by Friday, August 31, 2018.

We also have an early-consideration deadline, Monday, June 4, 2018because we will have a significant number of papers from international scholars, who work on a different academic calendar and who may need more time to make long-distance travel plans. Anyone may choose to apply by the June 4 early deadline, and we will respond within two weeks of that date. Abstracts received after June 4 and before August 31 will be considered in early September with results sent by September 15. Papers will be limited to 20 minutes.

As we are also keen to promote events and places of interest that are related to our theme, I would also very much welcome recommendations off list of places to add to our Things to do in Taipei and Taiwan page that are related either to fantasy or to the construction of Taiwanese and/or Chinese identities in Taiwan. Thanks in advance!

All best,

Sharin Schroeder
Associate Professor of English
Taipei Tech

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