Monday, September 9, 2013

CFP Neo-Victorian Villain collecttion (9/15/13)

Proposals on villains are generally rare, so I thought I'd share this to readers (though, I confess, I would be a stretch to connect in directly to Arthurian villains).


[UPDATE] Deadline extended for 'Neo-Victorian Villains' edited volume


full name / name of organization: 
Benjamin Poore, University of York, UK
contact email: 

The deadline for chapter proposals for this edited collection has been extended to September 15th. There has been a very strong response so far, but there are still some areas mentioned in the CFP (reproduced below) that I would very much like to see proposals on, to help address the full range of the subject and different approaches to neo-Victorianism.

As before, potential contributors are invited to submit a 250-word abstract for consideration, along with a biographical note of 50 to 100 words, to:

Dr Benjamin Poore (Department of Theatre, Film and Television, University of York) at benjamin.poore@york.ac.uk

Neo-Victorian Villains: Neo-Victorian Fiction, Adaptation and Performance

The collection will provide an innovative and wide-ranging exploration of the afterlives of the Victorian villain, in fiction, and stage and screen performance.

Subjects covered may include, but are not limited to:

  • Direct transmedia adaptations - from nineteenth-century classic fiction and neo-Victorian novels, to stage, screen, console and graphic novel. 
  •  Intertextuality – including allusion, pastiche and crossover fiction and film.
  • Genealogies of villainy from the nineteenth century to the present day – investigating the development of such figures and types as the supervillain, the master of disguise, the adventuress, the mesmerist, the femme fatale, and the split-personality. 
  • The afterlives of specific Victorian villains in modern culture, for example: Augustus Melmotte, Michael Henchard, Count Fosco, Sweeney Todd, Svengali, Dracula, Edward Hyde, Hawley Griffin, Dorian Gray, Professor Moriarty, Jack the Ripper, Lucy Graham, Helen Vaughan, Lydia Gwilt.
  • Processes of production, from the commissioning, filming and design of Victorian and neo-Victorian screen adaptations, to actors’ processes and approaches to their roles, as well as those of playwrights and screenwriters.

CFP Evil Incarnate Conference (1/1/14)

Cross-posted from Popular Preternaturaliana:

Evil Incarnate: Manifestations of Villains and Villainy


full name / name of organization: 
Case Western Reserve University and Crime Studies Network
contact email: 

Evil Incarnate: Manifestations of Villains and Villainy
11-13 July 2014
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Prof. David Frankfurter (Religious Studies, Boston University); Prof. Ronald Holmes (Justice Administration, University of Louisville); Prof. William Paul (Film Studies, Washington University in St. Louis)

The concept of villainy is a universal: the dichotomy of good versus evil has been a central conflict underlying ideologies and praxis across cultures and time. What, after all, is a hero without the villain as a foil? This conference asks: what defines villainy? Is it moral? Cultural? Inherent or the product of circumstance? How are villains represented textually, culturally, and politically? What does the presence of the villain do to the issues in which they are embedded? How would the issues change in their absence? By exploring the concept of villainy as it manifests itself, we want to explore the various permutations of villainy and their consequences.

Ultimately, we seek definition for villains in an attempt to overturn the characterizing of this pursuit as “[T]he motive-hunting of a motiveless malignity,” because, unfortunately, the designation of evil incarnate is also that of villainy beyond understanding (S. T. Coleridge). Instead, this conference asks whether W.H. Auden provided a more accurate depiction in his assertion that “evil is unspectacular and always human.” We hope that by coming to terms with villains and villainy, we can better understand the meaning of a hero’s victory.
We are interested in papers from a variety of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary perspectives.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

• Villains and crime in literature and /or fiction

• Villains and monsters in the media/ media constructions of villainy

• Moral transgression, evil, and villainy

• The making of national enemies

• Evil and history

• Evil as a necessity

• Monsters Across Cultures

• What Causes Evil

• Aliens and alienation

• Supernatural Evil and the Occult

• Political villains such as Dictators,Tyrants, Fascists, and/or Nazis

• Terrorists

• Criminality in Society

• Holocausts

Please send 300-word abstracts words for papers of 20 minutes to evilincarnate_at_case.edu by January 1, 2014. The abstract should also include a 50-word biographical note and AV requests. Please indicate if you wish the abstract to be considered for inclusion in the post-conference publications. We will send acceptances by February 28, 2014.

Conference Organizers: Drs. Malcah Effron and Brian Johnson (English, Case Western Reserve University)
Conference Sponsors: CWRU Department of English and the Crime Studies Network
Contact Details: evilincarnate_at_case.edu
Abstract Deadline: 1 January 2014


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Alliance/Blog Update August 2013

Effective August 2013, the Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain has been absorbed by the revived Society for Arthurian Popular Culture Studies (founded 2000) and the resulting organization named The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain. The new group will function for the remainder of 2013 as an affiliate of The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages and be based at the King Arthur Forever website at KingArthurForever.org. This site will be maintained as time permits.

Further details can be found on King Arthur Forever at http://kingarthurforever.blogspot.com/2013/08/king-arhur-forever-reborn.html.

Michael A. Torregrossa
Co-Founder, The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
Founder, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Our Kalamazoo Sessions 2013

Time and technology continue to conspire against me, but here (at last) are the details of our sessions. The complete program can be accessed at http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/sessions.html.

Saturday, 11 May 2013 at 12:00 PM
Valley III 303
Business Meeting and Reception: Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain; Institute for the Advancement of Scholarship on the Magic-Wielding Figures of Visual Electronic Multimedia; Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

All are welcome to attend to discuss and plan sessions for 2014 and 2015.


Saturday, 11 May 2013 at 1:30 PM
Session 422, Fetzer 1005
Arthurian Monster Quest: Investigating the Monsters of the Arthurian Tradition (A Roundtable)
Sponsor: Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain

Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain
Presider: Charlotte A. T. Wulf, Stevenson Univ.

Ysbaddaden Pencawr: A Gentler Giant?
Lisa LeBlanc, Anna Maria College

The Giant of Mont-Saint-Michel: Grendelkin?
Kris Kobold, York Univ.

Monstrous Felines in Old French Arthuriana, or, There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Chapalu
Brandy N. Brown, Pennsylvania State Univ.

Lycanthropy and Absence in Arthur and Gorlagon
Angela Tenga, Florida Institute of Technology

“An Unsemely Sighte”: Medieval Arthurian Women as Monstrosities
S. Elizabeth Passmore, Univ. of Southern Indiana


=============================
Michael A. Torregrossa, MA
Founder, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain
http://ArthurianVillainyResearch.blogspot.com/

Other Links:
The Monstrous Matter of Britain

Monday, October 15, 2012

Arthurian Monster Quest Update

I am pleased to announce the details of our sponsored session for next year's Medieval Congress:


Arthurian Monster Quest: Investigating the Monsters of the Arthurian Tradition (Roundtable)
Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain

Presider: Charlotte A. T. Wulf, Stevenson University

Paper 1: Ysbaddaden Pencawr: A Gentler Giant?
Lisa LeBlanc, Anna Maria College

Paper 2: The Giant of Mont-Saint-Michel: Grendelkin?
Kris Kobold, York University

Paper 3: Monstrous Felines in Old French Arthuriana, or There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Chapalu
Brandy N. Brown, The Pennsylvania State University


Paper 4: Lycanthropy and Absence in Arthur and Gorlagon
Angela Tenga, Florida Institute of Technology


Paper 5: “An Unsemely Sighte”: Medieval Arthurian Women as Monstrosities
S. Elizabeth Passmore, University of Southern Indiana



Friday, September 28, 2012

Kalamazoo Update

My apologies for the delaying in updating the site(s) and focusing on the Kalamazoo session on monsters. I have been thinking and reading much on monsters but (unfortunately) not doing much thinking about Kalamazoo these past few months.

Expect an update on the session by Monday and email responses to all proposals submitted to the Alliance address by tonight.

Michael Torregrossa

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CFP Arthurian Monster Quest

CALL FOR PAPERS
ARTHURIAN MONSTER QUEST
INVESTIGATING THE MONSTERS OF THE ARTHURIAN TRADITION, MEDIEVAL THROUGH MODERN
A SESSION FOR THE 48TH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON MEDIEVAL STUDIES (WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY, KALAMAZOO, MI) FROM 9-12 MAY 2013
SPONSORED BY THE ALLIANCE FOR THE PROMOTION OF RESEARCH ON THE VILLAINS OF THE MATTER OF BRITAIN
PROPOSALS BY 1 SEPTEMBER 2012 (EARLY SUBMISSION RECOMMENDED)


Inspired by the pioneering work of Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, teratology, the study of monsters, is experiencing a renaissance of late in Medieval Studies. Much of this new work has been conducted under the auspices of MEARCSTAPA (Monsters: the Experimental Association for the Research of Cryptozoology through Scholarly Theory and Practical Application), but there remain other avenues to explore, especially with regards to fields of interest, like Arthurian Studies, that stretch outside the medieval and into the various eras of post-medieval history. In sponsoring this session, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain hopes to offer some much needed illumination into the darker parts of Arthur’s realm and provide some sense of the history of the monsters that dwell in these shadows.

In existence for nearly fifteen hundred years, the Matter of Britain, the body of myths and legends associated with King Arthur and his court, has long been linked with the supernatural, chiefly in Arthur’s own nebulous fate as the Once and Future King and in the wonder-workings of the incubus-spawned Merlin, the fairy women variously called the Lady of the Lake, and Arthur’s sibling Morgan le Fay, who is of human origin despite her otherworldly title. These characters have all received much attention from scholars, but the larger mass of Arthurian preternature has not. Besides these examples, the denizens of Camelot presented in medieval texts encounter many further mystical creatures, all of which we might consider as unnatural, or monstrous, today, including demons, dragons, the Fair Folk, figures we would now label as witches, giants, griffins, hellhounds, the restless dead, unicorns, werewolves, and, who can forget, the enigmatic Questing Beast. These monsters, although important features of their respective narratives, have all received little attention in modern scholarship. Their successors have received even less attention, despite the continuance of all of these preternatural beings in post-medieval Arthurian texts, including such extremes as the Blazing Dragons franchise, which recasts Arthurian figures as anthropomorphic dragons. In addition, as the corpus of Arthuriana has expanded exponentially following the close of the Middle Ages, this new Matter of Britain has also introduced additional creatures of the night (such as ogres, vampires, zombies, and a plethora of new creations featured in the Merlin television series) not found in medieval tales of Arthur’s court. Modern Arthurian texts, moreover, have expanded the provenance of the monstrous and transformed ordinary figures from the legend into monsters. It is this world of Arthurian monsters that we seek to explore in these sessions with the intent of opening up their realm for further discussion and appreciation.

Please note, all submissions will also be considered for a special issue of Arthuriana on the topic. Completed essays will be due in June 2013.


PLEASE SUBMIT PROPOSALS OF 500 WORDS OR LESS, PARTICIPANT INFORMATION FORM (AVAILABLE AT http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html), AND A COPY OF YOUR CV TO THE ORGANIZERS AT ArthurianVillainyResearch@gmail.com PLEASE INCLUDE “KALAMAZOO 2013 PROPOSAL” IN THE SUBJECT LINE

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ALLIANCE FOR THE PROMOTION OF RESEARCH ON THE VILLAINS OF THE MATTER OF BRITAIN, PLEASE ACCESS OUR BLOG AT http://ArthurianVillainyResearch.blogspot.com/

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Go for Kalamazoo 2013

I am very pleased to report that the organizing committee of the International Congress on Medieval Studies has looked favorably on our proposal for sessions on the topic of "Arthurian Monster Quest: Investigating the Monsters of the Arthurian Tradition, Medieval through Modern" (details in previous post), though they have approved only one of our two requested sessions. That does severely limit our energies and time/space for the project, but I do welcome your ideas and proposals via email. All proposals submitted, regardless of their acceptance for the panel, will be considered for a special issue of Arthuriana on the topic. Michael Torregrossa Founder and Blog Editor

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kalamazoo Proposal 2013

Here is the text of our proposal to the Medieval Institute for next year's International Congress on Medieval Studies:
Arthurian Monster Quest: Investigating the Monsters of the Arthurian Tradition, Medieval through Modern (2)

Inspired by the pioneering work of Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, teratology, the study of monsters, is experiencing a renaissance of late in Medieval Studies. Much of this new work has been conducted under the auspices of MEARCSTAPA (Monsters: the Experimental Association for the Research of Cryptozoology through Scholarly Theory and Practical Application), but there remain other avenues to explore, especially with regards to fields of interest, like Arthurian Studies, that stretch outside the medieval and into the various eras of post-medieval history. In sponsoring these sessions, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain hopes to offer some much needed illumination into the darker parts of Arthur’s realm and provide some sense of the history of the monsters that dwell in these shadows.
In existence for nearly fifteen hundred years, the Matter of Britain, the body of myths and legends associated with King Arthur and his court, has long been linked with the supernatural, chiefly in Arthur’s own nebulous fate as the Once and Future King and in the wonder-workings of the incubus-spawned Merlin, the fairy women variously called the Lady of the Lake, and Arthur’s sibling Morgan le Fay, who is of human origin despite her otherworldly title. These characters have all received much attention from scholars, but the larger mass of Arthurian preternature has not. Besides these examples, the denizens of Camelot presented in medieval texts encounter many further mystical creatures, all of which we might consider as unnatural, or monstrous, today, including demons, dragons, the Fair Folk, figures we would now label as witches, giants, griffins, hellhounds, the restless dead, unicorns, werewolves, and, who can forget, the enigmatic Questing Beast. These monsters, although important features of their respective narratives, have all received little attention in modern scholarship. Their successors have received even less attention, despite the continuance of all of these preternatural beings in post-medieval Arthurian texts, including such extremes as the Blazing Dragons franchise, which recasts Arthurian figures as anthropomorphic dragons. In addition, as the corpus of Arthuriana has expanded exponentially following the close of the Middle Ages, this new Matter of Britain has also introduced additional creatures of the night (such as ogres, vampires, zombies, and a plethora of new creations featured in the Merlin television series) not found in medieval tales of Arthur’s court. Modern Arthurian texts, moreover, have expanded the provenance of the monstrous and transformed ordinary figures from the legend into monsters. It is this world of Arthurian monsters that we seek to explore in these sessions with the intent of opening up their realm for further discussion and appreciation. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Kalamazoo 2013 Ideas

The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain seeks your input regarding our sponsored sessions for next year's International Congress on Medieval Studies. We are interested in submitting proposals for sessions on the monstrous and the Arthurian and on Mordred. If you're interested in presenting or helping to organize/preside, please email us (at ArthurianVillainyResearch@gmail.com) ASAP by 5/25 with details. Please use "Kalamazoo 2013" as your subject line.

Michael