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

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 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:
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 This site will be maintained as time permits.

Further details can be found on King Arthur Forever at

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

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

Other Links:
The Monstrous Matter of Britain