TRANSFORMERS: all that is solid changes into something else


29, 30 June & 1 July 2017

Keynote addresses by:

Roz Kaveney, Author and Activist

Simone Knox, University of Reading

The conference will deal with particular practices and topics in contemporary media and culture. A fuller cfp can be found under the CFP menu, but basically it will be divided into two sections:

Section 1: Formal and Commercial Issues

The formation of global conglomerates has created the commercial conditions for ever more lucrative exchanges between different media. Hardware, software and entertainment generation are now in lock-step, and they are like this because it makes it easier to function in global markets, working the magic transformation of your money into their money. In this regard, Sony-Columbia’s exploitation of its hoary 1950s product Godzilla is a quaint example of a practice now brought to considerable refinement. The franchise, the sequel and more recently the prequel, are now industry norms, lurching fastly and furiously into online multiplayer gaming after-life.

With these and more issues in mind, papers are invited in the following general areas:

  • transmedia synergies and convergences
  • innovative business practices in media and merchandising
  • fandom, community and popular culture
  • crossover forms and digital interactivities
  • resistances to and rejections of popular cultural forms

Section 2: Thematic Content

Transformation of bodies is now an ever-present theme. Bodies may develop special abilities through forms of cod-scientific causes, such as being bitten by a spider developed in a scientific experiment, or through forms of more plausibly scientific explanation, such as current research on genetics or prosthetics extended into imagined future possibilities, or actually present technologies in the realisation of gender affirming surgery. From superheroes to cyberbodies to transsexuals may be a forced conjunction of disparate phenomena. On the other hand, these phenomena may also be different points on a paradigm in which the stability of bodies has been overtaken by logics of choice associated with varying possibilities, real or promised, in a battle of not just warring super and enhanced figures, but of the models of desire they embody.

Accordingly, the conference invites proposals for papers dealing with these and related thematic phenomena.

  • bodies which refuse to die
  • superbodies and ordinary worlds
  • rehearsing technologically altered bodies
  • genetics and special bodies
  • identical bodies
  • choosing bodies; control over bodies

Proposals of between 200 and 300 words should be submitted by March 30th 2017 along with a short bionote to both Anthony Barker: & David Callahan:, specifying which section you wish to present in. It may appear to be obvious but given that everything solid changes into something else, including conference papers, your paper might belong in both.

The conference language will be English.