Immortals and the Undead 2009 : Fastitocalon - Studies in Fantasticism Ancient to Modern: Immortals and the Undead 2
Call For Papers
Call for papers
Fastitocalon volume I (issue no. 2)
Published by Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier (WVT)
Immortals and the Undead
The first volume of Fastitocalon is going to be dedicated to the exploration of the literary, poetical, cultural and historical aspects of the immortals and the undead. Albeit the two categories have, at first sight, only very little to do with each other, they can be interpreted as representing two approaches towards the larger question of death, mortality, and longevity.
Immortality has fascinated human beings probably ever since the awareness of their own mortality has dawned on them. Thus, the earliest extant epic Gilgamesh deals with the quest for immortality. Yet the category of immortals may not only include ‘positive’ examples such as the Taoist masters as they appear in Wu Yuantai’s novel The Eight Immortals Depart and Travel to the East (Ming Dynasty), or the successful alchemists, for example Flamel in J.K. Rowling’s The Philosopher’s Stone, whose immortality is part of a greater (spiritual) achievement. It may also comprise conflicted beings such as Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane or even Tolkien’s elves, for whom longevity may become a curse, too. Next to Tolkien’s elves, the ‘classical’ longaevi (nymphs, silvans, nerei etc.) may also be of interest. At the other end of the spectrum, we find figures such as the ‘eternal Jew’, best known as the protagonist of Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer (1820), and his analogues. They may not be ‘immortals’ in the strict sense of the word, but often participate in the ‘immortality discourse’ and provide a valuable complementary view.
The undead comprise the literarily prominent examples of the revenants and vampires. Ever since the publication of John Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), the charismatic and erotically alluring vampire has become a popular character of modern fantastic fiction, of which the best-selling ‘Twilight-saga’ by Stephenie Meyer is a most recent example. Originally at home in ‘gothic’ horror novels and movies, the undead have crossed over into various other genres (fantasy, science fiction, crime, historic fiction and films etc.) and developed into a versatile element of the fantastic. Their ‘human origin’ (at least in the western culture) makes them simultaneously familiar and exotic, human and monstrous with a great literary potential into which writers of the fantastic have been dipping more and more deeply.
Contributions to the volume may focus on individual works or protagonists, discuss the historical development, or explore the literary-theoretical aspects connected with these creatures.
Even though the language of publication is English, we would like to encourage the contributors to include works in other languages in their discussion of the phenomenon.
Deadline for abstracts (issue 2): 12 October 2009
Deadline for full papers (issue 2): 28 February 2010
Fastitocalon is a peer-reviewed journal. Abstracts and/or full papers submitted will be reviewed by the editors and members of the board of advisors.
Abstracts (c. 600 words or 3,000 characters) or full papers (up to c. 8,000 words or 40,000 characters), together with a brief biographical sketch, are to be sent to either of the following addresses:
Prof. Dr. Fanfan Chen
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Postal mail: Dept. of English & Doctoral Program of Comparative Literature
National Dong Hwa University
97401 Shoufeng, Hualien County
Prof. Dr. Thomas Honegger
Postal mail: Institut für Anglistik & Amerikanistik