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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Bill Kirkpatrick <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 3 May 2002 21:58:02 -0500
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Apologies for cross-postings ...


The Velvet Light Trap
A Critical Journal of Film & Television
Number 52, Fall 2003


From Georges Méliès to The Matrix, The Twilight Zone to The X-Files, the
closely related genres of science fiction and fantasy have had a
significant impact on the histories of film and television. In recent
years, the spectacular qualities of these genres, along with their capacity
to appeal to both mass audiences and smaller fan cultures, have made them
central to what has been called the "New Hollywood" and to syndicated and
cable television.

The iconography, language, and ideas of science fiction, filtered to us
through the media, have been appropriated by fashion designers,
politicians, tabloid talk show guests, and scientists alike, while the
culture and technology that science fiction has helped shape is, in turn,
constantly feeding the genre with new ideas and new images. The fantastic,
magical, and unreal can be seen almost anytime we turn on a television set
or make the trip to the nearest multiplex, in forms familiar to genre
aficionados (e.g. Lord of the Rings) and in such arenas as television
comedies (as in Ally McBeal and Scrubs) and documentaries on imaginary

The Velvet Light Trap invites papers exploring cultural, industrial,
textual, and audience-centered questions about science fiction and the
fantastic in the media from both contemporary and historical perspectives.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

§       Historical-contextual analyses of films and television shows
§       UFOs (e.g. The X-Files, Independence Day, subcultures of UFO-watchers)
§       Robots (Metropolis, Bicentennial Man, Battlebots, Robot Wars, etc.,)
§       Cyborgs (both fictional and real)
§       Monsters and other fantastic creatures (e.g. Dr. Frankenstein's monster,
Ewoks, The Addams Family, The X-Men or The Fly)
§       Aliens (e.g. Alien Nation, Earth Girls Are Easy, The Andromeda Strain)
§       Scientific and social experiments (e.g. The Fly, The Day of the Triffids,
Escape From New York, 1984)
§       Science-fiction and new technologies (e.g. Gattaca and genetic
engineering, Tron and computer animation, etc.)
§       Inner/outer world explorations (e.g. Inner Space, news/documentary
coverage of space exploration, Journey to the Center of the Earth)
§       Media technologies as the fantastic (e.g. Videodrome, Poltergeist, The
Purple Rose of Cairo)
§       Animation for adults and children (anime, computer animation, The
Jetsons, Futurama, Transformers)
§       National identity (e.g. The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Cold War
B-Movies like Them, Independence Day, Star Trek, the Space Race)
§       Masculinity & femininity (e.g. The Terminator, Xena, Barb Wire, Tetsuo)
§       Design/art/fashion influences (e.g. Space Age design)
§       The tabloid press and television talk shows (alien abductees, excessive
§       Paranormal activities or presences (e.g. hauntings, E.S.P, telekinesis)
§       Generic (de)valuation of science-fiction and the fantastic (e.g.
categorizing it as adolescent, the split between hard sci-fi and the fantastic)
§       Cyberpunk (fiction, as an influence on film and television style, as an
§       Fan fictions and fan cultures (e.g. Trekkies, Whovians, Star Wars fans)
§       International science-fiction (e.g. Solaris, anime, Dr.Who, Blake's 7)
§       Parodies (e.g. Space Balls, Dark Star, Young Frankenstein)
§       Genre mixing (e.g. Galaxy Quest, Predator, Little Shop of Horrors)
§       Adaptations (e.g. Solaris, Total Recall, Bladerunner, A.I., Minority
Report, Lord of the Rings)
§       Anthologies (e.g. The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, Amazing Stories)
§       Imitations and cycles (e.g. giant monster films, space operas, barbarian
§       Film series and serials (e.g. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Flash
Gordon, Superman)
§       Re-makes (e.g, The Thing, Rollerball, Planet of the Apes, Dracula)
§       Merchandising & tie-ins
§       The importance of science fiction and fantasy for syndication (Xena,
Beastmaster, Andromeda)
§       Interactions between literary science fiction and film/TV (trends and
subgenres, cyberpunk, science fiction authors working in TV/film--e.g. Ray
§       Nostalgia (both in the texts e.g. Star Wars, Back to the Future, and in
distribution, e.g. S2001: A Space Odyssey, E.T.)
§       Ecology (e.g. Soylent Green, Road Warrior, Waterworld)
§       Utopias/dystopias (e.g. Cocoon, Road Warrior)
§       Mythology and the mythic (e.g. the Star Wars series, Mists of Avalon)
§       Video games as source material (e.g. Tomb Raider, Resident Evil) and the
cinematic in science fiction video games (e.g. Resident Evil)
§       Stars and actors (Schwarzenegger, Charlton Heston)

Papers should be approximately 7500 words (roughly 20-25 pages
double-spaced) plus bibliography and endnotes in MLA style.  Please submit
three copies of the paper, plus a one-page abstract with each copy, in a
format suitable to be sent to a reader anonymously.  Papers should be
accompanied by a cover page that includes the author's name and contact
information.  All submissions will be refereed by the journal's Editorial
Advisory Board.

For more information or to ask questions, please contact Mobina Hashmi
([log in to unmask], 608-263-3998), Bill Kirkpatrick
([log in to unmask], 608-238-6656), or Billy Vermillion
([log in to unmask], 608-263-3997).  Submissions are due by
Monday, 15 September 2002, and should be sent to:

The Velvet Light Trap
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Communication Arts
821 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin USA 53706-1497

The Velvet Light Trap is an academic, peer-reviewed journal of film and
television studies.  The journal is published biannually in March and
September by the University of Texas Press.  The Editorial Advisory Board
includes such notable scholars as Charles Acland, Donald Crafton, Alexander
Doty, Herman Gray, Heather Hendershot, Walter Metz, Charles Musser, Hamid
Naficy, Chon Noriega, Lisa Parks, Lynn Spigel, and Chris Straayer.

Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: