Call for Presentations

Fantasies of Whiteness

Special Conference Stream within The Images of Whiteness Project: 5th Global Meeting

Sunday 10th May – Tuesday 12th May 2015
Dubrovnik, Croatia


Call for Presentations:
Western fantasy narratives are filled with images of heroic white figures engaged in heroic white activities. From the invincible superman, to the bearded wizard, to the aristocratic vampire hunter, the medieval knight, and the gunslinger, fantasies of power entail a construction of white male, and occasionally female, bodies as the personification of strength, authority, morality, superiority. Often burdened with an overwhelming sense of responsibility to those who do not share their privilege, the hero is a selfless figure whose sacrifice is evident to all but the most villainous. Recent movies and television series have attempted to reinvent whiteness via allusions to Greek mythology; novelists have produced narratives of white women searching for enlightenment through an appropriation of exotic non-white spirituality; while greetings card companies continue to promote the image of the white Christmas irrespective of the ethnicities of those their designs depict. Fantasy narratives, circulated in literature, film, television, digital games, visual and oral culture, can be seen as reflecting and impacting on broader conceptions of white self-identity. Their ideological significance becomes apparent when mobilised by nationalist politicians, historical revisionists, and contemporary myth makers; but these images pervade the ways whiteness is imagined by those flattered by such sights of white superiority, and those excluded from them. If race is itself a fantasy, then fantasy culture might be the site where it is most honestly, most duplicitously, most keenly articulated.

In order to focus on the relationship between white privilege and fantasies of whiteness, papers, workshops, and talks are invited from academics, pedagogues and practitioners. Areas of enquiry might include, but are not limited to:

  • Mythologies of whiteness and white identity
  • Literary adaptation and the visualisation of whiteness
  • Historical fantasies of whiteness
  • White magic
  • Folklore and whiteness
  • Whiteness, non-whiteness, and religion
  • Superhero comics, graphic novels, film and television
  • Whiteness in non-Western fantasy
  • The white male body in fantasy
  • Whiteness in outer space
  • Colonial fantasies of whiteness
  • Whiteness and horror
  • Science fiction visions of a white future
  • White fantasy villains
  • The white body in videogame cultures

The Steering Group welcomes the submission of proposals for short workshops, practitioner-based activities, best practice showcases, how-to sessions, live demonstrations, performances, and pre-formed panels. We particularly welcome short film screenings; photographic essays; installations; interactive talks and alternative presentation styles that encourage engagement.

What to Send:
300 word proposals should be submitted by Friday 13th March 2015. All submissions are at least double blind peer reviewed. Proposals should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: White5 Fantasy Proposal Submission.

All abstracts will be at least double blind peer reviewed. Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:
Ewan Kirkland: ekirklanduk@yahoo.co.uk
Rob Fisher: white5@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the ‘Ethos’ series of research projects, which in turn belong to the Critical Issues programmes of ID.Net. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and challenging. All proposals accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook.  Selected proposals may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

Appropriation of racial ‘otherness’ within white culture

Images of whiteness in popular culture

Nationally-specific formations of white identity

Whiteness and multiculturalism

Constructions of whiteness in painting, photography and the visual arts

Performances of/performing whiteness

Writing whiteness in fiction/non-fiction

The politics and ethics of White Studies

Racial whiteness, fashion and cosmetics industries

Whiteness and absence, emptiness and death

Teaching whiteness

Intersections between whiteness, gender and sexuality

Conceptions of whiteness in non-white cultures

Whiteness and consumer culture

Music, music videos and whiteness