Radical media, politics and culture.

Contributions Sought to "Marxism and the Fantastic"

The journal Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory is aiming to publish a symposium on the theme of 'Marxism and the Fantastic', and we are looking for papers interrogating this topic in any fruitful way. We are open to consideration of 'the fantastic' in psychological terms, but we are particularly interested in discussions of the non-real, the fantastic in arts and literature.

Marxist theory has long engaged with modernist movements such as surrealism. In addition, there is already a body of Marxist theory engaging with science fiction, as exemplified in the work of Darko Suvin, Fredric Jameson and Carl Freedman. However, there is as yet no body of Marxist work which systematically engages with "the fantastic" more generally conceived, either perceiving science fiction as a subset of the fantastic, or opposed to it. We would like to make a start at filling that gap.
Possible topics for consideration include, but are not limited to,
the following.

Specific movements, including surrealism; 'magic realism'; fairy
tales; modern generic fantasy; ghost stories; et al.

The work of specific authors, such as Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Delaney, et al.

Fantasy and film, including readings of specific works.

Psychological aspects of the fantastic, including 'the uncanny'.

Book reviews, of any relevant works (fiction or non-fiction).

Marxism and utopia/dystopia.

Pieces can be reviews or review essays (between 2,000 and 6,000 words), 'interventions' (pieces between 4,000 and 7,000 words, which have some licence to be more polemical and exploratory), and essays (between 6,000 and 10,000 words).

Historical Materialism is an open and non-sectarian journal: however, it is unapologetically Marxist. While we therefore welcome work from any of the many traditions of Marxist theory, research undertaken from (say) a left poststructuralist perspective would not be suitable for our symposium.

The deadline for submissions to this symposium is regrettably soon -- mid-May, and sooner if possible.

If you would like any more information, or would like to submit any work, please contact China Mieville on ctm@pobox.com