UPDATED CFP: Narrative Complexity in Recent Time-Travel Media

Liz Trepanier's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
October 31, 2022 to August 31, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Film and Film History, Humanities, Popular Culture Studies, Literature

We are seeking contributors for an edited collection of scholarly essays on these recent changes in the complexity of time-travel media (film, television, gaming, or literature). Submissions that are interdisciplinary in theory and method are welcome, especially those in popular culture, science fiction, fantasy, genre studies, critical media studies, narratology, etc. Abstracts and papers discussing recent time-travel media, approximately within the last decade, may include but are not limited to research concerning narrative structure, theme, genre, reception, comprehension, and other relevant topics.  

Historically, time-travel films and television (TV) shows relied on science-fiction (sci-fi) tropes and storytelling devices to convey atemporal narratives. More recently, an increasing number of time-travel media have begun incorporating a variety of non-sci-fi elements to create new, increasingly complicated spins on well-worn tropes. The rapidly evolving landscape of technological advancements in our world today have made narratives dealing with the exclusive science/mechanics of time travel less of an imaginative possibility. Many viewers today seem receptive to the recycling of science-fiction time-travel tropes in many of these more traditional sci-fi narratives. However, more authors have begun creating unique adaptations on tropes such as time travel to engage audiences’ narrative understanding in new ways, and the audiences want to see and be entertained by them. Whether this is seen as a component of hybrid genre or structural complexity, more recent time-travel media have purposefully complicated their narratives by reconditioning audiences to expect the unexpected and require audiences to learn how to engage with the story to better understand the narrative on multiple levels. 

This edited collection will demonstrate that time-travel media is more complicated now than ever before, but also that newer time-travel media has expanded into the “mainstream” of multiple narrative genres that, prior to, were predominantly superhero, fantasy, thriller, etc. Time travel now has grown into a tried and true crossover of these genres and many more, taking the necessity of “science” out of time travel, thus constructing a fresh cultural trope that can be used by any author writing in any genre. This exploration of how a staple trope strongly tied to a single genre, like time travel was to science-fiction media, can successfully become mainstream adds to the current conversation surrounding interdisciplinary studies in areas such as critical media, genre, narrativity, and more. This exploration also aims to reveal the interdependent relationship of the time-travel trope and its malleability, the authors and their ability to make said trope believable, and the audience and their ability to suspend their disbelief and accept the use of the trope in new media and genres. 

Abstracts, up to 300 words, should present research intentions, the research’s original contribution, and how the focus aligns with the main “theme” of narrative complexity in this collection. All papers should be approximately 10-25 double-spaced pages following the current 9th ed. MLA style with in-text citations and Works Cited page at the end. We are currently in conversations with leading publishers and will provide more concrete publication deadline information as those decisions are finalized.

Please submit abstracts and drafts by the new deadline, October31st, 2022. Final paper drafts deadline is now tentatively set for August 31st, 2023. 

Please direct all abstracts, papers, and inquiries to TimeTravelCFP@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you and learning more about your contributions. 

Liz Trepanier (Eastern Florida State College), Luke Leonard (Eastern Florida State College), and Emory O'Malley, editors 

Contact Info: 

Liz Trepanier (Eastern Florida State College), Luke Leonard (Eastern Florida State College), and Emory O'Malley (Independent), editors 

Contact Email: