CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS - NO. 1-2021 (JUNE) ITALIAN STUDIES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA Fantastika! Terror, supernatural, science fiction, utopia and dystopia in female narratives

Daniela Bombara's picture
Call for Publications
May 1, 2019
Maine, South Africa
Subject Fields: 
Literature, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Italian History / Studies

In 2011 Canadian scholar John Clute in Pardon This Intrusion: Fantastika in the World Storm introduces the umbrella term “fantastika” aimed at encompassing fantasy, science fiction and horror. The production of “fantastika” crosses genres in a spurious way and seems to escape from clear classifications, remaining somehow at the periphery of the literary system. In the light of this, an even more elusive object of critical analysis is constituted by the narrative space of women writers, which we here intend to investigate by adopting a comparative and multi-genre perspective.

The proposal for the present monographic number therefore wishes to further broaden the debate on female fantastic narratives. While Italian literary and artistic productions is being assumed as the main focal point, there is the possibility, when deemed necessary, to include analyses of examples of “fantastika” produced outside of Italian borders.

This edited volume will take into consideration essays that analyze female-authored narrations that interpret the fantastic genre in a variety of fashions; while the primary focus is on prose, poetry and theatre will also be considered as valid examples for critical analysis. The contributions should aim at exploring narratives that deal with the presence of thematic elements related to supernatural, horror and science fiction, as well as those that narrativize contemporary utopias and dystopias in which the fantastic element only apparently adopts the ‘extra-ordinary’, while pointing to existence at its core.

We hereby propose a few thematic strands, intended to have a merely orientative purpose:

- Problems of exclusion /inclusion linked to fantastic narration written by women, with a particular focus on 20th and 21st century literature

- Analysis of little-known authors in the field of fantastic narration

- Comparison with the works of male writers and the definition of a female difference in the fantastic meta-genre (as defined by Giltrow, 2002)

- Relationships between women’s literary production and its critical elaboration in relation to the fantastic meta-genre

- Feminine fantastic comics: representation, characters and discursive mechanisms

- Children's literature and the fantastic/ uncanny element

- Ortese and the others: care and ethical reinterpretation of the world in women’s fantastic literature

- Cinematographic adaptations of female narrations of the fantastic

- Specific themes: the representation of space; forms of marginality; the languages of the body; crossings between maternity and fantasy; animal imagery and/or metaphoric use of animals in fantastic literature.


Please submit your abstract (500 words), a short biography and a prospective bibliography (1 page) to, and


Contributions will be accepted in English or Italian. Please also see the editorial standards, and  details on length and formatting of contributions as illustrated in  Author Guidelines, on


Deadline for submission of 500-word abstract: May 1, 2019

Notification of provisional acceptance: July 1, 2019

Deadline for submission of completed article: March 1, 2020

Contact Info: 

Guest editors

Daniela Bombara   PhD University of Messina 

Serena Todesco   Independent Researcher 

Principal editor 

Anita Virga, University of Witwatersrand, S.A.