Fantasies of Contemporary Culture is a one-day symposium at Cardiff University, which will take place on 23 May, 2016. You can find our call for papers here.

Below is some information about the keynote speakers, organisers, and sponsors for the event.


Dr. Mark Bould is a Reader in Film and Literature at UWE Bristol, and founding editor of Science Fiction Film and Television. Dr Bould has published widely on aspects of genre and film, primarily sf and noir, including work on African-American sf, British telefantasy, Cyberpunk, M John Harrison, Gwyneth Jones and China Miéville. He has collaborated with the latter on the ‘Marxism and Fantasy’ special issue of Historical Materialism (2002 10.4) and an edited collection of essays, Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction (coll 2009).

Dr. Catherine Butler joined Cardiff University as a Senior Lecturer in 2015. Her first academic interest was in Renaissance poetry but she now specialises in children’s literature. She is associate editor of the journal Children’s Literature in Education. She is currently the author of two monographs (including Four British fantasists: place and culture in the children’s fantasies of Penelope Lively, Alan Garner, Susan Cooper, and Diana Wynne Jones) and the editor of five academic volumes, and has published six novels for children and young adults.


Dr. Tom Harman received his doctorate from Cardiff University’s Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory in 2014 where he now lectures. His doctoral research centred on the representation of masculinity in 1990s Hollywood cinema and its relationship to the logic of contemporary neoliberal capitalism. His current research has expanded to address contemporary fantasy cinema and, in particular, the figure of the superhero. Tom is editor of the latest issue of Assuming Gender entitled ‘Neoliberal Gender, Neoliberal Sex’ and has a forthcoming article, ‘Superheroes and Neoliberalism: Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. and Homo Oeconomicus‘, due to be published in 2016.

Megen de Bruin-Molé is a second-year PhD researcher and postgraduate tutor with the school of English, Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff University. Her current research focuses on the ethics and aesthetics of mashup culture, using the theme of monsters and the monstrous to explore how and why the twenty-first century persistently appropriates nineteenth-century fictions and figures. Her other research interests include science fiction and fantastical literature, fan studies, age politics, and posthumanism. You can follow her on Twitter (@MegenJM), and her research on the blog angelsandapes.com.


The Fantasies of Contemporary Culture symposium was made possible by the gracious support of Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy. Special thanks to Prof. Katie Gramich, Prof. Alison WrayProf. Martin Willis, and Jennifer Hulin for their invaluable feedback on our plans and proposals at various stages.


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