Welcome!

Welcome to Shapeshifters in Popular Culture.

We started this blog as a place to discuss shapeshifting figures in popular culture, after becoming interested in the recent growing popularity of werewolves in books, TV series and movies – and especially how shapeshifters come to represent issues like adolescence, gender, disability and mental illness.

Although that’s where we started, we also blog about popular culture generally and review books and movies here.

Our scholarly work on this area is available in our book but here we want to open up the blog to anyone interested in the field. You can find out more about us here.

So please join the discussion!

Cheers,

Kimberley & Roslyn


Critically Reading “The Vampire Diaries” – call for Papers/Abstracts

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Kimberley is teaming up with some other scholars of the supernatural to pull together an edited collection about The Vampire Diaries.

The call for abstracts went live on UPenn and H-Net just in time for Halloween.

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Timely

Contributions can cover television studies, intertextuality, the role of social media in the TVD fandom, gender, adolescence, mind control, the Gothic, and can also relate to the original novels, the spin-off novels, or either or the television spin-offs.

We’re looking for 400-500 word abstracts (or send us the complete paper, if you have something ready to go), as well as a brief author bio. We need both by the end of the month, so we can get this project rolling as quickly as possible – full drafts of the selected papers will be required by March 1, 2020.

 

So get writing, and get your submissions in via: thevampirediariescollection@gmail.com

 

This is going to be epic!

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Update

Yesterday (which is still “today,” where Ros is) we hit send on our latest manuscript. This will be our second book with McFarland Publishers.

champagne

This one is looking at how mental health disorders are represented–or even misrepresented–in popular television. And while it’s not very shapeshifter-y at all, the idea for it did come out of our Werewolves book. I know we’re not supposed to play favourites, but my favourite chapter in that book was the one about dis/ability. So many of these supernatural narratives, especially the YA ones like The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf, play upon the idea of whether or not you would choose to have that one little piece of biology that sets you apart. It’s the theory of the Temporarily Able-Bodied, writ large as the Temporary Super-Able Bodied.

And on that note … stay tuned for more The Vampire Diaries-themed posts. I’ll be sharing a Call for Abstracts/Papers here soon, and catching up on that last season and a bit … and catching up on the spin-off … and catching the newest spin-off … which may just prompt me to put fingers to the keyboard a little less infrequently than has become usual …

Legacies

 

 


Looking for a copy of our book?

I’ve done some sleuthing online today, and it seems a few people are still selling our Werewolves book–mostly at wildly inflated prices.

So – I am finally shifting (geddit?) the ones that have been living on my study floor so long that I should be charging them rent. You can find copies of Werewolves and Other Shapeshifters in Popular Culture here – signed by both of us, no less!

I’ve also listed some copies of Ros’ brilliant single-authored book, Apocalypse in Australian Fiction and Film: A Critical Study. 

[Disclaimer: This sudden and uncharacteristic burst of decluttering and organisation may or may not be a form of procrastination related to our next book manuscript being due at the publishers in a few short weeks …]

procras


Things that Go Bump

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote elsewhere that I had been working in Batemans Bay. I’ve just secured a pretty cool teaching gig down there in October, and it relates to the things we love around here: werewolves, vampires, popular culture, and writing.

My employer (and the Uni Roslyn & I both attended, UOW), runs an enrichment program for school kids called Learning Labs. Back in the day, my kids–now themselves students of UOW–attended. The program has expanded over time, and covers interested kids from Years 1 and 2 (Little Learning Labs), through to those in Year 10. Students have to be capable of working at an advance level (as signed off by a teacher in their school), and they choose an area of their interest, and attend workshopped activities with other, like-minded students.

So, in conversation with the Campus Manager, Jaimey, I came up with the idea of a workshop about reading and writing vampires and werewolves.

 

So for two days we’ll track through from generic supernatural types, to some very famous modern examples. And then, I’m going to ask the kids to come up with their own “rules,” and write their own story. I’m really excited to see what they come up with!

 

I have a bit of planning still to do, but I’m really looking forward to this. And I’m already trying to figure out what to wear. In October, I like to progressively amp up the Goth touches in my wardrobe, leading up to the grand finale on October 31.

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Serious Academic, at work.

Boo!

For enquiries about this, or any other Learning Labs program at the Batemans Bay  campus of UOW, please contact your local campus directly.

Wollongong registrations can be done through the links above.

 

 


Update: PopCAANZ Call extended!

Popcaanz

If you were thinking of submitting an abstract for the 10th annual Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand conference at RMIT in July: good news! The call for abstracts has been extended!

All you have to do in order to be considered is submit a 150-word abstract and a 100-word bio to the Area Chair most closely affiliated with your topic of interest. You can find the full list of Areas, as well as information about related publication opportunities, below:

PopCAANZ chairs

So, get typing, and I’ll see you in Melbourne!


Celebrate 10 years of PopCAANZ in Melbourne

It’s that time of year again, when we call for abstracts for the Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (PopCAANZ) conference. The 10th conference will be held in Melbourne July 3-5, 2019. We’ve been to Melbourne for PopCAANZ before, and loved it. (Actually, I could use that post title again, now. Sorry). We’ve also blogged about past PopCAANZ conferences here and here. Come along, and you might feature in this year’s wrap-up post!

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Melbourne. Photo by Aditya Banerjee on Pexels.com

Roslyn & I have a long history with PopCAANZ – we were at PCA/ACA in San Antonio, Texas, when they were first planning to establish the association, and Ros attended the first conference in Brisbane. I hopped on board the following year, and I have only missed one since. In that time, I’ve presented in the film, television, Gothic and disability streams, which I think gives a good idea of what PopCAANZ is all about – it is very interdisciplinary. There are plenty of great papers to attend; some of them will be in your field, and others will just be about things in which you are interested.

The call for papers can be found here, so get writing! Send a 150 word abstract and 100 word bio to the chair whose area links best to your abstract idea by March 31, and we’ll see you in cosmopolitan Melbourne!

Popcaanz


PopCAANZ 2017

The call for abstracts for the 2017 iteration of the annual conference for the Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (PopCAANZ) is closing soon.

If you have an interest in popular culture, presentations are called for in areas as varied as Life Writing, Toys and Games, Disability, Gothic and Horror, Comics, Science and more. There really is something for everybody–and shapeshifters have popped up in Gothic, TV, Comics and Film areas.

This year’s conference will be held in Wellington in late June, and 150-word abstracts are being accepted up until March 31, so get writing!

Popcaanz