What is Tales Beyond Borders?

The_Garden_of_Earthly_Delights_by_Bosch-tree_man contact image

Tales Beyond Borders is a two-day international conference (24th-25th April) and a postgraduate/early career researcher workshop (23rd April), all of which is being organized by the ‘Reading the Fantastic’ Graduate Research Group at the University of Leeds (UK). Through these events, we aim to bring together those working in various aspects of  fantasy studies (taking a wide interpretation for this category) in order to study and discuss this emerging field of research from a cross/multi – cultural and interdisciplinary perspective. Tales Beyond Borders offers a broad approach to the investigation of fantasy texts, reaching into spheres such as theatre, comics, film, art history, and the storytelling classroom (to name a few) in addition to literary texts.

We are, of course, deeply grateful to Hieronymous Bosch (c. 1450-1516) for his contribution to our visual layout, taken from his triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights (1490-1510). 


Reading the Fantastic: Post-Tales Beyond Borders 2015

Morgan le Fay painted by the Victorian artist Frederick Sandys; The Queen Mother of the West, A Chinese Immortal; and Putri Gunung Ledang

Morgan le Fay painted by the Victorian artist Frederick Sandys; The Queen Mother of the West, A Chinese Immortal; and Putri Gunung Ledang

First of all, thanks so much to all the many, many people who were involved in making Tales Beyond Borders 2015 such a success! We are incredibly grateful.

Many people have asked whether there will be another Tales Beyond Borders conference. We would really there to be another conference; however, at the moment, we are still in the very initial stages of determining the answer to that particular question. Keep checking back periodically, and of course, we will let everyone know, through our various other social media platforms, as soon as we have any good news on that front.

Which brings us to . . . You can keep in touch with the Reading the Fantastic research group (the project behind Tales Beyond Borders 2015) through our facebook page (www.facebook.com/ReadingtheFantastic), our twitter account (@FantasyReadings), and our tumblr site (www.reading-the-fantastic.tumblr.com). We post updates regarding both our reading group sessions and our seminar series on our tumblr site, on our facebook page, and on our twitter account. We also post any items (news, events, etc) related to fantasy (in its widest interpretation) on our facebook and on our twitter accounts, so please tell us if you would like us to publicize any such initiatives in which you may be involved. Our contact information is here and of course, you can always reach us at reading.the.fantastic@gmail.com.

Finally, we are always happy to connect/work with any initiatives/projects related to fantasy (again, in its widest interpretation); do let us know if you feel we can be of assistance.

Warm regards,

The Reading the Fantastic/Tales Beyond Borders Team

Live updates from the Tales Beyond Borders Conference!

1. Sadly, panel speaker Rebecca Long was unable to make it to the conference due to a family emergency. However, you can get a sense of her paper (on ‘”The Best of All Worlds”: Border Crossings in Irish Children’s Literature’) through this guest blog post she’s kindly written for us using an excerpt from her paper. You can also email her for more information at longra@tcd.ie. http://reading-the-fantastic.tumblr.com/post/117241914456/the-best-of-all-worlds-border-crossings-in
2. Conference participants Anna Madill (@UKFujoshi), Megen de Bruin-Molé (@MegenJM), Chuckie Patel (@PhDfantasy), Anaïs Pedica (@anaisdpedica), Bill Hughes (@BillBloodyHughe), Yuri van Hoef (@vanhoef), AdiFitri Ahmad (@adifitri33), and Nik Taylor (@nikmagick) for some great tweeting work! Investigate further at conference hashtag #TBB or by following them on Twitter.

3. Finally, the first Tales Beyond Borders day started with a bang at our PGR/ECR workshop! Thanks to both guest speakers and workshop participants for their wonderful discussions and insights. (You can find more info on our speakers here.)

Almost there!

It’s now less than two days before the first Tales Beyond Borders event, and we’re excited! (We’re also stuffing conference folders.) Here’s some information that might be helpful:

We’ve updated the conference site with advice about dining and local attractions.

You can investigate some of the fantasy-related initiatives in which our guest speakers are involved on our resources/links page.

Moving Worlds, a Leeds-based journal of transcultural writings, will have a stall at Tales Beyond Borders. They are doing a special sale and subscription rate for the conference:

  • The current issue, ‘Catastrophe and Environment‘, is £10 for students/non-waged and £15 for all others.
  • All other issues are £5 for students/non-waged and £10 for all others.
  • Annual subscriptions are £14 for students/non-waged and £32 for all others.

You can find links to other initiatives that our panel speakers are involved in here.

We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!

Best wishes from Christine, Ikhlas and Sarah

Conference Registration, Schedule, and Session Speaker Details

We’re excited to be welcoming 36 speakers,  from nine different countries,  to the two main conference days (Friday 24th – Saturday 25th April, 2015) of Tales Beyond Borders. Our speakers will be discussing an exciting variety of topics and issues, including animal and environmental tropes in fantasy, Indian oral song traditions, representations of magic in dramatic performance, the use of modern techniques of digital illustration and animation to bring Malaysian and Thai folktales to new audiences,  new theoretical debates around fantasy studies,  issues around psychology and sexuality in Victorian fantasy,  the balance of political and scientific investigations of fantasy, issues around Queer and ‘strange’ physicalities in speculative fiction,  difficulties of translation,  reception, and interpretation in contemporary sci fi and dystopic fiction,  and perceptions of fantasy across age categories of literature.

Details of times,  sessions, and panel speakers (including abstracts and bios) can all be accessed from our Conference Schedule page.  However,  if you want to access panel speaker details quickly, turn to the alphabetical list on our Session Speakers and Abstracts page.

You can purchase registration (of various types) on our online store;  you will find a link for this on the Costs and Registration Payment page. The deadline for registration is 20th March, 2015.

Warm regards,

The Tales Beyond Borders Team
( Christine,  Ikhlas,  and Sarah )

Deadline Approaching: Call for Papers Ends 31st January 2015

Thank you very much to all those who have already submitted abstracts in response to our call for papers. We’ve really enjoyed reading your fascinating abstracts, and we’ve been excited to hear about your work.

More generally: the deadline to submit abstracts for 20 minute panel papers is next Saturday, 31st January 2015.

We welcome proposals from postgraduate students, established scholars, independent researchers, writers, and artists from any background.  Papers can be on any subject or discipline in relation to fairy tales, folk tales, and fantasy literature but we encourage these topics to question or address ideas and crossings of boundaries between/within conceptions of the fantastic and the speculative. Proposal abstracts must be between 200-300 words; please send abstracts, along with a biography (100 words maximum) of the prospective speaker(s), to reading.the.fantastic@gmail.com (using the phrase ‘TBB conference abstract’ in the subject heading).

The full Call for Papers can be found here: https://readingthefantastic.wordpress.com/call-for-papers/

Information about our keynote speakers can be found here: https://readingthefantastic.wordpress.com/speakers/

You may find it helpful to look at our tumblr site (www.reading-the-fantastic.tumblr.com) to gain a sense of our ongoing research activities around fantasy, folktale, fairy tale and speculative fiction studies. We’ve put together some resources here as a small pointer to background research in these areas: https://readingthefantastic.wordpress.com/resources/

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments; we’re also very grateful to those who have reached out to us with details of their own collaborative projects.

With best wishes,

The Tales Beyond Borders Team