Tuesday 14th September – Thursday 16th September 2010
Oriel College, Oxford
Call for Papers
The hero may always get the bad guy but the bad guys always grab our attention first. Bad guys – both male and female – are almost always the more interesting characters in a tale, whether told via song, film, folktale, novel, theatre, myth, television (live action or animated), or urban legend. Villains can devise and implement or commit their acts of villainy either by their innate sheer genius or employing the dark arts of black magic.
This interdisciplinary project and conference will seek to uncover the historical origins of the ‘villain’, chart the changing meanings of ‘villain’ and ‘villainy’ across times and cultures, explore the characteristics of persons and actions labelled as villainous and assess the various incarnations of the villain in literature, film, media and cultures.
Papers, presentations, workshops and pre-formed panels that deal with any and all aspects of villains and their villainy are welcome.
1. The history of villains and villainy
2. Concepts and definitions of villains and villainy
3. Mythological villainy
4. Villains, antagonists and scoundrels
5. Devotion to cruelty and the love of the malicious
6. Villainous laughter
7. Incarnations of the villainous; this may involve the figures of:
* Dark Lord
* Evil Twin
* Femme Fatal
* Mad Scientist
* Tragic Villain
* Trickster (such as the character Loki in Norse myth or “Q” from *Star Trek: The Next Generation*)
* Henchman or Minion
* Evil Sidekick/Comic Relief/Comedic Villain
* Villain as Celebrity/Cause Célébres
* Menace and Vengeance
* The Unseen Villain
* Sympathetic Villains
* Real Villains/Acts of Villainy
Papers will be accepted which deal with related areas and themes.
The 2010 meeting of Villains and Villainy will run alongside our project on Madness – Probing the Boundaries and we anticipate holding sessions in common between the two projects. We welcome any papers considering the problems or addressing issues of Villains, Villainy and Madness.
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 26th March 2010. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 13th August 2010. 300 word abstracts should be submitted to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats, following this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract
E-mails should be entitled: Villains Abstract Submission
Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.
Network Founder and Network Leader
Inter-Disciplinary.Net, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
The conference is part of the ‘At the Interface’ series of research projects. The aim of the conference is to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into a themed ISBN hard copy volume.
For further details about the project please visit:
For further details about the conference please visit:
Dr Rob Fisher
Priory House, Wroslyn Road, Freeland, Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
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