Call for Proposals
Pulp Magazine Studies Area
Popular Culture/American Culture
April 16-19, 2014
Pulp magazines were a series of
mostly English-language, predominantly American, magazines printed on rough
pulp paper. They were often illustrated with highly stylized, full-page
cover art and numerous line art illustrations of the fictional
content. They were sold for modest sums, and were targeted at
(sometimes specialized) readerships of popular literature, such as western
and adventure, detective, fantastic (including the evolving genres of science
fiction, fantasy, and horror), romance and sports fiction. The first pulp Argosy,
began life as the children’s magazine The Golden Argosy, dated Dec 2, 1882
and the last of the “original” pulps was Ranch Romances and Adventures,
The Pulp Studies area exists to
support the academic study of pulp writers, editors, readers, and culture.
It seeks to invigorate research by bringing together scholars from
diverse areas including romance, western, science fiction, fantasy, horror,
adventure, detective, and more. Finally, the Pulp Studies area seeks to
promote the preservation of the pulps through communication with libraries,
museums, and collectors.
With this in mind, we are calling
for papers and panels that discuss the pulps and their legacy. Suggested authors and topics:
Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Wonder Stories, Fight Stories,
All-Story, Argosy, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Spicy Detective, Ranch
Romances and Adventures, Oriental Stories/Magic Carpet Magazine, Love
Story, Flying Aces, Black Mask, and Unknown, to name a few.
- Editors and Owners:
Street and Smith (Astounding), Munsey (Argosy), Farnsworth Wright (Weird Tales), Hugo Gernsback
(Amazing Stories), Mencken and Nathan (Black Mask), John
- Influential Writers:
H.P. Lovecraft, A. E. Merritt, Robert E. Howard, C. L. Moore, Fritz
Leiber, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Donald Wandrei, Clark Ashton
Smith, and Henry Kuttner.
- Influences on Pulp
Writers: Robert Bloch, H. Rider Haggard,
Arthur Conan Doyle, Jack London, and Edgar Rice Burroughs were all
influences, along with literary and philosophical figures such as Bram
Stoker, Mary Shelley, Friedrich Nietzsche, Edgar Allen Poe, and Herbert
- Popular Characters:
Conan of Cimmeria; Bulldog Drummond; Doc Savage; Solomon Kane;
Buck Rogers; The Domino Lady; Jiril of Jiory; Zorro; El Borak; The Shadow;
The Spider; Nick Carter; The Avenger; and Captain Future, among others. Also character types: the femme fatale,
the he-man, the trickster, racism and villainy (such as Charles
Middleton’s Ming the Merciless), and more.
Popular cover artists including Margaret Brundage (Weird
Tales), Frank R. Paul (Amazing Stories), Virgil Finlay (Weird
Tales), and Edd Cartier (The Shadow, Astounding).
- Theme and Styles:
Masculinity, femininity, and sex as related to the heroic in the
pulps; the savage as hero, the woman as hero, the trickster as hero, etc.
- Film, Television and
Graphic Arts: Pulps in film, television,
comics, graphic novels and other forms are especially encouraged.
- Cyberculture: Cyberpulps such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies and pulp-influenced games such as the Age of Conan MMORPG or the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game.
- International Pulp
Fiction: During the
interwar period and after WWII American-style pulp fiction inspired native
pulp traditions in Australia, Britain, and continental Europe. Submissions covering pulp magazines,
paperbacks, and writers in languages other than English are especially
These are but suggestions for potential panels and presentations.
Proposals on other topics are welcome.
Final Submission Deadline: November 1, 2013
Note: Only papers submitted through
the website will appear in the conference program. If you have any questions, please contact the
Pulp Studies area coordinators:
Labels: academic, cfps, conferences, PCA/ACA, popular culture, pulps