Zara Wilkinson, Rutgers University-Camden
contact email:
Rutgers University-Camden
Camden, NJ

May 2-3, 2014 Buffy to Batgirl is an interdisciplinary conference with a focus on women and gender in science fiction, fantasy, and comics. Science fiction and fantasy is a popular genre, as evidenced by the recent success of books, televisions, and films such as The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Avengers, and Gravity. These books, television shows, and films include a wide variety of female characters, from protagonists to villains, warriors to “women in refrigerators,” and sidekicks to starship captains.

We invite submissions of individual papers or complete panels on any aspect of female representation in science fiction, fantasy, and comics. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the conference, we seek to represent a range of critical and theoretical approaches as well as a variety of media.

Appropriate topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Women and their place in futuristic or other worlds (Star Trek, Doctor Who, Babylon 5, Firefly)
  • Female protagonists in urban fantasy and paranormal romance (Buffy, Anita Blake, Sookie Stackhouse, Clary Fray)
  • Gender politics after the apocalypse (Revolution, Falling Skies, Oryx and Crake, Y: The Last Man)
  • Female characters in updated/adapted fairy tales (Once Upon a Time, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Snow White and the Huntsman, Grimm)
  • The women of superhero films/television (Marvel Cinematic Universe, Agents of SHIELD, Arrow)
  • Female-focused comic book series (New 52 Batgirl and Wonder Woman, Marvel NOW! X-Men)
  • Horrific women and women in horror (American Horror Story, Carrie, Mama)
  • Science fiction and reproductive body horror (Alien franchise, Twilight, Bloodchild)
  • Cyberpunk and the augmented woman (William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Charles Stross)
  • Feminism, gender, and sexuality in zombie media TV (Romero, In the Flesh, The Walking Dead)
  • Young female characters, especially in sf/f media for young adults and children (The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Song of the Lionness, His Dark Materials)
  • International aspects of these and other relevant topics and/or papers on science fiction, fantasy, and comics in other languages also encouraged

Buffy to Batgirl is open to all faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars. Undergraduate students may also submit proposals but should include the name of faculty mentor who will assist in the preparation of an appropriate conference presentation.

Please send a 300-500 word abstract and a short bio to by January 4, 2014.

Rutgers-Camden, located just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, is the southernmost campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The campus can be reached from all major transit hubs in Philadelphia, PA, and is accessible by public transportation. Please contact the conference organizers for more information.