Calendar | Conference

Realities and Fantasies: Relations, Transformations, Discontinuities (ASCA Workshop 2019)

Amsterdam, 10 - 12 April 2019

Official Website


• Jonathan Culler (Cornell University), “Fantasizing Narrators for Novels and Speakers for Poems
• Annabelle Dufourcq (RU Nijmegen), “Do We Have to Be Realistic? The Imaginary Dimension of the Real: A Phenomenological Approach to Imagination, Images, and the Imaginary Field
• Nkiru Nzegwu (SUNY Binghamton), “Dancing the In-Between: The Immense Power of Madness
• Susanna Paasonen (University of Turku), “Thinking Sex, Thinking Play

Please visit the conference website for more information on the seven parallel sessions.

The world of fantasy often serves as an escape from reality, its limitations, and its many social, economic, and corporeal restrictions. Reality, in turn, is often desired amidst the delusions of the fantastic.

In this workshop, we take on the continuous and renewed interest in the real in its relation to fantasy, illusion, and imagination. Whereas typically, debates on realism are focused on its contrast to idealism or nominalism, we ask: What are the contemporary relations between realities and fantasies? How do reality and fantasy speak to intellectual imaginings and possible futures? What role can or should fictions, fantasies, and idealizations play in addressing change from a social, political, individual, and metaphysical perspective? We are interested in presentations that take on the ways in which reality and fantasy relate, how they may contrast, and how, and under what conditions, the one may transform into the other.

CFP is closedOriginal Call for Papers

The workshop addresses the kinship between realities and fantasies in the following three respects: relations, transformations, and discontinuities. For more details, see the complete CFP on

We welcome papers from the fields of literary studies, media studies, philosophy, arts, anthropology, sociology, and political theory that speak to, but are not limited to:

    ·  The conceptual, normative, de facto, and/or imagined interrelations of fantasies with realities
    ·  Ideal, non-ideal, materialist, or realist theories in their pragmatic or socio-cultural environments
    ·  The role of realities and fantasies in socio-cultural critique, social construction, and enact- ment
    ·  The dynamics of translation, e.g. in literature, media, material culture, or theory
    ·  Relations, transformations, and dis/continuities in artistic, literary, poetic, theoretical, or musical forms
    ·  The body in the field of reality and fantasy
    ·  Interrelationships between power, fantasy, actors, action, forms, and reality
    ·  How political fantasies (e.g. nationalisms) influence social/interpersonal relations
    ·  How cultural fantasies give shape to new modes of expression, understanding, institutionalizing, bonding, and resisting.

    ·  Fantasy as a political vehicle of real, unwanted, feared, or desired social transformation.

We welcome proposals for academic and artistic contributions that speak to the concerns of the workshop as outlined above. Abstracts (max. 300 words) and a short biographical note (max. 100 words) should be submitted to before before 15 November 2018 (the October 15 deadline has been extended). Submissions will be responded to before 1st December.

Written versions of all papers will be circulated to all participants before the workshop. All accepted speakers are required to submit a 3000-word paper before 1st March 2019 (extended from February 15). We kindly ask all prospective participants to bear this in mind before submitting an abstract. Thanks to the generous support by the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis and the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis, participation is free and lunches will be provided. All questions about the workshop can be directed at the email address mentioned above.

Organized by Divya Nadkarni, Alex Thinius, and Nadia de Vries.