During 1979 Robert A Collins organized a Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts using funds donated by Margaret Gaines Swann (Thomas Burnett Swann's mother) and under the auspices of Florida Atlantic University. The first annual conference was in 1980; further annual meetings took place in Florida until 1984. In 1982 the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA) was founded, mainly in order to run the annual conference. After 1984 Roger Schlobin (1944-2017) – the second IAFA president, after Jules Zanger – became conference organizer. The conferences were held in Beaumont, Texas, 1985-1987, and thereafter back in Florida. Each conference features many papers and panels given on all aspects of the Fantastic; Fantasy. Awards granted each year include the William L Crawford Memorial Award (from 1985), the Distinguished Scholarship Award (from 1986; recipients include Brian Attebery, Brian W Aldiss, Peter Hunt, Brian Stableford and Jack Zipes) and the Graduate Student Award (from 1987); the Robert A Collins Service Award has been given intermittently since 1986. From 1988 the IAFA has, also intermittently, published the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.
Volumes of essays selected from those delivered at the conferences include Scope of the Fantastic (anth 1985 2 vols) ed Robert A Collins and Howard D Pierce, Aspects of the Fantastic (anth 1986) ed William Coyle, Forms of the Fantastic (anth 1986) ed Jan Hokeson and Pierce, Reflections of the Fantastic (anth 1986) ed Michael R Collings, The Fantastic in World Literature and the Arts (anth 1987) ed Donald E Morse, Spectrum of the Fantastic (anth 1987) ed Donald E Palumbo, Shape of the Fantastic (anth 1989) ed Olena H Saciuk, Contours of the Fantastic (anth 1990) ed Michelle K Langford, Celebration of the Fantastic (anth 1992) ed Marshall B Tymn, Donald E Morse and Csilla Bertha, and State of the Fantastic (anth 1992) ed Nicholas Ruddick. These anthologies contain the most comprehensive set of analyses of the fantastic in English. [JC]