From the 10th century’s The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, to 19th century classics like War of the Worlds, to the universe of superheroes that populated comic books of the 20th century, to post-war television series like Star Trek TOS, to contemporary multi-media franchises including the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games series and the A Song of Ice and Fire series, science fiction and fantasy have been a cornerstone of culture. The enduring popularity of these genres as a source of entertainment among the general public and an object of academic scrutiny raises important questions about the significance and meanings of these types of narratives.
Films, television shows, short stories, novels, magazines, blogs and even university courses have become the terrain on which creative practitioners, scholars and laypeople engage with science fiction and fantasy. This dynamic interaction has produced an ongoing interest in questions about how these stories help us to navigate the world we live in; and whether or not utopias and dystopias can tell us anything about the world we inhabit – or how to interpret it. Because the worlds of science fiction and fantasy are the products of dreams and imagination, the ways in which they imagine the world and our place in it, including social structures and issues of race, gender, class and sexual orientation, acquire significant political, social and ideological implications worthy of closer consideration.
This conference will explore how our present culture influences and is influenced by the fantastic elements we encounter in media such as books, movies, TV shows, plays, fan events, graphic novels, digital art and games. While including popular mass media, such as Hollywood blockbusters, we are also interested in niche and subcultural sci-fi products, such a multi user dungeons and vidding. We therefore welcome participants from all disciplines and fields, including but not limited to creative practitioners, fans, researchers, skilled professionals including teachers and clinicians who use sci-fi/fantasy creation/role playing in instructional or therapeutic contexts, tradespeople, representatives from the voluntary sector, and anyone with an interest in joining the inter-disciplinary dialogue. We hope that this conference will help others to learn more about this genre and its importance to global understanding of ourselves and others. By exploring the multitude of societies featured in the science fiction and fantasy world, this conference aims to foster greater understanding of these genres in their own right, heighten awareness of the genres’ implications for global and personal issues and inspire insights which can be used to pursue positive change and innovation in our own societies.
We invite the submission of proposals for presentations, panels, workshops, readings, performances, installations, screenings and round table discussions on any topic related to science fiction and fantasy. These include, but are not limited to:
Science Fiction and Fantasy as a Genre:
- Discussions of specific worlds such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, ….
- Discussions of author specific works such as Frank Herbert, Terry Goodkind, R.R. Martin, and J.R.R. Tolkien
- Mainstream Hollywood science fiction and fantasy cinema (Avengers, Justice League,The Hobbit, The Immortals….)
- Adaptations between different forms of media
- Global science fiction and fantasy cinema
- Broadcast and cable science fiction and fantasy television
- Science fiction and fantasy videogames
- Short-form science fiction and fantasy fil
- Science fiction and fantasy and cooking culture
- Science fiction and fantasy art and illustration
- Webisodes and TV games
- Science fiction and fantasy comics and manga
Science Fiction and Fantasy and Identities:
- Gender in the science fiction and fantasy worlds
- Race in science fiction and fantasy realms
- Other than human and/or more than human beings
- Class in science fiction and fantasy
- Science fiction and fantasy and sexuality
- The Body in science fiction and fantasy
- On being human in science fiction and fantasy
Science Fiction and Fantasy and Technology:
- Science fiction and fantasy, and the military (real life as well as war gaming and videogames
- Animation techniques
- The difference between “science fact” and “science fiction” as well as the reciprocal relationship between the two
- Science fiction and fantasy anime and animation
- Science fiction and fantasy on the internet
- Multimedia “dispersed” science fiction and fantasy narratives
- Magic in the science fiction and fantasy realms
Science Fiction and Fantasy and Economics and Politics:
- Political structures in the other universes
- Science fiction and fantasy and idiom and imagery in advertising
- Science fiction and fantasy games (board games, role-play games, etc…)
- Science fiction and fantasy and/in Music
- World’s Fairs, Theme Parks, and other “material” science fiction and fantasy media
- Science Fiction, Fantasy, and possible future worlds scenarios (climate change and environmental considerations, etc)
Science Fiction and Fantasy and Fan Studies:
- Fan power (The Fuck Cancer fundraiser, crowdfunding, etc.)
- Cosplay, Mashups, and Remixing
- Fandom continuations (fan productions and fan sequels)
- Fan fiction as performative or dramaturgical
- Fandom gatherings and events (conventions etc)
- Identity and community performance in specific franchise fandoms and in general
- Live-action role-playing games
- Design and performance in nonfranchise fandoms such as steampunk
The Steering Group welcomes the submission of proposals for short workshops, practitioner-based activities, performances, and pre-formed panels. We particularly welcome short film screenings; photographic essays; installations; interactive talks and alternative presentation styles that encourage engagement.
What to Send:
300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:
- affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme,
- email address, d) title of proposal,
- body of proposal,
- up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Sci-Fi1 Abstract Submission.
Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and 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.
- Nadine Farghaly: Nadine.Farghaly[at]gmx.net
- Rob Fisher: scifi1[at]inter-disciplinary.net