Archives par mot-clé : science-fiction

Steampunks and Times Trans-shifters: Histories, Genres, Narratives An essay assemblage (30 juin 2012)

Steampunks and Times Trans-shifters: Histories, Genres, Narratives An essay assemblage

(abstracts for june 30 2012)

full name / name of organization:
Mark Houlahan/ University of Waiakto, Hamilton, New Zealand
contact email:

Steampunks and Times Trans-shifters: Histories, Genres, Narratives
An essay assemblage
Edited by Mark Houlahan, Kirstine Moffat and Fiona Martin

In these the best of times (and the worst), the age of wisdom (and the age of foolishness), the epoch of belief and incredulity, the season of darkness and light, the spring of hope and the winter of despair, steampunk has flourished. Airships circle the globe; clanking machines haunt the ocean’s deeps. Fractals of history merge and re- combine. Babbage’s quaint math reinvents the computer a century before its prime; of necessity, as the neo-Victorian knows no silicon chip, steampunk computers gleam and creak with wooden stylings and mechanically wrought interiors.

K.W. Jeter coined the term “steampunk” as an offhand phrase in 1987, but the name has stuck, for it evokes well a diverse range of cultural, textual, material practices; there have been many attempts since to rename these formats, but none has supplanted the rhythmically trochaic force of steampunk.

Jeter used his catchphrase to evoke the crossover, transhistorical, mechanical and mythical fictions he, among many others, had been concocting. His Morlock Nights for example, flinging Merlin reborn against the Morlock’s from The Time Machine, is strongly influenced by 1970s precursors, such as the apocalyptic Londonist fantasies of Michael Moorcock. The burgeoning steampunk archive traces these energies further back, claiming the sci fi of H.G. Wells and, in particular, Jules Verne as proto-steampunk. Their machines are weirdly credible, described with loving detail (the time machine is as seducing as the Tardis to enter), and yet the futurist past in Verne and Wells is high fantastical. The 2012 film Mysterious Island visualises this beautifully. The battery of Captain Nemo’s sunken Nautilus has gone flat after 150 years in the sea. Throw a spear in to the mouth of a galvanic electric eel, and, huzzah, the re-energised ship will take you home.

Steampunk fantasies are intricate and beguiling, throwing adventure, wonder, industrial age grime and glamour into the history blender. Often these are remade Victorian worlds, but need not be. In Link and Grant’s exuberant 2011 anthology Steampunk!, M.T. Anderson describes a fate machine with a computer’s number crunching powers, and then sets it loose on the violent history of Ancient Rome.

Steampunk clothing and texts, websites and anthologies, steampunk conventions and capitals (such as Oamaru in the South Island of New Zealand) have been with us for decades; yet steampunk is just now emerging as a subject of academic interest, intertwining cultural, historical, textual and media studies approaches. There are numerous essays on steampunk writers, and in 2010 Neo-Victorian Studies devoted a whole special issue to the field. Much of this focuses on canonical texts, such as Gibson and Sterling’s Difference Engine, and such is the speed with which steampunkers have recreated various pasts, that any one snap shot needs rapid updating.

We propose then a new collection reframing the field, and invite abstracts on any aspect of steampunk. Who are the texts and who the authors that really matter? If it’s not neo-Victorian, does it still count? Tell us about steampunk in other media and other ages, in machinist art and machinist clothes. Steampunk on screen and on the page. Are steampunk stories good beginnings that can never quite finish, like the long tales of H.G. Wells, which dwindle to feeble conclusions after tremendous beginning?

If you are keen, please contact us: by cyber age computing is best. We need your abstracts by July 1, 2012. We will package the best of these for an international publisher—there are several who are keen to see the collection. We’d then like final copy of the chosen essays by February 1, 2013. If we all survive the Mayan apocalypse, you should have plenty of time to frame your piece.

Send further inquiries, great new reads and of course your abstracts by July 1, 2012 to:

Mark Houlahan (
Senior Lecturer, English Programme
School of Arts
University of Waikato
Hamilton, New Zealand

Kirstine Moffat (
Senior Lecturer & English Programme Convenor,
School of Arts
University of Waikato
Hamilton, New Zealand

Huxley’s Brave New World and its Legacies

Huxley’s Brave New World and its Legacies

Friday 12 October 2012

Institute of English Studies, London University

When Brave New World first appeared in 1932 it caused a sensation. It was obvious that Aldous Huxley was intent on testing the boundaries of propriety (sailing especially close to the wind in terms of sexual and religious obscenity), but what kind of novel had he published? A satire, like his earlier novels; a horrified warning of things to come, or a vision of how things might be, for better or for worse, following a number of scientific, political and social adjustments to the Britain of his day?

While the novel’s title has become embedded in the English language as a catchword for anything that is far-fetched, faddish, futuristic or forbidding, the possible meanings Brave New World have only proliferated over the past eighty years and its relevance to our own world has only increased with time. Certainly, the novel’s significance for our own concerns with eugenics, globalisation, dystopias, urbanisation, population issues, technological innovation, authoritarianism, anarchism, educational theory, mass society, liberty, control, Americanisation, constructions of culture, and the ongoing crisis of capitalism, could not be more obvious. Proposed papers that are keyed to any of these categories are encouraged, but we also look forward to receiving proposals that engage with any of Brave New World’s historical contexts, contemporary resonances and manifold legacies.

Please send proposals of up to 300 words for 20-minute papers to by 15 June 2012.

The School of Advanced Study is part of the central University of London. The School takes its responsibility to visitors with special needs very seriously and will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to its facilities in order to accommodate the needs of such visitors. If you have a particular requirement, please feel free to discuss it confidentially with the organiser in advance of the event taking place.

Enquiries: Events Officer, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU; tel +44 (0) 207 664 4859; Email:

Parution: Christian Chelebourg, Les Ecofictions. Mythologies de la fin du monde

Christian Chelebourg, Les Ecofictions. Mythologies de la fin du monde

Bruxelles : Les Impressions Nouvelles, coll. “Réflexions faites”, 2012.

256 p.

Prix 19,50EUR

EAN 9782874491405.

Présentation de l’éditeur :

“Les écofictions. Mythologies de la fin du monde” est un essai qui relève à la fois des études de l’imaginaire et, partant,  des études écocritiques. Mais c’est aussi un livre hautement politique, dans la postérité des Mythologies de Roland Barthes.

Une écofiction n’est pas seulement une fiction (littéraire ou cinématographique) sur l’écologie, c’est avant tout et surtout une fiction sur le désastre écologique que tout le monde prédit.  Pollution, réchauffement climatique, catastrophes naturelles, épidémies, manipulations génétiques font partie de notre quotidien, engendrant une culpabilité et des angoisses dont nous avons de plus en plus de mal à nous défaire. Les fictions, littérature et cinéma en tête, exploitent ces nouvelles peurs, réactivant d’anciens mythes et créant de nouveaux.

À la lumière de plus de deux cents romans, films, bandes dessinées, documentaires, essais ou publicités, Christian Chelebourg démonte pour notre plus grand plaisir les mécanismes de ces écofictions qui nous divertissent autant qu’elles nous effraient, qui nous invitent à méditer sur notre fragilité autant qu’elles nous persuadent de notre puissance.

Parmi les oeuvres étudiées, on trouve:

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Home
Michael Bay, Armageddon
Jan de Bont, Twister
Danny Boyle, 28 Days Later…
James Cameron, Avatar
Chris Carter, X-Files
Wes Craven, La Colline a des yeux
Robin Cook, Virus
Michael Crichton, État d’urgence
Roger Donaldson, Le Pic de Dante
Roland Emmerich, 2012
Alastair Fothergill, Un Jour sur terre
Terry Gilliam, L’Armée des douze singes
Al Gore, Une Vérité qui dérange
Nicolas Hulot, Le Syndrome du Titanic
Francis Lawrence, Je suis une légende
Mimi Ledder, Deep Impact
James McTeigue, V pour Vendetta
Hayao Miyazaki, Princesse Mononoké
Andrew Niccol, Bienvenue à Gattaca
Alex Proyas, Prédictions
Sam Raimi, Spider-Man 3
Kim Stanley Robinson, 50° au-dessous de zéro
Jean-Christophe Rufin, Le Parfum d’Adam
Steven Soderbergh, Contagion
Steven Spielberg, La Guerre des mondes
Andrew Stanton, Wall-E
Andy & Larry Wachowski, Matrix
Alexander Witt, Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Albert Camus, La Peste
Stephen King, The Stand
Jean-François Gosselin, La Fin du Monde – 21 décembre 2012
Hergé, L’Étoile mystérieuse

Christian Chelebourg est Professeur de Littérature à l’Université de Nancy 2 et directeur du Centre d’Études Littéraires Jean Mourot. Spécialiste de l’imaginaire, il s’est intéressé aux romanciers populaires du XIXe siècle avant de se consacrer à la Littérature de jeunesse contemporaine et aux fictions à destination du grand public. Il est principalement l’auteur de Jules Verne, l’oeil et le ventre (Minard, 1999), L’Imaginaire littéraire (A. Colin, « Fac », 2000) et Le Surnaturel – Poétique et écriture (A. Colin, « U », 2006).

Call for papers, The ethics and poetics of genre literature, Montpellier

The ethics and poetics of genre literature
Université Paul Valéry- Montpellier 3, France  –  15-16 March 2013
Deadline for proposals: 15 September 2012

An international conference organized by EMMA (Etudes Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone) with the support of the Société de Stylistique Anglaise (SSA).

This interdisciplinary international conference, the second  section of the project ‘Ethics & Rhetoric’ within EMMA’s line of research ‘Ethics of Alterity’, will focus on language and ethics in literary genres that depict encounters with alterity.

The situations in which the subject is faced with different or alien beings will be studied namely in novels belonging to the genre of utopia/dystopia, science fiction, fantasy, etc., as the so-called ‘genre literature’ embodies a heuristic model that dramatises and exacerbates encounters with alterity, featuring exotic, subhuman or posthuman beings that defy human knowledge (in SF and fantasy especially). Genre literature has often been regarded as an entertaining or escapist field that does not lend itself to ethical and poetical reflections, limiting itself to a hollow and servile repetition of the genre codes.

Nevertheless, theoreticians of these genres that have not been sufficiently studied highlight their defamiliarizing power through which things can be ‘seen’. This process of defamiliarization is often associated with the stylistic, poetic and ethical force inherent in fiction, but in its attempt at meta-conceptualizing the relationship between language and reality, genre literature seems to problematize and enhance these phenomena by making them more easily perceivable. Thus not resting content with merely questioning the mechanism of estrangement, genre literature explores the confines of readability and the break-point between the readerly and the writerly.

In their desire to represent the Other in all its complexity, writers are indeed confronted with an ethical and poetical aporia: how to describe what escapes Humanity in Human language? In the eyes of its critics, Science Fiction (SF) seems to lean towards the side of the readerly. On the border between total defamiliarization and cognition (Darko Suvin speaks of ‘cognitive estrangement’), SF seems to embody a genre that cannot afford to lose its readers. That may be the reason why extra-terrestrial languages are often filtered by English — crushing down linguistic difference under the weight of a single language that everybody can understand — as in Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle in which the creole form of English is ironed out through translation. How to represent a world in which the classical pronominal references (she/he) are not relevant anymore since ontology no longer relies on binary distinctions (as in The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin)? Yet certain SF or dystopia writers do manage to stretch out language and readability in their description of an alien situation (Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker might be the best example here). But fantasy can perhaps be construed as the most subversive genre in that matter as it wallows in undecidability and interpretative wavering. In its attempt to reconcile the inexpressible, what is without a name, and the speakable or visible, according to Rosemary Jackson, fantasy delimits a zone of non-signification where the Other cannot be reduced to the self. Should we thus conclude that reaching the breaking point of intelligibility can guarantee the birth of the other in its radical alterity?

Todorov brought to light the difficulty of apprehending alterity in schemes other than the ones we are familiar with, questioning the possibility of mapping the other’s radical difference. The narratives about the Aztecs are among the first illustrations of this tendency to project pre-conceived expectations onto the other: ‘One would seek to transpose it into a familiar cognitive scheme in order to make it understandable and thereby at least partially acceptable’ (Tzvetan Todorov, Les Morales de l’histoire, Paris, Grasset, 1991, p. 41, our translation). Can reducing alterity to the categories of the same or resorting to the other as a foil to reinforce the self (the other being then everything the self is not) be said to be part of the more conservative trend in SF as opposed to more subversive trends of the genre (what Broderick calls allographers along Terry Dowling’s coinage ‘xenographies’) or of fantasy?

Are we condemned to a certain ethno — or anthropo-centrism — an accusation that is launched against the socio-constructionists that contend that our beliefs, desires or intentions are mediated by shared social and normative conventions that have been learnt and internalized in the specific discourse community we belong to — or can the other be ‘known’ to a certain extent while preserving its radical difference? Do tropes have a heuristic power able to change our conception of the world and of others? Is there such a thing as ‘rhetorical ethics’ that could give us access to the other? If, according to Broderick, zeugma and syllepses are characteristic of the poetics of SF, what relationships do these tropes of fusion entertain between self and other? How effective are other figures of speech in their depiction of the Other? Can they be said to be a product of an all-powerful Reason reducing alterity to the same? In La Raison classificatoire, for example, Patrick Tort indeed recalls that the two major classifying systems of human thoughts rely on metaphor and metonymy. Or, on the other hand, can tropes be said to ensure a speculative and prospective exploration, producing ‘scandalous or non-sense effects’ (Rosolato) that are capable of upsetting the classifications through which we have been trained to perceive the world? Can stylistic problems like focalisation or reported speech — that are often a privileged way to access the other’s conceptual schemes — be seen as anthropocentric blows dealt to alterity? Can the other be sketched out through lexical and syntactic inventiveness without its portrait being entirely tamed or harnessed?

The focus on this conference will thus be on the linguistic and poetic means writers resort to in their description of others (rather than be merely thematic). The point is to bring under scrutiny how fiction succeeds (or fails) in its discursive mapping of otherness and what the dialogue it imagines with the other teaches us on language and the human self. What will be explored are the limits of language and the linguistic strategies that are displayed by genre literature to get around this predicament.

This interdisciplinary international conference wishes to attract both literary critics, linguists and stylisticians working on the literature of the English-speaking countries from the 19th to the 21st centuries.

The following themes could be addressed but they are in no way restrictive:

  • linguistic representation of alterity
  • tropological ethics
  • stylistics and genre
  • intelligibility and linguistic experimentation
  • the speakable / unspeakable
  • representation of cognitive structures through focalisation, reported speech, pronominal identification, etc.

Deadline for submission: September 15 2012
Notification of acceptance: November 30 2012

Proposals of around 300 words to be sent to both:

  • Maylis Rospide <>
  • Sandrine Sorlin <>

Language of the conference: English

Source : The European Society for the Study of English

Call for Papers Richard Matheson (1st june 2012)

Call for Papers

Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson is a prolific writer who has shaped the horror genre through his contributions to literature, film, and television. His work spans genres of horror, science fiction, fantasy, and suspense, totaling more than 90 short stories and 28 full-length novels, including I Am Legend, A Stir of Echoes, What Dreams May Come, and The Incredible Shrinking Man. Seminal horror figures Stephen King and George A. Romero cite Matheson as a major influence, and his writing has inspired multiple film and graphic novel adaptations.

Despite his extensive body of work, Matheson remains largely outside the scope of academia, with little available scholarship of his work. We have been asked by a reputable academic press to compile an as-yet-untitled volume of critical articles about Richard Matheson. Completed articles should be 15-20 pages in length and may address any aspect of Matheson’s career, from his original writing to adaptations of his work.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
• Discourses of superstition and science
• Alienation and isolation
• Disease and decay
• Power and privilege in class inequalities
• Deconstructing mythologies or defying generic expectations
• Shifting concepts of normalcy or aberrant behavior
• Sex and sexuality in gender and marriage roles

Please submit a 250-300 word abstract for publication consideration. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2012.
Please address all inquiries and submissions to Cheyenne Mathews (

Cheyenne Mathews, Department of English, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Dr. Janet V. Haedicke, Department of English, University of Louisiana at Monroe

CFP: Dead Inside: The Walking Dead and the Problem of Meaning in the New Millennium (13 août 2012)

Dead Inside: The Walking Dead and the Problem of Meaning in the New Millennium.

Essay Collection.

Deadline: August 13, 2012

Dawn Keetley, Lehigh University
contact email:

In the early twenty-first century, zombies are everywhere—in film (Land of the Dead, 28 Days Later, Dead Snow, Rammbock, The Horde), fiction (Stephen King’s Cell, Colson Whitehead’s Zone One, Max Brooks’ World War Z, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Handling the Undead), social movements (zombie walks and the Zombie Research Society ), classrooms (Zombie Studies) and even politics (Daniel Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies). Undoubtedly one of the most sustained and complex representations of the modern zombie, though, is AMC’s television series, The Walking Dead, based on Robert Kirkman’s series of comics.

I am seeking essays for a collection that will explore the complexities of The Walking Dead in relation to the multiple forms of zombie revival, and that will address the ways in which the zombie articulates the crucial theoretical and political debates of the new century.

I am particularly interested in essays about how zombies, and narratives about zombies, engage problems of meaning. In the first episode of season one of The Walking Dead, after protagonist Rick Grimes wakes up in a hospital to a post-apocalyptic world, he encounters a door on which the words “Do Not Open. Dead Inside” are painted. Zombies claw at the opening. The moment encapsulates how zombies often function to signal inner deadness or absence—the loss of self, of consciousness, of history, of political efficacy, of meaning itself. How does the series, in its many contexts (literary, cinematic, historical, political, address compelling contemporary problems of meaning, of how we find and attribute significance in our lives? Essays should, then, take up The Walking Dead as a crystallization of one of the many contemporary problems of meaning. Some generative questions/contexts include:

–Why have zombies seen such a resurgence in the twenty-first century, after their apparent demise in the 1990s? How does The Walking Dead represent an evolution in the history of zombie fiction and film?

–How do zombies feature in imaginings of the end of the world? How do post-apocalyptic narratives with zombies (The Walking Dead, World War Z, Romero’s Dead cycle) differ from those without (The Road, Survivors, The Book of Eli)?

–How do fictional, cinematic, and televisual zombies illuminate philosophical debates over the conceivability of the zombie and what the possible existence (or lack thereof) of zombies says about human consciousness and identity?

–How do zombie narratives encode politics and offer forms of social critique (notably of global capitalism), as well as embodying forms of utopian political thinking?

–How do zombies serve as figures of contagion—as a virus that infects both the body and the mind (memes, flash mobs, etc.)? What meanings inhere in zombies’ contagiousness?

–How do zombies engage with recent theorists of the posthuman?

Please send your essay of no more than 30 pages to Dawn Keetley, Associate Professor of English, at Lehigh University, 35 Sayre Drive, Bethlehem PA 18015. Email: The deadline is Monday August 13, 2012. All disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives are welcome. I will be happy to address any questions via email at any time. McFarland (who have been publishing the best books on zombies) is interested in publishing this collection.

Parution: Stephan Kraitsowits, J. G. Ballard – Inventer la réalité

Stephan Kraitsowits, J. G. Ballard – Inventer la réalité

Publications des universités de Rouen et du Havre, 2012.

214 p.

EAN 9782877755337

15,00 EUR

Présentation de l’éditeur :

Le regard qu’offrent les romans de James Graham Ballard sur l’époque actuelle et sur la littérature britannique contemporaine fait de cet auteur britannique né à Shanghai l’un des commentateurs indispensables de notre temps. A la fois post-apocalyptique, post-coloniale et post-moderne, sa vision particulière est exposée grâce à une étude attentive des dimensions générique, biographique et symbolique de quatre romans plus particulièrement représentatifs de son oeuvre. Des analyses détaillées d’extraits de ces mêmes ouvrages permettent ensuite de retrouver, au plus près du texte, les composants structurants de l’oeuvre romanesque de l’auteur. Enfin, les spécificités du texte ballardien sont à nouveau étudiées à travers l’examen des adaptations filmiques de ses romans.

Sommaire :

Note liminaire

Des classements génériques successifs ;
Découpages et redécoupages chronologiques ;
Points de scintillation.

Chapitre I
L’hyperesthétique générique de J. G. Ballard

The Drowned World : une caricature science-fictive ;
Empire of the Sun : les duperies du récit autobiographique ;
Running Wild : pastiche du roman à énigme ;
Note conclusive : l’hyperesthétique générique de Ballard.

Chapitre II
La mort, une impression de déjà-vu

The Drowned World : l’impossible consolation par la science-fiction ;
The Unlimited Dream Company : le surréalisme comme sublimation esthétique de la mort ;
Empire of the Sun : le souvenir de la mort ;
Running Wild : la mort comme fait divers ;
Note conclusive : dire la mort.

Chapitre III
La symbolique intime des textes ballardiens

Le passé englouti ;
L’avenir asséché ;
La plage du présent ;
Le feu sublime ;
Note conclusive : la mythopoïétique ballardienne.

Chapitre IV
Lectures détaillées

The Drowned World : l’engloutissement de Leicester Square ;
The Unlimited Dream Company : l’étourneau étranglé ;
Empire of the Sun : le cinéma en plein air ;
Running Wild : le village de Pangbourne.

Chapitre V
Ballard au cinéma

Du texte au film, aménagements et réagencements ;
Une imagination artistique partagée ;
Note conclusive : un cinéma ballardien.

Conclusion générale
Bibliographie commentée

Stephan Kraitsowits est Maître de Conférences à l’Université de Picardie – Jules Verne. Traducteur, il a publié de nombreux articles sur J.G. Ballard.

CFP: MAPACA 2012; SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY AREA (deadline: june 5, 2012)

Call for Papers MAPACA 2012

The Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association (MAPACA) invites academics, graduate and undergraduate students, independent scholars, and artists to submit papers for the annual conference, to be held in Pittsburgh, PA., November 1-3, 2012. Those interested in presenting at the conference are invited to submit a proposal or panel by June 15, 2012. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words long. Include a brief bio with your proposal. Single papers, as well as 3- or 4-person panels and roundtables, are encouraged. For further information, updates on areas and area chairs, please visit MAPACA’s web site at

Science Fiction and Fantasy
Science Fiction and Fantasy welcomes papers/presentations in any critical, theoretical, or (inter)disciplinary approach to any topic related to SF/F: art; literature; radio; film; television; video, role-playing, and multi-player online games. Though not an exhaustive list, potential presenters may wish to consider the following:

§ Vampire Romance
§ Gender and Sexuality
§ Race and Otherness
§ Class and Hierarchies
§ Utopia/Dystopia
§ Mythology and Quest Narratives
§ Creatures and Aliens
§ Science and Magic
§ Language and Rhetoric
§ Genre—Space Opera, Cyberpunk, Dark Fantasy, etc.
§ Fans and Fandom/Community Building
§ Textual Analysis
§ Sociological or Psychological Readings
§ Archival Research/History
§ Technology—Textual and Literal
§ Online Identity Construction
§ Reading Other “Worlds”

Please e-mail a copy of your abstract and bio to the area chairs:
Marilyn Stern
Leigha McReynolds

Lancement de Res Futurae – le carnet.

Res Futurae – le carnet

Res Futurae est un projet rassemblant des universitaires dont les sujets de recherche concernent la science-fiction. Il envisage la création d’une revue arbitrée en ligne, Res Futurae – Revue d’Etudes sur la Science-Fiction (ReSF), partenaire de la revue de référence Science Fiction Studies.

Le carnet de recherches se propose d’accompagner la revue, des premières étapes de sa mise au point à son lancement puis à sa vie éditoriale de croisière: il diffusera les premières annonces et appels à contribution avant le lancement effectif du site de la revue, puis les annonces diverses qui ne pourraient pas y trouver leur place en raison de leur calendrier ou de leur nature, favorisera la structuration d’une communauté scientifique sur le sujet, encouragera les échanges et signalements de parutions ou de ressources… Il sera alimenté par les comités de rédaction et de lecture de ReSF, mais aussi par toute personne intéressée, qu’elle appartienne au monde universitaire ou non.

CFP: Environments in Science Fiction: Beyond Dystopias

Environments in Science Fiction: Beyond Dystopias

submission deadline 9 March 2012/ MLA Convention January 3-6, 2013

MLA Convention/Special Session proposal CFP
contact email:

This is a cfp for a special session at the MLA Convention in Boston, MA January 3-6 2013. I will submit the panel proposals and we will hear after that whether the session is accepted for the conference.

How do spaces (both built and unbuilt) in science fiction texts and films help shape the relationships between humans, other animals and their shared environments? Spaces (broadly conceived) as well as a sense of place or belonging and identification play roles in many science fiction works. Depictions of the future that may include, but move beyond, dystopias offer us ways to imagine reinventing ourselves and our perspectives, especially our perspectives on new environments. Paper proposals that examine environments in science fiction films, television series and texts are all welcome.

There is a possibility that a book proposal (one publisher has expressed a preliminary interest in the topic) may evolve from this session CFP.

Proposal deadline: 9 March 2012
Email 2 page paper proposals to: Susan Bernardo at