We invite submissions to the 2017 Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) Conference, held at the Marriott Riverside at the Convention Center and hosted by University of California, Riverside.
Our conference theme is Unknown Pasts / Unseen Futures and our keynote speaker is Nnedi Okorafor, author of fantasy, sf, and speculative fiction. Sf author Ted Chiang will also be in attendance for a special screening of Arrival (2016, dir. Denis Villeneuve), which is based on Chiang’s short story “Story of Your Life.” A Q&A with Chiang will follow the screening.
In her acceptance speech for the National Book Foundation’s medal for Distinguished Contributions to American Letters, Ursula K. Le Guin reminded us of the importance of the speculative imagination: such visions can help us recognize that social and political structures of our present are only one option among many rather than inevitable formations. In this spirit, we invite papers that explore science fiction’s pasts from innovative perspectives and that focus on its power to envision alternative futures that are more than just the intensification of urgent problems of the present.
Topics can include, but are not limited to:
– Science fiction without the label: speculative cultural productions that might be understood as part of an expanded frame for science fiction
– Neglected voices: authors or works once prominent in the field who have been forgotten
– New voices: works by the next generation of sf writers and creators and how their work is changing our field
– New methodologies: new ways of asking questions about and with science fiction
– Overlooked media: what other media can we think about in sf terms—visual art, performance art, and more?
– New futures: how can we think beyond or outside of the various crises—economic, ecological, social, democratic—in which we find ourselves in the twenty-first century?
– Reinventing sf: it has become axiomatic to say that the future resembles science fiction in reference to contemporary technology such as augmented reality or biotechnology; so if we are now living in the world as envisioned by Gernsback’s sf, what should be the project for another kind of sf for the twenty-first century?
Please send proposals of 250 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 31, 2017. Proposals should include your name and affiliation, and be accompanied by a brief bibliography. Proposals can be made for pre-constituted panels and these must include email addresses for all proposed speakers.
The full CFP and information about registration, travel, accommodations, and more can be found on the SFRA website at http://www.sfra.org/SFRA-Annual-Conference.