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Monthly Archives: May 2014

REMINDER: 1 June deadline is *fast approaching*!

39th Annual Meeting

Global Work and Play

23-26 October 2014

Delta Montréal

475, Avenue Président Kennedy

Montréal, Canada

Utopias have nowhere left to hide in an era of global capital and information flows.  Imagining the perfect society means envisioning global as much as, or more than, national or local change.  Labor is transformed as heavy industry relentlessly relocates. Post-industrial refugees chase immaterial wealth flowing across borders that are porous for information and capital, but not for bodies.  Even leisure becomes work when corporations mine Twitter and Facebook for content to monetize, while gamifying daily life.  Under such conditions, visualizing a utopian balance of work and play grows both more difficult and more urgent.

Papers are welcome on all aspects of the utopian tradition, from the earliest utopian visions to the utopian speculations and yearnings of the 21st century, including art, architecture, urban and rural planning, literary utopias, dystopian writings and films, utopian political activism, theories of utopian spaces and ontologies, music, new media, and intentional communities. We especially welcome papers and panels on games, gamers and gamification; utopian and dystopian aspects of globalization; and non-Western utopian traditions.

Additionally, we are introducing a new poster and demonstration track. We invite abstracts for presentations featuring interactive games, apps, digital artifacts, tools, projects, websites, or works in progress with a utopian or dystopian dimension. Those invited to participate will be given a backdrop and table for a poster and/or computer in our exhibition hall. Indie developers and digital humanists are especially welcome.

Abstracts of up to 250 words are due 1 June 2014, and may be for:

  •    a 15-20 minute paper
  •    a panel: include a title, designated Chair, an abstract for the panel and for each of 3-4 papers
  •    an informal roundtable of 3-6 presenters, or a combination of presenters and respondents
  •    a presentation or performance of a utopian creative work or artifact
  •    a poster and/or demo

Please use our online form for submissions here.

*All submissions must include 3-5 keywords to assist in forming cohesive panels. The official language of the conference is English.

For information about registration, travel or accommodations, please contact Brian Greenspan,

For information about panel topics, assistance finding co-panelists, and other questions about the conference, please contact Peter Sands,

Call for Papers: Science Fiction Area 

2014 Pacific, Ancient, and Modern Language Association Conference

Riverside, California, October 31-November 2

Conference Theme: “Familiar Spirits”

The 2014 PAMLA Conference will be held Friday, October 31, through Sunday, November 2, at the Riverside Convention Center in Riverside, California. We are planning some very special events for Halloween and the entire conference, including our special conference theme, “Familiar Spirits.” See for more information.

The Science Fiction (SF) area will mount up to three 90-minute sessions featuring 3-4 papers each. You are welcome to submit proposals on any aspect of the genre, in any medium. We particularly welcome papers that focus on intersections between SF and the “fantastic,” broadly construed: horror, magical realism, weird/new weird, pseudoscience, and other uncanny genres that defamiliarize consensus reality.

The deadline to propose a paper is Thursday, May 15, at midnight. To propose a paper, please go to the CFP/list of session topics posted online at You’ll have to log in to submit a paper proposal, or, if you’ve never logged in at the website, you’ll have to create an account, and then you’ll be able to submit a proposal (just follow the online directions). If you’ve forgotten your user name and password, you can request a new password. The online form to submit proposals is available at

If you have any questions about how to submit a proposal, you may contact PAMLA’s Executive Director, Craig Svonkin, at, or PAMLA’s webmaster, Heather Wozniak, at If you have questions about the suitability of your proposal for the SF area, you can reach me at

The deadline to pay your 2014 PAMLA dues is June 15, 2014. If you wish to attend the conference, you will also have to pay a conference fee (due September 10th, more expensive if paid after that date). We are working on a brand new online payment system, so please be patient while we work out the kinks on this system with our online provider. You will receive an email when the new payment system is up and ready.

The Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies program at the University of California, Riverside announces that the second annual SFTS book award has been won by David Wittenberg, Associate Professor of Cinematic Arts at The University of Iowa, for Time Travel: The Popular Philosophy of Narrative (Fordham UP, 2013). Repositioning our understanding of the relationship between time travel narratives and shifting conceptions of time in physics, the book argues that time travel fiction is a laboratory in which the most fundamental theoretical questions of narratology, history, and subjectivity are rehearsed. Discerning in its critical insights, disciplined in its case studies, and broadly inclusive across media in its examples, Time Travel shows Wittenberg to be one of the most astute among contemporary sf critics.

This SFTS prize honors an outstanding scholarly monograph that explores the intersections between popular culture, particularly science fiction, and the discourses and cultures of technoscience. The award is designed to recognize groundbreaking and exceptional contributions to the field. Books published in English between 1 January and 31 December 2013 were eligible for the award. The jury for the prize was Anindita Bannerjee (Cornell University), Pawel Frelik (Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Poland), and Sherryl Vint (University of California, Riverside), who served as jury chair.

Honorable mentions were received by Joshua Raulerson, for Singularities: Technoculture, Transhumanism, and Science Fiction in the Twenty-First Century (Liverpool University Press), and by Kevin LaGrandeur, for Androids and Intelligent Networks in Early Modern Literature and Culture (Routledge).

The award, which consists of a cash prize, will be presented at the 2014 SFRA/WisCon Conference, which will be held May 22-25 in Madison, Wisconsin. Professor Wittenberg will be in attendance to accept his award.

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Student Caucus election: the next representative to the board will be Skye Cervone, and the Vice-Representative will be Stina Attebery. Congratulations, Skye and Stina!

Their terms will run from August 1, 2014 to July 31, 2016.