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Going Global: Steampunk and Transnational Cultures

Call for Papers

The Asylum Steampunk Festival Conference
Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln
25th – 26th August 2018

Keynote Speaker:
Yomi Ayeni – Transmedia Author, Producer, and Filmmaker

Following on from the success of the inaugural 2017 symposium, we invite abstracts for this year’s steampunk conference at the Asylum Festival. To celebrate a decade of Europe’s largest steampunk festival, we will be focussing on steampunk on the global scale.
Since the creation of the Asylum Festival, steampunk has grown in popularity, expanding from its initial literary forms and subcultural communities to infiltrate and inform many areas of popular culture and mass media. As it has been adopted and adapted around the world, so it has started to shift away from its Anglocentric, (neo-)Victorian roots. This has led to the rise of vibrant and diverse steampunk cultures and communities across the globe. This conference will explore the nature of what has become a worldwide phenomenon. It will reflect on the factors that have encouraged steampunk’s global development, and examine the ways in which steampunk has been appropriated and inflected by countries and cultures across the planet.
Each August Lincoln (UK) becomes the temporary capital of European steampunk culture. This is your opportunity to join us in a celebration of steampunk, to share papers and exchange ideas, and to participate in lively cross-disciplinary discussion.

Papers might consider (but are certainly not limited to) some of the following topics:

• Multicultural steampunk – steampunk fictions and cultures around the world.

• Asian, African, Latin American and Australasian steampunk.

• The cultural functioning of global steampunk – cultural appropriation, adaptation, splicing and cross fertilisation.

• Steampunk, imperialism and anti-imperialism – re-reading, rewriting, reimagining and reclaiming histories.

• Steampunk as a reflection of and reaction to transcultural and transnational concerns.

• Steampunk and global politics; steampunk, neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism.

• The construction and operation of global steampunk networks and online communities; steampunk’s relationship to communication technologies.

• Steampunk and transnational cultural modes – film, video gaming, comics; steampunk and commercialisation.

• Steampunk aesthetics and their national manifestations.

• Steampunk as resistance and challenge to prevalent cultural modes.

• Steampunk fashion – global, national, and local styles.

• Non-European perspectives on European steampunk and its early science fiction predecessors (Jules Verne, Albert Robida, H.G. Wells, etc)

• Steampunk temporalities- multicultural notions of time; steampunk beyond its neo-Victorian origins.

• Steampunk and technology – old, new, and recycled.

• Cross-disciplinary approaches to steampunk – steampunk’s relationship with science, engineering, philosophy, politics, anthropology, etc, alongside more traditional fields such as art, literature and film.

Please send an abstract (300 words max) for a 20 minute paper, and a short bio (150 words max), to and by Friday March 30th 2018. We welcome proposals from individuals and pre-arranged panels.