Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: August 2020

CFP: Living in the End Times: Utopian and Dystopian Representations of Pandemics, Cappadocia University, Thu, Jan 14, 2021 – Fri, Jan 15, 2021

Join us for an interdisciplinary conference examining utopian and dystopian representations of pandemics in fiction, film and culture!

“The abandoned towers in the distance are like the coral of an ancient reef- bleached and colourless, devoid of life. There still is life, however. Birds chirp; sparrows, they must be…Do they notice that quietness, the absence of motors? If so, are they happier?” (Atwood, 2009, pg. 3).

The outbreak of COVID-19 has wrought spatial, socioeconomic and political upheavals of a severity and scale often only imagined in eco-dystopian fiction works such as Margaret Atwood’s increasingly prescient MaddAddam trilogy (2003-2013). The pandemic has laid bare existing structural inequalities within global capitalist systems. While multitudes face the economic hardships of a looming global recession, the planet’s wealthy elite have found refuge in their exclusive ‘utopias’ of private medical and security staff, escape mansions and luxury doomsday bunkers. Moreover, the pandemic serves as an augur of further socio-ecological perturbations to come should global capitalism’s relentless exploitation of species and ecosystems continue unabated. Perhaps most importantly, pandemics bring to light the intricate and inextricable entanglements between humans and myriad Earth others, and the realization that we are far from the only actors with the agency to engender world-shattering transformations.

Such times of widespread upheaval render the perennial utopian (and dystopian) imaginary especially valuable. While utopias offer imaginative projections of better worlds and ways of being, dystopias extrapolate from the deficient ‘present’ and offer projections of potentially nightmarish futures. Yet the critique, imagination and desire for the ‘better’ inherent within both are essential for building beyond the current ‘eco-dystopian’ era of pandemics, extinctions and ecological collapse. Pandemics and the spectre of eco-apocalypse don’t signal the end of all worlds or times but merely of the world as presently constituted; there is always the vital question of what comes after. Thus, we are thrilled to present this interdisciplinary conference for exploring literary, film, cultural and ethico-political representations of ‘living in the end times’. For instance, how do pandemics impact upon hope and utopian imaginaries? How do we co-construct more ethical and liveable worlds after ‘the end’, and what might these worlds look like?


We invite abstracts of up to 300 words for paper presentations of 15 minutes sharp (+5 minutes Q&A) to be delivered live on the days of the conference. Panel submissions are also welcome. Paper/panel topics might include but need not be limited to:

• Plague, pandemic & epidemic representations in fiction & films

• Apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic/pandemic fiction

• Pandemic politics & praxis

• Capitalism and biopolitics

• Constructions of post-pandemic worlds/environments

• Post-humanism/post-anthropocentrism and multispecies interactions

• Theorizations of apocalypse or ‘end times’ (Ziźek 2011; Latour 2017)

• Anthropocene, capitalocene, chthulucene, plantationocene

• Boundaries- ‘Self/other’, national, geographic

• Utopia and hope during times of crisis

• Eco-utopias & dystopias

• Cli-fi

• Technology and the future

Please send your abstracts (300 words) and a short bio of up to 150 words to

The deadline for submissions is November 6, 2020. Participants will be notified of acceptance or rejection by November 20, 2020.

The selected papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication by a reputable international publisher (TBA).

Submission Deadline: May 14, 2021

Conference Fee

There is no fee to attend the conference. The conference will be conducted virtually via Microsoft Teams, which will be provided by Cappadocia University. The conference language will be English.

Warm Regards,

Heather Alberro (Nottingham Trent University, UK)

Emrah Atasoy (Cappadocia University, Turkey)

Rhiannon Firth (University of Essex, UK)

Burcu Kayışcı Akkoyun (Boğaziçi University, Turkey)

Pelin Kıvrak (Harvard University, USA)

Conrad Scott (University of Alberta, Canada)

Conference Convening Team


We invite you to submit a scholarly contributed paper to the SCIENCE FICTIONS, POPULAR CULTURES Academic Conference, September 24-27, 2020, broadcasting from the sunny western coast of the Big Island of Hawai’i. This year’s conference will be virtual, so you can participate from nearly anywhere on the planet! Now, in its fourth year, the SCIENCE FICTIONS, POPULAR CULTURES Academic Conference is a highly unique conference held in conjunction with a larger, well-established, highly popular science fiction and fantasy convention known as HawaiiCon.

We are seeking 20-25 minute presentations — to be presented virtually through zoom — and 1500-500 word manuscripts for the peer-reviewed proceedings to be published later this year. You have the choice of presenting “live” via Zoom or you can play a pre-recorded video of yourself at the appointed time of your presentation.

The SFPC Organizing Committee is open to a wide-array of scholarly papers exploring the intersections among science, science fiction, fantasy, technology, and culture. Unique to SFPC, there will be additional opportunities for SFPC scholars to sit on virtual discussion panels with other HawaiiCon guest speakers. Your expertise and enthusiasm is valued!

We kindly invite you to visit our conference website at for detailed registration and proposal submission information. Registration is open and presentation proposals are being considered at this time on a rolling basis from now until August 20. Sent on behalf of the Conference Organizing Committee:

-Dr. Jason T. Eberl, St. Louis University, bioethics scholar and co-editor of ‘Star Trek & Philosophy’
-Dr. Carrie J. Cole, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, science fiction performance theatre scholar
-Dr. Greg Littman, Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, philosophy and fandom studies scholar
-Dr. Stephanie J. Slater, CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research, socio-cultural education scholar

Registration & Submission Website: – due August 20! email: .