Skip navigation

SFRA 2020

Wednesday, July 8th – Saturday July 11th

Indiana University, Bloomington IN

Conference Theme: Forms of Fabulation

Keynote Speakers:

Tavia Nyong’o

Kate Marshall

Special Guest: John Crowley (author of Little, Big)

The Science Fiction Research Association invites proposals for its 2020 annual conference, to be held on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

The SFRA is the oldest scholarly association for the study of science fiction and related genres. It brings together important writers of speculative fiction with premiere scholars of speculative fiction to discuss and debate timely and relevant themes. The annual conference also recognizes important contributions to the field through the Pioneer and Pilgrim Awards for excellence in scholarship.

This year we take FABULATION as our key term. Fabulation is a potent political force as well as an emerging genre convention. Ranging from fantasy fiction and the New Weird to fictional sciences and prefigurative politics, fabulation centers the importance of imagining otherwise in the construction of reality as a scholarly as well as a fictional action.

Fabulation is a future-oriented practice that draws from the energies of the past and the perspectives of the oppressed. Keynote speaker Tavia Nyong’o writes that Afro-fabulation resurfaces from the historical archive those untimely ideas that were “never meant to appear” (3) in majoratian culture and so could only be articulated by way of minor genres and obscure gestures—in performance art, speculative fiction, gossip and legend. Building on the critique of imperial sciences by Indigenous scholars and imaginative writers that were the focus of the 2019 conference, this year’s conference asks what subjugated knowledges can be found in the speculative fiction archives and how they might be surfaced in the present toward multispecies thriving and antiracist worlding. At the same time, reality-production as a form of fictionality has become the principle characteristic of politics in the 21st-century. In addition to asking how we can make fabulations, the conference theme also asks participants to consider the ethics of fiction in the post-truth era.

Topics related to the conference theme include:

● prefigurative politics, visionary fiction, & speculative futurisms

● the weird and the New Weird

● fantasy fiction, fairy stories, magic

● Afro-futurism, indigenous futurisms, and related genres

● post-truth politics and fabulation

● fabulation and Afro-fabulation

● insurgent research, fictional sciences, and related methods

● decolonial speculative fiction

● fabulation and the occult

● aesthetic warfare, feminist witchcraft, meme magic

● aesthetics as a technology of resistance

● European mythology and the problem of white supremacism

● fabulation, environmental ethics, and eco-eroticism

● fabulation and the nonhuman

● fabulation in games, videos, and other non-print media

● fabulation, cosplay, cons, and fan cultures

● science fiction, fantasy and the Midwest

● African, Afro-caribbean, and Indigenous cosmologies

● technology and magic

● children’s literature and magic

● Posthumanism, speculative realism, and fabulation

We also welcome papers on topics relevant to science fiction research broadly conceived that are not specifically related to the conference theme, including proposals for preconstituted panels & roundtables.

300-500 word abstracts should be sent to by March 15 2020. Acceptance notices will be returned by April 1.

Questions concerning this call for papers, preconstituted panels, & roundtables can be directed to with the subject line “CFP QUESTION,” or to the conference’s local organizers, Rebekah Sheldon ( and De Witt Douglas Kilgore (

Graduate students are encouraged to submit abstracts & to attend, regardless of whether they plan to present.

Some conference travel grants will be made available. Applications will be posted soon and due on 15 April 2020.

You will also need to join SFRA (or renew your membership) in order to register for the conference. Conference Registration information will be posted soon.