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Worlding SF: Building, Inhabiting, and Understanding Science Fiction Universes

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++ ATTENTION: Call for Papers (Phase 2) ++

NOW OPEN: Submission for individual paper proposals —>

Deadline: April 18, 2018


“Worlding SF: Building, Inhabiting, and Understanding Science Fiction Universes”
University of Graz, Austria 
December 6–8, 2018


Confirmed keynote speakers (in alphabetical order):
Mark Bould
(University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom)
Gerry Canavan
(Marquette University, United States)
Cheryl Morgan
(Owner of Wizard’s Tower Press; Director of San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions)


The conference “Worlding SF” seeks to explore these three thematic clusters—(a) world- building, (b) processes and practices of being in fictional worlds (both from the characters’ and readers’/viewers’/players’/fans’ points of view), and (c) the seemingly naturalized subtextual messages these fantastic visions communicate (or sometimes even self-consciously address).


Based on the panel proposals we received in phase 1 of our call for papers, we would like to invite interested scholars to propose individual papers to the following thematic clusters:

* A and Gray: Non-Heteronormative Sexualities in Imagined Worlds

* Afro-Futurist Worlds

* Asian SF Worlds

* Between Scarcity and Abundance in SF Worlds

* Between Transmedia Storytelling and Money-Making: Franchising SF Worlds

* Beyond Petromodernity: Alternative Energy Futures

* “By the time you read this, you’ll be older than you remember”: Age and Aging in SF Worlds (fan cultures included)

* Celebrating Brian Aldriss’s SF Worlds

* Celebrating Ursula K. Le Guin’s SF Worlds

* “Constants and variables”: Building the Multiverse

* Eastern-European SF Worlds

* Feel, Perform, and Picture the World: World-Building beyond Storytelling

* Gaia in Outer Space: SF Worlds as Sentient and/or Feeling Entities

* “How do we know that 2 and 2 make 4?” Ontologies (and Epistemologies) of SF Worlds

* Indigenous Cosmologies

* “Infinite diversity in infinite combinations”: World-Building in Star Trek

* “It’s a trap!” Exploring the Star Wars Universe

* Movement is Key: Moving in/through SF Gameworlds (not restricted to digital games!)

* Muslim SF Worlds

* Performing Fandom: Inhabiting SF Worlds in the “Real” World

* “The planet has survived everything [...]. It will certainly survive us”: Imagining and Building Non-/Post-/Transhuman Worlds

* The “Real” World Feeding Off of SF Worlds

* Regenerative Play in Utopia: Exploring Playful Counter-Discourses in Eco-SF Games

* There and Back Again: The Shared World-Building Experiences of Video Gamers and Game Designers

* Trans* Worlds: Imagining Non-Binary Futures

Of course, there is also an open track for proposals that do not quite fit into these (rather broad) thematic clusters. 

Limited funding for independent scholars and graduate students may be available. In order to create a more inclusive environment for international scholars who may have funding, scheduling, and/or travel issues, the conference will feature a Skype track. We expect papers to be presented live (and not to be pre-recorded), however.

Organizers: Stefan “Steve” Rabitsch, Michael Fuchs, and Stefan Brandt (University of Graz)

We plan to publish a volume based on selected conference papers in the New Dimensions in Science Fiction series, which is published by the University of Wales Press. The series is co- edited by Paweł Frelik (Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin) and Patrick B. Sharp (Califor- nia State University, Los Angeles). UWP is distributed by the University of Chicago Press in North America.

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