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State of the Art: Science Fiction Histories (Perth, Western Australia, 22 & 23 March 2008)

Swancon 2008 - State of the Art_1190359291886 CALL FOR PAPERS – STATE OF THE ART: SCIENCE FICTION HISTORIES
Perth, Western Australia, 22nd-23rd March 2008

In his recent history of the genre, Roger Luckhurst argues that the marginalisation of Science Fiction (SF) from the literary establishment helped readers and writers to identify its conventions. Fandom blossomed from this liminal space, its culture providing a unique history of the relations between texts and their readers. While fans were the first historians of SF, other communities have since established their own versions of the genre. The rise of national SF in countries such as Brazil and the old Soviet Union, China and Japan de-centre its Anglo-American bias. Feminist and queer writers work to unravel its phallocentrism and heterosexism. Histories of black and Aboriginalist fiction point out the political uses of the form. The genre has itself been shaped by its reception by these communities. In Anglo-American SF, the genre’s intimacy with fandom has transformed the way its fiction (and history) has been written. It is with a view to thinking through such developments that this symposium seeks work on what SF has been to different audiences at different times, on rewriting generic history to arrive at a better understanding of the state of the art today.

Papers are invited on the following or related topics:

[X] Histories of the SF community
[X] Intersections and interactions between fan and popular cultures, and between fandom and the general public.
[X] Political histories in SF, such as Marxist, anarcho-capitalist, etc
[X] Intersection of SF with feminist & queer theories
[X] Postcolonial approaches to SF
[X] National histories of SF
[X] Non-Anglo-American traditions of SF
[X] History of race in SF
[X] The collapse of genre: slipstream, new weird, etc

Sponsored by Curtin University of Technology, the symposium will be held as part of State of the Art: Swancon 2008, the National Australian convention of science fiction, fantasy and horror.

Swancon 33 guests of honour are:

[X] Ken McLeod (Scotland)
[X] Paul Cornell (UK)
[X] Glenda Larke
[X] Zara Baxter

Confirmed Speakers for the Symposium are:

[X] Mark Bould (The University of the West of England)
[X] Andrew Milner (Monash University)
[X] Sylvia Kelso (James Cook University)
[X] Stephen Dedman (University of W.A.)

Submissions are sought for both individual papers and panel presentations.
Papers –submit 300-500 word abstract
Panels – submit 300 word description of the panel theme and short abstracts / details of panel participants

Selected papers from the symposium will be published in a special journal issue. To be considered for publication, draft papers must be submitted before the symposium.

Abstracts due: December 7. 2007
Draft papers (for publication) due: March 14, 2008

Sonia Marcon, Swancon Academic Stream
Darren Jorgensen, Media, Society & Culture, Curtin University of Technology
Helen Merrick, Media, Society & Culture, Curtin University of Technology

Email: sciencefictionhistories@gmail.com
Website: http://www.swancon.com/

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