Science Fiction in an Age of Crisis

deadline for submissions: 
September 25, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Saurav Sengupta/ Damdama College, Guwahati

Call for Book Chapters for Edited Volume 

"Science Fiction in an Age of Crisis: Towards a New Aesthetic Paradigm"  

The world as we know today stands at the crossroads of a crisis. This crisis is not only economic or social but environmental as well. With the mass excavation of natural resources be it coal, petrol and oil, the burning and felling of trees for industrial purposes and making of more technologically advanced cities- all life forms now stare at a bleak future. This risk is more accentuated with the melting of glaciers, which scientists believe would expose all ecosystems to deadly micro organisms. A possible response in literature is to alert societies much in advance. Deane Koontz’s now famous book The Eye of Darkness predicted a biological weapon, close to the Covid 19 virus. Though his claim has been brushed off by scientists, who say that the virus originated in bats, it presented a gloomy picture of the techno-scientific optimism that accompanies global economies. It also raised issues about how hyped medical research is driven by a reified science fictional imagery more than a genuine interest in democratic equalities. But did Koontz succeed and if not why? It must be understood here that one way for hegemony to work is to ‘push’ subjects to believe what they see or hear through an immersive audio-visual experience, in effect to turn them into zombies through "machinic subservience" (Félix Guattari). Can science fiction break this narrative train and how? Does this crisis also ask for a new mode of communication or an aesthetic of estrangement, as Brecht suggested in his theater of alienation?  An area that this concept note would seek to highlight is the interface between science fiction and contemporary art, when it depends on a rich assortment of natural materials and art forms for radical subversion. Such a narrative of “alterity” then could engage with the Eurocentric bias of looking into a relation between man and machines, through machines and instead propose to look at this relation through humanity’s relation with the “paranormal” or “para-human.” Such an effort at difference can rupture the production of subjective traps of a hegemonic mainstream to inaugurate a supplement- non-violence etc, even an environmentalism of the poor.  

  Original and unpublished research articles are invited (but not restricted to) the following areas:

  1. New Games of Power: Science Fiction in an age of Globalization.
  2. Empires of the Mind: How Can Science Fiction cut the train?
  3. Who is writing?  Using environment to tell a story.
  4. Eurocentricism, Machines and the disruptions of Capital.
  5. New definitions of Post-humanism: Improvisations for the future.
  6. What/who’s an alien? Exploring new roles beyond dystopia.
  7. Science Fiction, Medical Ward and Emergency Medicine.
  8. Science Fiction and Religion: Crossings and Intertextuality.
  9. Should we be fully Zombies? Immersive politics and search for the uncanny.
  10. Science Fiction, Alterity and New Aesthetic Paradigm
  11.  Can there a Science Fiction for the Third World?

  

Articles should follow the latest APA style format. Full papers should be around 4000-5000 words including notes and biography. An abstract of 150 words along with a brief biography should accompany the paper. However, abstract and biography has to be sent in a separate MS word file. Please send the papers within 25th September, 2020 at saurav.sengupta9@gmail.com

 

For general queries and submissions, feel free to get in touch with the editor:

Dr Saurav Sengupta

Assistant Professor of English, Damdama College, Guwahati-781012 at the email given above.. Alternatively you may mail at damdamacollege2011@gmail.com

Please visit www.damdamacollege.edu.in for details.